I attended an inspectors meeting yesterday where the speaker was a water damage contractor who also does mold testing.
What I learned was enough to know mold testing is more complicated that I was formally lead to believe and the cleanup is an exacting process.
But for inspectors who do testing it turns out the steps to doing a thorough quantative test are nowhere to be found in any general courses I have seen so far. The tools and methodology used by dedicated abatement companies differ and if the speaker was to be believed not too many people test correctly for mold. The meeting speaker uses ATP testing which is an investment of a couple of thousand dollars for equipment and swabs and then to be sure and mitigate liability further testing is done by a 3rd party lab.
After the meeting I did some more checking, enough to decide I may make recommendations based on what I know but mold testing is off my plate forever, I don’t think I have the time to be an expert and feel a recomendation to test by a dedicated mold mitigator is best for my clients.
Here’s what the meeting speaker is using (attachments below)
I’m not saying this is best, just saying it seems more than buying a $10 kit from a lab.
Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP) is, for lack of a better term, the universal energy molecule. An ATP monitor does not distinguish between mold or bacteria. It could just indicate the area is in need of a good cleaning. Its a good tool but I suggest that it’s to expensive for mold inspection. ATP monitors are generally used for constant monitoring of food processing plants etc. for bacterial growth, not mold.
Paul Internachi offers a mold certification which I think is quite sufficient for what we do. I send out multiple samples to local testing facilities where they determine whats going on. I simply pass along those findings. Emsl is a competent outfit. They also perform water and lead testing as well. Seems like a good customer relations benefit when you offer it in addition the a traditional inspections. How’s that mold meter performing…?
I didn’t buy a mold meter but I seem to have at least one of everything else. My E8 is great. I miss the manual focus but until I get better at IR I am satisfied. I am already doing my Level 2 studies for IRT.
Just published a new blog article and played a few songs on my original hand made Wechter. I bought the damn guitar right from Abe Wechter and 6 months later he sells out to the Asians, now my $2000 retail guitar starts at $699 from somewhere in Asia. Bad investment I guess:shock:
I guess that’s what I’ll do. Plays like an electric, not loud but it is sweet. Actually talked to Abe before I bought it, came right from his shop. I’m ok with it all but was dissapointed when the Asian Wechters showed up so soon.
Ahem, home inspector singer songwriter. Maybe I should put that on my website?
Don’t get to hung up on ATP testing. I have used ATP monitors extensively to prove cleaning effectiveness of our Viriditec Aqueous Ozone system. If you swab your hand you’ll pick up ATP, and in some cases a great deal of it. It doesn’t mean you have mold on your hands. It simply means that there is life present whether that be from bacteria or from the lunch you just had.
The guy is trying to sell equipment. The meter can only detect indications of mold, which an indication is not necessarily enough mold to be concerned about.
As far as standards go, the real professionals use the most recognized standards.
The common standard used for removal of mold is the IICRC S520, Second Edition. The third addition will be released hopefully sometime this year.
There are actual testing standards such as by IESO. IAC2 has a good enough standard for primary testing, which is good enough for home inspectors.
Home inspectors should not be writing any mold remediation protocols or clearing any mold jobs, that is what mold assessors are trained to do.
Remediators (migrators) should not be performing the testing.
According to AIHA (American Industrial Hygienists Association) Guideline 3-2004:
***“***To avoid a conflict of interest, individuals should not have a stake in both the assessment and remediation firms working on the same project.”
** “Only specifically qualified persons should be utilized for the design and management of mold assessments, directing, writing protocols, and conducting mold assessments” (paraphrased)