Mold Detection in Homes
How do we detect mold in homes? How can we detect mold that may not be visible or how do we detect mold behind walls? These are all common questions that we get asked as professionals in the environmental industry.
First off, it’s important to keep in mind that a mold issue is not just going to arise out of nowhere. There are various different causes of mold growth including: moisture intrusion, leaks, elevated relative humidity levels and improper ventilation.
Some signs that you may have abnormal mold conditions:
- Visible suspect mold growth
- Musty-like odors
- Experiencing adverse health reactions such as: cough, congestion, irritated eyes, breathing issues and other allergy-like symptoms
The first step in identifying a possible mold issue within a home is understanding the concerns of the homeowner. What is prompting your need for a mold inspection and testing?
Once the concerns of the homeowner are discussed, one of our Certified Mold Inspectors will do a visual inspection/assessment of the areas of the concern; whether that is one area of your home or throughout. During that visual inspection/assessment they will be looking for any signs of mold growth and/or moisture. Based off of that inspection/assessment we will recommend the appropriate types of mold samples to take to establish whether normal or abnormal mold conditions exist.
There are various types of mold testing; the two types of sampling that Mold Detection offers are indoor air quality testing, or air sampling, and swab surface sampling.
Indoor Air Quality Testing or air sampling will tell us the types of molds that are airborne and their elevations. This is helpful in detecting mold that may not be visible to the human eye. We can also perform wall cavity sampling, using a spore trap extension, to help determine if abnormal fungal/mold conditions exist behind walls. For more on Indoor Air Quality Testing click here.
Swab Surface Sampling will tell us the genus of mold that is present in a specific area. Swab Surface Sampling is commonly used in attics, crawl spaces and any other areas when you need to determine if what you are seeing is in fact mold and, if so, the genus or type of mold that it is. For more on swab surface sampling click here.
Once samples are collected they are shipped to a laboratory for analysis. Keep in mine, not all labs are created equal! Mold Detection uses EMSL Laboratories http://emsl.com, which is a nationally accredited and certified laboratory.
Once the lab results are in, Mold Detection will provide you with a thorough report based off of the inspection and lab results. This report will detail everything that was observed during the mold inspection, an interpretation of the lab results, any suggested action items to help prevent future mold growth and, if the sample detected abnormal mold conditions, we will include suggested remedial actions.
If you need help interpreting lab results from mold testing or are in need of a second opinion, do not hesitate to contact us.
If you live in Pennsylvania or New Jersey and are concerned that you may have mold in your home, contact us to speak with an expert about having your home inspected for mold. PA Office: 215-804-1077 or NJ Office: 609-457-1134