Testing for Mold & Allergens in Your Home

Mold Testing and Allergens in Your Home | Regal Home Inspections Monmouth County NJ

mold testing inspection colts neck njMany parents and house buyers are concerned about their children’s health.  As a 20+ year volunteer EMT I see many people, children and young adults alike that have respiratory problems and moderate or severe allergies.  If you are considering buying a house or if you are a homeowner or if you reside in an apartment, I strongly urge you to get your house or apartment (or house or apartment  you may move into) tested for Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) including MOLD and ALLERGENS.  Here at Regal Home Inspections, LLC our motto is “Buy with confidence and Sell with Pride”.  Testing enables you to buy with confidence.

Regal Home Inspections, LLC is based in Colts Neck NJ and we test homes throughout Monmouth County for Radon, Indoor Air Quality, Mold, Allergens, and Wood Destroying Insects. Our home inspections also facilitate testing of septic systems and oil tanks; tank integrity and soil tests below ground. Contact us today and we can determine the best course of action for your particular needs.

Sample Mold Testing Collection Methods – Swabs, Tape Lifts and Air Samples

Mold can appear in a couple of different ways and therefore we can collect samples using different methodologies. Often times we can see discoloration that give us a high suspicion that it is mold.  Since we can’t definitively determine that a substance is mold we have the capability and tools to collect samples.  Sampling will enable us to send the samples to a lab and have them analyzed.  This analysis may confirm that the surface matter is mold and the testing can help identify the types of mold.  To accomplish this we can take a SWAB or use a tape-lift as it is called.  These samples are sealed and sent for analysis.   

Occasionally there is a smell of mold in the air.  There may not be visual evidence of mold but health issues, respiratory problems or simply prudent, precautionary steps lead you to seek our help collecting air samples.  Regal Home Inspections, LLC is skilled at air sample collection.  When testing for IAQ we use sophisticated equipment to collect air samples.  Air samples are taken from different areas of the home including two (typically) baseline samples from the outdoor environment near the home.

ALLERGENS – For Allergens We will use a vacuum pump and a small canister.  We will collect samples from rugs, corners of the rooms, and other areas.  These areas collect small samples of all the dust particles that have been in the air.  Pet dander, indications of rodent infestation and other unwanted critters and bugs and more.

TESTING & REPORTING

After collecting all the samples they are sealed.  Then they are sent to a NJ State Licensed Lab for analysis.  The lab uses different techniques to analyze all the different samples for mold and allergens.  A report is generated.  The report for Allergens will identify the different types of allergens found.  It does not indicate the quantity.

For Mold, the swab and tape lifts will also quantify the samples; Substance, type, species, etc.

For Mold testing done with air samples the different spores collected are quantified and identified.  Proportions are also provided and it is the proportions that are of particular interest.

Testing can range from $70 for a single, residential swab or tape lift or a single allergen sample to a few hundred dollars for a multi-location air sample test.  All prices INCLUDE the lab analysis and over-the-phone review of the results with Regal Home Inspections, LLC.

To schedule your IAQ consultation please call 908 902 2590 or email Regal Home Inspections, LLC at frank07722@gmail.com.

A Superior Effort and Inspection – Part 2

A Superior Effort Part 2

By Frank J. Delle Donne, Licensed Home Inspector

January 10, 2015

For most people, purchasing a house is the largest purchase they have thus far made. Help ensure that you, “Buy with confidence. Sell with pride” ® by using Regal Home Inspections, LLC.

Introduction

On Friday, January 9, 2015 I was hired to conduct an inspection on a nicely renovated 52 year old house. It had been remodeled with updated bathrooms, new siding and despite its age, looked very nice and it absolutely was for the most part. Like the Superior Effort article I wrote in December 2014, I was informed that the house had also been recently inspected. The seller told me that the house had been inspected in the summer of 2014 by another potential buyer. That deal, I was told, fell through because of septic issues but the seller had the septic system replaced following that deal’s demise. I was also told by the seller that the, “only other thing” the other inspector found was an issue with the chimney flashing which they had fixed.

Just like I said in the December 20 edition of the Superior Effort article, perhaps another inspector would have cruised the rest of the way home on this second inspection but I did not. Following are some examples as to why, in my humble opinion, you should hire Regal Home Inspections, LLC to perform your new home inspection.

Examples

Here are some of the items that I found during the inspection that the, “other” inspector should have found.

1) The New Jersey law that oversees home inspectors requires that home inspectors test the, “Entrapment Protection Mechanism” for garage doors. This includes the photo-eye beams mounted close to the floor on the garage door tracks and the auto reverse in the event something gets caught under the door as it’s closing. One garage door had the photo-eye but the other did not. Additionally the doors required adjusting on the down-force-tension because they did not reverse when tested. Starting in 1993, garage door openers had to come with these safety features. It should be reported if they aren’t installed or operating in a home inspection report.

2) New Jersey Home Inspection laws follow the Standards of Practice of the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI). ASHI is actually mentioned in the NJ Administrative Code that oversees home inspectors and how they should perform their job. The Standard of Practice allows inspectors to inspect a sampling of regular electric outlets but the inspector must inspect all Ground Fault Circuit Interrupt (GFCI) outlets. GFCI outlets help protect people by disconnecting the electricity if the GFCI outlet detects that the electricity is going-to-ground in a manner that is abnormal. This might occur if stray voltage and current went through a person because of faulty wiring. That’s why GFCI outlets are required outside, in garages and near all water appliances; sinks, etc. to name a few. GFCI outlets are basics in 2015 construction just like a foundation and roof.  GFCI outlets in specific areas are mandatory. So when a house is being inspected for a sale, the inspector HAS TO CHECK EVERY GFCI outlet and every outlet that should be GFCI. Without getting too technical, suffice it to say that one GFCI outlet can protect the others that it serves in a multi-outlet circuit. In this photo, the GFCI outlet on the right (the one with the buttons), operates as it should.

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Outlet on right is GFCI. Outlet on left is NOT GFCI protected PLUS it has reverse polarity.

However, not only is the outlet next to it NOT GFCI, it is wired backward! The polarity is reversed. Again, without getting too technical, this is very dangerous. An outlet that is wired with reversed polarity has the potential to electrocute someone very easily because the “Hot” line is in the wrong place.

3) Another blatant error on the part of the inspector that was here 6 months back is the duct for the bathroom exhaust fan. Inspectors are trained to be aware of bathroom exhaust fans that are not installed with the duct work to the outside. They sometimes vent to inside the attic (see the @regalhomeinspec Inspection find of the week from late December with the vent fan with no ductwork). While they are often very hard to find because the fans and ducts are often under insulation or in hard to reach places, in the house yesterday, it was very easy to see and right in front of you, if you looked and cared to know what you were looking at.

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Silver duct from bathroom fan is blowing moist exhaust air into the attic. This can promote mold growth.

Conclusion

The bottom line is that I will do the best inspection possible. Combine that with my competitive pricing and I believe I offer the best professional home inspection value in New Jersey. For a house that was “inspected” by another licensed home inspector within the past 6 or 7 months, I found items that should have been found previously.

I would appreciate your comments about this article. Please email your comments to frank07722@gmail.com

About the author. I am a NJ Licensed Home Inspector. I am the owner and Inspector at Regal Home Inspections, LLC. In addition to being a New Jersey Licensed Home Inspector I am also a NJ-DEP certified Radon Measurement Technician and Regal Home Inspections, LLC has also collected samples for lead paint, allergens and mold. We are affiliated with the best labs that perform the sample evaluation and testing. We can also help facilitate the testing of septic system and numerous aspects of oil tank evaluations. This includes oil tank integrity testing, tank locate services and soil samples. We work to ensure that the house you’re buying is sound or that you know of any issues.