The Importance Of Mold Testing
As many property owners know, mold can be very dangerous to your health if it is not taken care of sooner than later. When mold invades your home, it is of utmost importance that you get the help from a team of professionals to remove the source, and then the mold itself. To properly remove the mold, we must first find out what strain it is by sending it to a laboratory. This is the most efficient way to test what kind of strain of mold is on your property.
If you see mold or you smell mold you have mold. You do not need to test for mold if you see it or smell it. Knowing the type of mold does not change the way you respond. All molds should be treated the same way. It should be removed without exposing people to lots of mold spores or fragments and the underlying moisture problem causing the mold should be fixed. Knowing the species (type) of mold does not affect what must be done to correct the moisture problem or to safely clean up the mold.
What you do need to know is the size of the areas that are contaminated and where the areas are located so you can plan the clean-up and protect people from exposure during the clean-up. The greater the area that has mold, the more careful you have to be in how it is cleaned up. Mold testing procedures were not developed to determine whether a home is “safe” or “healthy” or “clean”. Presently no standards exist to determine “safe”, “healthy” or “clean”.
Indoor mold testing procedures were developed to identify the locations where mold is growing or where it has grown – the mold “reservoir” locations or mold “amplification” sites. Part of the problem is that no one knows what typical conditions are for homes, offices and schools there is no “baseline” for comparison. Research is going on to answer this question. One day we will know, but we don’t know now and it will be many years before we know the answer to this question. The other part of the problem is that there is no “dose response” curve for mold and humans. We just don’t know how much exposure to which molds and for how long leads to problems. It’s even more difficult when you realize that no two people are alike. Research is also going on to answer this question and one day we will also have the answer to this question. Common sense tells us that “too much” mold for “too long” is a problem for most people. Prudent avoidance is the best course of action at present. Mold testing is not necessary to quantify “too much”. Too much mold in a home is obvious. If you see mold and you smell mold – you have mold – and if you see it and you smell it you probably have too much of it. Remember, mold needs water. Find the water problem and you will find the mold. If a home has mold and the water problem that led to mold is obvious it is pointless to test for mold. The mold testing will not tell you anything that you don’t already know you have to do which is to clean up the mold and fix the water problem that led to the mold.