Mold Inspection 101 For Residents From Sacramento to San Diego
Every instance of mold growth in homes from Sacramento to San Diego is unique thanks to a wide range of variable components, making a mold inspection is so crucial. With over 100,000 species of mold identified so far, the specific type of mold in a home varies.¹’² Some species of mold can produce microscopic toxins called mycotoxins, making this another harmful particle in a home.³ Depending on the source of the water event, bacteria may be an additional contaminant existing alongside the mold colony.
The source leading to an indoor mold colony also differs. With a mold spore only needing two main components (food and water) to transition into a flourishing colony, the growth itself could occur anywhere.⁴’⁵ It could be inside of a wall in a Sacramento home, or inside of an attic and the basement in a San Diego home.
The purpose of a mold inspection is to give that unique story of what’s going on inside of a home. Without this detailed assessment, attempting to create a safe indoor environment would be like trying to find a light switch in the dark. For those hypersensitive to mold or who have underlying conditions, guesswork and hoping for the best just won’t cut it.
Why a Mold Inspection Is Such a Big Deal, Whether in SoCal or NorCal
For the duration that mold grows, it continues to release microscopic spores into the surrounding area. As mentioned earlier, mycotoxins and bacteria may also be present as well, adding additional contamination to the space. When this event occurs indoors, most of those particles remain trapped within the walls of the home. For hypersensitive individuals and those with underlying conditions, having a home in SoCal or NorCal with this situation is a nightmare. ⁶’⁷
Thanks to their small size, not only are these particles inhalable, but they’re also ingestible and absorbable.⁸’⁹’¹⁰ The more time spent in a contaminated environment, whether in a SoCal or NorCal home, the higher the volume of particles that are able to make their way inside of the body. While the immune system will attempt to keep up with ridding the body of these foreign invaders, it can eventually get overrun and malfunction, leading to a long list of adverse health reactions and opening the door to autoimmune conditions such as Lyme, Epstein-Barr, and CIRS.
A mold inspection is needed to determine the variables that are necessary to ensure the environment once again becomes a safe space for these hypersensitive individuals. Should contamination remain or a second hidden mold colony be left behind, that home will not be a safe living space and can perpetuate those chronic symptoms.
What to Expect From a Mold Inspection in San Francisco, Los Angeles, the Bay Area, and Beyond
Knowing what to expect from a mold inspection, whether it’s for a home in San Francisco, Los Angeles, the Bay Area, or any home in California, is important not only to ensure the indoor environment is a safe space but also to save money. For those who are mold sensitive, a home that’s filled with contaminated air and surfaces is an environment that can allow for chronic illness. Unfortunately, not all mold inspectors are created equal, so it’s important to choose a professional that prioritizes your health, has a proven track record for helping hypersensitive individuals, and is as thorough as possible.
For homeowners in San Francisco, Los Angeles, the Bay Area, or any home in California looking for a mold inspection, here’s what you should always anticipate.
A mold inspection takes time if it’s being done properly. It’s essentially an in-depth analysis of the entirety of the home to see how many problems there are, where they are, and what they are. Any mold inspection that takes less than two hours is not comprehensive enough. Going through an entire home, whether in San Francisco, Los Angeles, or the Bay Area, should take at least three hours, depending on the size of the structure. Sometimes, this process can take upwards of 7-8 hours, and that’s perfectly okay. Whatever it takes to create a clear picture of what’s going on inside the home.
Scope of Testing
A critical point, particularly for hypersensitive individuals, is to ensure the mold inspection spans the entire home, inside and out. Sometimes the source of mold growth was an issue outside of the home, which created a pathway for water intrusion inside the building. Other areas of interest should include the HVAC system, attic, crawlspace, and every other nook and cranny within the home. An inspection professional can never be too thorough when helping create a safe environment for their client.
Multitude of Testing
To truly understand what’s going on in a home, a mold inspection should include a variety of testing methods that collectively assemble an expansive set of data. Testing methods can include an infra-camera, moisture meters, and other air sampling tools. Data collected should include components such as types of mold in the home, the presence of mycotoxins and bacteria, and quantities of the contaminants within.
The results from these tests will help determine what steps are needed to completely remediate the space and get it back into a healthy environment once again.
While it’s always tempting to go for the cheapest option, this type of mold inspection rarely provides the results needed for a remediation protocol that works. For those who are mold sensitive and experiencing the adverse health reactions associated with exposure, the mold inspection that ticks all of the boxes above is the best route to ensure that indoor space is safe once the remediation team leaves. Not to mention, a poor inspection that results in failed remediation will end up costing even more in the long run as the entire process will need to be restarted from the beginning.
Who Should You Choose for a Mold Inspection in California?
Those of us at The Mold Guy know exactly what’s at stake for our hypersensitive clients. We value your health, which led us to develop a thorough mold inspection protocol that we implement for each home. Every component mentioned above is one we include in every single mold inspection completed in homes across California.
Our process incorporates in-depth learning, investigation, testing, and analysis, which all come together to help us form an action plan to aid the remediation team in their effort to decontaminate the home. When we finish, you can rest assured that you have everything you need for the next step in your pursuit of a healthy home.
- Environmental Protection Agency. (n.d.). Mold. EPA. Retrieved from https://www.epa.gov/mold.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Basic facts about mold and dampness. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/mold/faqs.htm.
- Lstiburek, J., Brennan, T., & Yost, N. (2002, January 15). Rr-0208: What you need to know about mold. Building Science Corporation. Retrieved from, https://www.buildingscience.com/documents/reports/rr-0208-what-you-need-to-know-about-mold/view.
- Tsongas, G. A., & Riordan, F. (2016). Minimum conditions for visible mold growth. ASHRAE Journal, 58(9), 32.
- World Health Organization. (n.d.). Mycotoxins. World Health Organization. Retrieved from https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/mycotoxins.
- Curtis, L., Lieberman, A., Stark, M., Rea, W., & Vetter, M. (2004). Adverse health effects of indoor molds. Journal of Nutritional & Environmental Medicine, 14(3), 261-274.
- Bush, R. K., Portnoy, J. M., Saxon, A., Terr, A. I., & Wood, R. A. (2006). The medical effects of mold exposure. Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, 117(2), 326-333.
- EPA Staff. (n.d.). Exposure Assessment Tools by Routes. EPA. Retrieved from https://www.epa.gov/expobox/exposure-assessment-tools-routes
- Fisk, W. J., Lei-Gomez, Q., & Mendell, M. J. (2007). Meta-analyses of the associations of respiratory health effects with dampness and mold in homes. Indoor air, 17(4), 284-296.
- Wild, C. P., & Gong, Y. Y. (2010). Mycotoxins and human disease: a largely ignored global health issue. Carcinogenesis, 31(1), 71-82.