Since mold occurs naturally in our environment, its presence in your home or business may not pose a threat. But since mold, mildew, and other indoor environmental impurities can be dangerous at high concentrations or even at low concentrations for people or pets with unusually high sensitivity, it’s important to consult with a Home Enviro professional mold inspector if you suspect a mold-related problem.
The most common method uses a "spore trap" and is called a "spore trap sample." Spore traps work by having a known volume of air pass impact a sticky surface as it passes through the spore trap sampling device. Most of the particles in the air also impact this sticky surface and consequently adhere to, and are captured on, this sticky surface. Mold spores comprise a subset of these 'particles in the air and are captured on the sticky medium inside the spore trap.
Surface samples can be taken in a variety of ways. The three most common methods are:
A piece of the sampled area is physically removed and sent to the mold testing laboratory.
Something akin to a cotton swab is rubbed across the area being sampled, often a measured area, and subsequently sent to the mold testing laboratory.
A piece of clear tape is pressed against and removed from the area being sampled, presumably picking up and removing part of any mold that was present on the surface, and then set to the mold testing laboratory for analysis.
ERMI Mold DNA Testing
ERMI samples are reported with both an ERMI score and the individual quantifications of each mold species found in the ERMI panel. An ERMI score is simply a guideline for determining levels of mold exposure for home occupants. This score can be placed on the ERMI scale and used to compare the “moldiness” of a home to other homes across the country. The individual quantifications can also be useful in identifying the mold problem in a home. An ERMI analysis is a diagnostic tool and provides inspection details to aid in a home’s assessment by a qualified professional.
A mold assessment also called a mold inspection, is when a hired professional inspects a given building or area to determine whether mold growth is present and, if so, why. As mold cannot always be seen, mold assessments should involve searching for past and current mold growth evidence.
For example, a mold assessment should include inspecting a building's moisture and humidity levels, as water vapor and leakage can cause and contribute to fungal growth. Additionally, professionals should enter and review isolated spaces that might not otherwise be open and visible to the building's inhabitants, such as crawlspaces, attics, or spaces between walls.
Thus, where mold testing merely sheds light on the type of mold already present, mold assessments provide the bigger picture of an overarching problem and equip you with the ability to take action.
Mold Assessment Cost
Service costs $175.00 up to 2,200 square feet, 0.08 for each additional square foot.
Our mold assessment consists of the following:
1. Visual inspection for mold growth.
2. HVAC and air ducts video borescope inspection.
3. Relative humidity reading
4. Structural moisture reading
5. Thermal Imaging Inspection
6. IAQ contamination testing with particle counters
7. AC evaluation by a licensed ac contractor (When required)
8. General findings report (When required)
Professional Mold testing and inspection services should only perform by a licensed and certified mold inspection company. Most mold testing involves taking a sample of air or a surface. Essentially, a mold inspector "tests" the air or surface to determine what mold exists and if the mold found can grow in the area tested. After the mold samples arrive at the mold testing laboratory, there are many ways to analyze these mold samples. The most common methods involve transferring relevant sections (or all) of the submitted mold sample onto a glass microscope slide, adding a stain that mold spores can absorb, and then evaluating the sample for evidence of mold growth.
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WHAT IS MOLD TESTING?
A mold test, otherwise called mold sampling, is the process used to determine what mold growth is presently based on a sample taken off the air or a solid surface.
Mold Testing Cost
Mold testing at $125.00 per sample (When required)
Swab, Bulk, and Tape surface samples of any visible mold
Air samples in areas of concern (Non-visible mold)
Third-party accredited laboratory analyzation
General findings report with a protocol for any required work.
We often take air samples during our inspection. When these samples are analyzed, it can help us determine how much of an issue there actually is. That is because certain particles /spores are not visible, and certain types of mold can only be determined through laboratory testing of the samples.
*A standard Air Quality Testing would be two indoor air samples near the area of concern and one outdoor sample. The outdoor sample establishes a reference or baseline for normal mold levels in an area compared to the indoor samples.
If you suspect you have mold in your home contact our professional inspectors for a free phone consultation.
Our professional experienced inspector knows what to look for during household mold inspection and testing.
Comprehensive lab/report results interpretation findings and conclusions included.
Mold growth inside the air conditioning (AC) system and air ducts is a common problem in buildings that can have serious health implications for occupants. Mold can grow in the moist environments of the AC system and ducts and, if left untreated, can spread throughout the building via the air ducts, potentially causing respiratory problems, allergic reactions, and other health issues.
Mold growth inside the AC system and ducts can be identified through a combination of visual inspection and air sampling. If mold growth is determined, it's important to address the problem promptly to prevent the further spread of the mold and to ensure the health and safety of building occupants.
The remediation process for mold growth inside the AC system and ducts typically involves cleaning and disinfecting the affected areas. This can include removing any visible mold growth, cleaning the air ducts, and disinfecting the system with antimicrobial agents to kill any remaining mold spores. In some cases, it may be necessary to replace contaminated components of the AC system or ductwork to address the problem entirely.
To prevent future mold growth in the AC system and ducts, it's important to maintain proper ventilation and humidity levels in the building. This can include regularly changing air filters, ensuring the AC system is sized correctly for the building and addressing any moisture issues, such as leaks or standing water. It's recommended to work with a qualified mold inspector professional to assess and address mold growth inside the AC system and ducts. They can provide guidance on the most effective remediation methods and help ensure that the problem is fully resolved to prevent further health risks.
Mold growth inside the AC and air ducts most commonly occur when moisture is inside the ductwork.
As cool air flows through the vents on hot days, the moisture in the air can condense inside the air vent. You can see the same principle at work when you drink an icy beverage, and water beads up on the outside of the glass. When moisture is present, mold can flourish inside vents. The mildew can be introduced into the vents in several ways. Mold spores are generally airborne or spread through the air. Spores can enter the ductwork by simply blowing in from another area of the home or from outside. The conditions need to be suitable for the spores to develop, however. A single mold spore can blow inside your home and begin to develop into a colony if the conditions are right. Warmer, moist environments are ideal for mildew spores to grow.
ERMI (Environmental Relative Moldiness Index) testing and air quality sampling are two different methods of testing for mold in a building.
ERMI testing involves collecting dust samples from a building and analyzing them for the presence of mold DNA. The results are used to calculate an ERMI score, which indicates the relative amount and types of mold species present in the building. ERMI testing is often used to provide a broad assessment of mold in a building and to identify potential health risks associated with mold exposure.
Air quality sampling, on the other hand, involves collecting air samples from a building and analyzing them for the presence of mold spores. The results provide information about the concentration and types of mold spores present in the air. Air quality sampling is often used to assess the current level of mold spores in a building and to determine if remediation efforts have been effective in reducing mold spore levels.
Both ERMI testing and air quality sampling can be useful in assessing mold problems in a building, but they have different strengths and limitations. ERMI testing provides a more comprehensive assessment of mold species present in a building, while air quality sampling provides information about the current level of mold spores in the air. Both methods can be useful in developing an effective remediation plan and monitoring the effectiveness of remediation efforts.
It's recommended to work with a qualified mold inspector or remediation professional to determine the most appropriate testing method for a specific building and to interpret the results accurately.
Hire Home Enviro mold porfesianal to give you an unbiased opinion about visible mold and its impact.
Sometimes it’s impossible to see a potential leak. Whether it’s in a pipe behind a wall or a pipe that’s clearly visible, any potential sources of water intrusion must be examined frequently. A routine thermography inspection can give you images of areas where moisture is present by examining temperature differences. It’s impossible to see or feel these spots without infrared equipment so having a professional run a survey periodically will help prevent major water intrusion. Water intrusion can happen in any building, no matter how well it is maintained. As buildings get older, their materials start to wear down and slowly allow water to enter where it shouldn’t. Before you have to deal with the headache that comes with major water intrusion.
Samples are generally best taken if visual, non-invasive examination reveals apparent mold growth or conditions that could lead to growth, such as moisture intrusion or water damage. Musty odors can also be a sign of mold growth. If no sign of mold or potential for mold is apparent, one or two indoor air samples can still be taken, at the discretion of the inspector and client, in the most lived-in room of the house and at the HVAC unit.
Outdoor air samples are also typically taken as a control for comparison to indoor samples. It is best to take the outdoor samples as close together in time as possible to the indoor samples that they will be compared with. Two samples -- one from the windward side and one from the leeward side of the house -- will help provide a complete picture of what is in the air that may be entering the home through windows and doors at times when they are open.
After the mold samples arrive at the mold testing laboratory, there are many ways to analyze these mold samples. The most common methods involve transferring relevant sections (or all) of the submitted mold sample onto a glass microscope slide, adding a stain that mold spores can absorb, and then evaluating the sample for evidence of mold growth.
It's important to note that mold air sampling has limitations and should not be the sole method used to determine the presence of mold in a building. Mold spore levels can vary over time and from location to location within a building, and mold air sampling may not detect all types of mold spores that are present. Therefore, it's important to use a combination of testing methods and work with a qualified mold inspector or remediation professional to accurately identify and address mold problems in a building.
Said: Because We Care.
Post-Remediation Clearance Testing - Besides preliminary air quality testing to determine if mold is present, it is equally as important to retest after any mold remediation work is performed to remove the mold. It is critical to confirm that the mold remediation was correctly performed and contained so it did not impact other building areas. If a real estate transaction is involved, the buyer will want documentation that the mold problem has been resolved.
Get a clearance inspection.
But not from the company that did the work! For this article, post-abatement, post-remediation, and clearance are synonymous terms. Essentially, it means checking the work after it has been done. As a general rule, owners can solve a mold problem in-house if the total repair cost is $500 or less and the affected area is less than ten (10) square feet. Otherwise, all post-remediation verification in Florida should be done by a mold inspection company that is licensed and insured. In either case, a clearance inspection should be done to verify the mold has been adequately removed before reconstruction. It will also satisfy buyers' disclosure requirements in case of a sale or transfer. The clearance inspection will demonstrate your due diligence in properly handling the problem in case of a formal complaint or lawsuit. The purpose of a mold clearance inspection is to provide a limited investigation report based on the remediation activity performed at the site by an independent mold remediation contractor. A post-remediation check, both visual and analytical, is committed to ensuring a return to a pre-mold contaminated environment. The post-remediation inspection is based on the following four (4) criteria:
If all four (4) of these criteria are met, then the mold remediation efforts are considered to be acceptable (PASS), and no further remediation is recommended. If any four (4) criteria are not met, then the mold remediation efforts are considered unacceptable (FAIL), and further remediation is recommended.
Not getting Post Remediation Verification means: you cannot guarantee that the mold remediation company completed their job, that you have not eliminated the owner's liability exposure, and that you are potentially leaving the resident or other occupants at risk of getting sick. Paying mold remediation contractors thousands of dollars is for the expertise and release of liability. Mold remediation contractors who are not testing, are not following the IICRC's standard, and doing any property manager, asset manager, owner, and residents a disservice.
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