Everyone seems to have heard at least one story of someone discovering mold in a home, whether you are purchasing a home in Missoula, MT or currently own a home. It might be minor surface-level mold, or it might be black mold concealed within a wall and unknown to anyone until someone living in the home starts to exhibit health symptoms, or until the wall is opened up on a remodel. Regardless, we have found a great resource to help relieve the concern of discovering an unknown mold problem.
There are a number of tests that are available to help uncover the presence of mold, whether it is on the surface, or behind a wall. The types, and number of samples needed, within a home will vary depending upon the floor-plan, size and layout of the home.
Visual Inspection: The first step would be a visual inspection, where they would be looking for any evidence of moisture leakage/intrusion, evidence of mold growth and/or any areas that might have a potential for mold intrusion. This inspection will be conducted on the entire interior of the home, as well as the exterior of the home.
Surface Sampling: Surface sampling will be used in any area where there appears to be mold or staining. The specific staining can be tested to determine if it is mold, or staining from something else.
Air Testing: The most effective form of testing is air testing. A number of air samples are collected within the home (depending upon the size and layout of the home). Then, an outdoor control sample is also taken to compare against the natural environment. These air samples are sent to a lab which will return a report detailing whether there are any types of mold present and what they are, how much is present, a description of the specific mold characteristics, and a comparison to normal, naturally occurring levels of mold.
We recently used this testing procedure on a home that had water damage in the past, and the potential Buyer wanted to make sure that it had been remedied. We feel that this is a valuable service in going through inspections on properties, as a traditional inspection won’t be able to detect levels of mold within a home, and it may uncover a problem that could be remedied before causing health and/or structural damage.
This information was all gathered from ERAtest, llc. Much more detailed information is available on their website.