Do I Need Mold Testing? We are going to tell you something right away about mold inspections and mold testing that is going to make 99% of all other mold companies and mold inspectors cringe.
We know of no other mold remediation or mold testing company that will reveal this but we are going to do just that – because it is our mission to get you good information about mold in order to combat all the misinformation and fiction that dominates our industry.
Ready? Here are the facts…. If you already see visible mold, you usually do NOT need a mold inspection or mold testing. If you already see visible mold, why do you need to spend your hard earned dollars to have a professional tell you that you have a problem? YOU DON’T.
Instead – you need to remove the mold following industry standard guidelines as we discuss below.
There ARE many cases where a mold inspection and mold testing IS a good idea and we will discuss this below as well. We also discuss below why home mold tests that you can buy at hardware stores are a waste of money.
So why is a mold inspection and mold testing almost always unnecessary if you already see visible mold? Don’t you need to know what kind of mold it is? In most cases, the surprising answer here is “no.” For starters, so called “Black Mold” is a term that is misused and misunderstood. And the fact is – any mold – black, green, white, pink (yes…. we’ve seen pink) is not normal for the interior of a living or work space – and it needs to be removed.
Doesn’t the type of mold matter in determining the right way to properly remove the mold? No. In fact, once visible mold is present, the same Mold Remediation Principles are followed to remove it regardless of the color, species, etc.
Do I need Mold Testing? Would you like to know for sure? Call the experts at United Fire & Water Damage of LA, LLC (225) 755-7923 LA State Mold Lic #250487
If this all sounds too hard to believe, especially coming from a mold company, don’t take our word for it. Here is what the Environmental Protection Agency says verbatim:
In most cases, if visible mold growth is present, sampling is unnecessary. Since no EPA or other federal limits have been set for mold or mold spores, sampling cannot be used to check a building’s compliance with federal mold standards. Surface sampling may be useful to determine if an area has been adequately cleaned or remediated. Sampling for mold should be conducted by professionals who have specific experience in designing mold sampling protocols, sampling methods, and interpreting results. Sample analysis should follow analytical methods recommended by the American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA), the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH), or other professional organizations.”(Source: EPA) – See more from the EPA here – http://www.epa.gov/mold/moldguide.html
Notice the EPA says that not only is mold testing usually unnecessary when visible mold is present, but they also tell you that there are no federal guidelines yet for determining the amount of mold spores that is safe or dangerous. Although no federal guidelines exist on mold spore counts, we can compare the number of indoor mold spores to the number of outdoor mold spores, for example, to get a relative idea of the levels of mold present in the tested environment. Thus, when a mold inspection and test is needed, knowing the indoor and outdoor spore counts is essential. Do I need Mold Testing?
The EPA paragraph did give an indication that mold testing can be useful in certain circumstances, though. We will expand on this point further, and answer the question:
When do I need mold testing?
- When visible mold is not present, but there are indications that there is a problem related to mold.
- When an occupant is symptomatic. In some cases a doctor or the patient has a health issue that they cannot pinpoint the cause but seems to be related to mold symptoms (coughing, sneezing, headaches, etc). Here, a mold inspection and test may help to confirm whether the doctor’s or patient’s suspicions that a mold problem exists.
- There have been plumbing leaks or water issues and there is a suspicion that elevated mold may exist in the air and/or behind walls.
- Post Mold Removal / Remediation – to ensure that the previous mold issues has been resolved and mold counts have returned to levels comparable with the outdoor counts for that particular event.
- For real estate transactions for the protection of Buyers and Sellers.
- Landlord/Tenant disputes as to whether there is a mold problem.
- Someone is interested in a general Indoor Air Quality test of their environment.
Why Over-The-Counter Home Mold Tests Kits Are A Waste of Your Money: Do I need Mold Testing?
- Mold samples are often misleading or simply wrong (i.e. due to error). You need a professional to interpret the results.
- Home Mold Test Kits don’t include a visual inspection conducted by a mold professional … very important! A professional mold inspection includes not only sampling but also a comprehensive visual and infrared inspection. United Fire & Water will use our experience as well as some very high tech tools to locate any moisture related issues within your property.
- Mold is everywhere – ALL properties have small amounts of mold. When a petri dish from a home mold test tells you that you have mold, it is not telling you anything useful since every home has mold!
- If you suspect a mold problem but do not actually see it or smell it, these test kits do not help you locate the problem or tell you how serious it is.
- Here is what the U.S. Government EPA says, verbatim: “Sampling for mold should be conducted by professionalswho have specific experience in designing mold sampling protocols, sampling methods, and interpreting results. Sample analysis should follow analytical methods recommended by the American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA), the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH), or other professional organizations.”