Should Testing for Mold be Done When There are No Visible Signs of Mold?
We do not feel that testing for mold is necessary when there are visible signs of mold. It is universally agreed upon (in our industry) that if mold is visible it should be safely removed. In other words, testing to see how poor the air quality is and what type of mold is growing is irrelevant. Certified instructors with 30+years experience working as an Environmental Air Quality Industrial Hygienist frequently proclaim to no longer even test for mold when the visible mold is present. Why? In their words “you should handle all visible mold assuming it is toxic.” In other words, safely remove the mold according to EPA and industry standards, then post-test to ensure the premise is free of contamination. In conclusion, If you know you see mold, spending money on a lab to confirm what you have already seen is an unnecessary expense.
If a structure has been contaminated and mold removed unsafely (i.e. by someone unfamiliar with the proper procedures) mold spores could be on the premise located on surfaces, in the HVAC system, in the carpet etc. Most commonly someone will do this themselves. As well contractors often will be in the process of renovating, discover mold and remove without the proper containment & safety measures being in place. The result of improper removal, contaminated materials becomes aerosolized or released into the air through the improper removal of the materials. Mold spores then began to circulate through the structure settling on surfaces throughout the area near the renovation site. Then as future air movement takes place from operating ceiling fans and HVAC systems, the mold spores are spread throughout the rest of the premise. We highly recommend current or hopeful homeowners to have newly renovated projects or properties air tested by a certified mold professional.
While pre-testing for mold is sometimes not needed, post testing is very important.
We feel that the knowledge of the air quality after remediation services have been performed is very important and helpful. For us, we want to know that mold counts are low and within a safe range before we leave your property. This matters to us as it confirms the quality of our work. Therefore we will be performing our own post-tests after every job at no cost to the customer.