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Finding Mold Inspectors who can really help you understand your situation   PDF  Print  E-mail 
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Sunday, 25 February 2007

Knowing what to look for in a mold inspection firm and what questions to ask can mean the difference between a comprehensive, reliable mold inspection and one in which your money is not well spent.  A properly conducted mold inspection will reliably determine whether a health hazard is present in your home or business and exactly where that mold is.  It will also determine what caused its growth.  A well trained and highly experienced inspector will also help you make an informed decision about how to deal with mold and prevent its recurrence.   To find an inspector with these attributes is kind of like buying a used car, you know the car you want is out there but you know you’re going to be exposed to high pressure sales, slick advertising and PR campaigns.   This brief article will offer some advice on choosing a mold inspector and will help equip you with information you need to make an informed choice.

So, how can you tell whether you’re likely to get your money’s worth from an inspection firm? What do you look for in the way of tools and instrumentation that a firm proposes to employ in your home or business? What areas of expertise and type of work experience should you look for?

First, you should know that the very scientific and technical sounding words, “testing” and “inspection” can mean anything from a simple visual look through your home to proper air sampling in conjunction with a thorough K9 assisted inspection. BCRS uses state of the art instrumentation such as laser particle counters and moisture meters as well as highly trained K9s to inspect your home or business. Another very scientific sounding term is “spore traps”. While many mold inspection companies rely exclusively on “spore trap” technology for the inspection process, BCRS goes the extra mile and offers viable air sampling with laboratory analysis of the samples at a very reasonable cost. Why does BCRS do this? Because spore traps are limited to assessing mold to its familial level, while viable air sampling will identify the exact species of mold in your home. Knowing the exact species of mold is crucial in assessing indoor air quality and identifying specific threats to your family’s health. Species determination is also important in determining whether the molds found are unique or they simply originated from an air exchange with the outdoors. We are pleased to exclusively use MouldWorks, led by 40 year veteran of mycology, Dr. George Carroll, Professor Emeritus of Biology and Mycology at the University of Oregon. Their expertise in examining samples provides easy to understand information that you need to know, especially regarding approximately how long the mold has been present, the extent of a mold problem and health issues that relate to the specific molds identified in the samples.

The most significant difference between BCRS and most of its competitors are our two specially trained mold dogs, Ginger and Bearboy. Ginger and Bearboy were trained in the same manner as the more familiar narcotics and explosives detection canines. These dogs are trained to search for small traces of the odor of mold within a structure and to pinpoint its location, an overall ability that cannot be reliably replicated by any electronic detection device on the market today.

Another important thing that sets BCRS apart is the fact that BCRS is not a remediation firm. Firms that do inspections and remediation have a motivation to find mold so that money can be made from the remediation process. BCRS chose to stay out of remediation thus eliminating a potential conflict of interest. BCRS can, however, refer clients to remediation firms who are knowledgeable and capable of utilizing our reports to develop free estimates. Furthermore, when a remediation project is complete, BCRS offers an independent, follow up evaluation of the effectiveness of remediation efforts.

The president of BCRS, Steven Yerger, is a Certified Mold Remediator and Certified Residential Mold Inspector as well as the human half of a Certified Mold Detection Canine Team. Steven’s experience includes over fifteen years in water abatement and general contracting. This experience gives Steven a unique perspective in diagnosing the source of mold problems. Steven is knowledgeable and capable of offering clients practical advice about steps to eliminate and prevent mold and water related problems. Steven offers mold detection services for residential, commercial, and industrial properties, as well as schools and health care facilities. BCRS also offers consultations for water problems, a primary cause of mold growth.

Following are four important facts about the use of our mold dogs:

  1. Lower Costs. Scent detection canines can generate quicker and more accurate results than other instruments and methods (e.g. random, multiple air sampling and “destructive discovery” techniques). Knowing quickly and reliably if a structure has a mold problem and knowing exactly where the problem is lowers inspection and remediation costs for homeowners and insurers. This can result in substantial savings for homeowners and even higher savings for structures such as schools, hotels, commercial and government buildings.
  2. K9 mold detection is cutting-edge technology. There is no machine or instrument on the market that is more reliable or more efficient at finding hidden mold. A well trained dog will quickly and efficiently detect hidden mold growth and pinpoint its location. When you experience itchy eyes and a watering nose but cannot find the evidence visually for the mold you may also smell, then the scent detection canine is the best chance to uncover the source of an active mold site. Scent dogs do have certain limitations however. For example, they cannot safely inspect attics with open floor joists, which is why BCRS utilizes other state of the art detection instrumentation in conjunction with the dogs. BCRS realizes that a properly trained and validated K9 is the best mold detection tool available today; but it is just a tool and should be incorporated into a professional, comprehensive inspection process conducted by a highly trained professional. BCRS knows how to incorporate a well trained K9 into an intensive inspection process and will use K9s and other appropriate tools and technology to ensure that your home or business is thoroughly and professionally inspected for the presence of a mold threat.
  3. Proven and Trusted. "Man's best friend". Man has relied on dogs for decades in law enforcement and other public safety endeavors to accurately detect hidden bombs, drugs and other threats through the use of their amazing sense of smell. Dogs have even shown that they are capable of such amazing feats as anticipating and alerting a person to the imminent onset of a seizure and detecting several types of cancer in humans. Dogs can also be trained to detect a person’s mental state and offer comfort and solace to someone who struggles with depression. It shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone that dogs can be trained to find hidden mold in a structure.
  4. Certification. BCRS K9 and handler teams are tested and certified through WDDO (World Detector Dog Organization). WDDO tests scent detection canine team performance according to peer reviewed standards and methods. Many mold dog teams are only tested by the trainer who profits from their sale and from their continued participation in a privately administered testing and certification process. WDDO believes that this presents a clear conflict of interest and raises ethical issues about the validity of such a testing process. WDDO’s membership includes several professional trainers who collaborate on testing and certification.

WDDO offers true, third party observation and evaluation of K9 team performance. WDDO was founded with the specific goal of raising the level of integrity and excellence of K9 scent detection by bringing the public and private sector disciplines of narcotic, accelerant, explosive, cadaver, tracking and trailing, termite, bedbug, and mold detection together in one unified group. WDDO represents a cohesive effort on the part of law enforcement, public safety officials and private individuals to raise the bar in canine scent detection.

It must be recognized that accuracy relies not just on the canine's ability to detect its target odor, but also on the handler and his ability to correctly assess and interpret the dog’s behavior. A good handler must recognize minor changes in the dog’s behavior as a reaction to the presence of a target odor. It also relies on the integrity and ability of the trainer. While dogs do not lie, (they simply have no concept of such an act) their training can leave room for mistakes if not properly conducted. The WDDO testing process is designed to identify dogs that are not properly trained or handled.

WDDO is filling a void where no federal, state or local governmental oversight currently exists in the mold or pest detection dog industry. It is left to professionals to police themselves and strive to weed out unscrupulous trainers and handlers who hurt everyone involved in canine scent detection. WDDO facilitates this through the education of the general public about scent detection K9s and setting high performance goals and by offering assistance and advice to K9 teams who may not presently be capable of meeting WDDO’s rigorous standards. WDDO will continue to pursue and offer the most advanced and comprehensive certification protocols that exist in the industry today.

BCRS K-9 Mold Detection Service has been featured on three different local news stations in the Baltimore / DC area. You can visit our website at to watch a Fox News in Baltimore report about mold, featuring our company. We offer three levels of inspection to meet your budget needs. You may fully examine our service agreement prior to any inspection with no hidden costs. Many mold detection companies make most of their profit by submitting multi-sampling protocols which is offered at retail costs. In our Level 3 inspection, all sampling is done at wholesale cost so the client is not penalized for seeking more thorough testing of the property.

Whether you select BCRS or not, we want you to make an informed decision and would be happy to answer any questions you may have. BCRS K-9 Mold Detection Service is here to help you and or #1 priority is the safety and health of our and your friends and family.


Steven Yerger
BCRS K-9 Mold Detection Service
Serving the Atlantic Coast from Washington DC to Philadelphia

Last Updated (Sunday, 25 February 2007)

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