Mold Testing & Assessments in Western NY

If you think you may have mold in your home, or if you have been informed by another home inspector or service professional that you might, we can help.  

We can identify mold on walls, in basements, attics or floors and create professional mold assessment report that is required if you intend to have the mold professionally removed.  

Bradley Beck is a New York State Licensed Mold Assessor (#MA1606), and will produce an assessment which is compliant with New York law, which includes a remediation plan for mold removal.  After the mold is removed, we will return to your home to ensure that the remediator completed the work.

 

Our Mold Testing & Assessment Services

Contact us to schedule a mold inspection, mold assessment or moisture investigation today.  Inspecting for mold is always a customized process, and often involves accessing the attic, basement, crawlspace and other areas in order to locate the source of moisture that mold requires to grow.

We provide visual, tape lift and bulk mold testing services, using a New York State licensed laboratory for analysis of samples.  

Our reporting is customized for your individual requirements, whether for insurance purposes, refinancing or for the use of a New York licensed mold remediator.

Samples are typically analyzed within 3 business days, but next-day service can be provided for an additional fee.  Inspection and assessment reports are delivered the next day, or pending results from the analyzing lab. 

What is Mold?

Mold is a type of fungus that forms filaments, called hyphae, that allow the organism to embed itself into the surfaces of wood, drywall, insulation and other building materials.  Mold reproduces by releasing spores, some of which go airborne and affect the air quality inside of a home.  

In the wild, mold grows on dead trees, plants and other organic matter.  

Mold is problematic indoors not because of its appearance, but because it will degrade the surface that it is growing on and because mold spores are released into the air inside of your home. Evidence has linked indoor mold exposure with upper respiratory symptoms, including coughing, wheezing, asthma symptoms, and respiratory illness.

Is mildew the same thing as mold?

Mold and mildew are not the same organism.  But how can you visibly tell the difference between the two?

Mold

  • Black, bright red to dark green in color
  • Fuzzy Appearance
  • Musty Smell
  • Difficult to remove
  • Special products required to remove

Mildew

  • Grayish white to brown in color
  • Powdery appearance
  • Foul Odor
  • Lives only on surface - easy to remove
  • Can be removed with dilluted bleach

How do I prevent mold?

Mold spores are naturally present in the air we all breath, both indoors and out.  If a mold spore happens to land on a damp surface, it will grow and reproduce.  If the area stays damp, a large mold colony may develop. 

Preventing mold growth sounds simple, but can actually involve a complex investigation into sources of moisture and humidity. 

Keeping all areas inside of your home dry and well-ventilated is a solid start.  Surprisingly, the trigger for a mold problem are varied:

  • Old, leaky roofing
  • Missing chimney rain cap
  • Downspouts discharging near the foundation
  • Damp basement
  • Broken sump pump
  • Sump pump discharging against the foundation
  • Pinhole leak in water heater
  • Leaky plumbing
  • Poor attic ventilation
  • Corroded plumbing drain line
  • Oversized air conditioner
  • Slow leak in plumbing within walls – i.e. puncture from picture hanging…
  • Holes in siding
  • Clothes dryer vents discharging into the basement instead of outdoors
 
These items are all on our home inspection checklist, and are assessed during our home inspections for buyers and sellers.  Water intrusion and ventilation are key items that any homeowner should have at the top of their minds when planning for the replacement of worn building materials
 
Older homes in have unique challenges with keeping basements dry and free of mold and mildew.  Often times they are damp with humidity in the 70-90% range.  Approaches to keeping mold at bay include using dehumidifiers, applying water proofing systems to foundation walls, installing concrete over a dirt floor, and installing furnace vents to directly heat the basement.

What is the difference between a Mold Assessment & Inspection?

New York State enacted legislation following abuses by mold cleanup contractors in the aftermath of hurricane Sandy.  Essentially, some contractors were approaching those who suffered water damage to their homes, declared that they had a mold problem and then declared that there was a problem and they would fix it for a large fee. 

The result of this legislation was that the function of identifying mold and remediating mold damage can no longer be performed by the same individual or company on the same project.   Mold Assessors determine if mold is present, and if the affected area is at least 10 square feet, then a plan is developed that a Mold Remediator is to follow.  

Essentially, if you have a mold problem and you want to have it corrected, you need to hire an assessor to create the plan and a remediator to fix it.  New York State maintains a helpful Q&A page to help answer questions and confusion about this process.

During our initial consultation, whether it is via phone, email or onsite during a home inspection, your specific requirements will be determined and if appropriate an assessment report will be created.  Other options such as moisture investigation report may be used if appropriate.

 

Frequently Asked Questions about our Mold Testing Services

Removing a mold infestation of more than several square feet requires the use of nasty chemicals that will cause harm to the eyes, respiratory system and skin of you, your kids and pets.  Safely using these chemicals requires the use of a properly-fitting respirator and full-body protective suit. To answer the question directly, yes you can.  But, no you shouldn’t.

Bleach will kill the portion of mold that is on the visible surface, but will not affect the underlying hyphae, which are essentially roots.  Fully removing mold requires the use of correct chemicals and techniques.

Yes :)  Bradley Beck is New York State Certified Mold Assessor #MA1606.  Feel free to validate my license status here.

The older homes in Buffalo and nearby towns in WNY often times have porous foundations, un-maintained siding and other conditions that make them susceptible to water and moisture infiltration.  These conditions provide great environments for mold growth.  

A mold assessment is a specific type of inspection and report that is required if you plan to have an area of mold that is 10 square feet or larger removed by a professional.  Some mold inspections find that there is no mold at the property, and you might say this is just a “mold inspection”.

Depending on the circumstances and the home owner’s concerns, a mold inspection might focus on one area of a wall or it might involve climbing on a ladder and looking at the roof.  Mold inspections often times morph into moisture investigations, since mold and moisture often connected.

Bradley Beck is a New York licensed home inspector (#16000086028) and certified Mold Assessor (#MA1606), and is well respected among home owners, buyers and sellers for performing thorough whole-house inspections, mold inspsections and other home services.  He understands how the systems of a home work together, and how construction and maintenance problems can lead to serious and expensive problems.

Testing for mold is sometimes just that, arriving at a client’s home, rental property or business.  At other times it is an investigation into sources of water infiltration, leaky pipes, damaged building materials and more.  

We often use tools such as an infrared FLIR camera, hydgrometer, and moisture meter during mold investigations.  

To collect samples for a lab to analyze and determine if and what type of mold is present, we use collection slides, cotton swabs and other collection media.

Of course!  We take pride in our professional reporting.  Upon completion of the investigation and analysis of any samples, you will receive a report that will detail our findings and the investigation. 

If appropriate, the report will meet the requirements for a New York state mold assessment, which you will then be able to hand over to a mold remediation company.

We take pride in providing inspection, testing and assessment services for home owners, buyers, property owners and others who require a perspective that is independent of any contractor or clean-up company.  

We may at times provide the name of a company who can perform a service for you, but we do not have relationships with these companies and do not receive kickbacks or other compensation from them.

How to Reach Us

Bradley Beck
Alto Home Inspection, LLC
Colden, NY 14033

716-222-2586
[email protected]