Mold & Moisture Testing

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At MoldBuster, we offer an array of mold testing services to our clients. 

Mold Testing

Mold testing is a powerful diagnostic tool. It can help to determine a number of things including how much mold there is, how advanced the colony is and what species are growing. Unfortunately, it can also cause a lot of fear if the testing is not done properly and interpreted correctly.

Two types of testing are common. The “home mold test kit” and Professional Testing. 

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A Note On Home Mold Testing Kits

Home mold test kits, sold at most home improvement stores, are typically what is called a settling plate. A settling plate is essentially a petri dish with a growth medium on it. This plate is placed into the home and left open for a period of time. The kit is then sealed and sent to a lab where the mold growth is analyzed and a report generated. 

These tests cause more fear than results and are highly inaccurate. Why? Because there is no reference or control.  Open a door or window and mold spores are in the house. It is guaranteed that here in western Washington, you will have mold growth on a settling plate.  Without actual counts or a control sample, or a proper interpretation of the data, this test is worthless. We’ve had many cases where panic striken parents had us come in after they purchased and used a home mold test. Subsequent professional testing showed their home was totally normal and fine. 

There ARE some tests which allow for swab samples to be taken of mold colonies. The problem there again, without interpretation, panic often ensues when the results come back with scary sounding names like Cladosporium. In addition, knowing how to interpret the tests requires experience to prevent unnecessary demolition and mitigation. 

Professional Air and Surface Testing. 

The gold standard for testing is professional air and surface testing with control samples, reporting and proper chain of custody. 

Air Testing is the most common form. Air testing involves taking air samples from within the structure. The air is fed into a test cartridge with a sticky plate via a calibrated air pump. By running the pump at a calibrated rate over a set specific amount of time, we will then know how many mold spores are present per cubic meter of air. A control sample of the outside air is taken as a reference. The samples are sent to a lab and a data set is generated. We then do a differential comparison between the interior and exterior air samples, looking for differences in counts and species. This type of testing is admissible in court and very accurate. 

Surface Testing. Surface testing, like the home test kits we discussed above, is a very valid method of testing. Unlike home test kits, we have the ability to properly interpret the species and test results to give you an informed decision as to whether to proceed with professional mitigation or whether self cleaning is appropriate. 

Reporting and Interpretation

This is where utilizing an expert really pays off. The ability to look at a report and interpret the results and explain them to the client in plain, easy to understand language, is what sets the professional testing apart. Our Company President does much of the testing and all the report interpretations. 17 years of experience shows. 

Costs

Professional mold testing, is well within the affordability range of most people. Typical costs start around $395. Your Inspector will discuss recommended testing and associated costs with you. Testing is typically far less expensive and invasive than destructive testing which entails ripping things apart. 


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© Kevin Enderle. Enderle Property Services LLC. 2017