How to master mold inspection assessments
According to the EPA, you may suspect hidden mold if a building smells moldy, but you cannot see the source, or if you know there has been water damage and residents are reporting health problems. Mold may be hidden in places such as the back side of dry wall, wallpaper, or paneling, the top side of ceiling tiles, the underside of carpets and pads, etc. Other possible locations of hidden mold include areas inside walls around pipes (with leaking or condensing pipes), the surface of walls behind furniture (where condensation forms), inside ductwork, and in roof materials above ceiling tiles (due to roof leaks or insufficient insulation).
Investigating hidden mold problems may be difficult and will require caution when the investigation involves disturbing potential sites of mold growth. For example, removal of wallpaper can lead to a massive release of spores if there is mold growing on the underside of the paper. If you believe that you may have a hidden mold problem, consider hiring an experienced professional.
Areas of focus for mold testing
The key to mold control is moisture control. If mold is a problem in your home, you should clean up the mold promptly and fix the water problem. It is important to dry water-damaged areas and items within 24-48 hours to prevent mold growth.
Keep air conditioning drip pans clean and the drain lines unobstructed and flowing properly. Keep indoor humidity low below 60% if possible.
Attic Moisture Testing
Run the bathroom fan or open the window when showering. Use exhaust fans or open windows whenever cooking, running the dishwasher or dishwashing, etc.
Basement Moisture Testing
Make sure the ground slopes away from the building foundation, so that water does not enter or collect around the foundation.
Wall Moisture Testing
If you see condensation or moisture collecting on windows, walls or pipes act quickly to dry the wet surface and reduce the moisture/water source. Condensation can be a sign of high humidity.
Covering EPA mold testing
According to the EPA, in most cases, if visible mold growth is present, sampling is unnecessary. Since no EPA or other federal limits have been set for mold or mold spores, sampling cannot be used to check a building’s compliance with federal mold standards. Surface sampling may be useful to determine if an area has been adequately cleaned or remediated. Sampling for mold should be conducted by professionals who have specific experience in designing mold sampling protocols, sampling methods, and interpreting results. Sample analysis should follow analytical methods recommended by the American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA), the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH), or other professional organizations.
When is mold remediation required?
According to the EPA, the goal of containment is to limit the spread of mold throughout the building in order to minimize the exposure of remediators and building occupants to mold. The larger the contaminated area, and the greater the possibility that someone will be exposed to mold, the greater the need for containment. Although, in general, the size of the contaminated area indicates the level of containment required, the final choice of containment level should be based on professional judgment. Heavy mold growth in a small area, for example, could release more mold spores than lighter growth in a relatively large area. In this case, the smaller contaminated area may warrant a higher level of containment.
Mold & Moisture Testing Equipment
Eco-Rental Solutions rents many different mold and moisture instruments such as:
- TSI Q-Trak XP 7585 Indoor Air Quality MonitorGET QUOTE FOR PRICE
- Sensidyne Aircon-2 High Volume Air SamplerGET QUOTE FOR PRICE
- Flir E-Series Thermal Imaging CameraGET QUOTE FOR PRICE
- Extech MO297 Moisture MeterGET QUOTE FOR PRICE
- Allegro High Volume Sampling PumpGET QUOTE FOR PRICE
- TSI Q-Trak Indoor Air Quality MonitorGET QUOTE FOR PRICE