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Surface Mold
IAC2 Badge
Mold Inspector Badge



Molds play an important part in the natural environment by breaking down dead organic matter such as fallen leaves and dead trees. Molds reproduce by means of emitting floating spores that are invisible to the naked eye. These spores are not a concern in the outdoor air, but may pose health concerns when concentrated indoors. Molds need moisture to produce, so any excess moisture in the home can lead to a mold issue.  Typically, the moisture is provided by plumbing leaks, storm water intrusion or poor ventilation. 

Molds produce allergens, irritants, and in some cases, potentially toxic substances (mycotoxins). Inhaling or touching mold or mold spores may cause allergic reactions in sensitive individuals. Allergic responses include hay fever-type symptoms, such as sneezing, runny nose, red eyes, and skin rash.


When should a home be tested for mold?  There are really three main reasons that prompt a mold air quality test to be added to the home inspection process.  The first and primary reason is that moisture and/or visible mold is observed during the inspection and an air quality test will determine the severity of the mold levels.  Then those levels will help direct the level of remediation that should be employed. 


Secondly, clients will sometimes request the air quality test even though no moisture or mold is found because there was a disclosure of a past problem.  In these situations buyers simply want that extra level of assurance. 


The third reason is just for peace of mind. While the home inspection process will usually discover moisture and mold concerns, there is always a chance that an issue is concealed.  Despite the use of high end infrared imaging and moisture probing equipment, a moisture / mold concern could be hidden behind appliances, cabinetry or stored items.

Mold Growth


mold types created by moisture

24 hrs

moisture Creates mold fast - 24 to 48 hours.

1 in 12

Americans with higher risk due to asthma


of chonic sinus infections are due to mold


Step 1: Notification

If a mold test is desired, the first step is to notify the seller of the upcoming test.  This is an important notification, because mold testing is best performed with closed home conditions.  Closed home conditions include keeping windows and doors closed (other than momentary use) as well as avoiding the use of exhaust fans, and more importantly, the use of evaporative coolers.  Typically notification will be handled between the realtors ahead of the test to ensure that everyone understands the necessary conditions.  Note: resources for mold sampling vary in the closed home duration which ranges from 24 hours before sampling to just during the sampling. Out of experience and uniformity with most protocols, MRT requests 12 hours of closed home conditions prior to the air sampling.

Laptop Notification

Step 2: Testing

The inspector first assesses whether closed home conditions are present at the start of the test and if there is doubt or evidence of open windows, etc. the inspector will reschedule the test to allow for closed home conditions.  After fully inspecting the home for moisture concerns the inspector selects a couple locations that may present the highest potential for any indoor air quality concerns.  The inspector collects the two air samples indoors and one air sample from the exterior, as a baseline, and then sends the samples to the laboratory for analysis.

Mold Test Device

Step 3: Test Evaluation

The inspector evaluates the collected data and presents the findings in report format.  The report will detail the inspectors findings during the inspection as well as the report from the laboratory.  Collectively, the inspector will provide recommendations based on all of the data.

Mold Test Results
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