How much is a thorough visual inspection and sampling?
PLEASE NOTE: Air testing requires two samples (one indoor and one outdoor).
Air Sampling tells you what types of mold is in your air and tells you how much of it is there. An air test consist of two samples, one sample from of the indoor air, and one control sample from the outdoor air. The outdoor sample serves as a baseline standard, this will tell you the what the levels and types of mold should be in your home. An "elevated mold condition" exists when lab results show that the indoor air has a higher spore count than the outdoor air.
SURFACE SAMPLES: (Swab or Tape Lift)
Surface sampling will accurately identify all types of mold growing on a single surface, but will not quantify. Furthermore, mold found in surface samples is not necessarily an accurate representation of what is in the air. In fact, it is entirely possible to find specific types of mold growing on surfaces that has not yet become airborne.
WHY IS IT USEFUL TO IDENTIFY SURFACE MOLD TYPES?
Mold produces mold spores. When surface mold is disturbed, thousands (perhaps even millions) of tiny spores become airborne, which may ultimately end up in the lungs of anyone nearby. It is beneficial to know whether or not the mold growing on a surface is toxic before attempting to clean it so that you can take adequate measures to protect yourself and others from potentially harmful effects.
Both surface and air sampling techniques are widely recognized as the best processes for achieving accurate evaluations of both indoor air quality (IAQ) and the specificity of surface mold types. However, the use of one without the other may result in an inaccurate characterization of the area sampled. For example, Stachybotrys (a known toxic mold) has shown up in surface samples but not air samples in the same property. Often times there can be certain types of mold on a surface that are not airborne... YET. For that reason it is prudent to sample both air and surface molds (in some cases).
What to expect from a Mold Inspection:
Clients disclose why they would like a mold inspection. Usually they have seen mold, smell a musty odor, feel a high humidity in the home or have become ill at home or a combination of these. Lately we have received numerous calls from clients that just want to know what is in the air they are breathing.
Looking for visual microbial activity, water stains, moisture intrusion, musty odors, from room to room. Checking suspect areas with a moisture meter or thermal imaging camera to detect further moisture in wall cavities.
The visual inspection and consultation will indicate which rooms need to be air sampled along with an outdoor control sample. If a surface area is suspect such as a wall, window pane, or piece of furniture then a swab or a tape lift sample can be taken.
The report comes directly from the lab, it includes the type of molds, the levels, the normal levels, the glossary of mold, and the probable exposure symptoms. This report is a legal document and is attached to a chain of custody from a certified mold professional.
Recommendations and Removal
Any recommendations will be done by a certified mold professional. We will go over your report, talk with your Inspector, and give you advice of how to remove the mold, this service is free to our clients. Some clients will have use a mold remediation company. mold removal can be more dangerous than having dormant mold in a home. Air scrubbers, negative air pressure machines, gloves and masks should be used. We can write up a protocol for a mold remediation company, for an additional charge.
Final Air Sampling
Air samples of the same rooms should be done after all moldy surfaces are cleaned or removed. Final air sampling will show mold levels decreased to an acceptable level in these rooms. Lab results from final air sampling is the proof you need to be assured that the infesting mold has been removed properly and completely.