Here’s What You Need to Know About Mold Inspections

By Amanda Lutz | January 26, 2024

Person with clipboard in new apartment completing a mold inspection.

Homeowners or renters who suspect they may have mold growth should act quickly, as mold can pose health risks and eat away at the surfaces it lives on. Below, we guide you through how to contact mold remediation companies, manage a mold inspection, clean mold, and more.


What Is Mold?

Mold is a type of fungus that grows in moist places, such as soil and plants, and decomposes organic matter. Mold spreads through microscopic spores that float through the air and land on wet surfaces. Those wet surfaces become breeding grounds for growth.

Mold can grow quickly on carpets, wood, paper, insulation, and food. Once mold develops and spreads, it can cause health problems, including the following:


When to Do a Mold Inspection

A mold inspection is a thorough assessment of your home to detect mold growth. A professional may use several methods to locate spores or growth and identify mold types.

Consider contacting an inspector in the following cases.

If you don’t own your home or apartment but suspect you have mold, contact your landlord or building management immediately and request a mold inspection.


Mold Inspection vs. Mold Testing

Mold inspections and mold tests differ. A mold inspector conducts an investigation to find mold using the following methods:

Mold testing, on the other hand, refers to testing samples for mold spores. Inspectors take air samples, surface swabs, and material collections, such as drywall or insulation, to determine how severe a mold infestation is. This can be helpful to identify a hidden mold problem or the exact location of an infestation.


What to Expect During a Mold Inspection

Expect your mold inspector to ask you when you first noticed a potential problem and whether you experienced any recent leaks or floods. The inspector will test areas that are prone to moisture using thermal imaging and hygrometers, which are devices that measure humidity and moisture content in air samples.

An inspector will explore basements, bathrooms, heating systems, and HVAC systems for mold. Inspectors may also collect surface samples to send to testing services.

A typical inspection could take up to two hours, but each inspection is different. You may receive an analysis report a few days after an inspection that includes test results and recommendations for addressing mold growth.


Mold Inspection Costs

Mold inspections cost between $300 and $1,019, with an average price of $659.* The final price depends on several factors, including the following:

A mold inspector may suggest the tests in the table below to determine the extent of your infestation.

Test Type

Average Mold Inspection Cost

Mold culture test

$50

HVAC test

$50–$75

Stain test

$150

Swab test

$200–$300

Air test

$250–$350

*All cost data in this article was sourced from Angi.


How to Choose a Quality Mold Contractor

An experienced and reputable inspector will perform a thorough assessment and provide accurate information. Some general contractors may have mold inspection experience, but most don’t. Take the following steps to ensure you hire the right contractor:

  1. Start researching mold inspectors online, and ask friends and family for recommendations.
  2. Search for online reviews of companies you’ve found, and check Better Business Bureau ratings to learn about a company’s business acumen, experience, and knowledge.
  3. Find state or municipality licensing, certifications, and insurance information, which is available through your local and state governments, or through companies themselves. The Environmental Protection Agency also publishes a list of contacts for advice about indoor air quality. 
  4. Collect estimates to determine which company and services fit your budget.

What Happens if an Inspection Reveals Mold?

If an inspection reveals mold, you must decide on a course of action. If the mold covers a space that is less than 10 square feet, then you should be able to clean the area yourself. If the infestation is larger, or you have extensive water damage, contact a remediation company.

A mold remediation specialist may recommend the following solutions if you have more widespread mold issues:


Mold Prevention

After you’ve properly sanitized an area that’s experienced mold growth, you must take certain steps to prevent another mold infestation.


Our Recommendation

You must remove mold immediately upon noticing it to keep yourself healthy and your home safe. We recommend finding an experienced mold inspector or remediation company to confirm a mold infestation and deciding how to remove mold growth quickly.


Mold Inspection FAQ

How do you test for mold in your house?

You test for mold in your house with air tests and surface sampling. You don’t need to conduct tests if the mold is visible.

How do mold experts detect mold?

Mold experts detect mold using visual and scent tests, moisture detection, and infrared thermal graphing. They may recommend air tests and surface sampling if they detect mold in your home.

What are the symptoms of mold exposure?

The symptoms of mold exposure include a runny nose, sinus congestion, eye irritation, coughing, wheezing, skin rashes, and headaches.

How do I know if mold is dangerous?

You’ll know if mold is dangerous if you identify toxic mold in your home. Toxic mold can be black, gray, slimy, or soot-like or have furry orange or brown spots. If you’ve come across toxic mold, contact a professional remediation company immediately, and avoid touching it.

What are the best ways to remove mold?

The best ways to remove mold are by scrubbing surfaces with detergent and/or contacting a professional remediation company. Quickly fix any leaks or water problems, ventilate affected rooms, and completely dry affected areas after you’ve cleaned them.