The best way to test for mold is to hire a qualified mold inspector.
There are at-home tests you can complete yourself, but those won’t provide all of the information your remediation team will need to create a thorough treatment protocol to fix the issue the first time. A professional will be equipped to use multiple measuring techniques, assess the entire home, and test for all contaminants present. Home testing kits leave the door open to errors or missed data, like another mold problem in a different room.
This mold inspector should:
- Spend hours going through the home with a fine-tooth comb
- Go through the interior and exterior of the home to help determine the source of the growth
- Use a variety of testing techniques
- Analyze for other contaminants such as bacteria and mycotoxins
Some of the testing data you should expect to see are:
- Types of molds present
- Quantities of each mold
- Potential spore presence in the HVAC system
- Presence of mycotoxins (a harmful toxin produced by molds)
- Presence of bacteria
Pricing might also seem like a huge determinant factor, but going with the “cheaper option” will more than likely leave gaps in your testing results. Why were they cheaper in the first place? Asking questions and knowing what to expect from a mold inspection will help you narrow down your list of who to work with.
Why is All This Data Necessary?
Your remediation team will need this extensive information in order to complete a protocol that will properly decontaminate the home. To be successful, they’ll need to know where all the sources are, remove all of the mold colonies, and be aware of other contaminants that need to be eliminated as well. Failure to accomplish these tasks can result in the mold coming right back if the source isn’t resolved or chronic symptoms continuing since the exposure to the toxic particles left behind does not stop.
Important Takeaway: Your remediation company should never be your mold inspector as well. There’s too much gray area that could lead to a conflict of interest, failed remediation, and extra costs. Having a separate mold inspector ensures that the different parties have no ill-advised influence on the treatment protocol for your home.
A solid mold inspection should provide a comprehensive snapshot of the state of your home that a remediation company can use as the roadmap needed for a treatment protocol.
To watch an animation that explains this further, click here.
For more information, check out my blog post.
For my list of mold inspector recommendations based on your home state, check out this map.