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5 Things You Should Know About Mold Inspections: An Interview with Tom Quinn of Quinn Building Consultants

By Tom Quinn

Tell us a little bit about your company and the services you offer.

Quinn Building Consultants (QBC) is a full-time professional building inspection company in MA and RI. We have been in business since 1995 and I have been a inspector since 1989. We have two employees. In 2000 a need for professional mold investigation and remediation burst upon the area and our company adopted the policy and training to be a non-remediation mold consulting company.

How does mold usually start growing in a home or apartment?

Moisture is the main cause of mold growth in 99% of the cases that we have investigated. High levels of humidity, leaks and flooding will trigger a mold growth in most buildings. The mold spore is naturally already existing in most areas and the high moisture will allow it to grow and it becomes a health problem.

What are the main concerns when people can see or smell mold in their house?

The main reason we get called is someone can smell mold and become concerned that it is black mold, the magic mold that makes you sick may be in their home. Many species of mold can make a person sick if they are sensitive to the mold spores, long-time exposure and species of mold would be contributing factors in regard to the mold being harmful.

Can you briefly explain the basic steps involved with mold inspection and testing?

We inspect mold-contaminated residential and commercial sites, find the cause of the mold issue, outline a plan of action to remediate the mold and conduct air quality samples to determine the species of mold. Based on the findings, we then suggest remediation from our list of competent contractors to clean the site. After the remediation we would return for a post inspection and clearance air testing.

Do you think that a free mold inspection is a reliable way to get an assessment?

It's the old saying "you get what you pay for." Most of the free inspections are to get mold remediation work and sometimes they find mold where it really isn't mold. But homeowners fear the word "mold" and will pay to have it cleaned. We charge $200 for an initial inspection and $150 for each mold sample that the client requests. If they want the bedroom, bathroom, basement or attic too, we will test those areas and one outside sample always has to be taken to use as a baseline for testing. The results return from the lab, we review the results and forward them to the client with an action plan.

What can homeowners in Rhode Island do to help prevent mold problems and avoid mold exposure?

Moisture. Moisture is the key to keeping mold out of your home. A dry house will very seldom ever have and mold issues. A wet or damp or musty home will always be or become moldy. Controlling roof water around the house with clean gutters, downspouts that discharge away from the foundation, and positive sloping grade away from the house will eliminate most moisture issues in the majority of residential basements.

What's the best way for people to contact you and your company?

Quinn Building can be reached toll free at 888-327-7400 M-F 9-5.

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