MOLD has become a confusing issue. It may be assumed that a Termite Inspection would disclose the presence of mold as it seems similar to wood destroying fungi. This is generally not the case. It is not common practice for Pest Control Operators to comment on the presence of health related molds as this is outside of our licensing and experience. However, instances where moisture conditions are discovered during an inspection is an indicator that mold may also be present but the presence of mold will not be disclosed by the inspection report.
It is the position of the Pest Control Operators of California (PCOC) that Structural Pest Control Operators are neither qualified, authorized nor licensed to identify health related molds. This disclaimer will appear in paragraph 8 of the disclosure page at the end of our Inspection Report. Our license is limited to wood destroying pests, organisms and conducive conditions. The Structural Pest Control Board has determined that molds are not a wood destroying organism and are not to be disclosed in a typical inspection report. Mold may indicate an excessive moisture condition which must be reported and correction recommended. However, molds may be present even without an excessive moisture condition and may be caused by poor interior ventilation or moisture condensation. Mold may also be present but inactive after the original moisture source which caused it has been eliminated.
The following quote is taken from a Q&A on the mold fact sheet from the California Department of Health Services:
"Should I test my home for mold? The California Department of Health Services does not recommend testing as the first step to determine if you have a mold problem. Reliable sampling for mold can be expensive, and requires equipment not available to the general public. Residents of individual private homes must pay a contractor to carry out such sampling, as it is not usually done by public health agencies. Mold cleanup is usually considered one of the housekeeping tasks of the private citizen, along with roof and plumbing repairs, sweeping and house cleaning.
Another problem is that there are few available standards for judging what is an acceptable quantity of mold. In all locations, there is some outdoor levels of molds. If sampling is carried out, an outdoor air sample needs to be taken at the same time as the sample indoors, to provide a baseline measurement. Since the susceptibility of individuals varies so greatly, sampling is at best a general guide. "
We are all exposed to most molds on a daily basis without incident. However, when someone who may be more susceptible (small children, elderly persons, persons with weakened immune systems, chemotherapy patients, etc.) encounters mold spores in excessive amounts, the results could be serious. Specific molds such as "Stachybotrys" produce mycotoxins whose effects can be serious. These mycotoxins remain in dead mold spores even after the mold has been killed. For more information on health related molds and indoor air quality, go to the
California Department of Health Services Indoor Air Quality Program web page, or link directly to their
MOLD Fact Sheet web page.