We are asked often when we see something to the extent of the picture above. Is it Mold? This seems like a simple question. Often times it isn't. At Southwest Florida Home Inspection we do not jump to conclusions. We like to be sure before we confirm mold is present in any situation. Likely our answer would be it appears to be mold, but with out further testing and a report form an accredited lab we can't say for sure. We'll base our assumptions on a few things, has the home sustained water damage? Was the damage cleaned properly? Is there an Odor? What type of Material is damaged?
When we find something like this likely our recommendation is to preform a few air samples in the home in order to find out what is in the air that we can't see. In addition moisture reading of the area will be taken to determine if this is a new or ongoing problem or if this is from a past leak that was repaired. In some situations a surface sample will be taken to if mold is present in a specific location. After these tests and samples are sent to the lab we have our results the next business day. We can then make a more confident determination if mold is present. If it is the next steps are to correct and clean up the problem.
Mold removal in some situations can be handled by the homeowner or a handyman we don't often recommend this, do to the risks of there being more damage that is hidden behind the walls that isn't visible until drywall is removed. We feel that is it safer in the long run to have a licensed remediation company preform the removal. There are many precautions that can be followed to prevent the spread of mold spores (A topic for another post).
SWFL Home Inspections remains independent of the remediation process. In the State of Florida licensed Mold assessors should preform testing and investigations. Mold remediation companies should preform remediation work. The same company should never do both on the same job. It is also your right to ask that the home be tested after the remediation is completed to verify the mold is gone. This is called a PRV Test (Post Remediation Verification or Clearance Test). South West Florida Home Inspections would be happy to preform these tests for you!
For more information on mold testing, mold inspections, air sampling, moisture testing, or any home inspection needs in Fort Myers, Naples and all of Southwest Florida please give us a call. We are here to help and answer your questions. Kyle Stelmazek can be reached at 239-994-5810.