This may prove to be one of the most crucial decisions you make regarding the quality of your assessment. Unless a cause and exact area are known, the mold investigation is the portion of the assessment that determines where, if at all, mold samples are to be taken and determines the cause of the moisture.
Water indicators and suspicious construction, or defect, are often the basis for the mold sampling that either confirms or denies the presence of abnormal mold. Knowing this, a seller may want to simply test, to avoid finding more. A buyer on the other hand, would do well to insist on a thorough mold inspection. Simply sated, the mold investigation is what leads to detailed findings and to shortchange the mold investigation portion of a mold (microbial) assessment could ultimately lead to omitted mold sampling which could cause an issue to go unnoticed.
In our professional opinion, the moisture source of the mold is misdiagnosed 25% to 30% of the time and reports with multiple moisture sources are misdiagnosed closer to 60% of the time by mold companies rushing inspections.
In 2003 we were asked to review 50 files in various stages of litigation that had already been inspected by respected mold & microbial firms around the Houston area and paid by a lump sum or square foot cost. In every case, the principal was not materially involved in the mold investigation. Our findings were staggering. We reported significant omissions in every mold (microbial) inspection and in the many of the cases, the omissions amounted to a 50% or greater end value.
This drives the point, less or poor mold investigation equals false negatives and unestablished contamination and colonization limits within cavities.