Mold Information / Testing



Is there a difference between a home inspection and a mold inspection?


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 contaminated foods.


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.


Mold Testing.


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.