With more and more people becoming aware of the harmful effects of allergens and mold, mold inspectors are in high demand. Not only can this career be lucrative, but it can also be emotionally fulfilling. With all the benefits of being a mold inspector, it does come with some drawbacks. The road to becoming a mold inspector isn’t always easy, and it does require training and certain qualities to be successful.
Below, we will dive into the required training and qualities a mold inspector must possess to be good at their job, but first, we will explain some mold inspection basics.
What is a Mold Inspector?
If a home or business owner has an inkling that their property is overrun with mold, a mold inspector is who they call to confirm their suspicion. Essentially, a mold inspector identifies the presence of mold and defines the size of the problem. Once the inspector confirms mold is present, they are responsible for testing it to determine the specific type of mold in the property and how many mold spores are in the air.
What Happens During a Mold Inspection?
A mold inspection is a fairly visual process that involves the inspector examining the property for mold they can see. While typically the only inspection equipment they use is a flashlight and camera, some inspectors use a moisture meter to help them determine if a particular area is wet or has been wet recently (a typical warning side of mold).
During the inspection, the mold inspector will speak to the property owner about where they’ve seen signs of mold or water damage. If there is a chance that mold is growing in an inaccessible place, the mold inspector may need to remove a section of the drywall or access a vent or HVAC unit, so it’s crucial that mold inspectors are comfortable with tight and dark spaces.
How Can You Become a Licensed Mold Inspector?
A mold inspector needs to be certified in the state they’re working in before they can legally inspect or test a property for mold. Before an inspector can pass the state certification exam, they’ve typically gone through hundreds of hours of training—both in the classroom and in the field. Many mold inspectors also have two or three additional certifications in addition to their state-backed certification.
Because the mold inspection process is always changing, states typically require additional yearly courses to maintain mold inspector certifications. Some inspectors opt to supplement this additional required training with courses covering different classifications of mold to specialize their certifications further.
What is the Difference Between a Mold Inspector and a Mold Remediator?
Although most people interchange the titles ‘mold inspector’ and ‘mold remediator,’ they actually have very different jobs. A mold inspector is responsible for identifying and testing the mold while a mold remediator’s job is to remove the mold from a home or business.
A mold remediator is the one that has to get into those tight spaces and ensure that every mold spore has been removed. They have the delicate job of removing the mold while maintaining the structural integrity of the building.
Because there is such a special technique involved in removing every spot, mold remediators must go through similar training courses as a mold inspector would, but with an additional focus on mold removal techniques. Similar to mold inspectors, mold remediators also need to be certified with their state to operate legally.
Top 3 Qualities of Successful Mold Inspectors
Not only do you need to be legally certified, but to be a successful mold inspector, you need a few other attributes and qualities.
1. Genuinely Care About People
Although this might sound a little silly, a good mold inspector needs to care about people and their health. As you may know, mold can have detrimental effects on a person’s health, and unless the totality of the mold is discovered, your client’s health can continue to deteriorate. When you care about your client’s health, you ensure your inspection is thorough and honest.
2. Knowledge of Construction
As we mentioned above, the job involves inspecting HVAC systems and looking behind drywall and sheetrock to find the source of the spores. These tasks will all be more manageable if you have a knowledge of construction and the different building blocks of a home. Construction knowledge ensures that your inspection is minimally invasive and doesn’t further damage a client’s home.
3. An Understanding of Microbiology
Of course, a successful mold inspector must understand how mold interacts with construction materials and how it can spread. Mold inspectors must also understand the metabolic cycle and growth cycles of fungi so that they can fully understand the depth of the mold problem. While some mold inspectors have this microbiology knowledge from college, others garner their knowledge through self-teaching and online courses.
Get Your Mold Inspector Certification
Now that you understand what it takes to become a certified mold inspector, are you ready to undergo the appropriate training and start your new career? Sign up for our Mold Inspector Certification course today!