Mold tests you can do yourself include air testing and surface testing. For obvious reasons some professionals would want you to believe that you cannot perform even basic air quality testing in your home or office. The truth is that anyone capable of following simple instructions can perform air quality testing in their homes if they have the right tools to do the job.
Mold tests you can do yourself saves you money
Majority of homeowners and property owners who seek a mold inspection turn out to have minor problems…problems they could have taken care of themselves. Of course most are happy that their mold problems are minor but after a while it’s human nature to be unhappy when they realize they have paid $2000 (or more depending on the size of the home and the number of samples collected) for a mold inspection they could have done themselves and save money.
But for most people, “Self-Testing” (using the same tools used by professionals) in areas of concern is all they need to identify if mold is present in excessive amounts.
Read on to help you decide whether Self-Testing is right for you and what mold testing kit/package meets your needs.
Mold tests you can do yourself effectively at your home or office!
Testing your home for mold will help you to find out the following:
- Is it mold? If you have visible mold you will be able to confirm whether it’s mold or not and most important WHAT TYPE.
- Where is the mold located? For example you may find that if the mold problem is localized in the basement, the total spore counts from the basement sample could be several times higher than those from non-affected rooms.
- How much mold spores are the occupants or my family inhaling?
Having the answers to the above questions will enable you to make an informed decision as to whether further investigation and/or remedial action is necessary.
- If the results point towards further investigation you will be equipped with unbiased results that will help you determine the quality of future investigation.
- If the results point towards the need for remedial action you will be equipped with results you gathered yourself and in which you can have confidence.
Air Quality Testing
To perform air quality testing, you require:
- RENTAL of Air-Sampling Equipment, sampling Instructions (24 Hours rental only).
- at 3 Air-O-Cell or Allergenco cassettes
If you need to test air in every room of your house (recommended) you need to order for additional filter cassettes.
Visible Mold Testing
If you’re interested in sampling visible mold growth you require:
- 3 Tape Lift slides or Bulk Samples
Why You Need to Conduct Air Sampling of Your Home
Frequently mold is hidden. Sometimes mold is visible. You can see it along the baseboard or creeping up the wall. More often it is only suspected: a family member is experiencing health problems of unknown origin, the wall appears stained, or the house smells musty. Mold, especially Stachybotrys chartarum (atra), is often hidden within the building envelop (i.e., inside the walls).
Mold spores are ‘aerodynamic.’ In other words, they are designed to float in the air.
The simple and non-intrusive way to find hidden mold is to test the air.
How to Conduct Your Own ‘Professional’ Mold Inspection:
It’s fun doing your own mold testing and it’s easier than vacuum cleaning the carpet or doing laundry.
Collection of Volumetric Air Samples
The 1st step is to carefully read the sampling instructions that will be sent to you with the RENTED sampling equipment.
The 2nd step is to determine the ‘Areas of Concern.’ As experienced Indoor Air Quality Consultants, we start by identifying the ‘AOC.’ The AOC might be a musty-smelling bath or bedroom, a room where there has been a plumbing problem or roof leak, or in a bedroom where an allergic child sleeps. Indicators are musty smells, deterioration from water damage and of course, visible ‘suspect’ mold.
The 3rd step is to conduct “volumetric” air sampling in those areas using our easy to use testing system exactly like a professional consultant.
Collection of Tape Lift Samples
The 4th step is the collection of one or more Tape Lift samples of suspected or visible mold. The samples are conducted by gently pressing the adhesive end of the tape slide onto the surface of the visible mold.
Each sample should be labelled with the date collected and the location where collected.
The 5th step is that the collected air samples, tape lift samples and the RENTED sampling equipment will BE RETURNED TO US. We will test your samples within 3 days and send you a report by email, fax or mail.
By comparing the indoor result to the outdoor result you will gain valuable information regarding your Area of Concern…. and to know if you have a ‘problem interior.’
Remember With Mold: It’s the TYPE OF MOULD and HOW MUCH is there that matters!
How many test cassettes should I order?
Simply put, order one for each floor of your home or for every 500 square feet of space you are testing, plus one for the outside control sample. For greater accuracy, if you have an area of concern (complaint area) on a given floor it is recommended that you test in both that area as well as a non-compliant area.