Mold is naturally occurring. If the environment outside your home contains mold, which it most likely does, mold will make its way into your home through the outdoor air that enters through open doors and windows, as well as through normal air infiltration. Mold needs moisture, organic material, and the right temperature range to reproduce and grow. Additionally, relative humidity of approximately 50% or higher, stagnant air or airtight structures, damp areas or products (towels, rags, clothes), incomplete/ improperly cleaned areas where mold has infested and low nitrogen concentrations in the air or soil can influence the growth of mold.
A mold sample consists of taking air samples from inside and outside the home. The outside air sample serves a control sample. As mold is present in the environment, comparing indoor air samples with an outside, control sample helps to determine if mold is growing inside the home or is simply making its way into a home from the outside air.
Once the samples are taken, they are sent to an accredited laboratory, which will identify the types and levels of mold collected. High levels of certain molds may not be problematic unless a person living in the home has mold allergies.
People allergic to mold typically have allergy, cold or flu-like symptoms that may linger for weeks or months. These symptoms include sneezing; cough or postnasal drip; itchy nose, throat or eyes; and a runny or stuffy nose. Mold allergies can also trigger asthma, resulting in wheezing, shortness of breath and even chest tightness.
Exposure to toxic mold will produce different symptoms. These symptoms include memory problems to chronic sinus infections, balance issues and even morning stiffness/joint pain. Once mold is removed from their homes, people suffering from symptoms for mold allergies or toxic mold often see their symptoms mysteriously disappear.
When to Schedule a Mold Sample & Analysis
If you notice a musty smell when you enter your home after the doors and windows have been closed for several hours, you may want to have your home tested for mold. In many cases, a homeowner may have become so accustomed to the musty smell that he or she may no longer notice it. An experienced home inspector, though, will notice this musty smell immediately!
If you or members of your family experience any of the symptoms associated with mold allergies or toxic mold, you may want to have your home tested.
Who should Attend
It is recommended that you attend the mold sampling session. This will provide an opportunity for you to ask questions and explain any issues that may have influenced or contributed to the mold growth such as water leaks.
What to Expect
Within 48-72 hours of the mold sampling, you will be provided with a comprehensive report describing the mold types, levels, and recommendations.
You can trust Biller and Associates Home Inspection Services to perform accurate, through mold tests. We are not a mold remediation company, which means that we don’t have a financial interest in finding mold in your home. Our only interest is helping you to accurately identify if mold is present, what levels are present and what types of mold are found.
In most cases, mold can be cleaned/ removed by the homeowner. According to the EPA, homeowners can clean up mold themselves if the area containing mold is less than 10 square feet. Here’s more information about cleaning up mold safely: https://www.epa.gov/mold/mold-cleanup-your-home#TipsandTechniques
Why pay for costly remediation if you can do this yourself?