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, 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 a visual inspection. The use of equipment such as a boroscope, to view spaces in ductwork or behind walls, or a moisture meter, to detect moisture in building materials, may be helpful in identifying hidden sources of fungal growth and the extent of water damage.
The inspector uses instruments such as hygrometers, boroscope (fiber optics) and protimeters (moisture level meters) where necessary to detect any hidden moisture or high levels of moisture and potential mold growth behind the walls, around plumbing fixtures, around areas such as bathtubs/showers and sinks, ceilings, floors and sub floors to determinethe areas of potential mold growth and continuous moisture penetration.
Ventilation systems should be visually inspected particularly for damp filters, standing water in condensation pan and overall cleanliness. Inspector also observes the ceiling tiles, gypsum wallboard (sheetrock), drywall; areas covered by wallpaper, cardboard paper and other cellulostic surfaces.
Finding toxic mold is very important since it can be hidden almost anywhere. Hidden toxic mold and toxic mold spores can be hidden in cabinets, closets and underneath carpeting and behind wallpaper.