What you need to know about Mold testing and inspection
Mold growth is common around the world. It is nature’s way of cleaning up decaying matter such as dead animals or plants through biodegradation. Molds are a distinct species of fungus that need moisture for growth and have the ability to spread fast in damp environments. Some illnesses are attributed to sensitive reactions to molds such as allergies, irritations or may trigger respiratory conditions such as asthma. Inhalation or ingestion may result in a variety of serious complications as the microbes are known to release toxic chemicals (Mycotoxins) known harmful to humans.
Molds are also responsible for accelerating the spoilage of food and the deterioration of damp or water soaked building materials such as wood as the fungus starts to “eat” the affected areas. Mold infestation may result to considerable damage to property if left unchecked and untreated. As such, immediate action should be taken when you notice mold growths in your home or building to eliminate the health risks and potentially expensive repairs.
To determine what types of mold and what treatment should be implemented, and to establish the extent of damage to your property and what repairs are needed to be done, a mold testing and professional assessment should be conducted by a reputable mold specialist company.
The processes of Mold Inspection
Mold inspections are a process of identifying areas affected by mold growth and the extent of infestations. Mold inspections also consider the probable sources or causes of the growth, the scope of damage to the property and what remedies or solutions can be implemented to address the problem.
There are different methods employed in the conduct of Mold Inspection. First is the ocular inspection of the building, where the Inspector looks for visible mold growth areas in and around your property. Taken into consideration are factors which may cause fungi development such as indications of water damage, areas where there may be leaks such as pipes, gutter and roofing, walls and so forth.
After the initial visual inspection, the next step would be to check humidity levels around the building specifically on all the walls and areas where there are sources of water. Moisture and humidity levels are determined using a special tool or a moisture meter which reads the moisture levels in all areas of concern. A healthy and universally accepted level should be 15% or less.
At this point, if humidity or moisture levels are determined to be higher than the acceptable level, or if the Inspector actually encounters visible signs of mold concentrations, he shall recommend that mold samples be taken for testing, which is then analyzed in a mold testing laboratory. This will establish with certainty if the area within or surrounding the building is infested.
The commonly used method in collecting mold samples is through air sampling where a “spore trap” is used to collect samples which will then be sent to a laboratory for analysis. The results will show the type of fungal or mold strain and the quantity of spores flying through the air. Basically, two air samples are needed, one from the inside and another from the outside of the building. The results of the test will show if the spores are the same inside and outside the building, determining if the types of strains are the same and will show the ratio that Inspector may use for analysis.
How long it takes to finish the process of Mold Testing and Inspection
Laboratory results typically come out after 3 to 4 days; add two more days to enable the Inspector to collate all data for final analysis. A written report detailing the results of all collected data and samples plus the recommended actions to be taken shall be submitted, discussed and interpreted in detail by your Mold Inspector.
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