Mold Testing, Assessment & Air Quality Services for Buffalo and WNY

Western New York homes are closed up during the winter heating season, sometimes creating perfect conditions for mold to grow and reproduce. Identifying and removing mold often requires professional assistance.  We can help!

Alto Home Inspection, LLC is proud to offer mold testing, mold assessments, air quality testing and moisture investigations.  Our service area includes Buffalo, Hamburg, Cheektowaga, Williamsville, Amherst and all of Western New York. We also provide professional home inspector services and radon testing in Buffalo and WNY.

We identify mold in basements, bathroom showers and vanities, kitchen cabinets, attic and other rooms. We create a professional mold assessment report that is required if you intend to have the mold professionally removed.  

Mold Growth in Hamburg, NY Basement

Mold Identification & Testing

We professionally assess areas that you suspect to have mold, determine if testing is required. 

If it makes sense, we collect samples of the substance for identification by a licensed New York mold lab.  

After the lab report is received by us, you will receive a professional interpretation of the results, including recommendations.

Attic with mold growth

Mold Assessment for Remediation

If mold is present in your house or home, and you plan on hiring a company to remove it, we will go further than a simple test, creating a plan for mold cleanup, including price estimates and steps they should take to protect the home’s occupants.

This process is required by NY consumer protection law, and is intended to prevent dishonest companies from falsely claiming that your home has dangerous mold.

Air Quality Testing in Williamsville, NY

Air Quality Testing

We support those who have health concerns with the air in their homes.  

We collect samples of air, and have a licensed laboratory examine the sample and determine if high levels of mold, pollen, chemicals or other substances are present. 

We cannot provide health advice, but provide data that may assist your physician.

Concrete Block Foundation in Eden, NY

Moisture & Water Leak Investigations

Water leaks, condensation or humidity are always the source of mold growth.  Sometimes the source of these is tricky to locate.  

We investigate sources or water or moisture using visual methods, thermal imagery and other tools, providing professional guidance and reporting that will enable you to have a contractor correct the condition.

Why Choose us?

Alto Home Inspection, LLC provides customized mold and air services for each of our clients.  We are flexible in our approach and work hard to maintain our reputation.  

  • NY Certified Mold Assessor #MA1606
  • NY Licensed Home Inspector #16000086029
  • We used NY Department of Health ELAP accredited labs for sample analysis, and interpret what the results mean to you
  • Our mold assessment reporting is detailed and enables you to evaluate the qualifications of remediation companies, should you need them
Mold Investigation in Western New York

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 or attic, 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.

 

Questions & Answers About Mold and Air 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.

Call or Text Us

Call or send us a text and we will work with you to schedule your home inspection and other services. Our normal business hours are Monday-Friday 8am-8pm and Saturday 8am-2pm.

Schedule Online

View our available appointments and schedule your home inspection in real time.  We will contact you after scheduling to confirm your appointment and collect any additional details.

Email Us

Use this easy form to send us a message.  We respond quickly and work with you or your real estate agent to schedule your inspection.