While there are currently no EPA or federal regulations on mold testing and sampling, both should be handled by a professional. A knowledgeable professional trained in handling mold can offer a safe and accurate analysis of the types of mold in your building or home’s interior. Mold is a major allergen for many people and can lead to respiratory illnesses. Despite the lack of regulations, improving indoor air quality often results in healthier family members and employees working and living in the space.
Visible mold doesn’t necessarily need to be sampled. You can see it with the naked eye. However, once you have scrubbed the area and thoroughly cleaned the mold spores away, a sampling can ensure the mold is in fact gone. There are several professional organizations, such as the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (HCGIH) or the American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA), who have set the standard for mold sampling in order to get the most accurate results. A mold professional should utilize these standards when testing your air. Obtaining a sample for testing on your own can be problematic. There is a chance you will release spores into the air causing further issues. If you must do it yourself, wear gloves and use a clean Ziplock bag to carefully obtain a sample of the mold-laden material. You will want to follow the labs instructions carefully before sending in samples for analysis.
Once you have a good sample of the mold in question, the lab should follow safety protocols for accurate testing results. Having a certified mold tester can help ensure those results are correct. Once you know the type of mold you are dealing with, you can more effectively eliminate it from the area. Certain types of mold, such as black mold,should be handled with extreme care. Many labs can send test results back within two weeks.
Once you receive the results and you know which type of mold is in the interior of your home or building, you can determine the precautions necessary to remove it. There are simple ways to eliminate the build-up of mold in the building including repairing any leaking pipes, cleaning up standing water and placing exhaust vents in high humidity areas.
Mold is something you should take seriously. However, with proper sampling and testing, a full mold remediation is possible. Soon you will be able to take a deep breath and relax, knowing the air you’re breathing is mold free.