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Should I have My Home Inspector Do My Mold Testing Too?

Technician removing mold toxicity from an air duct

Should Home Inspectors Do Mold Testing Too?

Mold testing has become a more common aspect of some home inspections, especially as homeowners and potential buyers seek to ensure their living spaces are safe and healthy.

However, ethics become funky when mold testing is performed by home inspectors.

This is because they often lack specific licensing, training and expertise in mold testing and remediation.

Why is this happening, and how can you prevent it along with the water damage that may have caused it?

The Role of Home Inspectors

First, let’s start off by explaining what home inspectors do best.

Home inspectors play a crucial role in the real estate process. They can provide a comprehensive evaluation of a property’s structural, mechanical, and even aesthetic components.

Their assessments are instrumental in identifying potential issues and guiding homeowners and buyers in making informed decisions.

But, when it comes to mold inspections and testing, the boundaries of a home inspector’s expertise become apparent, and the potential for bending or breaking of ethics codes becomes more likely.

Lack of Licensing and Certification

One of the primary concerns with mold testing conducted by home inspectors is the absence of specific licensing requirements for mold-related assessments in many jurisdictions.

Unlike dedicated mold testing labs or environmental consultants, home inspectors often lack specialized training.

They also don’t have the certifications necessary to accurately identify and assess mold-related issues.

You may not think of identifying mold as something that would require a license or certification. But it is in fact a necessity.

This is because the laboratory will perform a qualitative and quantitative mold spore test.

This is done in medical-grade conditions using specialized equipment and procedures.

Unless your home inspector does third-party testing and is merely a collector of samples, or if he moonlights as a scientist in the evenings, you won’t be able to rely on the accuracy of these tests.

Complexity of Mold Assessments

Mold inspections require a nuanced understanding of microbiology, moisture dynamics, and building science.

Unlike visible issues such as a leaky roof or a faulty electrical system, mold problems can hide within walls, ceilings, crawl spaces, or attics.

Properly identifying the presence of mold, determining its species, and assessing the extent of contamination demand expertise.

This talent extends beyond the scope of a typical home inspection.

For these reasons, even if well-intentioned, a home inspector should not conduct mold inspections and testing.

Rather a licensed, certified, and trusted professional backed by a mold testing laboratory.

Legal and Ethical Considerations

Some home inspectors venture into mold testing without the requisite knowledge, credentials, and certifications.

Then, they may inadvertently expose themselves or potentially property owners to legal and ethical issues.

Overlooking or misdiagnosing mold contamination could potentially lead to structural damage.

Additionally there might also be financial, legal, and even health and safety issues for the property owner.

In some situations, the home inspector who conducted the “testing” could also be held liable.

Home Inspector Associations Weigh In

Many home inspector associations acknowledge the limitations of their members in performing mold assessments.

While some associations provide training in mold-related topics, they emphasize that such training doesn’t replace the need for specialized expertise or accredited laboratories doing the work.

Recognizing the potential hazards associated with mold, these organizations encourage home inspectors to recommend professional mold assessments when necessary.

That being said, not all home inspectors follow this ethical code.

If they offer testing that seems vastly more affordable than all other options, question the quality. It might be best to question the legitimacy of their testing quality and procedures.

Importance of Specialized Mold Inspectors and Testing

To address the shortcomings in mold testing conducted by home inspectors, it is essential to emphasize the importance of engaging specialized mold inspectors and environmental consultants that use accredited laboratories.

These experts undergo specific training, obtain certifications, and have advanced skills.

This allows them to navigate the intricacies of mold-related issues safely and professionally.

Performing true mold testing involves techniques and procedures that aren’t easily done.

This contributes to the significant cost associated with doing the work correctly.

Recommendations for Homeowners and Buyers

For homeowners and prospective buyers, the key takeaway is to be aware of the limitations inherent in relying solely on a home inspector for mold testing assessments.

For peace of mind, it is best to hire a dedicated mold inspector.

This is particularly true when there are concerns about members of the family.

Some people with immunocompromised systems are susceptible to higher mold counts.

Some are also susceptible to specific species of this insidious home invader.

Conclusion

Home inspectors play a crucial role in the real estate industry. But their expertise has clear limitations when it comes to mold testing and inspections.

The intricate nature of mold-related issues, coupled with the lack of specific licensing, training, and certification for home inspectors in this field, underscores the importance of engaging specialized experts to do the job correctly.

Homeowners and potential buyers should prioritize the health and safety of their living spaces. The best way to do this is by seeking the services of dedicated mold inspectors.

This will ensure a thorough and accurate assessment of potential mold issues.

This is because we use only accredited labs that do medical-grade testing as their bread and butter service.

If your home is already dealing with mold, then contact our experts with ASAP Restoration for help today!