Connect With Us Online

facebook twitter

News from Twitter

Selecting a Certified Mold Inspector in San Francisco

Posted in: Water Damage and Mold by Bay Area Mold Services on April 4, 2012 | No Comments

Professional mold inspector San Francisco

Mold inspection and testing can be done for a variety of reasons including as a precautionary measure to insure the air quality of an indoor environment. It can be utilized in the event that an individual is either selling or purchasing a home or commercial property. And the most evident reason to get a mold inspection and testing is if you know or suspect mold to be present. It is clear that this service can help substantially in determining whether an indoor environment is safe for its occupants. However, to ensure that the inspection and testing are of the highest quality, it is imperative you select a certified mold inspector in San Francisco to perform the work. This type of mold professional is referred to as a a Certified Indoor Environmental Professional (IEP).

If you are planning on obtaining the services of a San Francisco mold inspection and testing specialist, it is important to verify that the inspector is certified, experienced and thoroughly trained. Some of the following affiliations and/or training programs that you should look for in their credentials include Certified Mold Inspection and Testing Professional (CMITP), Certified Microbial Consultant, and Respirator Fit Testing Instructor (3M Corporation). They should be affiliated or members of the organizations like the Indoor Environmental Association (IEA) and the Indoor Environmental Council (IEC). The inspector should have also been trained and certified by a reputable facility like The American Indoor Air Quality Council (AmIAQC). An individual or San Francisco mold inspection company who has participated in a program such as this has extensive knowledge of the proper protocol and standards associated with the mold inspection and testing process.

An inspector should also have some experience or knowledge of the following fields, exposure assessment, Indoor Environmental Quality, Microbial Assessment and Remediation, Microbiology/Mycology, HVAC, Building Science, Legal Communication and Health Effects. An inspector should have access to or be a member of a multi-disciplinary team that can help to complement the inspectors existing expertise. The team should consist of individuals who have specific certifications and degrees including Masters or Doctorate degrees in Biology, Microbiology and Environmental Sciences; Licensed General Contractor for all areas serviced; Chemists, medical doctors, industrial hygienists, and toxicologists. If an inspector has such knowledgeable individuals at his disposal, he will be able to give the customer the most accurate evaluation of a property. This will also aid the inspector in detecting the damage, what caused it and who should be liable to fix the problem. Some individuals that may be responsible for the damages include construction managers, architects, subcontractors, mechanical engineers, landlords, property management and product manufacturers. In some cases it may be determined that the customer’s insurance company is responsible for the damages. Even employers who have exposed their employees to toxic materials can be held accountable for the compromised health of their employees.

The certified inspector in San Francisco Bay Area that you employ should be affiliated with professional IAQ organizations that establish standards and protocol for proper mold inspection, testing and remediation. The Indoor Environmental Association (IEA) for example is an association that develops and ensures that specific standards for Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) and related industries are followed. The IAQ industry includes a series of fields including IAQ inspection, surface and air testing, and of course laboratory analysis of the samples that are taken during a routine indoor environmental assessment of a residential or commercial property. Some of the services considered to be part of the IAQ industry include mold inspection, mold testing, mold investigation, mold remediation and restoration, mold reporting, lead testing, soil and water testing, asbestos testing, water damage inspection, industrial hygiene inspection, dry rot removal, mold abatement San Francisco, moisture testing/humidity testing, moisture detection/leak detection, post-remediation clearance testing and inspection, water-proofing, mold proofing, and mold prevention/control. All the above services should be done by an IEP that is associated with organizations like that of the IEA. This will ensure that the ethics and quality of work to be performed will be done by an inspector that follows the highest standards in the industry.

Some other professional affiliations that an inspector should be a member to include Indoor Environmental Consultants, Inc. whose main focus is to ensure the quality of indoor environments. They wish to constantly improve the quality of services rendered and strive to provide indoor environments that keep occupants healthy. The American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI) is yet another organization that promotes the professionalism and thoroughness of IEPs. This organization which was founded nearly 37 years ago is considered one of the most prestigious and respectable inspector associations out there. This society’s main goal is to inform the public of the importance of proper, professional home inspection. It is a not-for-profit entity that supports the establishment superior practices and a strict code of ethics that is to be adopted by all existing members. “The Mission of ASHI is to meet the needs of its membership and promote excellence and exemplary practice within the profession.” There are over 6,000 members and ASHI is considered one of the most renown and professional organizations for home inspectors throughout North America. State legislation has even been passed as a result of the standards set forth by ASHI. An inspector that is a member of such an organization will follow the most meticulous protocol in the industry.

An inspector with the above mentioned credentials, affiliations and experience will most likely use the services of a reputable lab for the analysis of the samples they take. This insures that the collection and inspection process is of the highest quality whilst not losing the integrity of the samples by sending them to an unaccredited lab testing facility. Make sure that the lab is accredited by one of the following organizations, the National Board of Industrial Hygiene (NBIH), or the American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA). That way you know that you will be getting the most accurate and quality readings of the microbial spore levels in your home.  An environmental investigation should be meticulously prepared and all testing must comply with protocol for results to be accurate. The IEP should use the service of an accredited microbiology laboratory. Identifying what species of mold is in a home requires a lab with specialized skills. The quality of work done by the lab chosen by the IEP will reflect their competence as a San Francisco environmental assessment specialist. If the lab they choose is not properly accredited or they do not perform quality testing, this will compromise the results as well as the remediation process that may follow. Also make sure the lab used by your inspector of choice is a member of a reputable organization like the American Society for Microbiology.

It is important during the inspection and testing of a property that the inspector collects at least 4 varying samples that include bulk, surface and airs sampling methods. The Institute Of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) indicates that the role of a Indoor Environmental Professional “is to perform an assessment of the fungal ecology of property, systems and contents at the job site, create a sampling strategy, sample the indoor environment, interpret laboratory data and determine Condition 1, 2 and 3 status for the purpose of establishing a scope of work (pre-remediation assessment) and/or when necessary to verify the return to normal fungal ecology.” Taking at least 4 samples allows for an IEP to have a base of comparison for what levels are normal for a home what levels indicate poor indoor air quality. For example, a sample should be taken inside and outside a home to determine if indoor air levels are at or below the levels that exist outside a home. If the level of mold spores or other contaminants inside are far higher than outside, it indicates that the source of the poor air quality is inside the home. It can also help to determine the scope of work for possible remediation in the future. That way when remediation does occur, the contaminant can be removed properly and completely from the residence or commercial building. Some individuals who enlist the services of an IEP are interested in obtaining documentation to either prove or disprove the presence of mold. The reason for this material interest may be a result of litigation where physical evidence is required to prove a customer’s case. Taking at least 4-samples again will allow for a base comparison to exist, thus allowing the inspectors report and subsequent laboratory analysis to be considered a legal document.

It is very important for the inspector to consider the source or reason for contamination. They should always use the most up-to-date equipment like an infrared thermal imaging camera, a digital moisture meter or aerosol cassette.  If an undiscovered leak is the cause of severe mold growth within a home, it is imperative that it be found and fixed; otherwise the mold growth will continue to return. An inspector should be able to view a property with mold growth and determine the origin of the problem. Based on this hypothesis the inspector will determine the best collection method for a particular property.  Scientific analysis of the samples collected should allow for an understanding of what is afflicting a particular home and what steps should be taken next. Depending on the circumstance a skilled inspector may collect additional information about the property including interviews with occupants of the affected home and engineering plans to determine where problem areas might be. Providing the inspector detailed information about the problem or your suspicions will aide him/her in determining the scope of the damage.

An IEP should be incredible helpful and informative with their clients. They should explain some of the preventative measures that can be taken to avoid severe microbial contamination in an existing home or during the construction process. During the inspection process the IEP should also inform the client on any structural abnormalities that may be causing water damage and of course mold growth to occur. He should inform the customer of the types of samples he/she will need to take, how they work and how many will be collected.  Like a doctor whose Hippocratic Oath states “do no harm”, the IEP must approach inspection and testing in the same way. Invasive testing, sampling and inspection techniques should be avoided at all cost. In many instances an individual may have already hired a mold inspector in San Francisco who has opened up wall or ceiling cavities to determine if mold is present. They may also strip wall materials and create openings in walls to see visible mold. This should never be done and if you hire such an individual, you should tell them to stop immediately if they begin to use such techniques. The reason this can be so detrimental, aside from the structural damage that it causes, is that it can expose occupants in the building to substantially higher levels of airborne mold spores. What would have been a relatively simple San Francisco mold removal process, now becomes a much bigger problem due to an inexperienced “mold inspector.” This can greatly increase the complexity and cost of remediation.

When determining what inspector you should hire to perform an environmental assessment of your property, it is imperative that you select a certified, fully-trained and experienced inspector. This will ensure that the job is done right the first time and subsequent testing and remediation will be far less costly. Make the right choice the first time and avoid the hassle.

Water Damage and Mold Growth

Posted in: Water Damage and Mold by Bay Area Mold Services on December 12, 2011 | No Comments

Mold inspection and mold testing services are oftentimes performed after a water damage event. People in San Francisco who may need a water damage response (or water extraction, cleaning and drying services) can develop a mold infestation quite easily. Because mold can grow within 24 – 48 hours after a water damage event, any kind of flood or plumbing leak that causes water damage should be followed by a mold inspection that contains mold testing. If an area has been wet for an extended period of time, or if water has soaked into building materials, like wood or drywall, mold will almost certainly follow.

If you have experienced water damage at your San Francisco Bay Area property, responding quickly to the event with proper water extraction and drying as soon as possible will lessen the chance of a severe mold problem. However, it does not eliminate the risk of a problem. The solution is to seek out a professional mold inspection company in San Francisco to conduct air mold testing and surface mold testing to determine if a problem exists.

Bay Area Mold Services can perform such services if a water damage event has occurred at your home or business.