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Mold Testing: How To Test Your Home or Business for Mold

If you believe you are experiencing poor air quality or have noticed water stains or recurring leaks in your home or office building, it is important that you have samples collected for mold. While most mold types are not harmful under typical outdoor conditions, increased levels of mold in your home and certain types of mold can exacerbate allergies and, lead to more serious respiratory or other conditions. If you have decided to test your mold, there are two approaches that you can choose.

Mold Testing Option #1: (Self Inspection)
One option available to you is to collect the samples on your own and then take them to a laboratory for analysis. The obvious locations to collect samples are near any leaks or where you have noticed water stains. In addition, you may want to collect samples anywhere that you detect an unusual odor. The difficulty in collecting mold samples on your own, however, is that you may not test all the necessary locations and the interpretation of results is difficult to a non-professional. The average person may overlook hidden mold sources, or may have difficulty testing certain inaccessible areas.

Pros:

  • Is less expensive
Cons:
  • Difficult to do correctly without training
  • Can easily overlook certain suspect areas or hidden mold sources
  • Complication with interpreting laboratory results & tough decisions about how to remedy mold problems

Mold Testing Option #2: (Professional Mold Inspection)
The other option available for mold testing is to contact a professional mold inspector to collect samples and thoroughly evaluate the indoor environment. They are familiar with current guidelines and have the necessary knowledge and skill to gather samples from your carpet, wall and ceiling cavities, all types of surfaces, as well as the air for potential mold problems. Since mold growth can occur almost anywhere, only an experienced person will be capable of identifying if the levels in your home or place of business are irregular.

Pros:

  • Familiar with current guidelines
  • Can find hidden mold sources
  • Have the equipment to test rugs, walls, ceilings, air, etc.
  • Provide detailed description of recommendations to mitigate mold and reduce future mold growth
Cons:
  • Is more expensive, although doing it yourself may ultimately cost more because you may still need to hire the professionals to interpret results more thoroughly evaluate the home, and give detailed recommendations.
What to Look for in a Mold Testing Company
  • Choose a mold testing company that does their lab work in house for faster results
  • Choose a company that specializes in mold testing, and does not perform mold remediation, because of the potential conflict of interest.
  • Look for a company who has a reliable history in the mold testing business, who is a member of relevant organizations (AIHA, IAQA, AIAQC), and who can furnish references

After you get your results from your mold testing company, you can then contact a mold remediation company in your area if the results determine you have a mold problem.

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