San Diego Mold Inspection and Testing Company
Areas that are prone to excess moisture should undergo frequent mold inspection and testing. This testing is used to check for the presence of spores before significant growth begins. If mold is given the chance to take hold it can cause illness for those exposed and permanently damage porous belongings such as furniture.
While all homes typically contain a small amount of mold spores in the air, a mold inspection should be done to ensure that these spores are not accumulating in larger amounts. There are several testing options available at the home and professional level to manage this task.
There are varying groups of tests that can be used to check for specific types of mold, mold on surfaces or mold spores in the air. Professional remediation companies will often use a variety of tests throughout a property to ensure reliability of the final results. This also helps to determine the original source of the mold so it can be adequately cleaned.
Types of Mold Tests
A variety of mold inspection tests are available, each with its own specializations to detect a specific type of mold infestation.
- An Air-O-Cell or mold spore trap contains a sticky surface that catches samples of particles in the air as air is pulled through the system. The test strip is then inspected under a microscope to check for mold spores.
- Mold remediation commonly use tape slide or tape lift samples to check for spores on surfaces. A sticky strip is carefully placed on an area suspected to be contaminated and carefully pulled away. The strip is then viewed under a microscope to examine the type of spores present.
- Swab testing uses a cotton swab to check for spores on various substances. This is often an effective method for inspecting porous surfaces that may be contaminated with mold.
- Viable spore testing kits use a petri dish to catch and culture spores. This is largely used to determine the type of mold within a property rather than establishing the presence of mold.
- Mold inspection San Diego CA companies often take advantage of bulk sampling tests which allow them to take a variety of samples around a property with swabs that are then stored in a test tube. This method of testing is more reliable and can help to locate the epicenter of a mold infestation.
Home testing kits will frequently use the petri dish method to establish the presence of mold. After you capture a sample you will send the dish to a laboratory where it will be cultured. Your results will then be confirmed so you can take any necessary action to remove the mold.
Addressing Toxic Mold Contamination
If you suspect that toxic or “black” mold is present in your home, you will need to take action as quickly as possible to prevent the dangers associated with exposure to this contaminant.
- Quick results are essential when you are concerned about a toxic contamination. You will need to purchase a specific black mold testing kit rather than a general mold detection kits to expedite the testing process.
- If mold testing San Diego reveals that toxic mold is present you will need to contact a remediation service immediately. It may be necessary to relocate until the area has been sufficiently cleaned. It may also be necessary to visit your doctor to be tested for mold sickness or mold exposure. Your remediation service will provide any information necessary to keep those that have been exposed to the mold safe.
Black mold removal is absolutely essential, particularly in a residential area. Watch for symptoms of mold exposure including itchy, watery eyes, itchy skin, redness, sneezing or headaches.
As the exposure becomes more advanced you may experience short term memory loss, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, coughing up debris or blood, constant fatigue, nosebleeds, open sores, swollen glands, ear infections or chronic respiratory trouble. If left untreated, mold sickness may cause brain damage, cancer, bleeding lungs, blindness or death.
Understanding the ERMI-EPA Moldiness Index Reporting
The ERMI or EPA relative moldiness index is one of the latest systems used to test for mold, which most remediation companies in San Diego rely on.
- Mold testing San Diego using ERMI technology is commonly used to inspect properties infested with mold due to natural disasters.
- Research from the EPA has created the American Healthy Home Survey that can be used to identify the risk of mold in residential areas as quickly as possible.
Most San Diego home mold inspection companies provide ERMI testing. These tests can identify up to 36 common species of fungus. Contaminated homes will be given a low, moderate or high ranking which will determine the proper remediation options. Results for an ERMI test are typically available in 5 business days.
Mold Remediation Steps and Procedures
Mold inspection and testing serves as a means to determine the type of remediation tools necessary to fully eradicate the spores from a building.
- Mold inspection and testing can also be used to test moisture levels in a building. Any significantly moist areas will need to be dried to ensure that mold will not return.
- Before remediation can begin, video, photos and writing must be used to document the extent of the growth. Testing must also be done to determine the specific types of mold present.
- Mold inspection cost will often be tied to the extent of the contamination by using the ERMI guidelines outlined above. This will help the remediation crew determine what tools will be necessary to remove the spores.
Before remediation, the contaminated area must be isolated and any water problems corrected. The area will be misted and porous materials removed to suppress dust that can spread spores. Cleaning will then be performed by scrubbing hard surfaces and using a HEPA vacuum, until the area is dry.
All areas should pass a visible mold inspection test, ensuring that there are no patches of mold or dirt present. Any materials such as drywall or ceiling tiles that were removed due to contamination will be replaced. A mold inspector should also perform a mold inspection and testing after remediation to ensure that these efforts were successful.