Mold Assessment for Beginners

in General

When doing a mold assessment there are three objectives that are important to determine, the amount of mold there is, the type of mold, and what can be done to restore the air quality. 
When to Call 
In some cases you’ll be surrounded by symptoms (poor air quality, allergies, asthma flair ups, etc) but not have a clear indicator of the cause. However, in most cases an event will occur that will cause you to think about getting an assessment done. One of the biggest factors is recent water damage which can lead to mold growth. If you have had recent water damage a mold assessment should be a priority. Even without this if you have strange and unexplained smells you should have a licensed inspector out. The last case, and probably the second most common, is the purchase of a new property. If you are in the market (especially in a flood prone area) a mold inspection should be on your checklist of items to take care of. When the mold assessor comes out what types of samples do they take?
Types of Samples 
In a lot of cases mold may not be visible. In these situations the best type of test to start with is a test based on the taking of air samples. While this should be done by licensed professionals its a fairly easy test to undertake as it compares the quality of air outside with the air inside. The comparison of air quality will alert a professional to the presence of mold spores. The next type of sample would be the surface sample test. This test is simple again in that it only involves wiping down of surfaces to gather evidence of mold. The last test actually removes materials from the structure being tested to test in bulk different items. All three tests are recommended (and required by regulations) since they all test for different things. But what about mold locations that aren’t easy to see? 
Mold Within Walls
After a flood or in locations with high humidity one of the most common places for mold to take hold is within walls. Finding this mold is difficult without newer technologies. There are two basic methods and both have their positives and negatives. Infrared is a fairly inexpensive technology and is widely available. The problem is that it is not as reliable as thermal imaging. Thermal imaging provides the most accurate reporting for mold spores within walls. In most cases mold assessment companies charge several hundred dollars more per assessment to use this tool. Some companies however don’t have this fee. A mold assessment Pensacola native, Doodlebugger, for instance doesn’t.  Whatever your licensed provider’s choice, make sure above all else they are licensed and insured.