If your home has a musty odor, especially after you've had a water leak, you could have mold growing somewhere. Sometimes, mold is visible growing up walls. Other times, mold grows behind a wall, under wallpaper, or under flooring and is out of sight. The best way to find out if there's mold in your house is to work with a mold testing company and have your home tested for mold. Here's what this might entail.
Air Samples Are Taken Inside And Outside
It's helpful to understand that mold spores are found everywhere. An air test can find spores in your home even if your home doesn't have a mold problem. The key is to compare the amount of spores indoors with the amount outdoors that are found naturally in the environment around your home. The mold testing company will take an outdoor mold sample as a comparison to the indoor samples.
The air samples collect all the particles floating through your air, along with the mold. When the samples get to the lab to be tested, the technician stains the samples so only the mold is visible. This allows them to calculate the number of mold spores present, so you'll know if your home has an excessive amount that indicates mold is growing in a hidden place.
Surface Samples May Also Be Taken
Your mold testing company has its own procedure for collecting mold samples. Some may not do surface testing. There may be different levels of mold testing done depending on whether you're just doing routine testing or testing for a lawsuit. Surface testing can be done by cutting out part of the moldy material and sending it to the lab, or by collecting a sample with a swab or tape.
The mold testing company looks for likely areas where hidden mold is located, so this might require a quick inspection of your home. They'll take a surface sample to collect mold spores that have dropped out of the air, and the testing of the samples is done in a laboratory. The samples are often mailed to the lab and then tested to determine if mold is present and what type of mold is growing.
It could take several days to get the results from the test. Once you get the results back from the lab, the mold testing company will go over them with you and explain what the results mean. They can help you decide what to do next since you might want to have the mold removed to get rid of musty odors and allergy symptoms.
For more information, contact a mold testing company near you.