The job of a mold inspector is to provide accurate and professional advice about mold and airborne particles in a private or commercial building. Some of the facets of this type of building inspection include recognizing and identifying allergenic indoor mold, testing and cleaning mold, removal of other indoor contaminants, and overall air quality improvement measures.
Specific job qualities of a mold inspector include knowing how and where to look for mold in buildings, common sampling mistakes that should be avoided, proper use of flashlights to identify hidden mold, and knowledge of mold appearance in various areas and on various surfaces.
Initially, a mold inspector must decide what location in the building to sample mold from. One of the most reliable sampling tests is to collect samples of visible surface mold with clear adhesive tape. Often this method is more effective than testing airborne particles or culturing samples. However, certain locations are better sample spots than others. One of the most common mistakes is to sample obvious mold that is visible, while ignoring the potential for other types to be lurking in areas that are less easy to see.
Common mistakes with mold sampling include choosing the wrong specimen to sample, testing material that is not actually mold, only testing obvious "black mold" or only looking for samples in particular building areas that may be incorrect. A mold inspector should also be careful to test the appropriate surface and choose organic surfaces such as drywall or wood paneling over inorganic surfaces like concrete.
Why does finding and eliminating mold matter? The presence of mold or mildew in a home or commercial property may be making someone sick. Learn when to consult a professional and when and how the problem should be cleaned or properly removed. Occasionally, mold growth occurs after particular events such as flooding. In these cases it is essential to conduct a thorough investigation and determine acceptable levels before the problem gets out of hand.
Some materials and organic items that are commonly mistaken for mold include exterior black mold, soot or thermal marks, animal stains, white or tan bubbly mineral salts, most house dust, pollen, foam insulation that is sprayed, and wood soap. An inspector knows how to properly distinguish these organic and inorganic items from harmful mold growth, thereby saving a lot of money and time in the long run.
Often, homeowners and building landlords will decide they can inspect their own dwelling for mold and take the proper steps to correct the problem. However, there are a few situations in which it is essential to contact a professional mold inspector and not tackle the job on their own. Never disturb mold. This could cause a burst of activity in a building and endanger the inhabitants. Always wear a HEPA respirator. Exposure to allergens can sensitize an individual even if they have never been allergic in the past. Keep a watchful eye out for other related problems including clogged sewers, bacterial hazards, damaged electrical wires, or shock hazards.