Updated: Feb 22, 2019
In the state of New York, a licensed mold assessment contractor must conduct all mold assessments. This law went into effect January 1, 2016. So, regardless if professional contractors, tradesmen, or inspectors have experience in performing mold assessments, it would be illegal for them to do so anytime after that date.
What is a Mold Assessment?
A mold assessment is conducted by a licensed mold professional, whereas a mold issue is thoroughly evaluated. Once the level of mold contamination is determined, a mold remediation plan is formulated. This plan involves the detailed methods required for complete removal of the mold, the measures that will be taken to prevent future regrowth, an estimated time for completion, and a quote for cost.
Is a Mold Test Performed?
During the mold assessment, the assessor does not typically perform a mold air test. This is due to the fact that there are no set benchmarks of “safe” levels of mold spores, either by state or national law. Because mold naturally occurs and exists practically everywhere, such a test is not required.
However, if a lot of mold is present in an area or there are signs of water damage and the presence of musty odors an air sample may be taken. This is done using a collection device and a pump to capture mold spores in the air. After collection the sample is sent to a lab for testing to identify the type of mold present.
Additionally, surface samples are also taken, if the mold assessor deems it necessary. The surface samples will not capture mold spores but it is useful in identifying the type of mold that is present. This sampling is captured via tape or swab sample, or gathering a bulk piece of the surface that is sent for lab testing.
Prior to testing, inquire about the purpose of the test and ask any questions necessary for gaining clarity in the matter. Generally, the mold assessment consists of a visual inspection whereas the property is looked over very carefully. This visual inspection involves checking out areas that are prone to mold growth or spaces that have high levels of moisture.
Completion of the Mold Assessment
A copy of the detailed assessment, or mold remediation plan, will be provided to the property owner after it is finished. If the property owner decides to move forward with the mold remediation, a copy of the plan will need to be provided to the licensed mold assessment contractor.
The licensed mold assessor will be able to provide objective opinions on the next steps you should take.
The New York State law does not mandate that mold remediation be completed. However, if the process is done, the law does require that licensed mold remediation contractors and abators perform services.