No, but you can have moisture without mold, and many times the remediation of the mold is distinct from the source of the moisture (i.e. mold on ceiling caused by failed flashing).
I'll spare you any more 'mumbo jumbo baloney' regarding testing protocol.
Visual inspection can only confirm the presence of mold, not the absence. That said, you are correct that a visual inspection should be the first step. If you can confirm the presence of mold visually, you may eliminate the need for sampling prior to remediation. Sampling can help to confirm that the structure has been restored to "Condition 1 - Normal Fungal Ecology."
If occupants are complaining of respiratory/health problems that may be related to mold, a proactive approach to sampling can help to reduce liability.
There are scenarios in which I would disagree that "The first step, in all cases is to determine cause and correct the moisture situation." True, it's important to generally determine the cause of the moisture, but correction of the source isn't always possible prior to remediation efforts. In other words, if structural repairs of the moisture source would disturb areas containing mold, the mold should be removed prior to repairs. I'm sure there are exceptions, as the scenarios for moisture problems and mold growth are nearly endless, but as a general rule the mold should be eliminated first.
many times the remediation of the mold is distinct from the source of the moisture (i.e. mold on ceiling caused by failed flashing) This sentence is jibberish. What does it mean that the remediation of the mold is 'distinct' from the source of the mold? The moisture caused the mold and the mold could/would not exist without the moisture so how can these two interpendent phenomena be 'distinct' from one another....and what does distinct mean here? Whether the mold and moisture are or not distinct from each other what the heck does that have to do with stopping the moisture and fixing the mold problem?
Since Fungal Ecology (you have the best words!) fluctuates constantly what constitutes Normal? The mold testing industry is 99% a scam and a waste of client's resources. You have failed to tell me how the results of the mold testing will guide or direct remediation efforts as have dozens of other scam artists before you. Hocus pocus hand over your money and I'll give you a spreadsheet and chart with numbers and pretty colors. In the end, you still have stop the moisture, replace the damaged porous and semi-porous materials, surface clean the non-porous material and get back to your life. Testing for mold doesn't affect the remediation protocol and mold tests are notoriously unreproducible.
The ACGIH, RIA, EPA, IICRC and NYC DOH all recommend post remediation sampling for large mold projects. It is the recognized standard of care in the industry and any contractors who choose to ignore it increase their potential liability.
I'm putting this here not to argue with you Daniel, but for other contractors who may be looking for advice.
That's nice Kevin. However, it doesn't answer the question I've posed to you and to dozens of other mold 'experts'.
How do the air sampling test results guide the remediation process?
If you can't answer that question then why are you doing mold sampling for clients? Because all those organizations told you to? Let me sound like somebody's mom for a minute....if those organizations told you to jump off a cliff, would you?