The purpose of mold testing is to know scientifically if mold is present. If so, what kind of mold and how much. Knowing what kind of mold is present in a structure can be valuable information to both the owner of the structure and the mitigator. In commercial structures the owner is typically concerned about providing occupants with a clean, safe, and healthy environment. If there is a concern about mold being present, having scientific proof that it is indeed present or is not present can be critical to avoiding liability for occupants’ real or perceived health issues.
For the owner of a home, knowing what kind of mold is in a home can help with an accurate medical diagnosis and proper medical treatment if necessary. In both cases, doing a pre-test before the mold is mitigated can give a mitigator valuable information about the severity of the problem and any special precautions the mitigation crew should take.
Bixler Corporation’s policy is to begin a mold mitigation project only if a pre-test has been done. Having a pretest gives the mitigator a baseline for what, where, and how bad is the problem. The charge for this test is $450.
Once the mold has been mitigated, doing a post-test to make sure that the mold has been mitigated properly is imperative. Without scientific proof and documentation, the owner of the home or commercial facility cannot be sure that the mold has been properly mitigated. This leaves the home or business owner open to possible legal action and potential health issues.
Mold testing is done by either sampling the air or sampling a surface. A quality air test is comprised of air samples from areas that have visual evidence of mold, areas that are adjacent to mold affected areas, and a control sample from the outside.
The outside control sample is critical to being able to evaluate the level of mold present in a structure. Every time a door or window is opened, whatever mold is outside is coming inside. Comparing the inside mold report to the outside is the only way to accurately evaluate the extent of a mold problem.
Tape and swab samples are great for identifying what kind of mold and how much is in a specific area. Rather than relying on a specific count, these samples are ranked as high, medium, low, and none detected. If you were to do a tape sample on a wall and it came back high for Stacybotrys, the tape sample would indicate there was Stacybotrys on that specific wall. It works well for knowing exactly where a type of mold is located, but it doesn’t give any information about where else it might be found.