Mold Inspection and Mold Testing

If you are researching mold and considering hiring a professional for mold inspection and testing, you will likely come across many different websites, services being offered, and costs that list both mold inspection and mold testing. A general rule of thumb would be to avoid using the same service for both mold inspection and testing.

Mold inspection simply identifies the presence of mold, should always attempt to identify the cause, and generally defines the size of the problem, usually in square footage. Any mold inspection should be complete and as accurate as possible in both detail and scope of repair. The effects of water damage often result in health complications, mold damage to the structure, and your personnel possessions.

Mold Inspection

Mold testing attempts to identify what specific type of mold is in your home and how many mold spores are in the air or on the surface being tested. There are many different types of microbial testing available and many examine the DNA structure of the mold spore itself. While vital in determining possible health complications; mold testing or more specifically microbial testing, the costs to identify the mold spores through testing is often high and you should keep the following tips in mind:

  • The environment inside your home or business should be carefully regulated both prior to and after any mold testing is performed as the conditions required to conduct a proper scientific test of mold are extremely difficult to achieve in a home, so results will often vary from test to test, regardless of remediation efforts.
    • For example, the results of an air test to examine the type and amount of mold spores in each sample can change and may vary from one day to the next. Many of these types of tests greatly depend on the conditions in your outdoor environment as a control sample. If it is raining outside when the mold test is performed, spore counts in that sample may be too low to identify properly.
  • Second, all indoor spaces have mold spores that drift in from outdoors, so mold tests will generally provide a long list of species, most of which are not actually growing in your home.
  • Lastly, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has not set guidelines for an acceptable amount of mold inspection and testing or mold spores in a home or business.
    • That is not to say that mold isn’t an allergen or that mold isn’t a dangerous organism. It can be, however organizations like the Columbus Department of Health and the Centers for Disease and Control (CDC) agree that mold testing is not always useful for this reason, and instead recommend hiring a professional to look for and identify areas of concern.

Mold Inspection and Testing Services

Mold Inspection Discovers Mold On Drywall

Serving Columbus, Ohio and surrounding Communities for more than 20 Years.

In providing high quality water damage services, mold inspection  and testing has become a necessary part of our focus and an important piece in our goal of being the company you can depend on for any of your emergency service needs, both for your home and your business.

Many properties throughout Central Ohio have suffered from some form of mold, water damage cleanup or moisture related damage. Often these damages are only discovered during a home inspection, made during the process of selling the property.

Qualified home inspectors are careful and diligent in performing visual inspections of the property from attic to basement and most areas in between. Suspect mold and moisture issues will often result in a glaring warning on the final report and that you should seek the services of a professional mold inspection and testing company for follow up.

Much like the home inspector, the mold inspection and testing company should be licensed, properly insured, IICRC certified and experienced. Take caution as mold removal services have long been an area for unethical contractors to take advantage of unsuspecting home and business owners.

Mold in Your Home or Business

Our mold inspection services are often requested in follow up to newly discovered water leaks or moisture found to be damaging the building materials and property. Mold, mildews and fungus are often the result of prolonged and hidden moisture in building materials.

Often distinct in odor, mold produces a smell similar to a musty, damp basement and can often be found in those exact areas. Basements and crawl spaces often harbor high levels of moisture, suffer from foundation leaks or have improper ventilation leading to these conditions.

If your home or business has suffered from water damage or your suspect water or mold damage, a professional mold inspection may be your best option.

Mold Inspection and Testing – Professional. Experienced. Certified. Guaranteed.

More often than not, if you’re calling the services of a professional mold inspection and testing company, you know where the issue or problem may be. While not necessary, knowing where to start will help a great deal in narrowing down the actual cause and identifying the repair.

Keep in mind that during a mold inspection, it’s impossible to determine the species or variety of mold growth affecting any building material or property by visual inspection alone and can only be determined by sampling taken and forwarded to an accredited laboratory for identification.

There are two basic forms of testing. Swab and air sampling. Swab testing takes a small sample directly from the area affected and air sampling collects a volume of air both inside and outside of your property.

Swab Testing: Great at identifying specific molds directly affecting the surface only.

Air Sampling: Identifies specific molds the are airborne both within and outside the property. In comparison, molds identified in the indoor sample that are not found on the outdoor sample are often further identified and investigated.

Keep in mind that the air exchange in your home or business changes rapidly. Sampling is of a specific point in time only.

The mold inspection services of iDry Columbus, do not offer any type of sampling services. Doing so, would be a conflict of interest to our client. Our certification and experience provide for a thorough inspection of your property and more often than not the cost of testing is exceeds the cost of mold remediation alone.

If you have mold in your property, will you be leaving it there regardless of the kind?

For quick tips in mold and water damage prevention, visit our water damage prevention page.

Mold Inspection and Testing for Your Property?

A mold inspection doesn’t always lead to mold removal or remediation. We often find ourselves in a position of simply being able to walk a home or business owner through proper mold cleanup methods and products themselves.

It’s important to remember that repairing the source of the moisture must be done prior to remediation. Failure to do so will only result in mold reforming as well as additional damage.

Using the latest in technology, our team members here at iDry Columbus, have the ability to utilize non-invasive moisture meters, thermal imaging equipment and ATP meters to ensure we identify problem areas that we can see and any hidden areas such as behind drywall, cabinetry and in flooring.

ATP sampling, an exclusive in our process of mold inspection. Swab samples can be taken from any surface to establish the cleanliness of an area down to a micron level. We know that you support your family in your home and your employees in your business and their health is that important. Health Departments around the country use the same technology during safety inspections of food preparation and hospitality.

Is Mold Dangerous?

Health concerns surrounding the effects of indoor moisture and mold related issues have long been studied throughout the medical and scientific communities with no direct connection without flaw. This is due alone to the fact that every person and subject has a different genetic makeup, may reside in different locations and be exposed to more than one specific contaminate or fungus.

Pro-tip: Mold inspection companies cannot determine the effects of mold on the health of you or your loved ones.

These facts make a direct diagnosis difficult if not impossible to ascertain. In cases of reported SBS, Sick Building Syndrome; even more factors have been identified as potential cause. Factors such as human pathogens, biologicals, microbials and even chemicals can make pinpointing an actual cause and establishing that relationship with a specific mold quite difficult. It’s been reported that psychosocial issues may be playing a role in building related complaints as well.

That’s not to say that that allergies and reactions of mold do not exist. Reactions most generally consist of upper respiratory complaints, eye irritations, sinus congestion and headaches and asthma and affect each person differently.

Pro-tip: “Black Mold” does not exist. It’s a term sensationalized by the media, often in reference to the Stachybotrys species.

If you suspect mold in your home or business, take caution and leave the area until you are comfortable in returning. Do not attempt to clean or remove any mold or mold damaged building material without first contacting a professional mold remediation company such as ours.

Has Mold Destroyed my Property?

As stated, there are thousands of different varieties and species of molds. Many of these mold species are actually good for your health and are used in the making of many of the products you eat and use throughout your day.

Cladosporium is one of the most commons species of fungi found on earth today. With more than 700 different species of Cladosporium alone, you can see why making a direct connection between reaction and element is difficult. This particular fungus is widely considered one of the most abundant elements on Earth.

The damaging effects of mold often take place when introduced into damp environments and many of the items in your home or business may be salvageable depending on the nature of the damage, the length of time, the category of water and the material effected.

Non-porous surfaces can be sanitized and salvageable. Materials such as drywall must be removed and discarded.

As a full-service water damage restoration company, mold inspection and removal services go hand in hand. Our teams are experienced, certified and available to assist anytime you may need us.

Should You Get a Mold Inspection?Mold In Bathroom, Found During Mold Inspection

Mold requires certain elements for basic life. For mold spores to form, elements such as moisture, relative humidity, and a food source are required. The goal behind any successful mold remediation would be to eliminate identify and remove these basic sources of life for the mold spore.

The residual effects of water damage often result in mold forming on surfaces and organic materials such as dirt, dust, many fabrics. Some spores can survive and thrive in the air.

Water leaks should be repaired, and water damage should be cleaned up and properly dried or restored right away. It is often the best advice to contact an IICRC certified water damage restoration company to ensure that mold and other structural issues do not become a problem if left alone.

Most people do not know there is a problem until they notice an odor. Some molds decay materials faster than others and often there is a smell. Mold could be growing behind your drywall, behind cabinets and in areas that are difficult to assess. Most people don’t know there is a problem until they notice a strong musty odor.

Do I even need a mold inspection and testing?

Not every home, office, and school will need to have a mold inspection.

Here are some situations that may benefit from having a mold inspection:

  • Visible mold growth is discovered.
  • A musty odor is smelled.
  • Building materials have been wet for several days.
  • An occupant has been diagnosed with mold allergies and they experience allergies within the space.
  • Someone sensitive to mold is moving into a home with a history of mold or moisture problems.
  • A home inspector has flagged moisture and mold problems.
  • A basement or below-grade floor has flooded or experienced seepage.

If you notice mold in your home or business, it is a good idea to call an IICRC Mold certified professional to perform a mold inspection. Ask of any charges that may be associated with a mold inspection as most often these inspections should be free of charge though larger inspections, or in situations where the source and the amount of damage may be difficult to identify may have a cost.

What Happens During a Mold Inspection? Mold Found In Attic During Mold Inspection

Mold inspection is, for the most part, a visual inspection of your home or business. Property damage experts suggest that a proper mold inspection be carried out using a flashlight, moisture detecting camera (thermal imaging) and a moisture meter for identifying the moisture content of any damaged materials.

A typical mold inspection involves the inspector talking to the property owner about any areas where they have seen mold, or where there may have been moisture problems or water damage in the past. The inspector will go over the house thoroughly, looking in places known to be prone to mold growth. If there is a chance mold is growing in an inaccessible space, the inspector may have to remove a section of drywall, a portion of flooring, or remove paneling to get a better look.

In some municipalities, mold inspectors must have a license or certification. Always look for a contractor with experience in mold inspection and mold remediation. The International Institute for Certification, Restoration and Cleaning (IICRC) recommends that any professional mold inspection and remediation technician be certified in Advanced Microbial Remediation Technician (AMRT). You can check for those certifications and many others at

The Mold Inspection and Testing Process.

These steps form the foundation of any successful mold inspection and testing. Make yourself part of the process and ask questions that ensure that any professional invited into your home or business will be able to provide a mold inspection that is clear and concise.

A visual inspection is a key part of the mold inspection process.

Mold needs moisture to survive. A thorough mold inspection should always start by performing a visual and thermal imaging inspection of desired areas to identify and document past or present moisture damage, mold-like substances, and temperature anomalies.

Most building materials are wet. A moisture meter should be used to accurately gauge the amount of moisture in an affected or damaged building material. These materials vary greatly in the amount of moisture that is naturally found in them. For instance, the hardwood flooring in one home may vary a few percentage points than the flooring in another. Properly identifying the amount of elevated moisture present is vital to discovering and resolving any mold growth.

Timing is critical. Many of the building materials used in the construction of your home or business were created to withstand the effects of moisture and water and can be salvaged if professionally restored in time. Timely restoration and drying can save you thousands in unnecessary expense and repair. Any mold inspection done properly must identify this time and money saving detail in the inspection process.

Inspection reports. Every professional, no matter the industry should provide you with a detailed written estimate of its findings. These reports should always include images, moisture readings of any damaged materials and clear line items that outlines any recommended steps in remediation.

Never accept an oral estimate or make an agreement without having an estimate in writing and provided to you prior to any work being performed in your home or business.

How to Avoid Mold Inspection and Testing Scams.

In recent years publicity about “black mold” has turned mold inspection and remediation into a massively profitable industry. It is also paved the way for plenty of scams designed to scare you into paying top dollar for unnecessary testing or sketchy “remediation” plans.

If you do decide to proceed with a mold inspection, keep these tips in mind:

Currently, there are no official government licenses or certifications for professional mold inspectors, which means there are no legal standards or government regulated credentials.

Steer clear of companies offering both testing and mold remediation services. You would not want the company that performed mold removal to be the same company that certifies that it’s gone and that your home or business is safe for you and your family.

You Get What You Pay for:

If needed, seek out and be willing to pay for separate mold testing, mold inspection and remediation services from licensed, certified professionals. Be leery of ads that proclaim to have a magic fogger or spray that makes all your mold problems disappear. It does not exist.

Ozone generators, biocides, fumigants, encapsulants, and other mold-killing (or covering) measures can be more toxic than the mold itself; and they do not actually stop the mold at its source. Remember that mold must be completely removed, the moisture problem fixed, and the wet materials either dried or replaced. Any other mold killing services are a wasted expense.

Focus on Finding the Problem:Mold Inspection For Water Damage

You do not need secondary samples, surface swabs, or testing of your clothing or furnishings. If there’s mold in the air, you can bet it is on your sofa, too. Concentrate instead on learning where the mold is originating, and exactly what is needed to fix it.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recommends a commonsense approach to mold. As there are no federal standards for mold levels, there is no way to accurately “pass” or “fail” a mold test. Keep in mind that many of these tests simply gauge the mold spore counts as compared to another sample. If the spore counts are elevated at the time of the test, it fails and passes if the counts are low.

Imagine taking a swab sample of the inside of your toilet. Now, thoroughly clean the toilet with Clorox bleach and take another sample. Which one will fail, and which test will pass? However, the toilet test will fail again in a few days as the source of the problem continues to poo. Yuck, right?

*Some states and local municipalities have enacted legislation and law regarding mold inspection and testing regulations. Check with your local government to ensure that any professional that you may hire is following that law in your area.

Testing for Mold.

The basic goals of any mold investigation are always twofold: 1) find the locations of mold growth, and 2) determine the sources of the moisture. If these can be answered by simpler or more cost-effective methods, mold testing is probably not a wise use of resources.

Generally, mold testing is not normally suggested as the first response to indoor air quality concerns or water damage.

There are many testing methods that can detect molds. They can be used to find mold particles suspended in air, in settled dust, or growing on surfaces of building materials and furnishings. Some methods can identify a portion of the types of live (viable) molds in a sampled environment, but these may also miss or undercount those are not live or will not grow well on the nutrients used to incubate the sample.

Other methods are better able to characterize the total amount of molds in a sample (including the non-living portion), but not particularly good for identifying the specific types of molds. Even tests that are done well only give a partial estimate of the amount and types of molds collected in a sample or in the sampled environment.

Again, these test results will vary based on the environment and conditions.Black Mold Due To Water Damage

It is vital to appreciate that a test result only gives a “snap-shot” estimate for a single point in time and a single location – how well it represents other locations and times is uncertain since the amounts and types of mold in the environment is always changing. This variability can be especially large for airborne molds, with significant changes occurring over the course of hours or less.

Caution must also be used in interpreting surface testing results since mold growth or deposition may not be uniform over an area and may increase or decrease as time passes. Unless many samples are taken over a period and the mold testing company has been mindful of building operations and activities during the testing, the results might not be very representative of typical conditions.

Despite these limitations, there are situations where mold testing by a licensed mold testing company may be valuable – for example, to “justify” remediation expenses or to document that cleanup has met expectations. In some cases, tests can also provide clues that may help find hidden mold, but the growth still must be found by looking for it so that it can be removed.

Experienced investigators should evaluate whether testing is warranted and if they are ethical, they should advise against testing whenever the problem can be corrected without it. Testing may be useful as part of an investigation, but it is never a substitute for a thorough visual inspection by a certified mold inspection company.

Doing mold testing well is often expensive. You should recognize that if the testing is not needed or it is done poorly, your money is being wasted instead of being used to make repairs necessary to solve the problem.

Water Damage  – Water Removal – Mold Inspection and Testing – Cleaning & Disinfection Services

Our mission is simple. We continually refine and work to educate ourselves in the water damage and mold removal industry for the betterment of our clients. Ethics are a standard and our mission to treat your home or business as we would treat our own.

Proudly Serving Central Ohio for More than 20 Years, An Honor to Serve for the Next 20 Years.


We’ve built iDry Columbus with a promise to deliver our services as we would expect them in our own homes and businesses.

We strive to offer a 5-star service and communication. Our business is built on every client that we have the pleasure of working with.

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mold inspection and testing

Master certified in water damage restoration by the Institute of Cleaning & Restoration Certification (IICRC)

At iDry Columbus,  Our experienced, well-trained team provides professional cleanup and restoration services to business owners, home owners, and insurance and property management companies.  Since 1994 we have helped thousands residential and commercial property owners minimize property loss while restoring their  property to its safe, pre-loss condition.

Xactimate® – Level 2 Certified – Leading insurance and restoration software.

The decision to utilize this software was simple. We needed to be able to offer a clear and concise line item on every project while giving each of our clients and possibly their insurance carriers the level of detail they deserve and require. Xactimate takes the guesswork  out of estimating by providing accurate square footage rates that are updated monthly. Recommended by every leading insurance carrier.

Mold Inspection Services Near You

Flood DamageWater Extraction – Mold Inspection and Testing– Mold Removal – Basement Flooding