This article is all about Inspections and inspectors hired for mold inspections, more properly called mold assessments. Mold is a serious health risk. Without knowing this important information about mold inspections and mold inspectors, you may pay for a service that does not provide accurate information and which may leave more questions than answers in your attempt to keep family members or workers healthy. By doing a little homework about mold inspections and the inspector you wish to hire, you know you can trust an individual and the report they provide to you.
INSPECTION is defined as the act of looking at something carefully in order to discover information. A MOLD INSPECTION is the act of examining a built environment, or rather an indoor space for conditions that support mold growth and the actual presence of mold or mold growth. Inspections for mold in Melbourne, Florida are very important because the natural outdoor environment is conducive to mold growth due to high humidity and recurring rain events. Inspections must include analysis of moisture and humidity as a fundamental aspect of any mold inspection or mold assessment. If an inspector only collects air samples for analysis, that does not constitute a mold inspection and will very often miss key issues and the presence of hidden mold. This misleads customers and causes a false finding that everything is okay, when in fact, proper mold inspections reveal hidden mold, moisture problems, and mold conditions that make people sick. Property owners can remain perplexed because workers or family members remain sick and they think it is not a mold problem because the “air sample” was found to be “normal”. There are many key issues to ensure a proper and professional MOLD INSPECTION is provided for you by the person who makes the mold inspection. Below are the key aspects of a Mold Inspection that consumers need to be aware of to ensure they get a professional reliable inspection for mold inside their property.
First, and most importantly, your first call should always be to a Mold Assessor (inspector) not a mold remediator or remediation firm. You need to confirm that the exact individual that will come to your property to perform your mold inspection is, themselves, a licensed Mold Assessor by the state of Florida. Too many firms just send a “runner” to collect air samples which is illegal and cheats you, the customer. It’s like having a pizza delivery guy making your mold inspection. The person performing the mold inspection must have a valid and active MRSA license. This stands for Mold Related Services Assessor followed by a unique I.D. number that correlates to the chronological order of when that person was licensed since the time Florida began requiring mold licenses for mold inspectors. For example, the first person to be issued an MRSA license in Florida has license MRSA1 and the nine hundred and forty fourth person to get the license would be MRSA944. At the time of this writing, 2023, there were exactly 4,620 licensed mold assessors in Florida. If this number of inspectors seems unusually high, it is because every home inspector now wants to be a mold inspector just to add income to each property they inspect. However, without a solid background in life sciences, just having the license does not ensure they are competent because a professional mold inspector must have excellent knowledge and experience with life sciences and or microbiology, which home inspectors do not have.
To verify a person has a valid and active MRSA license, go to the state of Florida’s Division of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR) website at:
Note; the person must have the MRSA license, not an MRSR license. The MRSR license is a lesser license just for mold remediation people who perform the cleanup and removal of mold as prescribed by a mold assessor. A person with just the MRSR license has no training or experience in mold inspections or assessments. They are two very different licenses and credentials.
Second, during a mold inspection, the inspector must check indoor humidity levels and temperatures, the function and condition of the AC system, collect air samples, typically two from inside and one from outside as a reference, this would be for properties with less than 2000 square feet under AC. Larger indoor spaces should have more sampling. Detailed inspection with a moisture meter and infrared camera, additional sampling as appropriate when moisture is found inside walls or hidden cavities. They also need to use a high quality bore-scope to inspect mold inside duct-work or hidden cavities. Air samples should use 150 liters of air that take ten minutes each to collect, not the cheap and fast samples that only use 45-75 liters or air and the samples must be sent to and analyzed by an independent and certified FL laboratory so there is no conflict of interest in the analysis.
Third, a professional inspection report needs to be provided back to the customer with a written description of all findings from the mold inspection, analysis of the laboratory data followed by an overall conclusion with detailed recommendations to resolve any issues discovered. If the mold inspection found concerning mold issues, which is about 25-40% of cases, you should request additional work by the mold assessor to provide you with a detailed “mold remediation protocol”. Never accept, if provided, a canned or “standard” protocol issued with your mold report because every job has different issues and a good, meaningful protocol must provide detailed technical instructions for a mold remediator to follow to ensure the underlying causes of mold growth are identified and corrected and proper actions are taken to clean up the existing mold that is present, called source removal. Fixing the root cause issues is actually more important than the clean up and that’s what your mold inspector must be an expert at defining.
Finally, your mold inspector should not offer to provide mold remediation services because that is illegal and a complete conflict of interest. You want to be sure that your mold inspection was conducted by an ethical professional who does not try to steer you to other services from which they will profit based on the outcome of their own inspection report. This is why there are two license types for mold services in Florida; one for mold assessors (inspections) and one for mold remediators.
The above text and content is copyright protected and may not be copied or used with express written permission by Greg Bertaux, PE, MRSA, CIEC, HI, MRSR, and President and owner of Melbourne Mold.
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~ Greg Bertaux
1900 So. Harbor City Blvd., Suite 328
Melbourne, FL 32901
Tel: (321) 574-5503