Mold Testing

The Basics:
Molds are a part of the natural environment. Molds are simple, microscopic organisms, found virtually everywhere, indoors and outdoors. Mold spores are very tiny and lightweight, which allows them to travel through the air. Mold growths can often be seen in the form of discoloration, ranging from white to orange and from green to brown and black. When in large quantites, molds can cause allergic symptoms similar to those by ordinary plant pollen. In order for mold to grow, it needs the following:
· Food sources—such as leaves, wood, paper, or dirt

· Sources of moisture

· A place to growThe following sections will provide you with ways that you can realize the indications of mold, how to prevent it from occurring, and how to get rid of it if it is present in your home…

How to Prevent Mold

Mold can be prevented from further damaging your home by continuing to check for the following:

· Moisture condensation on windows

· Cracking of plasterboard

· Drywall tape or wallpaper loosening

· Wood warping or cupping

· Musty smell

If any of the above is seen, seek out and take steps to eliminate the source of water penetration as quickly as possible.

Detection & Indicators of Mold
If you can see mold or if there is an earthly musty odor, you can assume that you have a mold problem. Allergic individuals will have reactions in areas of mold growth. Some of these reactions may include: sneezing, coughing, asthmatic episodes, eye irritation, nose and throat irritation, fever, chills, aches, pains and many more. Be sure to look for previous water damage on porous materials. Visible mold growth is often found underneath materials where water has damaged surfaces or behind walls. Also, look for discoloration and leaching from plaster. Another way to indicate if there is mold in your home is to get it tested. However, it is not recommended by the West Virginia Bureau for Public Heath to test your home for the initial determination. If you can see or smell mold, you have a moisture and mold problem. One must identify the moisture source and correct it. Airborne mold assessments require sampling equipment, so that should be taken care of by trained professionals; such as the Inspectors with Advantage Home & Environment. Standard assessment methods will vary depending on the type of material sampled. If sampling is done, normally a combination of source samples and airborne samples is recommended. Currently, there are no air standards for levels of mold indoors. Outdoor mold levels should always be taken during the same sampling time to compare with indoor air mold levels to provide a baseline for comparison.

Download our Samples Mold Reports

Good Mold Report

Bad Mold Report

Mold is the #1 cause for allergic symptoms, and has been linked to several cases of fatal pulmonary disorders. Unless the source of moisture is removed and the contaminated area is cleaned and disinfected, mold growth is likely to reoccur.

Solutions to a Mold Problem

In the event of serious mold problem there is a possibility that some possessions may need to be discarded due to contamination. In deciding what should go and what should stay, one should use their best judgment. If the material  can absorb water, it is considered porous. Porous materials may need to be thrown out or decontaminated if exposed to long periods of dampness. Materials such as hard plastic, glass and metal usually can be cleaned and disinfected. When disinfecting your home, the first step is to identify the moisture problem. Remove the source of moisture and begin the clean up and drying out process immediately. Mold-contaminated materials should be bagged and discarded. Remove and replace all sheetrock and insulation damaged by water up to a minimum of 12 inches above the high water mark. You will need to visually inspect to see if you need to remove more than the 12 inches. Clean surfaces with a non-ammonia soap/detergent and hot water or a commercial cleaner. Thoroughly scrub and rinse clean with water. After cleaning apply disinfection solution of household bleach to the surface: recommend to start with 1 part Clorox to 10 parts water; 1:10. If the mold has already started to grow back, try a stronger solution. Bleach solution should be applied with a handheld garden sprayer. Be sure to thoroughly wet the studs, wall cavities, and floors. Use wet-dry vacuum to collect the extra solution. Dry out the affected area as quickly as possible, using fans and dehumidifiers. Recommend up to six weeks or more for the drying process before installing new building materials.