Mold testing, along with a mold inspection allows us to get a more precise picture of what is going on in a home or commercial building by telling us the types, or genus, of molds present. Knowing the type of molds present will let us know if the mold is allergenic or unhealthy, if there is mold present that may not be visible to the naked eye and it can also assist in finding the source of the mold growth.
It is important to remember that not all molds are harmful! When mold testing is performed, we are screening for certain allergenic, or unhealthy molds and molds that have the ability to produce mycotoxins. Furthermore, just because a mold is a certain color does not mean that it is harmful. Mold can colonize in a variety of colors including: black, white, yellow, green and brown.
Indoor air quality testing can help detect mold that may not be visible to the human eye. When performing air quality testing we are taking an air sample to determine if there are elevated mold spores that are airborne. Just because you are not seeing visible mold growth at first glance, doesn’t mean it isn’t there!
Air Quality Testing can also be used to take wall cavity samples. For this minimally invasive technique, we would enter the wall through an electrical socket, if possible, or a small hole. An extension would be placed on the sampling cassette in order to take an air sample behind the wall. This will help determine if “abnormal” mold conditions are present behind the wall.
Mold testing can also help determine the causes of mold growth. For example, if we are detecting a high concentration of a genus of mold commonly found outdoors, this could be a marker for moisture intrusion.
After the mold inspection and mold testing is complete, the mold samples will be sent to an accredited lab for analysis. Once the samples are received from the lab, we will put together a comprehensive mold inspection report that will outline what was observed during the mold inspection, any recommendations we can make to improve indoor air quality, causes of mold growth and tips on prevent mold growth and an analysis of the lab results. If the lab results indicate that “abnormal” fungal/mold conditions exist, the report will also outline the suggested mold remediation steps.
When choosing a mold testing company, keep in mind that mold testing is part of a process that should be accompanied by a thorough mold inspection. Also, keep in mind that not all molds are harmful and the only way to know what type of mold is present is to test.