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Mold Information / Testing
Is there a difference between a home inspection and a
A home inspection is an evaluation of a home’s condition by a trained professional. The
inspection is conducted with fairness and impartiality to all. A thorough written report within
the guidelines established by the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI) provides
disclosure of visible defects and/or conditions that will affect the function of the home.
Proper mold testing is a specialized service requiring special education, training and
equipment (surface sampling, interior wall sampling, microscopes, etc). Mold inspections
and evaluations are best performed by professionally trained and licensed companies
specializing in this area.
ASHI Standards Section 13.2 General Exclusions includes the following:
"The inspector is NOT required to determine:
11. the presence of plants, animals, and other life forms
and substances that may be hazardous or harmful to
humans including, but not limited to, wood destroying
organisms, molds and mold-like substances.
12. the presence of environmental hazards including, but
not limited to, allergens, toxins, carcinogens, electromagnetic
radiation, noise, radioactive substances, and
contaminants in building materials,
soil, water, and air."
What are Molds?
Molds are simple, microscopic organisms, present virtually everywhere, indoors and
outdoors. Molds, along with mushrooms and yeasts, are fungi and are needed to break
down dead material and recycle nutrients in the environment. For molds to grow and
reproduce, they need only a food source – any organic material, such as leaves, wood,
paper, or dirt— and moisture. Because molds grow by digesting the organic material,
they gradually destroy whatever they grow on. Sometimes, new molds grow on old mold
colonies. Mold growth on surfaces can often be seen in the form of discoloration,
frequently green, gray, brown, or black but also white and other colors. Molds release
countless tiny, lightweight spores, which travel through the air.
Should I be concerned about mold on my home?
Yes, if indoor mold contamination is extensive, it can cause very high and persistent
airborne spore exposures. Persons exposed to high spore levels can become sensitized
and develop allergies to the mold or other health problems. Mold growth can damage
your furnishings, such as carpets, sofas and cabinets. Clothes and shoes in damp
closets can become soiled. In time, unchecked mold growth can cause serious damage to
the structural elements in your home.
How am I exposed to indoor mold?
Everyone is exposed to some mold on a daily basis without evident harm. It is common to
find mold spores in the air inside homes, and most of the airborne spores found indoors
come from outdoor sources. Mold spores primarily cause health problems when they are
present in large numbers and people inhale many of them. This occurs primarily when
there is active mold growth within home, office or school where people live or work.
People can also be exposed to mold by touching contaminated materials and by eating
Professional Home Inspection Company & Mold.
Professional Home Inspection Company does not perform mold testing. We inspect for
visual signs of mildew, or as we define: “Mold like substances” but do not make the
determination of mold extent or exposure level. Proper mold testing is a specialized
service requiring special education, training and equipment (surface sampling, interior wall
sampling, microscopes, etc). Mold inspections and evaluations are best performed by
professionally trained and licensed companies specializing in that area. We do not offer
this service because we have not chosen to specialize in this area and realize that we are
not qualified to make accurate determinations regarding mold.
If you believe that you have a mold issue, you may wish to contact a qualified mold testing
company directly. For your convenience, we have listed a qualified mold testing company.
PHI receives no monetary compensation for recommending this company.
Environmental Initiatives www.eimidwest.com
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To Help People Make Informed Real Estate Decisions