Is There Mold in Your Carlsbad Home (Part 3 of 5)
If you missed the first 2 articles in this series you can read them below:
This series has been written by Andy Konopacki, Founder and President of Vm3 Environmental in Carlsbad, who I know personally and who graciously agreed to be a guest contributor on this blog
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"HOW DO YOU ACTUALLY PERFORM A MOLD INSPECTION?"
This is a question that I get quite frequently from REALTORS and buyers alike who have not been through the mold inspection process. In the simplest terms, a mold inspection begins with a visual survey of the interior and exterior of readily accessible structures located on the property being inspected. During this survey, the mold inspector is visually identifying preventative maintenance issues, which if left unattended, can result in conditions conducive to mold growth, and suspect areas/conditions where mold colonization, whether active or dormant, may also be present.
Suspect areas can include walls, ceilings or other surfaces within the structure that are discolored, stained, blemished or otherwise damaged from present or past water intrusion. Areas of suspected mold-like growth, whether active or dormant, are of course also noted.
Upon completion of the visual survey/inspection, the mold inspector will sit down with his/her client and discuss the findings of the visual survey. Suspect areas that have been noted are further explained and recommended for sampling.
The purpose of collecting samples is to determine whether a suspected stain, blemish, discoloration or other water damaged area is identified, by laboratory analysis, as mold growth. Mold growth should not be present in a normal fungal ecology. Sampling can also identify conditions that may warrant further evaluation and include invasive testing or referral to a remediation / abatement / clean-up company.
In my next post I will address in more detail the different types of sampling methods. With an explanation of the mold inspection process in hand, let's examine in more detail some of the specific areas a mold inspector will examine while performing an inspection.
The grounds of a structure can include the evaluation of proper grading, drainage which includes gutters, the location of downspouts, exterior wall coverings, porches, decks and windows. All of these systems when properly working together allow for the displacement of water away from the structure and prevent water intrusion.
When inspecting the interior of a structure, great attention is paid to under-sink areas and adjacent plumbing systems. Under sinks in both bathrooms and kitchens are the most common areas observed for water staining, leaks, discoloration and mold-like growth.
Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning systems can often be a source of mold concern. Air ducts are inspected to insure they are not disconnected causing venting into areas like attics and crawlspaces. Additionally, closed off supply registers can create excessive condensation and an environment conducive to mold growth.
REMEMBER: Moisture control is the key to preventing mold growth. Mold only needs a food source, moisture and a surface to grow on!
President - VM3 Environmental, Inc.
760-273-9728 (San Diego County - Carlsbad)
949-269-3073 (Orange County)
310-295-1099 (Los Angeles County)
TOLL FREE: 866-513-MOLD