Mold Inspection Company in Phoenix, AZ

Mold can be a problem… even in Phoenix, AZ

We provide the best mold inspection services Phoenix residents can buy. Our board certified mold experts are just that; experts.

Living in Phoenix means you may not worry much about needing a mold inspection. However, mold can still become a problem even in Phoenix. Even properties located in desert environments can have pipe leaks, condensation problems, and other issues that could lead to moisture intrusion or moisture build up from high humidity and poor ventilation. If that happens, and if the water damage doesn’t dry out properly, the result is a mold growth. Controlling moisture is the key to controlling mold.

While its unnecessary to eliminate every trace of moisture from a home, a certain amount is needed for mold to grow. Keeping your home’s moisture level below that threshold is the goal. Nevertheless, it’s sometimes difficult to tell if you’re below that level or not. If there are any risks of having too much moisture in a house, whether your current home or one you’re buying, it’s better to know about potential risks as soon as possible. This is risk assessment is part of our mold inspection service.

Who should get a mold inspection?

There are many scenarios that could warrant the desire or need for a mold inspection. Anyone buying a house may want a mold inspection just to be sure there are no potential health risks or hidden repair costs. However, most Phoenix property buyers only call a mold inspector if they have reason to believe there might be a problem. That’s also generally true with people who are having concerns in their own property. In homes where there aren’t obvious problems, it takes an expert with the right equipment and experience to rule out and identify any potential risks.

Mold problems often cause an odd, musty or earth smell in the house. The odors are associated with the Microbial Volatile Organic Compounds (MVOCs) mold produces in an active state. We can sample for MVOC levels in a building. This is a great method to determine the presence of mold in a structure with zero “visible” signs of mold or water damage. When in doubt, have a mold inspector come to your property and ensure that there aren’t any current, past, or ongoing moisture or mold problems. A mold inspection provides any property owner the peace of mind that comes with knowing their property is free of mold and other potential environmental health risks.

Why would someone want a mold inspection?

People who want a mold inspection generally want it for one of two reasons: (1) they have suspicions that there’s a mold problem in the property they own, or (2) they’re purchasing a house and want to do their due diligence on a new property. Both are completely valid reasons for wanting to get an inspection, and for choosing an inspector to work with. Having mold testing come back without evidence of mold isn’t a waste of money. It’s a purchase toward peace of mind and a lack of worry 99.9% of our clients feel was well worth the investment.

Until a mold inspection is carried out, it can be difficult to determine where all the mold is located. Along with a thorough visual inspection, mold testing also assists a remediation plan (plan to remove the mold) with regard to air scrubbing and containment location and set up.

When should someone get a mold inspection?

A mold inspection should be considered anytime there is valid concern. Some valid concerns could be breathing problems or other respiratory issues only experienced in the home. A known past or current leak. A moldy or damp smell could also be a valid reason to get your property inspected for mold.

Showers and bathrooms can quickly begin to collect mold if they are not ventilated well, since they frequently get exposure to moisture. Even in Phoenix, where it rains very little and the air is quite dry for most of the year, it is possible to get mold from sources that are not related to a damp climate or measurable rainfall.

If there has been a significant rainstorm during the monsoon season, especially if there has been roof damage or a leak of any kind, getting a mold inspection may be a good idea. Mold does not always begin to grow immediately, but wet roofing materials, beams, or walls will not take that long to show evidence of mold. In some cases, mold can be seen coming through drywall in areas that are very wet or that stay damp for a long time. This can be how someone determines that they have a mold problem or a leak, when they see mold that they did not notice before appearing on drywall or other surfaces in their home. When that occurs, a mold inspection is often recommended.

What takes place during a proper mold inspection?

During a proper mold inspection, the inspector will be very thorough. Just looking at a spot where mold is present or suspected, and confirming that mold is there, isn’t an inspection. Mold testing can examine the air in your home in order to see if mold spores are present. That will help you determine your air quality, so you know if remediation steps have to be taken right away, or if the air in your home is possibly unsafe to breathe. In addition to the air quality test, a mold inspector will find any mold you have growing in your house, and determine the extent of it.

All of the areas that appear suspicious for any chance of mold growth will be examined during an inspection. With the proper tools, a mold inspector can find problems that a homeowner may not notice, and can locate mold issues before they become more serious. Knowing where to look for water intrusion is a large part of the job of a mold inspector, so they can keep you safe in your home or give you information on a home you’re considering buying. If mold is found during an inspection, your mold inspector can talk to you about the next steps, to make your home mold free.

What can I expect from a Carity IAQ Solutions mold inspection?

Initial Call:

A mold inspection Phoenix residents can expect from Carity IAQ Solutions starts with the initial phone call. Our expert staff will gather important information by asking questions specific to the concerns your having. This information will aid our field investigators in their inspection by briefing them prior to arrival. This is done to help us better prioritize our approach. We’ve inspected hundreds of properties in the Phoenix Metro area for mold and other biological contaminants.

Examples of helpful information includes (but is not limited to) occupant details (quantity, health condition, present symptoms, how long symptoms have been going on, etc), structural details (size, layout, property’s age, etc), any visual signs of water damage (water staining, swelling, buckling, rusting, paint bubbling or leaching, etc) or actual mold growth and mildew build-up.

There are companies in Phoenix that charge for a phone consultation; we on the other hand do not charge for this service and is one of many things that set us apart from our competitors.

On-site Assessment

This part of the mold inspection is equally as important as the initial phone consultation. Once properly informed on your situation we’ll arrive on site ready to assist you in finding accurate and cost efficient solutions. If the request or recommendation for testing for air-borne spores was made during the initial call, we’ll take an air sample prior to entering the property. This sample is called an exterior baseline. This sample is mandatory when sampling is being provided. Taking this sample prior to entering the building helps minimize any cross-contamination of the baseline sample and is considered by industry standards to be best practice. If samples weren’t discussed or recommended during the initial phone consultation, our first step while on site will be to recap the concerns and scenario you’re dealing with.

Following the recap we’ll visually inspect the area(s) of concern. At this point our inspector is looking for signs of water damage and moisture intrusion. We look for these things for the sole fact that mold growth is a direct result of a moisture issue (refer back to the examples above). During this walk-through we’re also looking for actual microbial (mold and mildew) growth. A thorough visual inspection is often more effective than air sampling alone. Likewise, air sampling without a proper structural inspection is also inconclusive. On the other hand, some situations where a visual inspection, without air sampling, would also be considered inconclusive. This can be difficult to grasp for a lay person. That’s precisely what we’re here for and what we help you filter through.

Inspection Tools and Equipment

The instrumentation we use while inspecting your property is specifically designed to help us locate hidden moisture which ofter leads us to any mold growth (example of hidden moisture that produced mold growth found with a thermal image camera). Instruments such as a thermal image camera, borescope, moisture meter, and laser particle counter can be very effective in identifying and locating a mold problem. Each one has its benefits and limitations. Our vast experience allows us to select the right tool(s) for each situation based on those benefits and limitations.

Air-Borne Mold Testing

When done correctly and when necessary, air testing for mold can be a useful step in identifying and locating a mold issue. As professional mold inspectors, it’s our job to know when and when not to test the air. When air sampling is applicable, a minimum of two samples are needed. The first sample is a control or baseline sample. Because threshold limit values (TLVs) have yet to be established for indoor air-borne mold, industry standards suggest that mold levels and mold types indoors should be similar to outdoors. This is why an outside sample is required as part of the process.

When interpreting air sample results, industry standards suggest that air-borne mold spore levels in excess of ten times the outside (or sometimes inside) baseline sample are considered “elevated” and are likely originating from an indoor source (fungal amplification site). Finding the fungal amplification site is a must when remediating things fully. Identifying and fixing the cause is also a must and typically proceeds the mold removal.

Benefits of Air Sampling

Some reasons why air sampling would be helpful as part of an inspection is during a property transaction. Arizona law requires disclosures relative to mold damage. People also want to ensure their environment will be a healthy one. In situations where health has been impacted, its beneficial to know what spore types and quantities are present so a physician can prescribe an accurate diagnosis and treatment. Mold testing is also highly recommended immediately after a mold removal project. This testing is referred to by those in the industry as a post remediation verification (or PRV). A PRV should be conducted BEFORE any containment is removed and BEFORE any rebuild activities. Our inspectors/consultants specialize in post remediation verifications and remediation project oversights and have been serving Phoenix property owners and representatives for many years.

Surface Mold Testing

Surface testing is achieved in one of three ways. The first way is a “tape lift” sample. The second method, and probably the most common, is a “surface swab”. The third, and less common method, is a bulk sample. Each method has its benefits and limitations. For additional details on the different methods and which best apply to your situation, give us a call.

One primary reason for taking a surface sample is to confirm that a growth in question is or isn’t mold. Its also good for documentation purposes. Furthermore, a surface sample is good for identifying spore type. This information is especially useful in an insurance claim situation.

Conclusion

Our experience with mold inspections in the Phoenix area helps us understand how mold problems occur, even in a primarily hot and and dry climate. Since our company doesn’t provide remediation or other cleaning services, we’re only going to identify a mold issue if there’s actually an issue present. This is why the mold inspection Phoenix residents will receive is above and beyond the competition.

Lastly, should a problem be identified, and mold removal becomes necessary to return a property to a normal fungal ecology, Carity IAQ Solutions can assist you from start to finish. We can provide pre-mold removal sampling, we can write the scope and protocol to follow, we can provide project oversight, and we can provide final inspection and post remediation verification (PRV).

Give us a call for additional details or to schedule an appointment with one of our consultants.

Board Certified Indoor Environmentalist
Carity IAQ Solutions

Carity IAQ Solutions