Ancillary Services for all your inspection needs
MOLD TESTING & INSPECTION SERVICES
Molds are part of the natural environment, where they play an important part in nature by breaking down dead organic matter such as fallen leaves and dead trees. Molds are also an integral part of the food we eat – cheese, baked goods, and fermented foods (amongst others) are all made possible by molds. Mold spores can be found almost everywhere, and in normal quantities are not a cause for alarm.
Molds reproduce by means of tiny spores. The spores are invisible to the naked eye and float through outdoor and indoor air. Molds need a food source and moisture to grow and may begin growing indoors when mold spores land on surfaces that are wet. This may lead to excess mold in the indoor environment which can affect personal health and cause building damage.
"Mold can cause many health effects. For some people, mold can cause a stuffy nose, sore throat, coughing or wheezing, burning eyes, or skin rash. People with asthma or who are allergic to mold may have severe reactions. Immune-compromised people and people with chronic lung disease may get infections in their lungs from mold." Centers for Disease Control (CDC) https://www.cdc.gov/mold/
If your home has a musty odor, if there are areas of abnormal discoloration, there are areas of damp or water damage, or if you want peace of mind for your family’s health, consider using our mold inspection and testing services. During a standard home inspection we inspect for the presence of moisture, both visually and with sensing devices if needed, and we also include a visual mold inspection. Adding an indoor air quality test, or surface sampling of any suspected mold found during your home inspection, will ensure you and your loved ones have complete peace of mind.
Mold Inspections and Tests
Mold inspections can be done as part of a home inspection or as a standalone mold inspection. The mold inspection includes an inspection of the complaint areas and any associated home systems focusing on visual and olfactory evidence of mold and water problems and will include use of moisture and humidity meters and air and surface sampling as needed. Air sampling tests the air for the presence of approximately 20 detectable molds and fungi as well as some allergens. Molds that may indicate an underlying problem include Aspergillus/Penicillium, Chaetomium and Stachybotrys. Indoor results are compared against an outdoor baseline sample to identify any abnormally elevated mold levels inside the living areas. Swab and tape-lift samples may also be taken to identify any visible suspected molds. All sample analysis is done by EMSL Laboratories - an independent accredited laboratory - and test results are provided in an intuitive and easy to read report. EMSL is one of North America's leading environmental testing firms and is accredited by key Industrial Hygiene accreditation bodies as well as by numerous federal agencies (including the DOE, EPA, DOJ and the CDC) and NJ state agencies (including the Department of Environmental Protection and the Department of Labor).
Once you receive your inspection and mold report, the amount of information will be overwhelming and will not be useful unless they are carefully explained and put into context. Our mold specialist will schedule as much time as needed to explain the meaning of the results and our recommendations for next steps.
Currently, there are no EPA regulations or standards for airborne mold contaminants. Instead, industry convention is to categorize mold issues based on how the indoor mold profile compared to outdoors, what types and quantities of indoor molds are present and industry experience. Because of this lack of specific threshold values to define a mold problem it is absolutely critical to have a mold expert with the appropriate understanding and experience to carefully design a test plan and to explain the meaning and significance of the findings.
Mold testing may be performed as part of a Home Inspection or as a stand-alone service. For home buyers, we recommend you consider adding mold testing to your home inspection if there are areas of concern or to simply provide you with peace of mind that you are buying a healthy home.
For existing homeowners, if you have any reason to suspect that you have a mold problem, air quality testing should be considered as a first step to determine if the Indoor Air Quality is healthy.
If water damage, damp, musty odors or stains are present, or if anyone vulnerable, or is sensitive to allergens and irritants is living in the home and has persistent respiratory symptoms like runny nose, wheezing or coughing, you should consider performing a mold inspection with indoor air quality tests or surface sample tests. This will help determine if there is elevated mold, what kinds of mold are present and can help pinpoint where the mold source is.
If you are involved in a dispute - with a landlord, tenant, seller, insurance company or contractor - mold inspection and testing will provide actual and documentary evidence of the presence or absence of mold and other information that you will likely need to make your case. I have represented both landlords and tenants in habitability disputes and testified as an expert witness in court. I have also prepared reports used in insurance disputes.
Mold needs a water source and a food source. The first and most important step in resolving a mold issue is to resolve the moisture issue. This is most often the result of plumbing leaks, foundation water ingress, humidity and water buildup associated with bathrooms, uncontrolled humidity, or condensation on improperly insulated surfaces. Because it is key to pinpoint the cause of the problem, it is important to have your mold problem diagnosed by someone who is certified in both mold testing and interpretation AND home inspections. We can provide an unbiased opinion on the likely causes and potential solutions of the problem and can re-test after remediation to ensure any work was effective. Contractors who provide only testing services, or remediation companies who do testing and clean-up may provide insufficient information or have a conflict of interest.
Air and Surface Sampling
Air sampling uses a calibrated pump to draw a precise volume of air across a collection medium that the mold spores will adhere to. A typical test takes two or three samples - an outdoor baseline and in indoor one that is then compared against the baseline. Samples are analyzed under the microscope at a certified laboratory and the results will determine the relative level of mold spores inside compared to the outside air levels. Surface sampling (swab or tape-lift) collects a localized sample of visible suspected mold, and confirms the presence (or absence) of, and the species of mold. Test results are available within a few days. You will receive a detailed report with the measured spore concentration of approximately 20 common molds. You will be walked you through the findings by a mold specialist and we will also provide you additional information as to the molds likelihood to be allergenic, produce myco-toxins, or to indicate likely water damage.
“Sampling for mold should be conducted by professionals who have specific experience in designing mold sampling protocols, sampling methods and interpreting results. Sample analysis should follow analytical methods recommended by the American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA), the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH), or other professional organizations.” EPA https://www.epa.gov/mold/mold-testing-or-sampling
Services and Certifications
Mold Testing as part of a Home Inspection
Mold Inspection and Testing
Post Remediation Clearance Testing
Insurance and Landlord Tenant Disputes
Expert Witness Services
Brookfield Home Inspections is a certified mold testing and inspection company. Our certified mold testers are accredited by NACHI and IAC2 and we use an AIHA accredited lab for all analyses. Brookfield Home Inspections has provided reporting used in Insurance and Landlord/Tenant disputes and has also appeared in court as an expert witness.
Mold Test: $225
Includes two samples (more can be paid for). This price only offered as part of a Home Inspection
Mold Inspection and other services: Call for pricing and additional information
We work with partner companies and can arrange the following ancillary inspections:
Oil Tank Scan
Note: Ancillary services will be under contract of the respective provider
We provide services in the following North Jersey areas:
Mon-Fri: 8am - 6pm
Sat and Sun: 10am - 4pm