When you suspect you have a potential mold problem, you want to call a certified mold inspector to assess the situation. At BioSweep Southeast we don't believe in causing panic, or selling you on a service that you do not need. A consultation from BioSweep Southeast is free of charge and you can always count on our BioSweep team to give you an honest assessment. When a BioSweep Certified Mold Technician arrives into your home or office, you will often see him or her looking in various areas that are prone to mold growth. This is called a visual inspection. The technician will often assess visually to detect any signs of moisture damage or mold. Often, he will also use several inspection tools to assess the dampness in the wood and drywall and the humidity levels of the air coming out of your HVAC system.

A BioSweep Certified Mold Inspector will only recommend air quality testing when there are signs or symptoms of mold damage, but there is no visual indication of mold present.

Performing air sample testing is a very effective tool to determine the mold spore counts and the type of mold present. In order to collect air samples you have to be trained and have the appropriate tools and utilize the right techniques. DIY home kits are not recommended for this reason. Air samples provide valuable information about potential hidden moisture damage present in a home. They can also offer peace of mind in the event that there is no mold issue in the home or office. 

When to Perform Mold Air Sample Testing

We recommend performing air quality testing anytime you are purchasing a home that may appear to have previous water damage or a prior history of flooding or mold issues, especially if the home has been vacant or if someone in your family is particularly sensitive to mold.  This test can also be performed on your existing home if you are having allergy symptoms or had a recent water damage event. Another reason to perform air sample testing is if you had recent construction in your home, a water leak or an HVAC issue that has resulted on the air in your home having to much moisture. Typically mold growth can only occur where water or moisture is present.  Mold spores are everywhere in the air, but do not reach elevated levels that are harmful to humans unless elevated moisture levels are present. So any time there is a water/moisture issue, there is potential for mold growth. And if any hidden moisture or water leaks are present that are not readily visible to a home inspector, then mold air sample testing can be an effective way to test the mold spore counts in the air, and alert your or the potential home buyer buyer to the need to investigate further if elevated results come back from the lab.

Often as a property manager, your tenants might ask you about the testing for mold. An air quality test can provide you with the documentation you need to determine whether there is an issue in the home or not. As a realtor, you might need to advise your clients to get the property tested before buying it or selling it if you suspect there is a mold issue present or if there are any particular areas of concern during a general home inspection.

How is Mold Air Sample Testing Performed?

A BioSweep Certified Mold Inspector will use a pump and sample collection system that will take a sample of the air present in the home.  There are small cartridges that have a tiny slide within them, and when air is pulled at a steady rate by a pump through the opening in the cartridge, samples of the particles in the air stick to the internal slide.  The inspector will run each sample for a designated amount of time and at a designated air flow rate.  This provides consistency in the sample collection.  One sample is taken outside and acts as a control sample to provide a reference for what levels of mold spores are present in the air at this time. Then indoor samples are taken in common living areas, or in the area of concern.  Typically we would recommend one sample per floor in a home, only when recommended after a visual inspection.

How are the Results Evaluated?

Once the mold air samples are taken, each cartridge is sealed and the samples are shipped overnight to a lab.  The lab analyzes each cartridge and prepares a report outlining the mold spore types present and the count of mold spore types for each sample.  A written report is prepared showing the breakdown of mold counts per type.  The lab will make a determination on whether the counts present are within a normal or elevated/problem range. If results come back in an elevated or problem state, it means the mold spore counts as compared to the outside reference sample are elevated to a point where exposure could represent a concern to occupants.  Based upon the results, action can be taken to investigate that specific area of the home further to try to determine where a moisture or water concern may be present.

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