Mold & Indoor Air Quality
Mold, It's Everywhere, Just Add Water
Mold is ubiquitous meaning it is everywhere. That's right everyware, on all the surfaces in your home outside of your home and in the air we all breathe you will find mold spores. You need only for a surface to stay wet for 48 hours and mold colonies will begin to grow
So why test for something that we already know is there?
Qualify vs Quantify. There are 2 main types of testing that can be done on mold:
Qualitative - This type aims to qualify if a sample is or is not mold and nothing more.
Quantitative - This type of test is designed to measure a quantity of mold in a certain area
I do not recommend doing Qualitative only surface sampling, unless it is part of a bigger quantitative analysis aimed at establishing whether a mold problem exists in the home or not. I believe testing a single surface sample to confirm if it is a growth is, in most cases a waste of time and money.
Mold Is Not The Problem, It Is A Symptom.
While the mold itself can be a problem both to your health and the health of a structure, It primarily is an indicator of a Moisture Intrusion Issue. There is no point in remediating mold if you do not correct the moisture intrusion issue, The mold will start growing back almost immediately, water is the real problem.
Knowing When & How To Test For Mold.
You should test for mold when buying a home that:
Has a known or suspected moisture problem
Been recently flipped or newly remodeled basement on a older home.
If you are sensitive to mold spores and want to be sure or have any other reason to suspect an issue with mold.
A worthwhile mold test includes comparative analysis of quantitative air samples from multiple locations within the home and compared to a background sample of the outdoor air.
What Does This Tell Us?
The amount and type of the tell tale spores floating in the air compared to the outdoor air. This will make it clear if there is or was recently a significant mold growth within the home, even if it is behind a wall or fresh coat of paint.