Mold Testing Protocol Post Repairs

Mold Testing Protocol Post Repairs

01If you are like most people you would think once a mold company has finished a job, the workers have cleaned up and your bill is in hand, that you are safe to run free in your home breathing in all the air you want without any harm, right? Well, think again! According to most mold professionals, in many cases, post-repair mold testing is not being done. Of course we all want to save money, but this may not be the time to skimp. If post mold testing is actually being done, the mold removal company is likely the one doing it. However, most service providers recommend that a Certified Hygienist be called in for post mold testing. While this is certainly a good idea, it may be rather costly and unnecessary, especially in relatively mild cases of mold infestations.  Industrial Hygienists are certified by the American Industrial Hygiene Association and equipped with the most current and useful knowledge on Indoor Air Quality. Companies that are performing mold testing without the use of a third party may inherently cause a conflict of interest.

There are at least three goals of mold testing that need to be achieved in the post-repair process:

1. Is mold present in the suspected areas?

2. What kind of mold is it?

3. How much mold is present?

Testing again after repairs will verify if the mold levels were reduced to equal or lesser levels than the levels of mold found from the air outside. When testing for mold post-work, swab or air samples are taken. Air sampling involves a small pump that is calibrated to draw a certain amount of air through a small plastic canister for a specific amount of time. A common method is to draw 15 liters of air for 5 minutes. The “air cell” is then taken to a certified Lab for analysis. Usually an outside air sample is taken to compare the level of mold in your home to the level of mold found naturally outside. If the level of mold inside your home is higher than the level of mold found outside, then most service providers will recommend some type of remediation work. Generally, the cost of each sample to be processed by the lab is around $35. On average most homes tend to require 3-4 samples to get the information needed to make a common sense decision on how extensive the problem may be and how to repair it.

Another good practice is mold testing pre-repair. Mold spores can live anywhere in your home which can make it difficult to find the exact original source of the mold infestation. You may suspect hidden mold if a building smells moldy, but you cannot see the source, or if you know there has been water damage and residents are reporting health problems.  Mold can hide in places such as the back side of dry wall, underneath wallpaper or paneling, the top side of ceiling tiles, the underside of carpets and pads, etc. Other possible locations of hidden mold include areas inside walls around pipes (with leaking or condensing pipes), the surface of walls behind furniture (where condensation forms), inside ductwork, as well as inside roofing materials above ceiling tiles (due to roof leaks or insufficient insulation).

Most mold companies will use a moisture meter to help find areas of moisture in your home that may encourage mold growth. It is always in the best interest of the consumer to hire a service provider that uses common sense when deciding how a mold project should be completed. Homeowners can stay involved in the decision making process by asking the right questions which is why it is important to stay knowledgeable on the subject.

For more information concerning mold and mold remediation, please call Larry directly at 562-818-6946.

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