Do I Need Mold Testing?
You may think that you only need mold testing if you can already see visual signs of mold – but that’s not the case. In fact, mold testing is usually required when you think there may be mold, but you’re unable to see any. Mold can hide inside walls, structural areas, and other parts of the house that may be difficult to check on your own.
So, you should consider mold testing when you smell mold, you think that there may be moisture issues in the home, or if you feel like the overall air quality inside a home is poor. These can all be indicators that mold may be present.
What’s The Process Like?
There are a few different ways to test for mold. An air test may be used to collect spores from inside the home, and send them in for testing in a laboratory, to check for the presence of mold.
In other cases, bulk samples may be taken. A piece of the affected area can be physically removed, and sent in for testing. Swab samples and tape samples may also be taken of the areas that may have mold present.
Some indications mold may be present:
1. You can smell something musty
2. You see a substance that looks like mold or fungus
3. You see and smell NOTHING!
Types of samples:
Air Quality Sample – This is collected via an air pump and spore trap. All homes have some levels of mold in the air, these samples determine if the airborne levels in the client's home are normal or have elevated levels. We can collect these from any rooms/areas of concern, and we base them off of an outside control sample.
Cavity Sample – This is collected with the same air pump, but with a tube connected to the end of the spore trap to allow a sample to be collected from within walls. These are collected whenever a wall shows signs of visual damage or if a wall has high moisture content. These tell us whether elevated conditions exist behind inaccessible walls to determine if removal is necessary.
Surface Sample – Surface samples can be taken of any visual discoloration or growth that is observed. We are able to do this by using a medical swab or tape lift. These will identify the species of any observed growth. This often helps when determining the source of any airborne levels.
The samples collected identify any mold types present. Air samples give exact spore counts and concentrations. Surface samples identify the mold species and growth concentration. We always start with an outside air sample that serves as a control that sets baseline numbers for what is normal and acceptable. It is then compared to an inside sample from the area of greatest concern. This will basically let us know whether or not elevated conditions exist or not.
After samples have been collected, they are then sent to a third party laboratory for analysis. Results are available as soon as the next business day. Once the results have been reviewed, we will create a full protocol of any required work. This report tells you what samples were taken, what exact species and concentration were found, and what the next steps would be.
United Home Inspection Group can provide a clearance letter if the samples come back without an elevated result.
What Are The Benefits Of Mold Testing?
Mold testing gives you peace of mind, ensures that you’re buying a home without any serious mold problems. It protects you and your family from potentially-dangerous black mold and also helps identify other potential issues, like water leaks and flooding, that could also affect the structural integrity of the home. Schedule your inspection now, or contact us for more information.
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