Mold Inspection Fees

February 26, 2008

Curious as to what a mold inspector should charge and why? well that is a common question it depends on a lot of factors such as the size of the property, the complexity of the problem, and how many mold samples are taken.
Below is more info on how much a typical mold inspection fee should be.
QUESTION
Message: I would like the approximate cost of a Mold Inspection on a
home built 2004..approx. 1858 sq ft.
And is it possible to get it done this week.
ANSWER
About $500.00 more or less.
You must call us and give details for a firm testing and inspection fee.
QUESTION
That seems quite a bit on the HIGH side…I would think that about Two hundred would be more in the ballpark.
ANSWER
You are right $500.00 is a lot of money to spend.
But even worse is the fact that the mold inspection industry is completely unregulated in Florida and will be till 2010 when licensing kicks in in our state.
The mold inspection industry is full of people trying to get a few hundred bucks for just taking 2 or 3 samples of your air.
1) Turn a pump on
2) Look impressive and pretend to know something about microbial ecology, HVAC systems, and building forensics while making up pretend facts about mold for one hour or two hours.
3) Collect $200.00 and run to the bank.
1% of the time you get lucky, 99% of the time you wasted your money because all your get is a report saying you have spores in your air. If you need answers as to why you have spores? where they came from? or what to do now? they cannot help you with that in any meaningful way most of the time.
I run into people all the time who have hired budget mold inspectors, budget home inspectors, and budget mold remediators, with two day certifications.
This is not a rare exception but it is a common and sad part of my life to see people suffer needlessly for years because they get a false sense of security after hiring certified yet discount nonprofessionals to safeguard their home and family’s health.
The people who hire cheap “two day wonder” mold inspectors today cough and sneeze for three years and then they later hire professional certified mold inspectors to sue the cheap guys because of poor service.
$200.00 mold inspectors have no idea of how expensive it is to run a mold inspection or mold remediation business and do not realize they cannot do it for $200.00,and they have no Idea of how important it is to make a serious attempt to look out for your health and your families health. 
But when we try to find the cheap guys they are already out of business and are back to doing carpet cleaning, or back to home inspections, or termite inspections, or whatever they were doing a week before they were in your house. 
 Good luck with whoever you choose and do a bit more research before you tell people in other industries what their fees should be. Many inspectors who take this business seriously have bachelors or masters degrees in science or engineering and spend their lives working hard in contaminated buildings and homes so their clients children do not have to spend their formative years going to the emergency room because of constant sinus infections and breath stealing asthma attacks. 
P.S. Watch out, they may tell you $200.00 over the phone then charge you $200.00 to $400.00 extra for samples after getting a foot in the door. 
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One of out clients was concerned that mold in their home may cause neurological damage, they believed that their fear was supported by info from a Florida health department website. Lets look at a few quotes from the actual website and at our response to the client below.
This is great info from the Fl Dept of Health, I am going to use some of it’s info on an upcoming report where some scammers in my industry tried to use ozone to get rid of a horrific mold problem in Boynton Beach Florida. They even claimed that their Ozone system was endorsed by the health dept and the EPA. Needless to say the health dept does not endorse ozone use and neither does the EPA. Needless to say the scammers did not get rid of the mold at all.
Re mold and neurological damage the Florida health dept info you send states that mold causes “cold-like symptoms, rashes, sinus inflammation, eye irritation and aggravation of asthma.”these are all well documented extremely common symptoms & we see them all the time, they are related to the bodies immune response / allergic reactions and other similar responses to allergenic chemicals in mold, and are related to gases (Mvoc’s) molds release. Though allergens and Mvoc’s can make people more miserable than most people realize, and though people die from various asthma attacks each year, these symptoms have nothing to do with toxins and are not though to damage nerves.
The health dept website link you sent me states “Some symptoms are more general – such as inability to concentrate or fatigue. Usually, symptoms disappear after the mold is removed.” these symptoms are more rare and controversial but are not related to neurological damage nor mold toxins either, but are thought to possibly be related to not getting deep sleep because of the above reference immune / allergy like symptoms.
So what is the difference ? Who cares? allergen -toxin – Mvoc its all the same is it not?
It is a very significant difference because if they were related to neurological damage from toxins then the symptoms you and others experience would not disappear after the mold is removed, also I would be scared to be around the stuff every day.
In conclusion according to current scientific research, legal expert research that stands up in court, and honest mold inspectors experience, it appears that mold will not likely damage your brain or nerves if you breath it in. If you eat the same very common household toxic molds or some molds that grow on grain crops toxic molds might cause neurological damage, liver cancer, birth defects, compromised immune system,  convulsions, hallucinations, burning sensations, and death. This has happened to thousands of people and animals and is well documented, but long term neurological damage from breathing in mold in the home or office is not strongly supported by the scientific community nor the legal system despite many tries. Of course their are exceptions to many rules, and who knows what future research may revealed about breathing in toxic mold as it relates to the neurological system.
The Florida Dept of Health Website info can be found at:
Our Mold inspection website can be found at:
A Accredited Inspection Service, Inc.
6742 Forest Hill Blvd # 271, West Palm Beach, Florida 33413
888-381-6651

The following info is from two different mold inspections conducted withen three weeks of each other.

The findings on these mold inspections and many other similar mold inspections conducted by us show how proper placement of your AC return is important in detering mold growth and mold odor in your AC ducts.

The inspector inspected the master bathroom as well as the nearby closets where past leakage occurred through a glass block window.The inspector detected two mild distinct odors in the master bathroom that appeared to be related to microbial growth.One of the odors was the result of mold growing in the duct work that services the master bedroom and master bathroom area.In this inspectors experience the specific moldy odor detected in the bathroom AC ducts is almost always created primarily by a type of mold called Cladosporium spherisperium. This is not a toxic mold and does not produce many spores but it creates musty odors that can cause health complaints. This mold like all AC mold needs two things to survive:1)   food2)   moisture.Food is from dust in your ducts so use a good filter in your AC.Moisture is from humidity drawn in through the AC return so control humidity intake.Your AC return is near the bathroom and as a result this return will allow the AC to pull much humidity in from the bathroom after showers and baths, this is called entrainment and this inspector has seen many AC mold problems resulting from of AC returns near humid bathrooms or in other areas where


excessive humidity is drawn in the AC system. Once in the cold ducts the humid air becomes even more humid this causes mold to grow in ducts.We recommend that the AC ducts be cleaned or replaced. If the humidity entrainment problem is not corrected then the mold will return so the AC return will have to be relocated to an area away from the bathroom, consult with your AC contractor about moving it to the master bedroom or master bedroom closet.In addition the bathroom would benefit from additional bathroom ceiling vents to vent humidity out of the bathroom after showers and baths.Above is a photo of your return just a few foot from your bathroom.SPECIFIC AREA FINDINGSAnother odor was detected in the bathroom, this odor was a sewer type odor and likely came from the tubs drain. Typically a P trap in your drain keeps these odors from backing out of the sewer and into our homes, but for some reason stronger than typical odors were coming up from your tubs drain or from the spa jet holes.Start by sanitizing your drain and spa jet pipes with a sanitizer but do not mix chemicals, also keep the drain stopper down when the drain is not in use, hopefully this is all that is needed, if this does not work contact a plumber.Have a plumber review and make any required repairs. This may not be a condition that every plumber is qualified to deal with as it is not the common problem of water simply evaporating from your trap, this may be something different, it may be very simple such as a dirty pipe drain. It may be complex like a missing trap.

SPECIFIC AREA FINDINGS The above mold inspection was conducted in Boca Raton Florida on 1-22-08. The same type of mold odor problem was found 3 weeks later during a mold investigation at a similar luxury home in Wellington Florida near West Palm Beach.   2-12-08 mold inspection  Musty odors were detected, musty or mold odor detection is an important part of any mold investigation because it lets us know that a little mold is present even if it cannot be visually detected. In addition, even when spore levels are low. Minor mold odors were in the following area(s) in the master bedroom when the AC unit was on. The odor detected was typical of that from AC ducts and is not like the odor produced by the many molds that grow in walls. It was detected near the ducts and only when the AC was on.  This was occurring because the AC return is near the master bathroom, this allows the AC to pull humidity into the AC after showers and baths. This humidity condenses in the AC and ducts and allows small amounts of mold to grow in the AC and ducts. This mold inspector has seen this exact same problem in similar homes, and the inspector has seen many mold problems caused under various similar circumstances when AC units pull humidity in, this is called entrainment.  To correct the condition the AC and ducts and main supply plenum for the master bedroom AC will have to be cleaned by a professional who follows NADCA standards and the AC return will have to be moved to a different location in the same zone, a location not so close to the humid bathroom.  Please be aware that this was not a serious mold problem and this does not mean that this is a moldy house, it is a nice house and did not have evidence of a serious mold probelm. This was just your typical minor musty or moldy duct odor and it may not be detected by all persons. Only sensitive persons with allergy or asthma would be affected by such a condition but based on this inspectors experience with this degree of odor some persons can be effects by such odors.