Mold is a problem that can plague properties of all types, from residential properties to businesses. Mold can not only cause damage to property and objects in a home or a business, but it can also trigger health problems. The presence of mold is not always obvious. As a result, a professional mold inspection may be necessary. There are two primary types of mold inspection: limited mold inspection and complete mold inspection. 

Research on the health effects associated with exposure to mold is ongoing. If an individual believes that he or she may be suffering health issues associated with mold exposure, a person in that position should seek medical attention promptly. In addition, if an individual believes that mold is present in a home, business, or other location, seeking a mold inspection is advisable. 

Depending on the circumstances, a limited mold inspection may be suitable. The circumstances might dictate a more thorough, extensive complete mold inspection. 

Overview of Limited Mold Inspection

Limited mold inspection is undertaken by what is known as an IAC2-certified mold inspector. A primary reason why a particular mold inspection is deemed limited is because only a specifically defined space in a building will be subject to the inspection. For example, a limited mold inspection might be confined to the basement of a residence. 

A limited mold inspection is considered an affordable, fast way in which the presence of mold can be ascertained. A mold inspection is also designed to try and determine what type or types of mold might be present in a dwelling. This type of inspection is also intended to determine the extent of mold growth in a particular building. 

The basic elements of a limited mold inspection are:

  • A non-invasive, visual examination of the readily accessible, visible, and installed systems and components of only the specific room or area defined by the inspector and agreed to by the client
  • At least three air samples (one indoor and two outdoor)
  • One surface sampling at an area of concern

Once a limited mold inspection is completed, the inspector provides a report to the owner of the property or the individual requesting the mold inspection. A limited mold report includes the following information:

  • Moisture intrusion
  • Water damage
  • Musty odors
  • Apparent mold growth
  • Conditions conducive to mold growth
  • Results of lab results of all mold samples taken during the inspection of the premises

Overview of Complete Mold Inspection

As is the case with a limited mold inspection, a complete mold inspection is performed by a professional known as an IAC2-certified mold inspector. A complete mold inspection is defined as a non-invasive, visual examination of the readily accessible, visible and installed systems and components of an entire building.

There is an overarching reach of a complete mold inspection that includes the visual examination of the entire building. In addition, a complete mold inspection includes:

  • Temperature measurements
  • Humidity readings
  • A minimum of three air samples (this usually includes one indoor sample and two outdoor samples)
  • Surface sampling of any area or areas of concern

Following a complete mold inspection, an inspector prepares a comprehensive report that typically contains the following information:

  • Moisture intrusion
  • Water damage
  • Musty orders
  • Apparent mold growth
  • Conditions conducive to mold growth
  • Results of laboratory analysis of all mold samplings taken at a building
  • Results of the visual inspection of any system or component examined (like an HVAC system)
  • If no such system inspection or inspections occurred, the report needs to contain reasons why that inspection did not occur

There are a few more points that need to be borne in mind when it comes to a mold inspection. First of all, it’s important to understand that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, or EPA, does not regulate mold or mold spores in the air. In other words, there are no EPA limits on levels of mold or mold spores in a home, business, or other location at this juncture in time.

On a related note, there are also no federal or state threshold limits for inspectors to utilize when they interpret results of a mold inspection. With that said, there are some mold inspection industry best practices to be followed. This is the reason why a mold inspection needs to be undertaken by a professional known as an IAC2-certified mold inspector to be considered a bona fide assessment. 

Mold inspections typically can be undertaken in a very short amount of time. This particularly is the case when a limited mold inspection is selected. 

If mold is thought to be present in a property, care must be taken not to disturb mold growth. When mold growth is disturbed, it can result in the spread of mold spores and further mold growth in other areas with a home, business, or another type of property.