Mold is a naturally occurring fungus that grows and thrives off of moisture and a porous material. It is important that when you suspect you have mold on your property that you get it tested to ensure that it can get removed accordingly by professionals in the mold remediation field. A mold test gives you a “snapshot” of the amount of mold particles in a certain area at a certain time, although the amount of mold spores that are present fluctuates over time and from place to place.
For this reason, it is a good idea to test for mold in several different locations of the home at different times of the day. By doing this, you will get a more thorough and accurate picture of the mold problem present on your property. There are three main types of mold testing are air testing, surface testing, and bulk testing. Testing for mold in the home is important because it determines what strain of mold is present on your property so that the professionals working to remediate it can follow correct and strict safety protocol.
Air Testing: Air testing tests the concentration of the mold spores that are present in the air in your home. These samples are taken from the air and are later viewed and examined under a microscope. These tests can tell if you have a mold problem even if you cannot find the mold growth. The amount of mold spores in the air can change remarkably in a small amount of time which can give varying results at different times.
Surface Testing: This kind of testing takes samples from household surfaces to find the amount of mold spores that are strewn across the surfaces. These samples are collected by swabbing, tape lifting, or other methods as well. Just like air testing this sample will then be examined in a laboratory. The results can vary because mold spores do not evenly distribute throughout surfaces and can change over time. The difference between air and surface testing is that surface tests cannot identify the exact concentration of mold spores that are present in the air.
Bulk Testing: Bulk testing involves collecting pieces of material from the home. These personal items are then taken to a laboratory where the mold particles on the material can then be examined under a microscope. These tests easily tell you if you have a mold problem and can give you an idea of the concentration of mold particles in your home.
Culture Testing: Culture tests are when mold particles from a sample of the home are grown into larger colonies. This is how the strain and species of mold present in your home are identified. Only mold particles that are still living can be grown. Dead mold can still cause health problems and allergies though.
The main reasons to test for mold are to identify the strain of mold in your home, to help you figure out where it is growing, to test the indoor air quality by measuring the amount of spores in the air, and to test if mold in your home has been fully eradicated. Most of the mold issues in homes can be taken care of if they are small and localized in nature. For larger mold spores with a lingering odor, a team of professionals in mold remediation should always be called