Mold Testing and Air Sampling
Mold testing and sampling is an important aspect of any full home inspection. We especially recommend mold testing when someone who will be living in the home has respiratory illnesses such as asthma or COPD . Also for those with allergies, especially to molds, it is a good idea to make sure the home will have healthy air for you to breathe.
Molds and airborne mold spores are a normal part of life, they live with us and are important in the breakdown of organic materials. Molds indoor are not of concern when their quantities are normal or insignificant. Even outdoors in the fresh air, mold spores occur naturally. A mold problem starts when there are conditions conducive in a home for mold spores to grow on. This condition is moisture levels over 20% and Relative humidity over 70%. Once conducive, mold can grow instantly! when mold begins growing in a home, the amount of air borne spores increases alongside its spread to other areas.
Although the issue of whether exposure to indoor fungi causes adverse health effects is controversial, there is no doubt that a severely mold-contaminated building can suffer structural damage, and that a foul-smelling, fungus-filled building is aesthetically unpleasing. Controversies about health effects aside, the latter two concerns are sufficient to merit a Complete Mold Inspection and remediation when an environment is found to have fungal contamination.
Mold Testing Procedure
Our mold testing procedures involve different ways to detect mold, identify the types and whether or not they are in excessive quantities. If the mold results come back with a problem, this is when you know more work needs to be done to uncover where the mold is growing and to stop the source that is allowing the mold to thrive. Mold cannot live without proper moisture levels that is why you find mold in homes that have leaks in various areas. This could come from a roof leak, plumbing leak, window leak, siding on the home failing to keep moisture out, improper ventilation of bathrooms, dehumidifiers, humidifiers, HVAC systems and more. Many times mold is visible and can be cleaned up but in the cases where the mold is growing in the ceiling, walls, under carpeting or flooring, it is important to have the right kind of method to test if there is a hidden problem area.
The Complete Mold Inspection is performed by an IAC2-certified mold inspector and in accordance with the Standards of Practice of the International Association of Certified Indoor Air Consultants https://iac2.org/sop/
IAC2 Mold & Radon Certified
Specialized and Approved Sampling Equipment
All of our inspections are complete mold inspections and could include a visual mold inspection, swab sampling, tape sampling, interior air sampling, outdoor air sampling and carpet sampling depending on conditions observed and matching the IAC2 Mold decision sheet. Visual presence of what appears to be mold will typically involve taking a swab and/or tape sample and air sampling to test if indeed it is mold and what type. Where mold is not visible or apparent, conducting an air sampling is required when probing for mold. This test involves trapping any spores in a cassette at a specific flow rate from specific locations with a specialized and calibrated air sampling pump. This is then compared to an outdoor sample earlier taken (the control sample) to determine concentration differentials that may be an indication of a hidden mold concern in the indoor air.
All of the samples we collect are tested by an accredited and certified mold lab specializing in this type of interpretation.
- Mold is more common in households today than it was 50 years ago.
- About 50% of homes contain mold problems.
- Molds gradually destroy whatever they grow on, so preventing mold growth also prevents damage to building materials and furnishing.
- Mold can spread and develop on any surface.
- Mold is linked to causing 30 different health problems.
- Mold destroys more wood than fires, floods, and termites combined.
- Mold is one of the only organisms that doesn’t need light to grow, meaning it thrives in dark, wet areas.
- Mold spores are always in the air both indoor and outdoor just waiting for the right amount of moisture to grow
A mold problem less than 10 SQFT is considered a small mold mold problem. The key to permanently fixing any mold problem is determining and tackling the source of the moisture intrusion. Following which the affected area may be cleaned and treated with products designed to kill mold and fungi. Some options are plain white vinegar or bleach. Vinegar is very good at cleaning and killing mold on most surfaces. Bleach is an option however appears ineffective on porous surfaces like wood and drywall but works great on non-porous surfaces like tiles, plastic and metals.
Mold problems over 10 SQFT is not generally considered a small mold problem. Also when the mold problem is hidden, this becomes much trickier to identify and fix. In both cases of a bigger or hidden mold problem, there may be a need for a mold mitigation and remediation company to assess and determine the best approach to eliminate the problem.