Why you need a mold test
There is nothing worse than suspecting that a stealthy, silent enemy is lurking in your home. When that enemy is mold you may have no idea where to begin in attempting to locate it. Even if you did know where to start, it might not be possible to find it. Consider this, what if a large colony of mold spores is festering behind your drywall? What if it is settling into your insulation for a long winter's stay? How would you ever even know it was there?
Luckily, you don't have to spend your weekend busting down walls and lifting up carpeting to find an enemy that might not even be present. Instead, you can hire a mold testing contractor to test the air in your home. Mold testing is an important and non-invasive aspect of examining your home for a possible mold infestation. It can be difficult to understand the difference between mold testing and mold inspection but in reality, the two are very different.
Mold testing tests the air quality in other areas of your home to make sure you do not need to evacuate. It is normal to find a small amount of airborne mold during a mold testing, but your mold testing contractor will let you know if your rooms harbor a more dangerous level.
A mold inspection is a comprehensive visual inspection of your home to look for mold. When you have a mold inspection, the inspector will examine all areas of your home with various tools and the resulting inspection report can include:
- Photographs of infected areas
- A written plan of action or suggested course of action
- A diagnosis of the source of the mold
- Laboratory test results of samples taken and analyzed
What to Expect
When testing for mold, the purpose is simply to see how much airborne mold (in the form of spores) there is in the rooms of your home. Your mold testing contractor has a tool, sometimes referred to as a sniffer, which can find out how much mold is in the air of your home and whether or not the level is safe. For larger buildings, like schools or hospitals, mold sniffing dogs might be used to test and locate mold colonies.
It is natural to have some mold in your home, so don't be surprised if the results are positive. If your mold testing contractor finds that you have an unsafe level of mold spores in the air of your home, he or she may suggest that you get a mold inspection to locate the mold and identify what kind of mold it is. Mold testing is just the first step in the process of finding and identifying the mold in your home. Mold testing is very simple in that it only measures the amount of mold in the air. It does not locate where a colony might be. Air testing also does not identify what kind of mold you have. Your mold testing contractor will have to test the spores to be able to tell you if you have toxic black mold in your home or less toxic green mold.
Can I Test the Home Myself?
There are many over the counter mold testing kits sold in drug stores and on the internet. While it is an interesting concept to test for mold yourself, when considering that the health of your family is at risk it is best to call in a professional. Should you buy a faulty mold testing kit or use the kit improperly you could miss the signs of an existing or newly beginning mold colony. This can leave your family at risk of breathing in toxic spores and could cause respiratory, lung and neurological disorders.
Having your home tested for mold is one of the easiest, most affordable, and most practical home safety measures you can undertake. You already test the air in your home for deadly carbon monoxide and you have smoke detectors to warn you of smoke in the air-but what do you do to find a possibly toxic mold infestation? With the health and wellness of your family in mind, schedule your annual mold test soon.