Never Ever Buy A Property Without A Proper Mold Test and Inspection.
You do not want to inherit someone else's mold contaminated building. Mold is a ubiquitous organism meaning that it is everywhere. However, the significant difference is whether or not mold has started to grow (amplify) within the structure. Over 75% of our commercial pre-purchase investigations determine there are no problems. However, 25% have mold related issues ranging from minor to severe.
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A mold inspection and air sampling should only be done by a properly trained and credentialed environmental hygienist. A competent evaluation of the test results is as important as the specific data collection standards.
Air sampling for mold should consist of two types of samples obtained at the same to provide a complete representation of the actual conditions at the time of the sampling. One sample would be a spore trap sample that would collect viable (living) and non-viable spores. The second would be a culturable air sample using an N-6 impact sampler for viable spores. The spore trap results can be had in as short as 24 hours. However, a culturable air sample needs to be incubated and typically takes 7 days for results. Depending on the size and lay out of the facility multiple sample locations may be needed.
These two sample methodologies provide a more complete representation of the actual conditions at the time of the sampling. One without the other, although less expensive, would not be considered a true reflection of the conditions or be considered consistent with industry standards.
Indoor mold levels should be considerably less than outdoors and the mold species should be consistent. Higher indoor levels or species inconsistency can be an indicator of a mold amplification site within the facility.
The severity of a mold issue is as important as the type of purchase and who the occupants will be. Generally a minor to moderate mold problem can be easily and inexpensively taken care of. Please remember, knowing the condition prior to closing a purchase is important.
A building buyer that intends to occupy the facility has a little more discretion when purchasing a building with a minor to moderate mold issue since the problem can be mitigated and there would be no further disclosure issues until a possible sale later on. A building with a mold problem that has been corrected should have periodic testing to verify the existing conditions are still within industry standards.