What is Mold Testing? – Mold Testing Monmouth
Mold Testing Monmouth – What is Mold Testing?
Mold testing is, quite simply, when a professional takes a sample of either the air or the surface of a home or other structure. This is done to determine the presence of mold and what kind it is. Let’s go over each type here.
This can be done in any number of ways. The most common way is to use a spore trap to come up with a sample of the area. Basically, a known volume of air passes through a sticky surface onto which air particles adhere. These substances can include mold spores, which are also captured on the sticky surface. At the lab, stains are applied to the surface that can identify and quantify the types of mold spores found there. Other methods of mold sampling include culturing or growing captured mold spores; however, the spore trap method is the most common.
Mold Testing Monmouth – Surface Samples
This can be achieved in one of three ways: bulk samples, swab samples or tape samples. Here we will go into more depth on each:
- Bulk samples: An actual piece of the sampled area is removed and sent for testing.
- Swab samples: A cotton swab rubbed over the affected area is sent for testing at the lab.
- Tape samples: Clear tape is pressed against the area to pick up mold spores and is sent to the lab.
Once the lab receives the samples, they are analyzed via a glass microscope slide with the addition of a special stain agent that is absorbed by the mold spores. The sample is then evaluated by the lab technician who will determine if mold growth is indeed present as well as the type.
According to the EPA, sampling for mold should be conducted by professionals who have experience in designing mold sampling protocols and methods as well as interpreting results. Such sample analysis must follow methods as recommended by the American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA), the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH), and other professional organizations.
There are a few things that are important to know about mold testing, such as:
- Mold inspections should be on the lookout for evidence of past or current mold growth. If past growth is detected, this could indicate a water problem that could come back as part of a recurring leak, for example. This may also cause sensitized individuals to suffer allergic reactions to the mold.
- Mold inspectors should search for mold not only on the surface of walls and ceilings within a building, but also inside walls and other areas where mold growth can’t readily be seen. This is because mold could be proliferating sight unseen, all the while causing structural issues, such as wood decay in crawlspaces.
- Not all mold is bad. Some mold growth can be perfectly normal, such as Ceratosystis and Ophiostoma, which both grow on lumber. You’ll often find this type of mold on two by fours or other structural framing components within a structure. They may result in black staining on the wood, but this is no concern for the structural integrity of the building.
- Any mold inspection should also be on the lookout for sources of moisture. Because mold needs moisture to grow, the presence of water must be found and mitigated in order for the mold not to come back after removal.
Stock Environmental Consulting – Mold Testing Monmouth specializes in mold testing for residential and commercial applications. Call us for a free consultation today at 732-383-5190.