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Mold Inspections

 

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Mold Inspections

Advanced Property & Environmental Contracting Services (APECS, Inc.), is committed to providing the highest level of professional service in the Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) industry. Our licensed professionals are reliable, honest, and thorough.  We have the credentials, training, and background experience to accurately assess your microbial concerns, and the communication skills to clearly describe the results to you. In addition to our Maryland state license, our employees are independently “Board Certified” through the American Council for Accredited Certifications (ACAC), who regulates certified professionals in the Indoor Air Quality field throughout the world.

At APECS, we offer two choices regarding mold assessments, and testing & inspections; the difference between an Assessment and an Inspection, in short, is the testing or collection of samples, which is described below. This is the most frequently asked question from our clients.

Our Assessments: (which is the most cost efficient service we can provide) consists of a visual investigation using our experience, education, and knowledge together with equipment such as Infrared Thermography cameras, moisture meters, humidity meters, mirrors and/or other equipment, and to visually assess the property and make recommendations based on the findings. While this is not the ultimate choice, it is designed as a general “peace of mind” approach during real estate transactions, and for those properties which have no apparent signs of mold growth to the layman’s eye; this will often meet the needs of our client. The cost remains low because there are no samples (testing) collected. Our Assessments are based on the general size of the home, and the specific needs of our clients; the cost in general for a mold assessment ranges from $125.00 up to $300.00.

Our Inspections: consist of all that is performed during an Assessment. In addition, samples are collected and sent to an Independent Certified Laboratory to be analyzed. Documentation (written and photographic) is collected on the conditions, samples sites, square footage, with recommendation based on the findings, data, and the field information gathered. A conclusion on any elevated moisture or water intrusion sources are determined. Often poor ground water management, foundation failure, sub-standard building designs, sub-standard installation of components (such as windows), plumbing and/or appliance leakage, poor dehumidification, or insufficient ventilation are among the main culprits. A written “Certified” report is given, detailing the results, and if necessary provides recommendation on Microbial Remediation and the procedures and protocols needed to complete the job. Additionally, people who have respiratory ailments, are immune compromised, or suffer from other chronic systems may require a more thorough investigation and conclusive results.

Sampling can vary from many types of matrix (swabs, tape lifts, air cassettes, VOC’s, etc) and are generally decided on an individual need. Today the industry’s choice is Air Cassettes. Mainly because they cover a much larger area (volume); therefore fewer samples are needed which keeps the overall costs down. They are easy to use, easy to ship, and provide a greater actuality of the test site. The choices depend on the many various situations, and the true goals of the client. The cost between each device is the same, making Air Sampling the overall better choice. Therefore, your inspector should be asking you many questions. Inspections are based on the size of the home, more specifically the square footage of the scope at hand, which often determines the amount of samples required, and the specific needs of our clients; the costs in general, range from $375.00 up to $1,250.00 even more; with the average cost of a mold inspection around $450.00 - $600.00.

When hiring a professional consultant, inspector, or contractor it is important to hire a company with qualified and certified staff that will follow industry standards and guidelines to ensure the job is done right. When deciding to choose a professional for your particular needs; there is more than knowing the scope of your particular job, in this industry clients need to become aware and understand there are several tracks, and within each track there are several different levels, in which all IQA professional specializes.

With regards to mold, basically there are three (3) different tracks: Consultants, Investigations and Assessments, and Remediation. Make no mistake; an individual certified in one track is not qualified to perform the duties and responsibilities of another track, unless they hold multiple designations. Within each track, there are several levels; from entry level which are listed at the bottom (beginners) to the most experience located towards the top. The higher the professional travels up each level, the more experienced, educated, and professionally responsible they become. As outlined on the chart below. You can also visit the ACAC web site and verify a provider’s credentials and specific field of specialty:  www.acac.org

Indoor Air Quality Consulting
(CIEC) Council-certified Indoor Environmental Consultant
(CIE)    Council-certified Indoor Environmentalist

The Council-certified Indoor Environmentalist (CIE) and the Council-certified Indoor Environmental Consultant (CIEC) investigate indoor air quality problems.  For example, a CIE or CIEC can identify mold and moisture issues during a commercial investigation or a home inspection and can make recommendations on prevention and solutions. These professionals have verified knowledge of disciplines related to indoor air quality, including HVAC, building science, mold and microbial issues, industrial hygiene, ground water management, lead-based paint and asbestos. CIEs and CIECs posses verified experience conducting field investigations on residential homes, facilities, structures, and buildings.

Microbial Investigation and Assessment
(CMC)    Council-certified Microbial Consultant
(CMI)     Council-certified Microbial Investigator
(CRMI)  Council-certified Residential Mold Inspector

The Council-certified Microbial Investigator (CMI) and the Council-certified Microbial Consultant (CMC) investigate microbial issues in the indoor environment. For example, a CMI or CMC can perform mold inspection, mold testing and bioaerosol sampling. A CMI or CMC can interpret lab results and design an effective remediation protocol.  Finally, these professionals can perform post-remediation sampling to verify the success of a remediation project. CMIs and CMCs possess verified knowledge in disciplines related to microbial investigations and sampling.  The certification examinations cover a wide range of bioaerosols and their potential health effects.  They also deal with microbial sampling procedures and equipment. CMIs and CMCs posses verified experience in microbial sampling, mold inspection or mold testing on residential homes, schools, office buildings, and industrial structures.

Home Inspection (Entry Level)

A Council-certified Residential Mold Inspector (CRMI) locates and identifies mold as part of a home inspection. A CRMI conducts a mold inspection using industry standard sampling techniques and verifies the presence or absence of mold contamination. A CRMI provides an efficient screening to clear a property of microbial issues. A CRMI's report can therefore be an important part of a real estate transaction.

It is equally important to understand this is the full extent of this service, and restrictions limit their professional expertise. A CRMI does not perform mold remediation and cannot make any recommendations on remediation procedures and/or protocols. When mold contamination is present, a CRMI can only recommend another certified professional to develop and execute a mold remediation protocol.

Microbial Remediation
(CMRS)  Council-certified Microbial Remediation Supervisor
(CMR)    Council-certified Microbial Remediator
(CRMR) Council-certified Residential Microbial Remediator (non-accredited designation)

The Council-certified Microbial Remediator (CMR) and the Council-certified Microbial Remediation Supervisor (CMRS) conduct mold remediation and mold removal projects in the indoor environment. A CMR or CMRS can design and maintain effective containments.  A CMR or CMRS can control pressure relationships during a project.  A CMR or CMRS can safely clean, treat or remove structures and contents affected by microbial contamination.  A CMR or CMRS can design remediation protocols and/or follow established protocols and industry standards.

A CRMR is a non-accreditation designation, design for training towards the health and safety of the workers and the occupants, while assisting a CRM or CRMS during the remediation work, and/or while in training. In many states, which require licenses, this may be mandatory of all non-accredited labor workers.

A CMR or CMRS possesses verified knowledge of the microbial remediation field.  The certification exams cover the most respected reference texts in the industry.  Candidates must know the important industry standards.  They must be familiar with scientific principles governing mold and the indoor environment. They must understand the most common practices and protocols used by remediators. They must be familiar with the equipment used in mold remediation.  They must be aware of legal issues affecting their work. They must know the importance of health related effects of their workers and the occupants.  A CMR or CMRS possesses verified experience in mold remediation and mold removal in residential homes, schools, office buildings, government and commercial facilities, and industrial structures.

It becomes important to ask the right questions, don’t be intimidated to ask to see a company’s license and check references. By law they must show you their license.  Often contractors misunderstand and/or mislead the true extent of the license they hold. A general Home Improvement Contractor, Water Restoration Company, or a Pest Control Company, may tell you that they are licensed. While that may be true, their license does not include providing services in the microbial field, and often their insurance does not cover this service either. Getting the job done right the first time will save you thousands of dollars and tons of headaches. Always, check credentials and references first, before signing a contract.

Nicholas Latgis, Jr. CMRS, CIE, CMI

NEED MORE INFORMATION ON MICROBIAL (Mold) REMEDIATON?
VISIT OUR MICROBIAL REMEDIATION PAGE

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Providing residential, commercial and rental property inspections in Baltimore County,
Cecil County, Harford County and surrounding counties in Maryland!

APECS, Inc.
Advanced Property & Environmental Contracting Services

P.O. Box 43957
Nottingham, MD  21236
410-529-5505
License # 29775

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