Finding out you have a mold infestation is everyone’s worst nightmare. It all starts with a faint musty scent. As you follow the aroma, you notice that the room around you is damp.
With a little closer inspection, you figure out that you have mold. At this point, you worry about the safety of everyone in the space. Air quality is an essential part of your HVAC system.
To alleviate this tension, you can call in mold inspection and testing. Let’s take a look at what that entails and how much it’s going to cost.
What Is Mold?
Mold is one of the structures that certain fungi can produce. As the microorganisms grow and multiply using spores, the formations will spread. It can cover surfaces in a colorful fuzzy layer.
Unfortunately, these spores are all around us. If they find an area with suitable growing conditions, they start to reproduce.
Mold Growing Conditions
As most people know, mold prefers to grow in humid conditions. This is because the fungi that produce it can function much better in that environment.
Moreover, the extra moisture in the air makes it easier for spores to spread out and take root.
Aside from that, these microorganisms need nutrients. They can pull those out of almost anything, including food, walls, and even some stones.
While it may be unpleasant dealing with the aroma of mold, it’s not the biggest issue. Mold has quite a few adverse effects. It can make people feel very uncomfortable.
These only cover what could happen with minor contact. However, with sustained exposure, the effect can get much worse.
In addition, some mold-forming fungi also produce toxins. These chemicals can lead to more serious risks.
What Is Mold Inspection?
When you realize you have mold, the first step is to inspect the situation. That involves a certified industrial hygienist going through your home.
This professional will examine your entire house and check for mold. The process can take anywhere from two to six hours, depending on the size of your home.
After a thorough inspection, the hygienist can tell you what type of mold is causing the issue. They can also point out the origin of the infestation and the size of the problem in square feet.
The hygienists will take into account the size of your home and your location to determine cost. On average, this visit can run you about $300-$500.
Why Do You Need a Mold Inspection?
As we mentioned before, there are many types of fungi that can produce mold. Without knowing which one is causing the infection, it can be difficult to deal with it.
There are too many fungi to test for straight away. Moreover, these tests can get quite expensive.
So, the hygienist will use physical features to narrow down the options first. This can include looking at the color or texture of the mold.
Not only can this make the process faster, but it can save you money down the line.
When to Call in a Mold Inspection?
There is never a bad time to have a mold inspection. However, your bank account may not agree.
While regular mold inspections can be beneficial, they’re not always necessary. Before you call in professionals, there are signs that you can look out for.
-Strong, musty scent
-Excess moisture in the air
-Discoloration of surfaces
-Dust-like texture over surfaces
If you experience any of these, then hire a certified hygienist.
It’s also good practice to have a mold inspection every time you move into a new place.
What Is Mold Testing?
Testing involves using scientific methods to figure out the fungi causing the mold.
Basic Mold Air Test
Usually, the mold inspection cost will include a basic air test.
A device will take a sample of the air and analyze the content for microorganisms. While this test is useful, it’s not always accurate.
You have to remember that there are many strains of fungi all around us. They float in the air, waiting to land on a suitable home.
So, if the device picks up the presence of a microorganism, it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s growing in your house.
For this reason, the basic test can help narrow down the search but not identify the issue.
After the basic test gives you an idea of what you’re looking for, it’s time for more tests.
The hygienist will take samples of any surface they suspect might be growing mold. These specimens then go to the lab for detailed analysis.
One of the most common ways to do that is through cultures. A technician will place a sample on a petri dish and allow the fungi to grow.
A general culture can cost around $50-$60. However, the main drawback is that it takes time. It can be a couple of weeks before the lab can give you any results.
The lab can also run a stain test. This involves placing a sample on a glass dish and adding dye.
Then, a technician will look at the dish through a microscope. That will allow them to physically identify the fungus and count how many spores are present.
This test is a little on the expensive side. Depending on the lab, it can cost anywhere from $100 to $150.
On average, a simple mold inspection and testing can run you about $350. However, that’s only if you ask for a few tests.
If you require additional exams, then the price can jump all the way up to about $700.
Before you order mold inspection and testing, there are a few factors you should be aware of.
Mold is a growth caused by fungi. Inspections involve a professional hygienist examining the house for mold. Testing, however, revolves around sampling and assessing the type of mold infestation.
Depending on the size of your house and the extent of mold growth, the price of the services will change. The process can cost anywhere between $350 to $700. There are also additional fees if you want to do extra testing.
Mold often grows in bathrooms as it is a hot and damp location. For this reason, you should install a ventilation system in this part of your house.