There are three main types of mold testing:
Ideally, we recommend all three types of testing since each have their own strengths and weaknesses, but we evaluate each and every situation before determining what is needed.
Air Quality Testing for Mold
Air sampling tests the concentration of mold spores in your home’s air. Samples are taken from the air and are later examined under a microscope. Air tests can tell you if you have a mold problem even if you cannot find the mold growth. The amount of mold spores in the air can change drastically in a small amount of time, giving varying results at different times.
Surface Testing for Mold
Surface testing involves taking samples from household surfaces to find the amount of mold growth and spores deposited around the home. Samples are typically collected by swabbing or tape lifting. The sample is then examined in a laboratory. Like with air testing the results can vary because mold growth and spores aren’t spread evenly across surfaces in the home and can change over time. Unlike air testing though, surface tests can’t identify the exact concentration of mold spores in the air.
Bulk Testing for Mold
Bulk testing involves collecting pieces of material from your home. The material is then taken to a laboratory where mold particles on the material can be examined under a microscope. Bulk tests can tell you if you have a mold problem and give you an idea of the concentration of mold particles in your home.
Culture Tests for Mold
Culture tests are where mold particles in a sample from the home are grown into larger mold colonies in a lab. This helps to identify the species of molds in houses. Only mold particles that are still alive can be grown. However dead mold particles in the home still cause allergies and health problems. Other tests can detect both living and non-living mold in a home but can’t always identify the species of molds.
Why Should You Test for Mold?
If you suspect that you may have a mold problem, it’s better to not wait for testing, the sooner the issue is identified and corrective measures start, the less damage it will cause. The main reasons for having mold testing performed in your home are:
One of the first signs most people notice is a mold smell. If you notice a moldy smell in your house, there’s a good chance you could have mold hidden somewhere. Another sign that you could have mold is if you are suffering from unusual allergy symptoms. If there’s mold hidden in your home, there will be mold spores in the air. When you breathe in these spores, not only will you notice a moldy smell, but your body will react with allergic reactions like sneezing, a runny nose or sore eyes.
Identifying Mold Species
Another reason for mold testing is if you want to find out what kind of species of mold is in your home. This is important for toxic molds since extra caution needs to be taken to safely remove toxic mold from the home. Two well-known toxic molds are Stachybotrys (often called toxic black mold – note that not all mold that appears black is toxic) and Aspergillus (a fungus that can cause infections). If you see mold which looks like a toxic species or if you are suffering unusual allergic type symptoms, then you should have it tested before you try to remove it. The only way to identify the species of a mold colony for certain is to have a mold professional look at a sample of it under the microscope.
Mold Testing to Find Mold
Not only can mold testing tell you if you have a mold problem somewhere in your home, but it can also help you to find it. Mold often grows hidden away behind walls and other places. Mold tests can help you narrow down the location of hidden mold by identifying the places in your home with the highest count of mold spores.
Mold Testing for Indoor Air Quality
You can have mold testing done to determine the amount of mold spores in the air. Sometimes you can be suffering the symptoms of mold allergies even if there is no mold growing in your home. This can be because of mold spores blowing into the home from outdoor mold or because there used to be mold growing in your home which left behind a buildup of spores. By testing for mold, you can tell if there is an unhealthy level of spores in your house and find out if any allergies you might have are related to mold or something else.
Mold Testing after Removing Mold
Mold testing can be useful after you’ve had mold removed from your home. Through testing, you can make sure that the mold removal was a success. Surface sampling can show whether an area has been properly cleaned of mold. Having air testing sometime after the mold removal can also confirm that mold spores in your home’s air have been reduced to a safe level.
Mold Inspection before Testing
Before you turn to mold testing, you should have a thorough mold inspection of your home. If the inspection turns up MOLD, then usually you don’t need to do any mold testing. Instead you can move on to the mold removal stage. But if you couldn’t find any mold but still think you have a mold problem, or if you found some mold but think there is more hidden or that it could be toxic, then it’s time to turn to mold testing.
If you suspect that mold could be an issue in your home or business, contact us and we can help you determine if you need testing (and if so what type) performed or if you need to move straight to removal or remediation. As we like to say, we’re here to help you get “Back to Normal”!
BACK TO NORMAL RESTORATION
Contractor License #: 75690
6260 Ocean Highway West
Ocean Isle Beach, NC 28469
910. 579. 4989
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