Mold Inspection Terms and Definitions

Apparent Mold

Apparent mold is when visible mold growth is present or when characteristics of mold growth are present. In most instances, the mold growth cannot be confirmed by the inspector without the benefit of professional sampling. The term “mold growth” is also referred to by “fungal growth” or “microbial growth.”

Accessible Area

The infected area can be approached or entered by the mold inspector safely, without difficulty, fear or danger. Common accessible areas include attics, basements, crawl spaces and standard property rooms such as bathrooms.

Unsafe Area

A condition in a readily accessible, installed system or component, which is judged to be a significant risk of personal injury during normal, day-to-day use. The risk may be due to damage, deterioration, improper installation or a change in accepted residential construction standards.

Area of Concern

An area of concern is a a room or area in the building that has been or is effected by moisture intrusion or water damage or one that has musty odors, visible apparent mold growth and/or conditions conducive to mold growth.


Tenants, persons or entities that use or inhabit the building or a portion of it.


The collection of air, surface or carpet materials/samples for the purpose of mold testing.


To open, take apart or remove any component or piece of an infected area that would not typically be opened, taken apart or removed by an ordinary occupant.

Invasive Inspection

An invasive inspection requires the use of a probe and/or dismantling of the infected area.

Visual Inspection

To visually look at readily accessible areas and components of a building, using normal operating controls.

Complete Inspection

This is a comprehensive inspection that includes a visual inspection along with various material sampling (indoor air, outdoor air, surface material and carpet material) and may require the use the dismantling as the inspectors discretion.