How To Do Toxic Mold Inspection of
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Hire mold consultants Phillip Fry and Divine Montero to find air conditioning mold, workplace mold, and mold hidden inside the walls, ceilings, floors, crawl space, attic, basement, and HVAC equipment and system of your house, condominium, office, workplace, or other building anywhere in  Phoenix, Mesa, and Scottsdale, Arizona, California, Las Vegas, USA, Canada, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, and elsewhere in Asia. Mold Training  Mold Inspector Directory  Industrial Hygienist Training  Industrial Hygienist Directory  Mold Inspection Blog Questions & Answers

Top Dozen Building Mold Inspection Questions and Steps

A thorough, comprehensive, and effective building mold inspection involves answering these key mold inspection questions.
 

1.         Do any of the residential or workplace building residents, occupants, or workers suffer from any of the most frequent general mold health symptoms listed at Top 100 Mold Symptoms? If so, you need to be very thorough in both mold inspection and mold testing of the home and workplaces of the residents to find the possible mold cause of occupant health problems.  Occupant mold health symptoms is one of the biggest clues that the building contains mold infestation, either visible or hidden beneath or behind furniture and carpeting/padding, heating/air conditioning equipment and ducts, walls, ceilings, floors, attic, basement, crawl space, and other out-of-sight locations.
 

2.         Do shrubs, trees, and other landscaping plants grow close to the building? Too many trees and other vegetation too close to the building protect mold growth from the killing effect of ultraviolet sun light. In addition, dead leaves and plants provide food to enable mold to grow. Growing mold close to the building creates airborne mold spores that enter the building through open windows and doors.
 

3.         Is the land around the building sloping away from the building (thus carrying rainfall and snow melt away from the building) or toward the building (thus bringing excess water to the building and causing possible water intrusion into the building's foundation, concrete flood slabs, basement walls, and crawl space area)?
 

4.         Is the roof in good repair? Good condition shingles and no cracks or holes in flashings around plumbing vent pipes, air conditioning units, and roof valleys and transitions keep rainfall and snow melt out of the attic of the building.  Have the roof thoroughly inspected by a qualified  roof maintenance professional. 
 

5.         In the attic, are their water stains, water damage, or mold growth on the under side of the roof surface, the roof wood joists and timbers, the attic floor, and on and beneath insulation? Mold cannot eat fiberglass insulation, but it can eat the paper backing of such insulation, and mold can also eat and grow on organic dirt deposited onto the fiberglass strands.  Use a good flash light, your eyesight, and your sense of smell to carefully inspect all areas inside the attic. If you find water stains, water damage, or mold growth in the attic, that finding tells you that you have likely roof leaks.   Water intrusion into the
attic results in water flowing by gravity downward into the insides of the ceiling and walls below, causing hidden and dangerous mold growth therein.
 

6.         Are there physical signs or evidence of water intrusion or mold growth anywhere in water-oriented rooms such as bathrooms, the kitchen, and the laundry room? Be very thorough in inspecting and testing for water stains, water damage, and mold growth in those areas. Use a flashlight to examine carefully cabinets in those areas after removing all contents from drawers and inside cabinet doors.  Water leaks in those areas often cause hidden mold growth beneath and behind cabinets. Use a good quality moisture meter to scan all wall, floor, and ceiling surfaces for possible elevated levels of moisture therein.
 

7.         Are their water stains, water damage areas, suspicious discolorations or mold growth on any other building’s room ceilings, walls, floors, and on, behind, or beneath furniture and carpeting/padding that would indicate or document water and mold growth problems?
 

8.         Is there hidden water moisture inside wall cavities, beneath floors, above ceilings, or behind ceramic tiles of bathroom walls, tubs and showers? Use a good quality moisture meter to test non-invasively (no holes required) such surfaces.  You can look INSIDE walls, ceiling, and floors through cut or drilled one inch holes using a fiber optics inspection tool (available at Mold Mart).
 

9.         Has the property ever experienced roof leaks, water leaks, floods, or other water problems and water intrusions? If so, pay particular attention to inspecting and mold testing building areas that experienced such past or present water intrusions.  Use both a good quality moisture meter and a fiber optics inspection device to inspect for mold growth and water problems inside walls, above ceilings, and beneath floors.
 

10.      Is the humidity level of the crawl space, basement, attic, or any room of the building higher than seventy percent [70%] humidity some or all of the time? Humidity levels above 70% in any area of the building can provide sufficient moisture to enable mold to grow.  Use a digital hygrometer to check the humidity in each area of the building.
 

11.      Are there elevated levels of unhealthy mold spores in the air of the attic, crawl space, basement, and the various rooms of the home or other building? Are the levels of mold spores indoors greater than outside levels, and/or different as to the types of mold species present? Use a mold air testing pump and testing cassettes to collect mold air samples both indoors and outdoors (“outdoor control test”).  

Because a 5 minute air sample of a room underreports the true mold condition of a room, also use---

(a) mold culture petri dishes or mold test kits (set on the floor in the middle of a room) upon which airborne mold settles onto during a full one hour test period after you stir up the air in the room with a disinfected fan for 15 minutes.

(b) controlled air testing impactors that use an air pump to draw in and impact airborne mold spores for at least 15 minutes onto the sticky surface of the mold culture petri dish contained inside the impactor..

(c) direct sampling of visually-noticeable mold growth through scraping of the suspect mold substance into a mold culture plate, or Scotch tape lift tape sampling, or actually cutting and cutting out a test piece (“bulk sampling”) of what the suspect mold is growing on or in such as drywall, wood, carpeting, etc.

     

            (d)  Using Scotch tape lift sampling or surface samplers to collect samples of deposited
            dirt and likely mold spores in out of the way places like the tops of a refrigerator or the
            top side of the wood trim around doors and windows.
 

12.      Is there mold contamination inside the building's heating, ventilating, and air conditioning system [hvac], and/or hvac ducts?  Take off the duct register and use a strong flash light to search inside the heating/cooling duct or mold growth.  Mold growth inside air con equipment and ducts is extremely common. Air con systems and window air conditioners are mold factories, harboring and fostering mold growth, and spreading the mold growth by continually putting mold spores into the air flow out of the air con registers. Tape opened tape a mold culture petri dish (sticky surface facing inward toward the out coming air flow) onto at least one air supply register grill of each zone of your hvac system, and then run the hvac system on ventilation (not heating or air conditioning) for 15 minutes to impact possible mold infestation spores onto the sticky surface of the mold culture plates. You can also do Scotch tape lift tape sampling to take samples from just inside each heating/cooling duct register.
 

Observe your collected mold samples as they grow in the petri dishes for 5 to 7 days and then accurately record the growth results by digital pictures and written notes. Growing the mold samples is called viable mold lab analysis, which will let you know whether the collected mold samples are of live mold spores (the only ones that will grow) or dead spores (no growth). Alternatively, you can use direct lab analysis with no growth required. Direct analysis is quick (2 to 3 days) and lets you know not only living but dead mold spore counts.  Even the smell of dead mold can make mold-sensitive people sick.

Who is a Certified Mold Inspector?  A Certified Mold Inspector is a mold professional who has been specially trained and certified in environmental inspection and testing for the detection of mold, fungi, & fungal infestation & contamination, whether visible or hidden inside walls, ceilings, floors, attics, basements, crawl spaces, & HVAC in residences, offices, workplaces, & other commercial and public buildings.

Who is a Certified Mold Remediator?  A
Certified Mold Remediator is a mold professional who has been specially trained and certified to remove, remediate, & prevent mold, fungi, & fungal infestation & contamination, whether visible or hidden inside walls, ceilings, floors, attics, basements, crawl spaces, & HVAC in residences, offices, workplaces,  & other commercial and public buildings.

Make accurate notes of everything you discover
Picture of Certified Environmental Hygienists Divine Montero and Tyson Haas doing Philippines mold inspection.i
Take accurate notes of everything you discover and find in your building mold inspection, as shown in this picture of Certified Environmental Hygienists Divine Montero and Tyson Haas doing a mold inspection beneath the sink in a Makati, Philippines, home, in 2011.
Record the hygrometer humidity reading in each area of the building being inspected.
Record the relative humidity reading from your hygrometer in each room and area you inspect including all rooms, basement, crawl space, attic, and garage.


Do easy surface sampling with sticky Zefon Bio-Tape Microscope Slides
 

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Hire mold consultants Phillip Fry and Divine Montero  Fryto find air conditioning mold, workplace mold, and mold hidden inside the walls, ceilings, floors, crawl space, attic, and basement of your house, condominium, office, or other building. Mold Training  Mold Inspector Directory  Industrial Hygienist Training  Industrial Hygienist Directory  Lead Test Kits  Mold Fogging Machine  San Diego Mold Removal  Mold Test Dallas Texas  Mold Inspection Dallas Texas  Houston Toxic Mold Testing  House Mold Testing Texas  Mold Attorney

Pictures and Page Content Copyright 2013, 2014 by Mold Experts Phillip Fry and Divine Montero Fry. All Rights Reserved. You may use our mold pictures and mold inspection advice page content on your website provided that you include a published, prominent, clickable link credit for the pictures and content to Building Mold Inspection.  This website was  last updated on Jan. 7, 2014.