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Mold Testing

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Mold Testing

After the mold inspection you might feel mold testing is warranted if you couldn't find any mold. Mold testing can either rule out the presence of mold or help track down its location if it's hidden.


After the mold inspection you might feel mold testing is warranted if you couldn't find any mold. Mold testing can either rule out the presence of mold or help track down its location if it's hidden. If mold was found and you decide you want to test the mold to find out its species, eg in case it's toxic or to confirm it really is mold, then testing will also tell you what you want to know.

Mold Remediation:
Once you have found all the mold in your home you're ready to move on to thinking about the mold removal and remediation process.
After you have removed and remediated a mold problem you might want to perform the mold inspection process again to make sure that the mold clean up was successful.

Mold Testing
By having mold testing you can find out if you have a mold problem in your home. Mold tests also measure the amount of mold spores in your home's air and can identify what species of mold you have.

Professional Mold Testing
Ideally you should have mold testing performed for you by a qualified mold professional. Hiring a professional mold tester who is experienced in collecting mold samples and analyzing the tests will always give you the most accurate results.

Mold Test Kits
There are companies who offer mold test kits which you can use to collect samples yourself. This is a less expensive option than having a mold tester come out to test your house. The samples you collect with a mold test kit are sent away to a professional mold testing laboratory who will get back to you with the results.

Why You Should Test for Mold

The main reason you'd want to test for mold is, of course, to find out if you have a mold problem. So what are the clues that you could have a mold problem?

A Mold Smell
The first is a mold smell. If you notice a moldy smell in your home there's a good chance you could have mold hidden somewhere.
Mold Testing to Find Mold
Not only can mold testing tell you if you have a mold problem somewhere in your home, but it can also help you to find it. Mold often grows hidden away behind walls and other places. Mold tests can help you narrow down the location of hidden mold by telling you the places in your home with the highest amount of mold spores.

Mold Testing for Indoor Air Quality
You can have mold testing done to tell you the amount of mold spores in the air. Sometimes you can be suffering the symptoms of mold allergies even if there is no mold growing in your home. This can be because of mold spores blowing into the home from outdoor mold or because there used to be mold growing in your home which left behind a build up of spores. By testing for mold you can tell if there is an unhealthy level of spores in your house and find out if any allergies you might have are from mold or something else.

Mold Testing after Removing Mold
Mold testing can be useful after you've had mold removed from your home. Through testing you can make sure that the mold removal was a success. Surface sampling can show whether an area has been properly cleaned of mold. Having air testing some time after the mold removal can also confirm that mold spores in your home's air have been reduced to a safe level.

Multiple Mold Tests
A mold test gives you a snapshot of the amount of mold particles in a certain area at a certain time. But the amount of mold spores fluctuates over time and from place to place. Because of this it's a good idea to test at several different times and in different locations in your home. This way you will get a more complete and accurate picture of the mold problem in your home. < /p>
Types of Mold Tests

The three main types of mold tests are: < br/>

  • Air testing
  • Surface testing
  • Bulk testing


Ideally you should use all three types of tests since each have their own strengths and weaknesses.
Air Testing for Mold
Air sampling tests the concentration of mold spores in your home's air. Samples are taken from the air and are later examined under a microscope. Air tests can tell you if you have a mold problem even if you cannot find the mold growth. However the amount of mold spores in the air can change drastically in a small amount of time, giving varying results at different times.

Surface Testing for Mold
Surface testing takes samples from household surfaces to find the amount of mold growth and spores deposited around the home. Samples are collected by swabbing, tape lifting or other methods. The sample is then examined in a laboratory. Like with air testing the results can vary because mold growth and spores aren't spread evenly across surfaces in the home and can change over time. Unlike air testing though, surface tests can't identify the exact concentration of mold spores in the air.

Bulk Testing for Mold
Bulk testing involves collecting pieces of material from the home. The material is then taken to a laboratory where mold particles on the material can then be examined under a microscope. Bulk tests can tell you if you have a mold problem and give you an idea of the concentration of mold particles in your home.

Culture Tests for Mold
Culture tests are where mold particles in a sample from the home are grown into larger mold colonies in a lab. This way culture tests identify the species of molds in houses. Only mold particles that are still alive can be grown. However dead mold particles in the home still cause allergies and health problems. Other tests can detect both living and non-living mold in a home but can't always identify the species of molds. Mold Inspection before Testing
Before you turn to mold testing you should have a thorough MOLD INSPECTION of your home done. If the inspection turns up mold then usually you don't need to do any mold testing. Instead you can move onto the mold removal stage. But if you couldn't find any mold but still think you have a mold problem, or if you found some mold but think there is more hidden or that it could be toxic, then it's time to turn to mold testing.

Signs of Mold in House
Below are some common signs to watch out for that could indicate you have mold growing in your house. Allergic Symptoms from Mold If you are having a problem with allergies then there's a good chance there could be mold growing somewhere in your home. Common allergic reactions to mold include sneezing, sore eyes and a runny nose or nasal congestion. Do you notice your allergic reactions are worse when you're at home but you feel better when you go out? If so then it's especially likely you could have mold. If you find that your allergies are worse in some other building, like your workplace, then there could be mold growing there instead.

Smelling a Mold Odor
When you have mold growing hidden away in your house, often a moldy smell might be the only clue that it's there. Don't ignore mold odors if you can't see any mold. You should thoroughly inspect your home before any mold problems get worse.

Seeing Signs of Mold Growth
Visible mold growth might seem like an obvious sign of mold. However many people don't notice small amounts of mold growth or they think it's just soot or dirt. Sometimes people simply ignore visible mold in their house. If you can see mold growth, even if it's only small, you should take action immediately. Small mold patches can spread and the fact that there is any mold shows that the conditions in your home are right for mold to grow. If you don't take care of mold it will soon become a bigger problem.
Visible mold growth could also be a sign that there is a much larger mold colony growing hidden away from view. Sometimes you might not realize there is mold in your house, especially if it is unusual looking mold. Some mold growth looks white and thread-like. Other mold appears as clusters of small black spots. Mold can be black, gray-brown, gray-green or white in color. Mold growing behind wallpaper made of vinyl can even appear orange, pink or purple.

Signs of Water Problems
If you have had any long term moisture problems in your house it's usually inevitable they will lead to mold beginning to grow. So if you know you've had some water problems in your home then it's a pretty good sign you could have mold. Some signs that you have a moisture problem include water stains or discoloration on walls, floors or ceilings in your house. Seeing these could be a clue that there is mold growing within or behind the material. Another sign of a moisture problem is surface abnormalities like peeling, bubbling or cracking of the paint or wallpaper. If your walls are bowed, bulging or warped it probably means moisture has gotten into them. Another clue is if the surface of walls or other materials feel damp.

Water Leaks
The above signs of water problems in homes are usually created by leaks. However if you already know that you have had a water leak (such as leaking pipes or a leaking ceiling) then just that knowledge by itself, even if you don't see signs of water damage, is a good sign that you might have mold growing in your house around the area where the leak was. Mold growth from leaks can often be hidden. If the leak was behind a wall or other surface then any mold will probably be hidden behind the surface too. Even if the leak was not behind a surface there could still be mold hidden out of view behind a wall or other surface from water which seeped through.
Where mold grows describes how to find mold in your home and lists places mold often grows, including hidden mold. Past Flooding. If your house has been flooded in the past then it's likely that mold would've started to grow. Any mold would probably be growing in places where flood water remained the longest such as in the BASEMENT. Floods can often create mold growing out of view behind walls or under floors.

Condensation
If you see a lot of condensation in your home then it's a sign that you have a high amount of moisture and hence a sign that you could have a mold problem. Condensation will occur on surfaces such as glass windows or metal pipes. Mold could be growing where the condensation builds up and collects. Rusting indoor pipes are a sign that you could have a lot of condensation in your house. Besides the fact that condensation creates a buildup of moisture for mold to grow on, condensation can also be a sign that you have a humidity problem in your home. A high humidity level can feed mold and it is another sign that you might have a potential mold problem. MOLD CAUSES talks about condensation and the other main causes of mold in houses.