We will inspect your home, inside and out. As Certified Professional Home Inspectors, we have the knowledge and expertise to provide you with a thorough and professional, non-intrusive, visual inspection of your home, from roof to foundation. Outside the home, we will check the exterior walls, roof, driveway, deck, walls, fences, etc., then we will move inside to examine the walls, ceilings, floors, doors, and windows. The heating, air-conditioning, plumbing, and electrical systems will all be examined to ensure that they function as intended. Bathrooms, kitchens, and laundry rooms receive a check, along with the attic and basement or crawl space.
In Florida, any person offering mold related services, or claiming to have a credential of any kind for indoor environmental services, must be licensed by the state for mold services. There are two types of licenses; one for Mold Related Services - Assessor (MRSA), and one for Mold Related Services – Remediator (MRSR). The two different licenses exist because anyone who performs mold assessments is not allowed to provide mold remediation, and anyone who performs mold remediation is not allowed to perform mold assessments. The intent of the mold licensing law is to protect the general public by keeping the proverbial wolf away from the hen house. In other words, the separation of licenses and duties is designed to prevent a conflict of interest for consumers and prevent fraudulent activity that previously caused harm to thousands of home owners. You do not want the person who conducts your mold assessment and you are trusting to determine if you have a mold problem to turn around and profit from you by stating you need remediation services for thousands of more dollars. This creates a huge conflict of interest and is entirely unethical by any measure. Unfortunately, that’s what can happen if you are uninformed or do not hire a mold assessor first.
Be sure any person or company you consider for mold assessment has an active licensed for “mold assessment” and insured for not less than one million ($1,000,000) dollars, as required by law. It is very expensive and hard to establish. Be sure to verify that the actual license holder conducts your inspection, not an assistant. To verify a license, go to http://www.myfloridalicense.com/dbpr
Also, very important: before hiring a mold assessor, be sure you see a copy of their insurance certificate because the state does not verify or require proof of insurance when a license is issued – a sad loophole by lobbyists. However, the state mold law requires mold service providers to carry $1MM of insurance at all times.
If you are concerned about mold, be sure you only confer with or hire a licensed and insured “Mold Assessor” (MRSA), not a mold remediator. Be aware, mold assessors are the top level science professionals in mold and indoor air quality, and are the only licensed professionals allowed to make mold diagnosis and assessments. Also, an MRSA is the professional who writes the protocols to direct the actions of a mold remediator for mold problems. Never hire a remediator first, who then brings in “their” assessor – this is a serious conflict of interest and illegal, and it only favors a remediator, not you.
Mold is a microscopic organism. If any home is tested for mold, it will be found. However, that does not necessarily mean it is a problem. Mold is always present in every home, car, office, and building.
Anyone offering a “free” mold analysis is not believable. To know what type or quantity of mold exists in a home, air samples and possibly surface swabs must be taken and submitted for laboratory analysis. A “visual” inspection to confirm mold is impossible, it requires a microscope or other advanced laboratory analysis. Even areas that are suspected to have mold, must be sampled and verified. Mold can be a problem and yet have no visible manifestations. There are more than 100,000 species of mold known to exist; some benign, others more harmful. Only laboratory analysis can tell what type of mold is present in a home, and its concentration.
Also, by intent, there is no state or federal standard that defines what constitutes high or low levels of mold because different people respond differently to different molds.
In general, the young, the elderly, persons having allergies, and persons with respiratory difficulties are more susceptible to issues with mold. You can visit www.EPA.gov/mold for much more information.
A professional mold assessor should offer also ERMI testing and/or allergen testing for their clients. The days of simply taking cheap and easy air sample are hopefully coming to a close. That form of testing can be very misleading, but of course remains the most profitable for the service provider.
About Mold Assessment & TestingThe first thing to understand about mold is that there is a little mold everywhere - indoors and outdoors. It's in the air and can be found on plants, foods, dry leaves, and other organic materials.
It's very common to find molds in homes and buildings. After all, molds grow naturally indoors. Mold spores enter the home through doorways, windows, and heating and air conditioning systems. Spores also enter the home on animals, clothing, shoes, bags and people.
When mold spores drop where there is excessive moisture in your home, they will grow. Common problem sites include humidifiers, leaky roofs and pipes, overflowing sinks, bath tubs and plant pots, steam from cooking, wet clothes drying indoors, dryers exhausting indoors, or where there has been flooding.
The importance of mold in the real estate market today
Much has been made of indoor mold in advertising and the media lately, so it's a common concern for homeowners and buyers. It's common to find mold even in new homes. Whether you're selling your current home or looking into buying one, it's vital to get a mold inspection. Presence of active mold can drastically affect the resale value of any home.
For homeowners, a mold inspection will either put your mind at rest or make you aware of any problems that could otherwise cause delays or deal breakers once you've entered negotiations with a buyer. A professional mold inspection will give you a signed report from an expert before you put the home up for sale. Imagine being able to show a "clean bill of health" to potential buyers that express concerns - they'll be impressed by your thoroughness and commitment to your home.
For buyers, getting a mold inspection will ensure that you're not surprised by costly clean up and the potential health hazards of mold. If any mold is found to be present and active in the home, the mold inspection will allow you to ask the seller to do the clean up prior to buying the home.
Exposure to mold
Everyone is exposed to some amount of mold on a daily basis, most without any apparent reaction. Generally mold spores can cause problems when they are present in large numbers and a person inhales large quantities of them. This occurs primarily when there is active mold growth.
For some people, a small exposure to mold spores can trigger an asthma attack or lead to other health problems. For others, symptoms may only occur when exposure levels are much higher.
The health effects of mold can vary. The production of allergens or irritants can cause mild allergic reactions and asthma attacks. The production of potentially toxic mycotoxins can cause more severe reactions, and in rare cases death.
Should I be concerned about mold in my home?
Yes. If indoor mold is extensive, those in your home can be exposed to very high and persistent airborne mold spores. It is possible to become sensitized to these mold spores and develop allergies or other health concerns, even if one is not normally sensitive to mold.
Left unchecked, mold growth can cause structural damage to your home as well as permanent damage to furnishings and carpet.
According to the Centers for Disease Control*, "It is not necessary, however, to determine what type of mold you may have. All molds should be treated the same with respect to potential health risks and removal."
Can my home be tested for mold?
Yes. We offer thorough mold inspections that involve visual examinations of the most likely areas to harbor mold. We also take air samples indoors and out to determine whether the number of spores inside your home is significantly higher. If the indoor level is higher, it could mean that mold is growing inside your home.
We guarantee you will save money with our inspection or we'll refund 100% our inspection fee for homes built before 2005 without previous wind inspection.
We use the updated "Uniform Mitigation Verification Inspection Form" accepted by nearly all insurance companies.
These discounts apply only to the wind portion of your policy. They do not apply to mobile homes.
1. A Florida Licensed Professional Engineer is required to perform your home's Windstorm/Hurricane inspection. Call (772) 569-2141 to hire Gregory J. Bertaux, P.E. to perform your inspection, complete necessary engineering forms and provide submittals to your insurance company.
2. If your home meets 2001 Florida Building Code (FBC) compliance, get up to 45% discount off your wind insurance.
3. Roof deck attachment method gets up to 5% discount
4. Roof covering material type gets up to 5% discount
5. Roof to wall connectors method gets up to 18% discount
6. Roof shape gets up to 23% discount
7. Opening Protection system gets up to 5% discount
Your Home Insurer offers premium discounts up to 45% for hurricane mitigation features found on your home. With the exception of roof shape, which may be verified by a photograph, most mitigation features require independent certification by a licensed expert.
In addition, it is important to understand the how the windstorm premium discounts will be applied to your policy. First, the discounts granted for mitigation features are not cumulative. In other words, you simply cannot add each feature to arrive at your applicable discount. These construction features work together and your total policy discount is a function of all the property's features.
Second, all applicable mitigation premium discounts are applied only to the "wind" portion of your insurance premium.
Florida law requires every termite inspector to be an employee of a Certified Pest Control Operator (CPCO) that is a Licensed Pesticide Applicator, and to carry a state issued I.D. card with them during every inspection. Always ask to see it, and note there is no such thing as a “termite inspector license”. Inspectors must have authorization from the State Department of Agriculture, Bureau of Entomology verifiable by a “JE” identification card, not a license.
A termite inspection is actually a Wood Destroying Organism (WDO) inspection. The name is important because the inspector needs to look for more than just termites. Not only is the inspection conducted for termites, but it also includes inspection for Powder Post Beetles, Old House Borers, and Wood Decaying Fungi; all of which have the capability to cause damage to structures and their contents.
Termite inspections - subterranean termites can reach upper levels of structures even though their colony originates in the soil below structures.
Be aware, many home inspectors and pest control companies may offer cheap or even “free” inspections just to get into your house. Then, they say you need a chemical treatment or a warranty bond based on something they saw in the attic. This is how they make their money. Treatments can cost hundreds of dollars, and warranty bonds can cost several thousands of dollars. Most individuals selling those items are also working on commission. Inspectors who try to sell you an additional service or repair based on their inspection findings should not be relied upon. The offer creates a conflict of interest, and is reprehensible. Less than 10% of home inspectors are also authorized “Termite Inspectors”. To verify a persons credentials as an authorized WDO (termite) inspector, visit Florida’s Department of Agriculture website: www.floridatermitehelp.org, and on the left menu click on “Licensed Pesticide Applicator Search”, wait a minute and a small window will pop up. Enter the person’s name and click “search” for the results, then wait about 30 seconds.
It is common when you hire a home inspector who offers a cheap (<$125) termite inspection, one of their friends shows up for the inspection, who is the actual authorized WDO inspector, but who gives part of their fee back to the home inspector. Now, who can you trust, and what will you do when you are told they “found” evidence of termites in the attic, and you need a $750 treatment or an $8,000 house tenting?
A trustworthy WDO and home inspector will only inspect, and never try to sell you additional services. A quality termite inspection adds about two hours of time to the overall inspection and reporting process. All WDO inspections related to the sale of a property require a separate report to be provided to you on state form #DACS13645. It is required by law and must be given to the client. Additionally, the inspector must post a sticker at the property inspected that identifies the CPCO company, the inspector’s name, and date of the inspection. It is a crime for anyone to remove the sticker other than the homeowner.