What is Mold Testing & Mold Sampling?

June 28, 2019 • Mold Inspection

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Indoor mold problems can mean serious property damage and potential health implications over time. Mold needs to be actively removed from the contaminated space in order to restore clean and safe conditions. In some situations, mold growth may be visibly apparent with an obvious moisture source. If this is the case, the next course of action would be to contact a professional mold remediation company in your Cleveland OH area to conduct a visual assessment of the space with moisture mapping and thermal imaging of the areas of concern to understand the full extent of the contamination. With the information gathered during that initial site assessment, a mold remediation professional will be able to develop a a detailed scope of work for a thorough mold removal. Additionally, the moisture source needs to be properly addressed in order to prevent regrowth. However, what happens in other situations when mold isn’t visibly apparent and the moisture source is uncertain?


Determining If A Mold Problem Exists

mold inspection van Cleveland While some mold problems will be very obvious and easy to detect, mold is also very sneaky and will find a way to contaminate hidden surfaces without notice. Airborne mold spores can spread to and contaminate virtually any surface, meaning mold can accumulate under building materials, within wall voids, above ceiling voids, behind fixtures and in all kinds of nooks and crannies. Depending on the conditions of the space and moisture source, it can be difficult to detect mold development. Often times, even if the physical mold growth is hidden, mold development will manifest other signs and symptoms that may indicate an underlying issue. Signs like musty odors, suspicious stains and discoloration, or unexplained health symptoms could be pointing to a bigger indoor issue like mold. Often times, structures that have a history of moisture issues (like water leaks, water seepage, flooding or humidity) are more vulnerable to hidden mold development due to residual moisture locked within porous building materials.

If you have reason to suspect a bigger mold problem but you are uncertain if one exists, you might need a mold inspection with mold testing. A complete mold inspection with mold testing will determine if you have a mold problem, the severity of the mold problem, what caused the mold problem, and how to solve the mold problem.

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Mold Testing & Mold Sampling

Mold testing or mold sampling refers to the collection of air or surface samples for laboratory analysis. Samples are analyzed to determine mold species and mold levels found within the suspected areas of concern. The laboratory findings will determine if you have a mold problem on your hands. Even when you have hidden mold growth, hidden and microscopic mold spores can aerosolize, spread and affect indoor air quality. When that happens, indoor air quality testing or air sampling can pick-up elevated spore counts and help identify an underlying problem. In some scenarios, suspicious staining or discoloration can easily be mistaken for mold growth, direct sampling can make that differentiation.

Mold sampling can tell you if you have a mold problem in your Ohio home or business. Sampling can also help to uncover a hidden mold problem, measure indoor air quality and identify the type of mold present in your indoor environment. If you suspect a potential mold problem in your Cleveland property, and you think you can benefit from mold testing, contact a certified Ohio mold inspector to conduct a thorough mold inspection with mold sampling to get to the bottom of your concerns.

direct mold sampling

The Mold Inspection Process

Mold testing can provide valuable information regarding the presence of mold within the areas of concern. However, mold testing will be meaningless with the context from a complete mold inspection. Mold sampling is just one part of a more comprehensive inspection process. The most valuable information comes with the rest of the mold inspection. Mold samples are just a single snapshot of a particular moment in time. The results of a mold test will only tell you about the mold patterns in that one particular moment. Mold sample results are meaningless without context. You need to understand the surrounding environment in order to make sense of the sampling results and see the whole picture of the mold contamination. A comprehensive mold inspection includes a visual assessment, moisture mapping and thermal imaging to understand the environment and conditions in the environment that could be encouraging and sustaining continuous mold growth.

A complete mold inspection with mold testing will determine if you have a mold problem, the severity of the mold problem, what caused the mold problem, and how to solve the mold problem.

Once a mold inspection reveals the full extent of the mold contamination and what caused it in the first place, your certified mold inspector will be able to develop a thorough scope of work for mold remediation. Following a safe and effective mold remediation, proper moisture control will address causation and prevent future regrowth.


When Do I Need A Mold Inspection With Mold Testing?

The growing awareness of mold contamination has allowed for a plethora of misinformation regarding mold testing and mold in general. With all this speculation around mold testing and its validity, it can be difficult for Ohio property owners to make a decision when it comes to figuring out a potential mold problem. The truth is… every situation is different. As discussed earlier, mold testing is often unnecessary in the event that mold is visibly apparent with an obvious moisture source. When mold is visibly apparent with an obvious moisture source, the proper course of action is mold remediation. However, not all mold situations will be that straightforward.

The following are some situations when mold testing might be a advised:

  • The presence of musty odors with no visible source. A mold inspection with testing will help to reveal possible hidden mold growth.
  • When there has been a history of moisture problems (leaks, floods, etc.) and there is a suspicion that mold might be developing behind walls or under building materials as a result.
  • Clearance mold testing following a mold remediation. When a mold remediation has been completed, we recommend to have the space post-tested to ensure that the previous mold issue has been resolved and mold counts have returned to normal.
  • When there are potential health concerns.
  • When there is a need to meet a 3rd party requirement (i.e.: real estate transactions, tenant/landlord disputes, etc.)
  • When a property owner suspects a possible mold problem, but is unsure.
  • When a home or business owner has a general concern for mold and is interested in having the home assessed for a peace of mind.

If you suspect a mold problem in your Ohio property, but you are uncertain if mold testing is necessary, you should contact a professional mold inspector to discuss the specifics regarding your situation. A certified mold inspector will be able to answer your mold testing questions and go over the mold inspection process to determine if it is what you need. 

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