Why is it important to have your mold tested by an environmental company before you begin cleanupPosted by admin in Uncategorized, on April 22, 2017
Mold is insidious and sneaky in the way it spreads under surfaces and throughout a structure. In fact, unless you have mold testing regularly, you could have mold in attics and mold in basements, mold in walls and ceilings. Even if you know that you have a mold problem, professional mold testing is recommended before you begin cleanup.
Black Mold and Health Consequences
Toxic black mold known scientifically as Stachybotrys chartarum releases its spores as it feeds on organic material in common structural elements like wood, drywall, insulation, and even carpet, once exposed to moisture. These spores, when inhaled or ingested cause a range of severe symptoms in humans and pets.
The most common black mold symptoms are associated with the respiratory system causing chronic coughing and sneezing. There are also reports of irritation to the eyes, mucous membranes of the mouth, throat, and nose as well as various skin rashes. There have been widespread reports of chronic fatigue, persistent headaches and bleeding from the mouth and nose garnering the term Toxic Mold Syndrome.
Mold is the non-scientific term for many strains of unwanted fungi found both inside and outside. Because each type of mold is different, the cleanup approach is different. If you had a fungus growing inside your body, you would want testing to make sure you got the best most efficient treatment for the condition. Because of the many health consequences of living with mold, the same care should be taken about the treatment for mold in the home or business too.
The EPA recommends sampling for mold should be conducted by professionals who have specific experience in designing mold sampling protocols, sampling methods and interpreting results.
Mold Testing Methods
There are several methods of testing for mold, but the two testing methods that an environmental mold remediation or mold removal company will likely recommend are air sampling and surface sampling.
Since fungus spores are not visible, the presence of mold must be determined through laboratory analysis of the air samples. Having air sample analysis will assist in determining the scope and severity of a mold problem. The amount of human exposure is another factor this test helps uncover. Air sample testing is accomplished using a “spore trap.”
Surface sampling can be done using a collection tape method (Think CSI -collecting fingerprints), swabbing or bulk method (removal of suspected mold areas in 1-inch squares). Samples are then sent to a lab where they are examined under a microscope. Information obtained helps understand the type of mold and scope of the problem as well as indicate the best method for mold cleanup.
Due to the negative consequences to the personal health of the occupants and the structural health of the home or office, professional mold testing by a reputable environmental company is recommended by the EPA. This should be done whether it is known that mold exists or not. Regular testing should be performed as a best practices measure in preventing the insidious spread of mold.