Mold Testing.. Is it necessary?mold_image

The simple answer is if you can see mold or smell it, you don’t need to test for it. Testing will only determine the volume of spores and the type. However any level of perceptible mold is bad and the source must be identified. Typically the source of the mold is a water leak and Pacific Crest Inspections will help you determine the source of this leak. Call us for an appointment 1-866-618-7764 or 360-588-9956

Mold in a home is a major hurdle to getting it sold. If you are the seller’s agent, you must ask if there has been any water damage in the home. Then you must inform the seller of all the problems associated with water damage: that water damage must be disclosed, that the buyer could find mold on inspection, or that the home may be stigmatized by some insurers who may insist on a mold inspection before insuring the home for the new buyer.

Do you call for a mold test right away? A better course of action would be to call for a home inspection even if you are the seller. Most inspectors have experience finding water damage and they will be able to determine the extend of the damage. Home Inspectors are not in the repair or mitigation business and can do an unbiased evaluation.  If the damage is extensive most will recommend further evaluation by reputable experts who are known in the area.  For the seller, the home inspection report and contractor repair documentation can be added to the disclosure as evidence that the problem has been correct.

There is a new kind of mold test that was developed by the EPA called Environmental Relative Moldiness Index or ERMI. ERMI is the combination of EPA research, powerful PCR technology, and a new method to screen homes for mold.

The ERMI test involves the analysis of a single sample of dust from a home. The sample is analyzed using mold-specific quantitative polymerase chain reaction (MSQPCR), a highly specific DNA-based method for quantifying mold species. A simple algorithm is used to calculate a ratio of water damage-related species to common indoor molds and the resulting score is called the Environmental Relative Moldiness Index or ERMI. The ERMI value is typically between -10 and 20.

National Relative Moldiness Index Values
National Relative Moldiness Index Values

In order to most effectively use this new tool, the ERMI must be compared to a national database. Indices were determined using this method for 1,096 homes across the U.S. as part of the 2006 HUD American Healthy Home Survey. Individual indices, ranked from lowest to highest were used to create a national Relative Moldiness Index (RMI) Scale.

ERMI offers several advantages over traditional mold screening methods. Carpet dust acts as a reservoir for mold spores and is more representative of mold levels over time versus short-term air samples. A vacuum is used to collect the dust for lab DNA analysis. The sample is compared to the Relative Moldiness Index and you will received a report with the types of molds and how your home measures to the RMI database.  Call us at 360-588-9956 if you would liked to schedule an inspection.

Mold Inspections – a home inspectors best friend

Would you like to know more about Mold? Goto the Pacific Crest Inspection’s Mold page