Mold testing is a necessary step in identifying a mold problem and determining the best way to deal with it.
This will determine whether or not there is any mold present in your home and where it’s located. It’s important that you have this done before doing any remediation work so that you don’t waste money fixing areas that don’t need it.
The average cost of mold testing is between $300 and $2,000 or more.
The cost you pay will depend upon the company, type of testing, the size of your property, where you live, how many and what type of samples are taken, and how much work needs to be done before results can be determined.
In this article, I will go over the reasons and methods for the various fees charged in this industry.
When researching mold inspection and testing companies, you will find that they do not all charge the same fees and may offer different or more comprehensive services than one another.
It is important that when you inquire with an inspector about the cost of their services that you ask what the fees include as to what type of inspection they will perform and how many tests it includes.
Size of Your Property
If you are having a full physical mold inspection of your entire property, then the size will affect how much it will cost. Larger properties take longer to inspect than smaller ones and require more testing and lab samples, so they tend to be more expensive.
If you just want an inspection company to inspect one area of your home or perform a few tests without a full inspection, then it would be much cheaper.
Tests / Lab Samples
Most companies include 2-3 tests and lab samples with each inspection. The more test and lab samples you require, the more it will cost.
For example, a simple visual inspection with no testing or lab results is the cheapest method. A trained professional looks for signs of visible mold growth and provides an estimate on any remediation that will be required.
This method is typically free or costs $150-$200 per home.
A visual inspection is often enough to determine if there’s a problem, but sometimes more extensive testing is needed.
Visual Inspection and Testing Only
If you want to know only whether there’s mold in your home or if you want to know what type of mold there is or how much is present.
These tests will range from $300-$700.
Full Physical Inspection
If you’re not sure whether you have a mold problem, then a professional may need to do more extensive tests using air sampling devices in order to determine if there’s any hidden contamination lurking behind walls or under cabinets.
If you want a comprehensive inspection of your entire property and testing multiple surfaces for signs of contamination, expect to pay upwards of $600 to $2,000 or more depending on the company, how much testing is done and how extensive the damage may be.
I have seen some companies charge as much as $4,000-$8,500. In my opinion, these fees are way too high and could even be considered a scam.
Environmental Relative Moldiness Index (ERMI) testing was developed by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in order to indicate the presence of mold in a home or business. Dust samples are collected from inside a building by a simple tactic such as vacuuming a carpet. Once the dust samples are collected, mold particles are extracted from those samples and sent to a lab.
ERMI testing is considered specialized and often costs much more than the methods detailed above. The average fees charged are $750 to $3,000 or more, depending on the area of the U.S., the company and how many samples are taken.
Home Test Kits
Various types of DIY mold test kits are available online. The costs for these kits range from $8 on the low end to $90 on the high end.
These DIY test kits are not the best option for most people because they often do not interpret the results or offer professional consultations.
Multiple Test Samples / Lab Costs
The average cost for multiple lab samples can cost anywhere from $100-$200 each.
Keep in mind that these estimates do not include any remediation costs (if needed) which will be added on top of this price tag.
The most common types of tests for mold include:
Air Quality Tests
These can help determine if there are elevated levels of spores in the air, but they don’t tell you if there is visible mold or how much is present. They may also be useful if there are visible signs of water damage in the home.
Air sampling uses a specialized device known as an “air sampler” to take samples from various locations throughout your home. The samples are then sent to a lab where they’re tested for levels of airborne spores (i.e., mold) present in each area tested.
Air samples are typically collected at least once per room and in some cases up to three times per room, depending on if it is for a court case or a client who is ill, etc.
Surface sampling swabs and tape
Surface testing is performed via two main methods: “tape sampling method” or “culture swab method.” They are normally done when there is visible mold to makre sure it is mold and the species.
They can also provide you with enough information to confirm that the sampled mold growth may produce mold spores in the air.
Both tests are very easy to perform and effectively determine if your property has a mold problem and the relative degree of contamination.
Mold Safe Conclusion
As you can see from this article, the cost for mold testing varies depending on the company, size of your property and the type of test you decide upon.
If you’re thinking about possible litigation against a landlord, you are ill or selling your home, then a professional mold inspection by a certified inspector with a combination of testing methods will be the best option.
A DIY kit will not help in a court case, nor will they help much if you are ill or buying or selling your home.
The reason being is that these kits do not identify how extensive the mold problem is and how to correct it with proper remediation protocols. A professional inspector can help you do this with a professional consultation, an extensive report with pictures and lab samples, and also testify if needed for a court case.
Moe Bedard is the founder of Mold Safe Inspections and manager at Mold Safe Solutions. A full-service Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) company specializing in property water damage, mold inspections, consultations, and mold remediation.
If you need help with a project, please call 760-818-6830.