The first step in assessment is to non-intrusively determine if mold is present by visually examining the premises; visible mold helps determine the level of remediation necessary. If mold is actively growing and visibly confirmed, sampling for its specific species is unnecessary.[8]

Intrusive observation is sometimes needed to assess the mold level. This includes moving furniture, lifting (or removing) carpets, checking behind wallpaper or paneling, checking ventilation ductwork and exposing wall cavities. Detailed visual inspection and the recognition of moldy odors should be used to find problems. Efforts should focus on areas where there are signs of liquid moisture or water vapor (humidity), or where moisture problems are suspected.

 

Sampling

The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) does not generally recommend sampling unless an occupant of the space has symptoms. Sampling should be performed by a trained professional with specific experience in mold-sampling protocols, sampling methods and the interpretation of findings. It should be done only to make a particular determination, such as airborne spore concentration or identifying a particular species. Before sampling, a subsequent course of action should be determined.

In the U.S., sampling and analysis should follow the recommendations of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), the EPA and the American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA).

 

Types of samples include:

  • Air: The most common form of sampling to assess mold levels. Indoor and outdoor air are sampled, and their mold-spore levels compared. Air sampling often identifies hidden mold.

     

  • Surface: Measures the number of mold spores deposited on indoor surfaces, collected on tape or in dust
  • Bulk: Removal of material from the contaminated area to identify and quantify the mold in the sample
  • Multiple types of sampling are recommended by the AIHA, since each has limitations; for example, air samples will not identify a hidden mold source and a tape sample cannot determine the level of contamination in the air.

What Others are saying

"This product has been most effective in solving mold testing problems in numerous houses I have had for sale.”


-Beth Kershaw
ReMax Property Centre

 

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