Residential mold testing can range from $250 to $300 on average, while commercial mold testing can start at $500. Testing isolated areas can cost less, but most experts recommend more thorough testing.
Professional mold inspectors can help determine if a home, office or commercial property contains unhealthy levels of mold. Mold is a natural part of the environment, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and can be found almost everywhere, including inside of homes in safe levels. However, mold can also damage a home and people’s health when it grows at an abnormal scale indoors. A pro knows the signs of troublesome mold growth, and how to test in ways that don't make it worse. Here are some concerns you might have, and why it's a good idea to get this looked after sooner rather than later.
What will I find in this guide?
- What affects the Cost of Mold Inspection?
- Type of Mold Test
- Swab testing: $200–$300
- Air cell testing: $250–$350
- Residential vs. Commercial Mold Tests
- When to Test for Mold
- Benefits of Mold Testing
- Mitigating Health Issues Caused by Mold
- Identifying Hidden Mold
- Tips for Hiring a Mold Inspector
What affects the Cost of Mold Inspection?
The type of test, area to be tested, and the number of additional swabs and tests all affect the total cost of mold inspection.
Type of Mold Test
Several types of mold tests are available, including air samples, cavity samples and surface samples. Mold inspection experts may employ more than one type of test to determine what the mold levels are in a home. It’s important mold testing professionals take a wide swath of samples because a high level of mold in one place does not necessarily mean there is a serious mold problem throughout the entire house.
Testing prices vary depending on how many square feet the home or property is, how many surface areas need to be tested and how extensive the mold infestation could be. Here are some national average example prices:
Swab testing: $200–$300
This test collects a surface swab from a potentially infested area for testing in a lab. Some pros have concerns about this being the sole test done because it only gathers a small amount of data from a certain area of the house. It’s frequently done in conjunction with air testing.
Air cell testing: $250–$350
This test collects an air sample in the home to measure the amount of mold spores in the air. It is frequently done in conjunction with swab testing to ensure more complete data. Costs are higher for this test because the equipment required is more expensive.
Residential vs. Commercial Mold Tests
Residential mold tests are usually less costly than commercial tests. Here are some examples from Unbiased Mold Inspection & Testing in Washington, D.C. of mold inspection costs and how they vary by property:
- Residential testing: $250–$350, including inspection, reports and two mold tests—one control and one inside
- Commercial testing for an entire building: $500, including inspection, reports and two mold tests—one control and one inside
- Commercial testing for an isolated area: $300, including inspection, reports and two mold tests—one control and one inside
- Each additional sample: $75 per sample
When to Test for Mold
Signs to look for include visible mold in the home, a noticeable odor of mold, water damage, or people living in the home who have a persistent cough or sore throat. Other signs of mold can be cracks in paint, rust, dust, warped ceilings or walls, and water stains. Indoor mold is often found in the basement, air ducts, attic, bathrooms, crawl spaces, and other locations where moisture gathers. Mold can be present and detected during a visual inspection in areas where moisture gathers. It may first be caught during a routine home inspection during real estate transactions, or flagged when those living or working in a space seem plagued by health problems.
Benefits of Mold Testing
Mold testing by local professionals accurately identifies the presence of mold in a home or commercial property, and gears you up to address the problem head on.
Mitigating Health Issues Caused by Mold
Typically caused by excess indoor moisture, mold spores can bloom and trigger allergies, respiratory illness and asthma. Many types of mold can trigger health problems like illness or allergies. Most notable among them is Stachybotrys chartarum, commonly referred to as "black mold." Several factors affect the cost of having a professional mold inspection, but it's definitely worth consulting an expert due to the health risks.
Identifying Hidden Mold
While mold test kits exist, the EPA recommends professional testing if there could be a hidden mold problem. Pros have the expertise and tools to do the testing without disturbing any existing mold—digging under wallpaper or into drywall can potentially release trapped mold spores and make a problem worse. Dealing with mold issues is a tricky job best left to a professional even by do-it-yourself types.
Tips for Hiring a Mold Inspector
The EPA recommends property owners inquire about qualifications, training, and experience of potential testers. Identify concerns early on so the inspector knows where to look, and what to look for