Mold Inspections

Mold & Allergen Inspections  

Public awareness of indoor air quality (IAQ) is on the rise (as it should be). North Americans spend approximately 90% of than time indoors and the time spent indoors means people are more susceptible to indoor air quality problems than ever before.

Residential units should have air sampling preformed every 3 years and commercial units annually to prevent the spread and accumulation of toxic molds and allergens.

ThermoPhoto Inc. Residential & Commercial Building Inspections sends a certified technician to perform a full house inspection, entailing the extraction of several air and moisture samples present throughout the home. These samples are then tested. The tests are performed in order to determine the type of bacteria present, the rate at which it is spreading, as well as its severity and source of formation.

A detailed report will then be provided to our client clarifying the lab results and explaining the process’s available to eliminate the problem.

Why Home Owners should be Concerned about Mold

More than a cosmetic problem, mold can damage your home and contribute to health issues. Outside, molds are an important part of the ecosystem. They help break down plant and animal matter. When mold grows inside, it can sometimes be problematic. It can cause allergies and infections in some people.

There are than (3) reasons why there should be a concern about fungi in the indoor environment:

  1. potential health effects of exposure to fungi and their byproducts;
  2. the effect of fungal contamination on the structural integrity of a building; and
  3. the negative aesthetic effects fungi can produce both visually and on the human olfactory systems.

Let’s examine the types of mold you’re most likely to find in your home, the potential effects on your health, and how to get rid of mold.

Types of mold:

The most common indoor molds are:

Cladosporium – This mold is brown, green, or black. Cladosporium grows in both warm and cool locations. It’s most often found on wood, carpets, or fabrics, and in heating and cooling ducts.

Penicillium – This fuzzy mold is blue, green, or yellow. It’s often found under carpets, in basements, and in insulation, especially when there’s been water damage.

Aspergillus – Aspergillus is green, white, or gray with dark spots and a powdery look. This type of mold doesn’t need much ventilation. It thrives in fabrics, walls, attics, and basements, as well as on dry food items.

There are other molds that aren’t found indoors as often as those listed above, but you may still find them in your home. These include:

Alternaria – This fuzzy mold is white with black spots. It tends to grow in fabrics and wallpaper, near windows and air conditioners, and in bathrooms and kitchens.

Aureobasidium – This mold is pink with black spots. It’s most commonly found on wood, walls, caulking, and grout.

Stachybotrys chartarum – Also called black mold, this greenish-black mold grows on things with a high cellulose content. It’s usually found on paper, fiberboard, and gypsum board (drywall).

Trichoderma – This mold is creamy white but turns green when it releases spores. It’s often found on wood, windows, and in bathrooms and kitchens.

Symptoms of mold exposure:

Having mold in your home won’t necessarily make you sick, but it does have the potential to cause certain health issues.

Touching or inhaling mold spores can cause allergy-like symptoms such as:

  • runny nose and congestion
  • eye irritation
  • sneezing
  • coughing
  • sore throat
  • skin rash
  • headache
  • lung irritation
  • wheezing

Mold exposure is not an emergency for most people. However, you should let your doctor know if you have a health condition that puts you at greater risk of complications and you believe you’re experiencing symptoms of a mold-related infection.

Mold in house

Mold can be black, white, spotted, or just about any color. It may appear powdery, cottony, or velvety.

If you notice a spot and aren’t sure if it’s just an old stain or a splotch of dirt, here’s how to tell if it could be a sign of a mold problem:

  • It has a musty, earthy smell.
  • There’s a nearby source of moisture, but not much light.
  • You see warping, cracking, or peeling of whatever material it’s growing on.
  • A drop of bleach lightens its color in a minute or two.
  • Unchecked mold will continue to grow. Dirt and old stains won’t.
  • How common is mold in buildings?
  • Mold is very common in homes and buildings.

How does mold get indoors?

Outdoor molds release tiny spores that float through the air. These spores can enter your home via:

  • doors
  • windows
  • heating and air conditioning vents
  • clothing and shoes
  • pets
  • Once mold spores get inside, they can grow in the right conditions.

Mold spores grow in spaces with moisture, such as:

  • in sinks, bathtubs, and showers
  • near leaky pipes
  • around windows
  • in basements, crawl spaces, and attics

They can latch onto a variety of materials, including:

  • fabrics
  • carpet
  • paper
  • wood
  • ceiling tiles
  • dust
  • paint
  • wallpaper
  • insulation
  • How do you know if you have a mold problem?

Anytime you see or smell mold in your house, it’s a problem. All types of mold can potentially cause health issues and need to be removed.

Mold starts out as a little spot but grows quickly. You’ll usually notice it early on, unless it’s in an out-of-the-way location.

ThermoPhoto Mold Services

Every home should be Inspected & Sampled by one of our certified technicians who can provide:

  • Swab Samples
  • Air and Moisture Tests
  • Bacteria Tests
  • Inner-Wall Scopes
  • Infrared Thermographic Pictures
  • Manual Readers
  • Laser Scanners for Foundation Beams
  • Leak Detection

(Every inspection is different so you may only need one, a couple, or possibly all of these services.)

We provide the following mold services for homes, municipal buildings, corporate offices and educational facilities:

  • Full Inspections & Sampling
    • Lab Testing
    • Investigation and Report

Price of Inspection:

ThermoPhoto Inc. uses the most reliable lab in Southwestern Ontario, and because we operate in volume, we are able to offer the lowest price per sample to our clients in London & surrounding area. Please call 519.636.7217 for a quote or email:

Frequently Asked Questions

What is mold?

Molds are organisms that may be found indoors and outdoors. They are part of the natural environment and play an important role in the environment by breaking down and digesting organic material. Molds are neither plants nor animals. They are part of the kingdom Fungi and have no place in your home where they can threaten your air quality.

Why Be Concerned?

Mold is not usually a problem indoors—unless mold spores land on a wet or damp spot and begin growing. As molds grow, they digest whatever they are growing on. Unchecked mold growth can damage buildings and furnishings; molds cannot wood, damage drywall, and eventually cause structural damage to buildings. Mold can cause cosmetic damage, such as stains to furnishings. The potential human health effects of mold are also a concern. It is important, therefore, to prevent mold from growing indoors.

There are than (3) reasons why there should be a concern about fungi in the indoor environment:

People who have concerns about health effects of mold exposure should seek the counsel of a health care professional.

Types of Mold Inspections

There are two types of mold inspections. One type is the Complete Mold Inspection. The other type is the Limited Mold Inspection. All sampling is performed according to the IAC2 Mold Sampling Procedures.

Complete Mold Inspection

A Complete Mold Inspection includes:

  • Visual examination of the entire building, its systems and components
  • Moisture, temperature, and humidity measurements
  • Mold samples

Limited Mold Inspection

A Limited Mold Inspection includes:

  • Visual examination limited to a specific, defined area of the building
  • Mold samples

For further information on mold, visit:

  • Work Place Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS)
  • Canada Mortgage & Housing Corporation (CMHC) Then type “MOLD” in the search box.
  • Call ThermoPhoto Inc. Residential & Commercial Building Inspections for your mold sampling needs and requirements.