Why and When to Hire a Mold Inspector
Here are five reasons to consider a more extensive on-site investigation for toxic or allergenic mold:
- People in the building are at particular health risk: elderly, infant, immune-impaired, asthmatic, history of respiratory illness or other medical complaints which might be caused by or aggravated by mold, allergens, or other bioaerosols
- People in the building are sick and there is reason to suspect that the building is causing or contributing to health, air quality, or similar concerns. You need a building or apartment evaluation and diagnosis to answer the question that may be posed by your doctor: might the building be contributing to or causing these complaints?
- The building has or is suspected of having had a history of significant leak events or even a single event which flooded some areas: plumbing leaks, roof leaks, ice dam leaks, basement water entry, sewer backup, ventilation problems, air conditioning system problems; forced-air central heating/cooling concerns. If hidden building cavities have been wet, the mold you see may be just the tip of a "mold iceberg" that does need an expert to find the extent of mold, cause of mold, and to remove the mold.
- Large areas of water damage or mold contamination have been seen and you need an estimate of the extent of demolition and mold remediation which will be needed to make a proper cleanup and repair.
Small mold problems: If you are confident that the amount of mold is less than 30 sq. ft. of contiguous mold (and that there is no significant risk of a larger hidden mold problem) then the NY City mold remediation guidelines suggest that professional remediation is not appropriate. You do not need to hire someone other than perhaps a handyman or general cleaning service. BEWARE: if during cleanup of a small mold problem you discover that it is actually a large one, stop work and bring in a professional to advise you on how to proceed.
Large mold problems: If more than 30 sq. ft. of mold-infected material is found or is already visible, then you need professional advice as more serious health risks and mold contamination may be involved.
- Contractors have already bid a variety of expensive mold-cleanup approaches to building cleanup/remediation and you need an unbiased, informed professional to help sort out these proposals