Certified Mold Inspection/Testing2023-08-29T20:19:59-07:00




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Comprehensive Mold Testing

Trained in Building Science, we perform on-site building investigations to evaluate the need for mold remediation and prevention advice. Also trained in mold and other particle identification (forensic microscopy), we use the most state-of-the-art comprehensive third party testing lab so there is no conflict of interest. We also use the most up to date equipment including thermal imaging to locate any mold/water damage issue.






We postulate that even with mechanical agitation (banging on the wall during wall check sampling) the flow rate of the sampling method does not move enough air to reliably pick up surface contamination unless the mold genera/species happens to be at a particularly high state of active sporulation. The tool remains in the professional’s arsenal, to be used with discretion. Vacuum samples of Soft Goods of carpeting, drapes, furniture, clothing permits testing for mold contamination. We use this method for screening of areas where mold is not visible, and in clearance testing. MOLD CULTURES – Validity and Usefulness of Mold Cultures & Culture-Based Home Test Kits for mold. 


The presence of mold, water damage, or musty odors should be addressed immediately. A visual inspection is the most important initial step in identifying a possible contamination problem. The extent of any water damage and mold growth should be visually assessed. This assessment is important in determining remedial strategies. Ventilation systems should also be visually checked when appropriate, particularly for damp filters but also for damp conditions elsewhere in the system and overall cleanliness. Ceiling tiles, gypsum wallboard (sheetrock), cardboard, paper, and other cellulosic surfaces should be given careful attention during the visual inspection. The use of equipment such as a boroscope, to view spaces in ductwork or behind walls, a moisture meter, to detect moisture in building materials, or a digital camera may be helpful in identifying and recording sources of fungal growth and the extent of water damage.


Air sampling I the most important aspect in determining if you and your family are breathing toxic or harmful molds. We use modern technology, state-of-the-art equipment and years of experience to determine if your air is harmful. This is of paramount importance as your life can literally depend on it. We only test and inspect for issues. We never offer repair or remediation, so you know you’re only getting a true, honest assessment and not a biased review in order to give us a leg-up on the repair job.


Trained in Building Science, we perform on-site Building investigations to evaluate the need for and extent of mold remediation in buildings in order to give mold remediation and prevention advice. Surface sampling may be used to determine if a particular area has harmful or toxic mold. Remember, the surface is only the beginning and the most obvious evidence. A thorough inspection includes surface and air sampling.

Mold Inspection & Testing

We offer comprehensive written reports for all Mold Test, which will identify the type of mold present, the amount of mold, and a detailed recommendation for removing or preventing any Toxic Mold.

Why should I ask to have an inspection done?2023-07-05T09:57:23-07:00
  • You smell mold but do not see it anywhere. An experienced mold inspector will sample for hidden mold sources (i.e. wall/ceiling cavities). This will help determine if and what level of remediation is necessary.
  • Before you purchase a house or investment property you will want to identify if mold is a pre-existing issue. Mold remediation can be expensive and if it is required you will want to consider that additional cost before the sale is completed.
  • Mold remediation work has been performed and you want to make sure that this process was done correctly. AMS will thoroughly inspect the remediated area(s) preferably while walls and ceilings remain open, before flooring is replaced and prior to new building materials being put in place. Mold may not be visible but still may exist if remediation was not done successfully. “Clearance Testing” will give you piece of mind that your money was well spent and that the mold was cleaned according to industry standards. Most importantly you will know the mold contamination has been removed.
Do I have to have a professional come or can I test for mold myself?2023-07-05T09:57:47-07:00

Only professionals who have experience with mold issues and are familiar with current guidelines should test for mold. Since mold is found everywhere, only a professional is trained to identify if the levels in your home or business are “normal” or if professional work is needed to remove a mold contamination problem.

In addition we believe that mold testing should only be performed by a company that is “independent” of the remediation process. This assures the inspection will be unbiased. A Mold Specialist does not perform any remediation services due to this fair business practice. AMS can recommend several successful and reputable remediation companies that have a proven history of high quality of remediation services.

In what ways can I be exposed to mold?2023-07-05T09:58:29-07:00

When moldy materials becomes damaged or disturbed, spores are released into the air. Exposure can occur if you inhale the spores, directly handle moldy materials, or accidentally ingest the mold. Certain molds produce chemicals called mycotoxins (myco = fungus, toxin = harmful or poisonous substance) and mold volatile organic compounds (irritating chemicals released into the air = “musty odor”). These may cause illnesses in individuals sensitive to the chemicals or who are immunocomprised, or who have become sensitive after long-term exposure to mold.

Can mold affect my health?2023-07-05T09:58:47-07:00

Under normal circumstances, most mold types and levels are not harmful to healthy individuals. However, when molds grow indoors, their numbers increase to levels that can become harmful. Long-term exposure to mold may cause or worsen conditions such as asthma, hay fever, or other allergies. The most common symptoms of mold exposure are cough, chest or sinus congestion, runny nose, eye irritations, and aggravation of asthma, chronic respiratory or sinus infections. Depending on the exposure level and your sensitivity to the mold, more serious health effects may result.

Should I see a doctor if I am exposed to mold?2023-07-05T10:00:35-07:00

If you believe that you or someone in your family has symptoms that you suspect might be linked to mold exposure, you should consult a physician who has experience with mold exposure illnesses. If mold testing was performed in the house or building, bring a copy of the report, including any accompanying data tables to your doctor. Keep in mind that many symptoms associated with mold exposure can also be associated with other environmental problems. Tell you doctor about the symptoms, when they began, and the period of time you think you were exposed to mold. If you do not get better or symptoms worsen over time, an indoor mold inspection will be important in finding mold contamination sources and suggesting how to solve the problem.


Introduction to mold testing and sampling An IAQ or “mold investigator” cannot reliably identify a mold genera or species growing on a Building surface by the naked eye. Despite the recent public fear created by media attention, including a now-refuted “Toxic black mold” Stachybotrys chartarum study involving infant illness and death, it is simply not the case that “black mold” in Buildings is necessarily a danger to occupants. In fact, having investigated many Buildings quite carefully, I assert that in most cases the “black mold” that you see in Buildings is most often an “indicator organism” telling you that conditions are right for mold formation. we have often found more problematic molds in such properties, such as species of Aspergillus sp. or Penicillium sp. which are airborne, travel in the Building, and are more likely to be bothering the occupants than a large, sticky, non-easily-airborne spore like S. chartarum. These harder to see, often light-colored molds, are quite often missed entirely by inexpert owners and amateur “mold inspectors” who go on to collect, over-report the occurrence of, and react to the “black stuff.” One result has been unnecessary expense for “mold testing” and in some cases unnecessary mold remediation. Some of our articles, as well as writing by others who study this field, address these problems and offer help in deciding what level of trouble and expense are appropriate.

Areas of Service2023-07-05T09:54:10-07:00

Los Angeles County Mold Inspector, Mold Inspection Los Angeles County, Mold Testing and Mold Inspections in Los Angeles County California, Mold Abatement Los Angeles, Mold Certified Inspection, Mold clearance testing Santa Monica. A Mold Specialist is the most experienced mold inspection company in Los Angeles County specializing exclusively in mold inspections and mold testing in residential and commercial properties. Call a Mold Specialist today and speak with one of our certified inspectors. Mold is a natural living organism in our environment. It exists in the air in the form microscopic spores that move in and out of buildings through doors, windows, vents, HVAC systems and anywhere else that air enters. If you suspect you have a mold problem, it is always best to have a certified mold inspector assess the over-all condition and make the appropriate recommendations for correction. Los Angeles County Mold Inspector Mold Inspection Los Angeles County Mold Testing and Mold Inspections in Los Angeles County California Mold Abatement Los Angeles Mold Certified Inspection.


A Mold Specialist has been in the business for over 25 years. We are Bored-certified and Nationally-accredited. With over 200 credit hours in the water damage/microbial field, we are true experts in the industry. We are also expert witnesses, should you have a need for us in any investigation or hearing.

Sampling Methods2023-07-05T09:54:04-07:00

A Description & Critique of Contemporary Indoor Mold Sampling/Collection/Testing Methods Air samples to “test” for mold A collection device, slide, cassette, or tape are used with a calibrated air pump to collect airborne particles. we are not referring to culture plates which rely on passive collection or settlement of particles as these have even worse inaccuracies and errors than the reservations I describe about active air sampling described here. Some common examples of air samplers include:

Impaction samplers (Burkard™, Allergenco™) collect airborne particles through a venturi-slit onto a prepared microscope slide using a equipment incorporating a calibrated air pump and a static or moveable slide permitting single-use or time-lapse sampling. Cassette samplers (Air-o-Cell™) use a patented 37mm cassette connected to a calibrated pump (typically at 15 lpm). The cassette is used to collect airborne particles through a venturi-slit onto a proprietary media on a cover-slip which is in turn mounted onto a microscope slide in the laboratory. Cassette samplers using an MCE filter cassette connected to a calibrated pump. The filter can be cleared and examined microscopically (qualitatively, counting is tough except with the Bi-Air™), or used to prepare a culture, or both. Cassette-like samplers use a calibrated pump connected to a patented stainless steel venturi-device which accepts a microscope slide prepared with a collection media. Anderson-type samplers which collect particles directly onto a culture dish – for “viable sampling” to “test” for mold. Culture samples may be useful in some cases to better identify or to speciate mold which has already been found in a large reservoir. Otherwise it has limitations we discuss elsewhere in this document. Anderson-type impaction samplers which collect particles on tape wrapped around on a drum or Rotorod samplers which collect particles on glass rods are used for outdoor pollen and spore counting and reporting in the IAAA allergy network. They are not well-suited for indoor Building assessment though some folks use the high-error rotorod sampler indoors. Shortcomings of air sampling for mold – some specifics But as a “mold test” for the presence or absence of a mold problem in a Building, a negative air sample result is of little confidence. As a measure of “mold exposure” quantitative analysis (spores/cubic meter) is invalid unless long-term time-weighted average measurements are made under all varying Building conditions. While this is an important diagnostic tool, and one which we apply regularly, it cannot be relied alone on in the way some investigators would use it: dashing into a Building and grabbing an air sample.

Air Sampling2023-07-05T09:53:49-07:00

Air sampling as a “pass/fail” or “present/absent” test for mold in Buildings is unreliable as a “mold test.” Many variables cause a wide range of particle levels in air over short intervals. However this method has a place in a thoughtful Building investigation: air sampling can be useful as a background check for the possibility that there is a large reservoir source which has not yet been found in a Building. But a negative result is of absolutely no confidence, and quantitative work (spores/cubic meter) is invalid unless long-term time-weighted average measurements are made under all varying Building conditions. our own time-lapse sampling proves that particle levels vary by a factor of 10,000 due to common variations in Building conditions such as fan on off, human activity, mechanical disturbance of moldy stuff, etc. While this is an important tool it cannot be relied on in the way most “inspectors” would use it, dashing into a Building and grabbing an air sample. See “Quantitative Analysis” comments below for an elaboration or see Mold Testing: Air samples and their interpretation – a quick tutorial.inspect-ny.com/sickhouse/tutorial.htm

Spores are collected but not spore producing conidiophores, hyphae and other components are collected, making identification incomplete and more difficult than with tape or cultured samples. Spores are desiccated and may be damaged by the collection method, interfering with culture efforts if this follow-up step is needed. In sum, air sampling is useful as a background screen for the possibility that there is a large reservoir source which has not yet been found in a Building, and may be useful to compare relative particle levels between a problem area and a control area, or in an area before and after cleaning. Independent from spore counts, a qualitative analysis of an air sample by an expert technician can provide compelling evidence of a nearby problem mold reservoir in certain cases, for example if the indoor sample contains long chains of Penicillium or Aspergillus spores. These spore chains are so fragile that they break apart quickly while traveling through the air. So spore chains found in (a pre-remediation) indoor sample, even if the total count is low, deserve some further thinking and investigation.

What steps do I take if my home or business is contaminated with mold?2023-07-30T18:35:30-07:00

To have a comprehensive mold inspection to determine the source of moisture, the first step is to find the source of moisture that led to the mold growth and have it resolved. Mold contamination should be removed as soon as it is discovered. If visible mold is seen on walls or ceilings, it might be necessary to collect additional samples inside the wall/ceiling cavities to identify the extent of contamination and narrow the scope of remediation work. When surfaces containing mold contamination are disrupted, millions of spores are spread throughout the air. Small patches of mold growth may be carefully and properly removed without professional assistance. Extensive and/or recurring mold growth might be an indication of a pervasive problem. This problem will most likely require a skilled mold remediation company who will use proper containment and removal equipment, depending on the situation.

Different levels of contamination require varying degrees of remediation. Remediation can range from disinfecting a small area affected by mold to “gutting” a room that has had chronic moisture intrusion and severe mold growth. If the mold returns after remediation has been completed, it indicates that a moisture problem still exists or that the contamination was not completely removed.

We Serve L.A. County & Surrounding Areas

A Mold Specialist is the most experienced mold inspection company in Los Angeles County specializing exclusively in mold inspections and mold testing in residential and commercial properties. Mold is a natural living organism in our environment. It exists in the air in the form microscopic spores that move in and out of buildings through doors, windows, vents, HVAC systems and anywhere else that air enters. If you suspect you have a mold problem, it is always best to have a certified mold inspector assess the over-all condition and make the appropriate recommendations for correction.


When it comes to mold, time is of the essence. We also know that many things are contingent upon the results of a mold test and inspection. We always offer a quick turnaround for typical results. We also offer same-day results for an additional cost. Regardless, you’ll have valuable information quickly, so you can form a game plan.

Request More Information or Get a Free Quote for Service

If you have questions about mold inspection, mold testing, indoor air quality testing, mold and mildew inspection, or any of our other indoor air quality services , we can help! Contact us today to get more information or to schedule your service consultation. Learn more about your options by calling A Mold Specialist, Inc. at 866-988-MOLD (6653) or completing the information request form.

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