Information about mould and mould disease
Identifying mould and indoor air quality problems in properties can be a challenging task even for the professionals. I some cases identifying root cause of the mould or indoor air quality problems if straightforward such as when the contamination is caused by a obvious service leak or damage to the property. In most cases however no such obvious signs are there. Occupants start to complain from slow and gradual increase in adverse health symptoms without noticing anything going wrong with their property.
There are literally one thousand and one things that could possibly be causing the increase in adverse health symptoms and it is the tasks of the mould inspector during the mould inspection to go through most of them and rule them out or confirm their presence. During mould inspection numerous methods are employed to identify the root cause of the indoor air quality problems. If we considered only the mould to be the problem then the main goals of the mould inspection are to identify the locations where the mould is growing and identify the root cause of the contamination.
It is advisable to carry out mould inspection when you suspect you might have a mould problem in your property. It is strongly recommended to professionally inspect your property when you experience breathing difficulties (shortness of breath, tightness in the chest, or respiratory irritation), neurological difficulties (headaches, dizziness, drowsiness, nausea). If your house is already suffering from obvious mould contamination such as parts of wall are covered in mould the mould inspection will identify and confirm the true extent of the problem and provide recommendation how to rectify it.
The most obvious advantage of hiring professionals is their experience in finding and identifying mould problems and recommending appropriate solutions. Most professional inspectors will use specialist equipment to gain access to parts of the building not normally accessible such as remote cameras, boroscopes, non-penetrating moisture meters or thermal vision cameras. Mould inspector usually has experience in evaluating indoor air quality problems. Some of the inspectors will have building or construction background and the inspection, finding and recommendation will be naturally focused towards building or construction side of the problem. Other will have more experience in resolving air quality problems and health related issues. In selecting your consultant you need to consider what exactly you want to get out of the inspection.
It almost goes without saying that the mould inspection should be independent and impartial from the company which is eventually going to rectify the problem. This will protect you from conflict of interest and potentially moulting cost for the repairs.
Professional mould inspector will not only have a quick look around your property but will evaluate other additional information which might be relevant. Professional mould inspection usually involves:
The collected information should be presented in such a form that other potential used such as construction forms or medical practitioners can used the collected data.
One of the main goals of a mould inspection is to identify the mould you don’t see. The mould which is immediately obvious to you is usually just the pit of the iceberg. Mould inspection will identify the mould hidden behind the wall, in the ceiling cavities or under the floor boards. To find hidden mould the mould inspector will almost certainly need to get some form of access behind the structural element. Gaining access will usually require drilling a access hole or taking or a wall panel, some level of damage is inevitable. The extent of the mould inspection should be clearly explain and understood between all parties involved.
Mould inspection cost can vary widely based on the size of the property, extent of contamination, number of mould samples required and other factors. Typically prices will start from about £300-£400 and can go up to several thousand for extensive building complexes. Mould inspection with prices below the typical price will not include sampling and identification of moulds. Accredited identification laboratories typically charge in the region of £50 for swab samples and £50-£200 for plate samples. Free mould inspections are not really mould inspection but sales meetings. Nothing is free, as you well know, and anybody offering a free mould inspection will expect to recover the cost of the visit in some other way, usually through offering expensive remediation services.