Eliminating mold in your home can be a frustrating experience, and testing for mold is one of the most important steps in the process. Even when you have followed the exact cleanup steps that need to be taken, you won’t be able to verify that your family is safe until you test for mold to be sure that all of the mold spores are gone.
Often, people like to begin mold testing as soon as they suspect that there is a problem in their home. These tests will help them to determine the severity of the problem and also help them to understand how far the mold has spread throughout the building.
Some homeowners prefer to test for mold with a do it yourself test kit, but these kits have been found to be inaccurate and we highly suggest that you work with a professional instead. Independent mold specialists can be hired to come in and do testing for mold and advise you on the best cleanup methods.
Additionally, the most important time to test for mold is at the end of the cleanup process. Even though the mold is no longer visible, mold spores may still be present. Even small amounts of mold spores may cause health problems, so a professional testing service will help you to verify that all of the mold spores are gone from your home.
There are specific cleanup procedures that should be used in order to prevent cross contamination throughout the rest of the building. In fact, some people begin the cleanup process the wrong way, only to find that they have made the problem worse because the testing for mold shows that the mold has continued to spread into other areas of the home.
You should use plastic sheets, duct tape, and a negative air machine in order to keep the mold contained. The plastic can be used to block off doors and windows, and the negative air machine will filter mold spores out of the air and keep them from getting into other areas of the house or building.
Also, a HEPA-filtered vacuum should to be used throughout the process to minimize mold spores from being sent through the air. This cleanup process can be very dangerous if it is not completed correctly, and you should wear protective clothing to prevent harm to your health.
Once the area has been vacuumed and scrubbed down with a wire brush, it should be completely sanitized with a biocide agent that will kill any remaining mold spores. All of the visible mold should be gone at this point, and the biocide helps to cleanup any microscopic mold spores that may still be present.
The picture above shows moldy tack strips. They were caused by water vapor coming up from the foundation, and were found after air sampling confirmed the presence of mold.
After the cleanup process, don’t trust home mold testing kits. They are unreliable and often give a false reading that the area has been completely cleaned up. A professional should be hired to do the testing for mold. Professional mold testers have the proper training and equipment that is needed to get accurate results.
Some people don’t realize that the test for mold is the most important part of the cleanup process. Instead of using the right testing procedures, they think that the problem has been solved since they can no longer see any mold. But, if the mold is present it may begin to grow again… resulting in more mold problems that need to be dealt with. The best way to prevent future problems and protect your health is by consulting with a professional about the cleanup process.
While some homeowners hope to save money by testing for mold themselves, hiring a professional may actually save you money because your homeowner’s insurance may cover the cost while insurance will not pay for home mold tests.
Hiring a professional may also save money in the long run, even if your insurance won’t pay for it, because a professional will locate all the mold in your home and retest your home after the mold remediation process has been completed to make sure all the mold was thoroughly removed. Miss just a little mold and you may find yourself having to repeat the entire mold remediation process again in the future.
Making sure all mold is located and removed can also prevent future medical expenses, since exposure to mold can cause many health problems.
To find a certified professional in your area that can test your home for mold, just follow this link.