"How to Perform Mold Inspections"

In a limited Mold inspection, You can use a swab to test for Mold. This is a non intrusive test that is easily done usually without disturbing the Mold itself. Even though it is limited You must complete a chain of custody document and have a sample # on the test tube itself and the document. The swab is inserted into the tube and the bottom squeezed to moisten the swab. The swab is then wiped and rolled in a 1" area where mold is suspected and inserted back in the tube and Mailed overnight usually. Also document the time and date. room. supportive photos and anyone else present for this test.A Moisture meter may be used.

The attached photo is of a kitchen cabinet located in the basement of a cabin. Other areas of growth were also discovered during the home inspection as well. Upon entering the home I immediately smelled the apparent mold. I advised the client to have a professional evaluation by a mold inspector. Since taking this coarse, I hope to be that mold inspector to further help my clients in these matters when they arise.


The article on hard water was informative. It is amazing how many issues hard water can cause in a home. A few I didn’t know like, Poor washing machine performance (dingy looking clothes) Also that bathing with soap in hard water leaves a film of sticky soap on your skin. This can make it harder to remove soil and bacteria.

I read the article on Moister Intrusion. It was very informative about how and where moister can enter a home and what effects it has. Wood decay, high indoor humidity, foundation problems and Mold growth. I also like how the article went through the different areas of the home and gave examples on how moister may enter the home and what to look for.

After taking this coarse I am now now more keenly aware of just how important it is to keep a house dry. Prevention seems to be a very good topic at the forefront of my inspections. And I will certainly be informing my clients how to help avoid conditions conducive to mold growth. Such as sufficient downspout leaders, proper grading, crawl space vents at least 6" above grade, just to name a few.

The picture above was taken from inside the crawl space and looking up at a section of the kitchen subflooring. The black iron pipe is galvanized, which goes though the floor to the oven. That is an issue in itself. With the oven above me, it was difficult to determine where the moisture intrusion may be coming from. What I found was a water supply line for the ice maker had been run before the kitchen base cabinets had been installed. Therefore, after the cabinets were installed, a large section of the supply line for the ice maker was hidden from view, which also made the leak hidden from clear sight.

Back drafting is the reverse flow of gas in the flues, many of the older gas fired water heaters and boilers used house hold air and didn’t have an induced draft, which made them vulnerable to back drafting…
Back drafting can occur when indoor air pressure becomes unusually low. Different types of fuel fired water heaters are sealed combustion, induced draft and atmospheric draft.

Efflorescence for inspectors; as a home inspector we know that the white chalky powder found on brick or a concrete wall is Efflorescence and that it may be a potential moisture problem. Efflorescence is the dissolved salts left on the surface of a material after evaporation, although a cosmetic issue Efflorescence can be a sign of a moisture proble

Upon entering this house, a strong musty odor could be detected. (The smell was apparently attempted to be diffused by the seller or agent who “accidentally” forgot to close the kitchen window.)

The only indication of moisture found inside existed at the powder room cabinetry. A moisture meter indicated elevated readings on the floor and wall of the cabinet, as well as the surrounding baseboards. See photos. There was no visible leak or dripping apparent.

Removal of the cabinetry was discussed to determine if a leak may exist inside the wall, and to observe the conditions below and behind. Consultation of a mold inspector was also recommended.

Article 1: AFCI Testers
I was curious as to whether inspectors are actually using these, and how effective they might be, if so. Apparently, they are not used widely because they are of questionable effectiveness. They are not actually producing arc-faults. Thus, they are more accurately referred to as AFCI indicators, not testers. I generally do not actuate the test button on an AFCI in occupied homes that I inspect, because if they are faulty and do not reset, then the owner is left with a de-energized circuit.

Article 2: Bed Bugs
During a recent inspector chapter meeting I attended, there was discussion about bed bugs. Some inspectors claimed having to dispose of their clothing after inspecting a house where they came into contact. I needed to learn more. It was interesting to learn about the pandemic increase, and also to see pictures of the actual bug and bites to a subject. The article discussed how not to get rid of them, but did not discuss how to. My understanding is a professional will somehow heated up the house space to kill them.

Power vent water heater!
Fuel source. Natural gas.
40 gallon
Upon visual inspection the water heater appears to be in good
Condition no dents rust or damage to the unit.
No signs of any past leaking or present leaks.
Gas line was secure and properly connected.
Vent pipe was secure and.properly connected
The unit turned on upon visual inspection and had no
Unusual sounds or vibration.
The pressure relief valve was vent within proper
Distance from the floor, but the pressure relief vent pipe was
Threaded on the discharge end. So I would recommend this be corrected
Immediately as this would be a safety hazard.

Barn inspections.
This article was quite informative, I grew up on a farm
And never realized the scope of hazards present with a barn.
Cover the lights with jelly jars. And having a ABC fire extinguisher
Every 75 feet and the extremely dirty air quality. So by reading
This article I have come away with a much larger understand
Of how a barn should be inspected, electrical conduit for all
Wiring, fire extinguisher, trip hazards and structural concern of the
Future use of the building and where is is located in the country.

Article 2 Mold, Moisture and your home.
It’s amazing how much is know about mold but also how little.
The article was very informative in letting people.know that mold is always
Present and can never be totally removed. The key is control
To never let mold get out of control by control moisture in your home
And moisture intrusion. Also that not all mold is toxic… it clears up
Alot of misconceptions on the myths about mold on its health
Effects and on its remediation. I would say mold remediation should
Be left to the professionals. But if a home owner would like to
To their own clean up please do all your appropriate research to
Keep them and their structure safe.


Attached is a photo of a gate valve. This valve was a component of the plumbing system in a 16 year old home.
Heavy corrosion and a leak was identified at the valve.
Upon a completion of a limited mold inspection, mold was present in the air and this leaking valve was just one of the identified contributing factors to the mold growth.

I just completed reading two articles on mold. The IAQ2 mold course is very interesting and provides lots of good information for home owners and potential buyers. It seems that controlling the moisture is the single biggest factor in preventing mold growth. After the course I travelled around my home with a humidity meter and was recording the humidity in several rooms. I found my basement to be above 60% RH and found a leak at a pipe. Talk about instant real world course application!!

I look forward to performing mold inspections in the coming years to better educate clients to the risks of water intrusion and related fungi inhalation risks.

I’m looking forward to being certified

Here is a picture of mold growing on block type foundation wall. Moisture reader was administered and showed 25%. There more signs of mold in that same corner. It is likely that the moisture intrusion is cause by a downspout problem.

This mold course has proven to be more than i expected. Other than just reading and testing there is interaction. I thoroughly enjoy reading real life inspectors articles. Observing real issues that are not set up. Every house I have inspected always has its unique characteristics.

Inspection and Writing Assignment

Damaged baseboard and a dark black circle in the drywall above it was observed in the master bathroom water closet. A moisture test was conducted on the baseboard and drywall, no moisture was detected. The area has been painted over to cover the damage. Suggest a Certified Mold inspector further investigate the damaged area for possible fungi growth.

Reading and Writing Assignment

Moisture Intrusion

Article covers how moisture intrusion can be the cause of building defects, as well as health ailments for the building’s occupants. Areas to check for water intrusion and ways to correct it.

Moisture Meters for Inspectors

Article covers uses and types of moisture meter, materials they can be used on, modes that can be used and what causes false readings.

Mold issues is something that I have experienced personally. Our new home had an issue that resulted in all of our clothing, furniture and carpeting being covered in mold. Fortunately it did not go into the drywall. As an inspector, my first concern will be to ensure that no mold type material is visible and that if there is anything that may look like it, I will take a sample for lab analysis.

I do not want to alarm people but I must present an accurate picture of the situation.

Did my first mould inspection. (Yes we spell it mould in Canada, eh)

And it came back elevated in a basement that smelled and looked dry. No obvious signs of moisture penetration in the partially finished basement.

Provided results to the client and surprisingly they were not overly concerned.
Course did not give tips on how to explain this type of result to a client. I simply explained if they were overly concerned a mould mitigation company could be hired for further investigation as there was no visible source.