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Mold Testing and Inspections

Here is a brief overview on how mold testing is performed and what it accomplishes.

Air Samples:

These mold tests are taken with a vacuum pump and a spore trap. The spore trap is basically a plastic cassette with a lab slide that has adhesive on it. The vacuum pump sucks air into the spore trap, and any mold spores in the air stick to the slide. These cassettes are sent in to a third-party laboratory, preferably one that is AIHA accredited, where they are opened and analyzed. The standard procedure is that an outside control sample is taken and compared to various inside air samples to see if abnormal or “elevated” conditions exist.

Surface Samples:

Direct samples can be taken with a swab or tape lift when visible mold is present. This is helpful to the inspector because not all mold, including Stachybotrys, is easily airborne. It is very possible to have visible mold and not have an airborne mold problem, especially in water damage related mold growth that has recently started to colonize. These samples are used as proof for the inspector to make the correct recommendations and useful to help determine if the species is surface mold or deep rooted into a material.

The mold inspector will then take these lab results and make recommendations off of them along with what they saw on the visual inspection. Ultimately the inspector is performing mold tests to determine if:

  1. There is a mold problem or not
  2. What or where the source is
  3. How far has the problem spread
  4. What needs to be done in order to fix the issue.

Tests are also taken at the end of a mold remediation to confirm a job has been completed correctly.

This typically called clearance testing a Post Remediation Verification Testing.

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