Mold Inspection and Mold Remediation
The presence of mold in your home is something that should not be ignored. If mold problems are left untreated, they can lead to allergies and respiratory problems. In addition to the health risks of mold, it can also cause structural damage to your home. You may be able to see or smell the mold, but often there are no visible signs.
At Crabtree Services we provide extensive testing and remediation services for this health hazard. Over the past decade, there has been growing concern over indoor air quality, and in particular mold growth inside your home or office. While mold occurs in nature and is usually harmless, certain types of mold release harmful toxins that when inhaled or ingested causes serious health risks. Because of these risks, the EPA recommends immediate remediation of any active mold growth inside a structure whether it’s your home or business.
Types of Testing:
Several tests can be performed to check for active colonization of mold.
Nonviable Air Sampling
This is the most common type of air sampling. A technician makes use of nonviable air samples, taken both inside and outside of a structure. The samples are then sent to a lab for counts and identification of spores and hyphal fragments. Because these samples are not cultured, the results are usually returned in 3 days.
Viable Air Sampling
A viable air sample can be taken to determine how many spores in a given amount of air are colonies forming, or how many would survive to grow in the right conditions. These samples give a different kind of snapshot of what is in the air at a certain time and in a certain place than nonviable samples. Because samples must be cultured results are returned in 10 to 14 days.
For identification purposes swab samples may be taken. A wet cotton swab is brushed over an area of about one square inch for 10-30 seconds. The swab is relinquished to an accredited laboratory and results are returned usually within 3 days. Results will indicate a distribution of fungal genera on the surface swabbed, but the presence of variables (including time of sample, the pressure applied to the swab, the exact amount of area swabbed and more) can affect the reliability of this test.
Tape lift, bulk and swab sampling, are techniques used for direct examination. A direct exam allows for the immediate determination of the presence of fungal spores as well as what types of fungi are present. Direct examinations should only be used to sample visible mold growth in a contaminated area since most. Most surfaces collect a mixture of fungal spores that are normally present in the environment.
- The direct exam is inexpensive, and can be performed quickly.
- A useful test for initial site sampling.
- Direct examination of a surface indicates all mold present in a given area.
- Direct sampling may reveal indoor reservoirs of spores that have not yet become airborne.
Visual inspection easily identifies mold problems. Homeowners can look for signs of mold growth along walls in bathrooms, and in the crawlspace under a house. An experienced remediator will inspect areas that are commonly problematic but not as obvious to the homeowner.