Home Inspectors: Accurate Mold Testing
May 29, 2019 |
Many homeowners are unaware that mold can be lurking throughout their home without them knowing it. Mold testing is crucial because it needs to be remedied properly if it is found in a house before it can be sold. The following guide walks you through what you need to know to accurately test for mold in a house.
Ensure You Have the Proper Credentials
In some states, it is a requirement for an inspector to be certified or licensed in mold testing before they can do the testing legally. There are courses available to learn how to identify mold, the different types of mold, and how to test for different molds found in a house. You also learn what gear you need to ensure you are safe during testing. It’s imperative you aren’t breathing in dangerous mold spores or putting your skin at risk of exposure.
Testing For Mold Can Vary
The several ways to test for mold and each must be done properly to ensure accuracy:
- Air Sample Test: An air sample test is done by using a pump that pushes a sample of the air into a collection device that can then be sent to a lab for testing. The device is designed to be sterile and should be obtained from the lab that will be doing the air sample test.
- Swab Test: A swab test is done by swabbing a surface that may have mold growing on it and then putting the swab into a protective case that can be sent to the lab.
- Wipe Test: A wipe test is done very similarly to a swab test. A surface is wiped with a sterile device, packaged and then sent to a lab for testing.
- Tape Test: A tape test is done by using a piece of clear tape to gain a sample of the surface that may be affected by the mold. The tape needs to be a specific size in order to get enough material to test though. The tape is placed onto a slide that is submitted to the lab in a protective box to keep it protected and decrease the chance of it getting contaminated during travel. It is then sent to the lab to be tested.
Know Where to Look
When you go into a home to inspect for mold, it’s essential to know what areas to check:
- Mold commonly grows behind appliances, under sinks and around windows and doors where leaking is common.
- Mold can also grow in areas where boxes have been stacked for long periods of time or where newspapers or magazines have been left to collect dust.
Inspecting all of the areas ensures that accurate testing is done.
After the tests come back, be sure to let the homeowners know what they need to do to have mold eradicated and what steps they can take to prevent future mold growth. This can include:
- Sealing around windows and doors.
- Removing boxes and newspapers that aren’t needed.
- Making sure that moisture doesn’t collect in dark areas of their home.
Knowing what steps to take to have the mold removed safely and how to prevent it from coming back ensures that they are able to create a safe environment for their families and that the house is safe to put on the market for future buyers to purchase.