Our testing services

Many clients want to know exactly what types of mold they have growing in their buildings, and what types of spores that may be breathing in.  We can offer a wide variety of sampling services that are analyzed by professional and impartial labs.  We can perform these testing services in conjunction with a mold inspection, as a final clearance test or remediation verification, or to provide documentation needed for legal of insurance issues.   Below is a brief list of the tests we commonly perform, but services can be customized for additional information:

Some of the mold tests we can perform:

Mold spore air testing (also known as a spore trap analysis or clean air test)
Swab testing
Direct tape-lift or bulk sampling

 Why Hawk Environmental Services?

  1. We do not offer mold remediation or water damage cleanup work, so you can be assured that our work is totally neutral and unbiased.
  2. We have the building science and indoor air quality background to diagnose and measure a wide variety of indoor air quality concerns and won’t be stumped if mold isn’t really the problem.
  3. We pride ourselves in thorough and cost-effective inspection and testing services with a focus on the use of on-site measurements whenever possible.  We will certainly be able to offer lab testing, but always strive to keep our sampling fees to a minimum.
  4. Mold testing and inspection services are not regulated in Washington State, so you should judge your inspection company by the other similar licenses they hold.  We are licensed for asbestos, lead, energy efficiency, and several other indoor air quality and environmental services.

Our inspectors will work to evaluate and visually inspect the affected area, sample and test for airborne mold spore levels and confirm or rule out fungal growth, as well as identify the source of problem and provide protocol for procedures to clear and restore the affected areas.  Our Seattle area mold inspection customers can always expect a thorough and honest evaluation of potential indoor air quality issues, without any fear of scare-tactics or up-selling.
Any place in your home or business with excess moisture, such as standing water or condensation, can foster the growth of mold. If left unchecked, the growth and spread of mold inside a building may lead to health problems and building damage. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, symptoms can range anywhere from a stuffy nose, eye irritation, wheezing, or skin irritation, to more rare but severe allergic reactions such as fever, shortness of breath and even mold infections in the lungs.

Our promise to you

We will always perform your mold inspection using the latest equipment. Our tool kit includes but is not limited to: infrared cameras for thermal imaging produced by FLIR, direct and/or passive moisture meters, video borescopes, thermal hygrometers, and carbon dioxide meters. We will determine the tools necessary for your scope of work at the time of consultation. Feel free to contact us for a full explanation of the methods and technologies that may help you create your specific  scope of work.

What constitutes a mold inspection?

Inspections should not be limited to simple visual look and air sampling, but should focus on building science and identifying the underlying causes.  Anyone can buy a pump and send samples to a lab for analysis, but the real value in the service is a detailed and through investigation to determine the exact cause and scope of the issues.  We highly recommend having your inspection performed by a qualified neutral contractor who’s main concern is identifying the issues and creating a plan for cleanup.  Don’t be fooled by “free inspections” offered by remediation contractors, as we have found that they almost always find a need for costly professional cleanup.  Approximately 50% of our clients can make simple changes to resolve the indoor air quality concerns, without spending thousands of dollars on unnecessary services.

  • A thorough inspection should include:
    • Evaluation of the history of the property and known mold or moisture issues
    • Visual inspection of all areas included in the scope of the inspection
    • Floor-plan drawings of affected areas if necessary for a remediation protocol
    • Environmental data including: temperature, humidity, and carbon dioxide levels
    • Assessment of the ventilation of the suspect areas
    • Brief assessment of heating, cooling, and filtration systems
    • Direct moisture testing of suspect building materials including around: windows, doors, plumbing fixtures, and other areas of potential water intrusion
    • Infrared inspection of all surfaces within the scope of the inspection to detect temperature differentials that ay be associated with water damage or a lack of insulation.
    • Digital photographs of any deficiencies
    • Sampling that may include air sampling, direct sampling, or swabs (all sampling will be discussed with the client and kept to a minimum to avoid unnecessary fees)

  • Inspection Reports Include:
    • Location of wet materials
    • List of affected materials
    • Photos and floor-plans as applicable
    • Results and interpretation of any lab samples
    • Protocol and procedures for proper remediation and restoration
    • Additional phone/email consultation with remediation or restoration contractor  (additional fees may apply for on-site consultation)
    • Final evaluation and clearance inspection (additional fees will apply for clearance testing)

Attic Mold

Why does attic mold happen?

Attic mold is almost always the result of high humidity in the attic space. This high humidity causes condensation on the cold portions of the roofing materials (plywood or OSB) and results in mold growth on these surfaces. Attics should be designed with proper ventilation in mind. This would usually include low vents (soffit vents, bird-blocks, etc.) and high vents (roof vents, ridge cap vents etc.).  Current code in Washington State requires 1 square foot of ventilation per 300 square feet of attic footprint. This is a general rule, but the type, location, and air-flow through the individual vents should be evaluated by a qualified inspector to determine exactly what has caused the deficiency that led to the attic mold growth. A neutral unbiased attic mold inspection will give you the information you need to find out exactly what the next step should be.

What does an attic mold inspection include?

Before attic mold remediation is even considered, the source of the moisture should be identified and documented and a plan to resolve the underlying conditions should be made.  This can only be done by a qualified professional with experience in building science and building diagnostics.

  • A thorough attic mold inspection should include:
    • Climbing into ALL accessible areas of the attic
    • Moisture testing of a representative area of sheathing and framing
    • Inspection and documentation of ventilation type, location, and size
    • Assessment of the extent of damage
    • Assessment of exhaust fan ducting
    • Assessment of HVAC ducting in the attic
    • Inspection of insulation
    • Inspection of the seal between the living space and the attic
    • Evaluation of the humidity levels and ventilation in the living space