“Do I need mold testing?” This is a question that we in the business hear too often. Followed closely by “I bought one of the testing kits from the big box stores and it grew mold!” Well, of course it did, there is mold everywhere!
It is necessary to have a mold test conducted if you have had a water damage, a flood, an HVAC malfunction, or if you are having strong odors within the home. The need for mold testing comes into play for areas that we can’t see, like behind walls and flooring.
Mold testing is something that is used to gauge the amount of spores that are present in the air or on the surface of a particular area. The most two common ways to test for mold is by air testing and by surface testing. Testing should be done by a third party Industrial Hygienist only, and not by the cleaning company that is performing the remediation or a “DIY” test. Surface testing can be done with a swab or tape with a clean approved sticky film. While air testing is done with a special sampling pump called a Buck BioAire, used for an IAQ (indoor air quality) test. These samples are then taken to a lab where the tests are put in an environment to grow, and the mold that is grown is tested to see the type and amount. The results are then relayed back to the Industrial Hygienist and a report is developed for the home owner. The results can vary depending on outside conditions on that specific day, and indoor conditions of the concerned area or areas.
From a remediator’s stand point, the results are very important. They can tell us if the mold has gone into unaffected areas. If it is a dangerous mold tests can give us an idea on a remediation plan, and ensure that the cleaning is done properly.