Testing Available:

  1. Mold Test
  2. Water Testing (Bacteria) & FHA Water Testing (Chemical/Lead/Bacteria)
  3. Carbon Monoxide Measurement
  4. Radon Testing (Continuous Monitor)
  5. Lead Paint Testing
  6. Septic Inspection

Mold Test

When molds are present in large quantities (called colonies) they can cause health problems in some people.

Molds are simple, microscopic organisms whose purpose in the ecosystem is to break down dead materials.Molds can be found on plants, dry leaves, and on just about every other organic material. Some molds are useful, such as those used to make antibiotics and cheese. Some molds are known to be highly toxic when ingested, such as the types that invade grains and peanuts. Most of the mold found indoors comes from outdoors.

Molds reproduce by very tiny particles called spores. Spores are very light and can travel on air currents. If mold spores land on a suitable surface, they will begin to grow.

Molds need three things to thrive- moisture, food and a surface to grow on. Molds can be seen throughout the house, and can be found in most bathrooms. Mold growth can often be seen in the form of discoloration, and can appear in many colors-white, orange, pink, blue, green, black or brown. When molds are present in large quantities (called colonies) they can cause health problems in some people.

Some mold problems are obvious - you can see it growing. Others are not so obvious. If you can see mold, or if there is a musty odor in your home, you probably have a mold problem. Areas that are wet, or have been wet due to flooding, leaky plumbing, leaky roofing, or areas that are humid (such as bathrooms and laundry rooms) are most likely to have mold growth. Look for previous water damage.

Visible mold growth may be found underneath wallpaper and baseboards, behind walls, or may be evident by discolored plaster or drywall. If you don't have any observable mold, but are experiencing symptoms likely to be mold-induced, the mold could be growing in areas you can't see, such as the ducts of a heating/cooling system. In this case, the only way to know if you have mold spores is to test.

Building Inspection Services of Ocala can conduct air sampling to detect the presence of these spores in your home. Testing is the only way to determine if you have a mold problem and what type it is. We will provide you with a laboratory report that will detail if any unusual mold conditions exist as well as fungal descriptions that are pertinent to the indoor samples collected. General characterization of mold will be made with respect to their most common impact to human health.

Water Testing (Bacteria) & FHA Water Testing (Chemical/Bacteria)

Well water may contain harmful bacteria despite its clear appearance.

Most microorganisms can be tolerated by healthy adults, but infants or the elderly or ill can be sickened by some of these invisible, odorless bacteria.  Testing for potability is an important and inexpensive check to protect your health.  Other tests are available to determine the quality of water as related to lead content, nitrates, nitrites, turbidity.  These tests are performed by certified labs and certified sample collectors to insure accuracy.

Carbon Monoxide Measurement

All fossil fuels produce some carbon monoxide (CO) when burning.

Proper combustion keeps the CO level at acceptable limits.  When CO levels rise and persons are exposed to it for some duration, serious damage can occur, first affecting the brain and ultimately leading to death.  Carbon monoxide is a serious health threat that can now be measured with specialized equipment.  All fuel-burning appliances can accurately be checked with immediate results.  These tests are non-destructive and relatively fast, using a sniffing type of probe in the exhaust stream or in the air of the home.  All equipment used is certified and maintained in calibration.

Radon Testing (Continuous Monitor)

Radon is a naturally occurring, radioactive, invisible gas that is found nearly everywhere.

When radon is concentrated or accumulated in homes, it has been found to cause damage to lung tissue.  Experts indicate this as a cause of lung cancer.  Measurements can be made with several devices which have demonstrated accuracy.  The fastest results are with a continuous radon monitor which yields immediate reading after exposure.  In Real Estate transactions, protocol established by the EPA and Florida's Department of Environmental Health require exposure for a minimum of 48 hours.

State certifications are required to measure radon as well as procedural requirements necessary to insure accurate test results.  Most people are testing for health concerns, but many are testing to determine the potential salability of a home with elevated radon levels.  Elevated levels are those above the 4.0 pCl reading where action is recommended to reduce radon by some mitigation means.

To see a breakdown for the area that you are moving into please visit the Radon Zip Code Data Request

The EPA Radon Program has authored a number of radon publications including:

Lead Testing

Lead paint can be found in many homes built prior to 1978.

Lead was used in paint and other materials around the home.  Lead accumulation in humans is a serious threat to health.  Testing for the presence of lead in a home used to be a long and expensive process.  Technology has now provided a means for fast, accurate results usually in three days.  Samples are taken in several areas inside and outside as well as from the soil surrounding the house.  Lead in water is included in our water test.  Some elevated levels of lead have been found in newer homes due to the lead in brass fixtures leaching into the water, and also from the solder used to make joints.

Septic Dye Test

This is a relatively fast way to identify a problem with the septic system, though it is not a substitute for an actual physical inspection of the septic tank and drainfield.  The tests consists of the introduction of a special dye into the waste lines and allowing the water to flow into the system long enough to simulate a heavy load during normal use.  The grounds are then surveyed for any evidence of the dye, which appears almost fluorescent, to determine any breakout of effluent.  The test is not effective in vacant homes, however, as the system is usually dried out and will not indicate a failure.