Mold testing is performed in two different ways, either taking a sample of the air or a sample of a surface. Typically, a mold inspector will test the air or surface to determine which kind of mold exists in your home in Burke, VA and to see if it is able to grow in the tested area.
Air Sample Mold Testing
There are a variety of ways in which air samples can be taken and analyzed in homes in Burke, VA.
- Spore Trap Sample—This works by having a known volume of air pass impact a sticky surface as it passes through a spore trap sampling device. Most of the particles in the air impact this sticky surface and will then adhere to this sticky surface. Mold spores, which are particles in the air, are captured on the sticky surface inside of the spore trap. This trap is then sent to a mold testing laboratory for analysis. The mold testing laboratory will open the spore trap and apply stains inside the spore trap that the mold spores can absorb. The type of mold in the samples captured can then be identified.
- Another method of air sampling includes culturing or growing mold spores collected from the air, but this is a less commonly method used in Burke, VA.
Surface Sample Mold Testing
There are several ways to take surface samples in Burke, VA but the most common methods include:
- Bulk samples—This is when a piece of the area sampled is physically removed and sent to the mold testing laboratory.
- Swab samples—Something similar to a cotton swab is rubbed across the area being sampled, usually a measured area, and then the sample is sent to the mold testing laboratory.
- Tape samples—A clear piece of tape is pressed against an area being sampled and then removed from the area picking up and removing any mold present that was on the surface. This is then sent to a mold testing laboratory for analysis.
Once the samples arrive at the mold testing laboratory, there are many ways to analyze these mold samples. The most common way involves transferring relevant sections of the samples onto a glass microscope slide and then adding a stain the mold spores can absorb. The sample can then be evaluated for mold growth.
Mold testing for Washington, DC, rental properties is now a very real legal consideration for landlords with multi-unit rental properties in the District of Columbia.
The D.C. Council unanimously passed The Air Quality Amendment Act of 2014 (D.C. Act 20-365) to address growing controversy over the dangerous and expensive damage a severe mold outbreak can quickly cause. This legislation closes a serious legal loophole regarding responsibility for monitoring, managing, and treating mold in rental housing in the District.
When it comes to mold inspection and mold testing in Washington, D.C., the law establishes The District Department of the Environment (DDOE) as the managing authority to establish a licensing and accreditation program for professional mold contractors, along with minimum mold work practice standards and guidelines.
From landlord disclosure of mold conditions to the 30 day time limit a landlord has to remedy mold contamination, the law is designed to ensure Washington, D.C., tenants are living in a mold and contaminate-free environment. The first step to assessing and treating a mold outbreak is mold testing in Washington, D.C.
While we often associate mold growth with old, dank, moist basements and bathrooms, modern research has shown this to be in error. In fact:
- Energy-efficient construction techniques and “whole-building” engineering practices have created the perfect environment to incubate mold spores.
- Scientific findings and statements regarding the causal link between mold and certain upper-respiratory, nervous system, and immune response conditions have elevated public awareness.
- Recent multimillion-dollar court settlements place mold in the same legal category as asbestos, lead, and other potential toxic and damaging environmental threats.
We now know that, depending on DNA and the environment, mold affects different people on different levels – as an allergen, infectious agent, irritant, and a toxin. But most states are slow to legislate the ubiquitous issue of mold in indoor spaces. When it comes to mold testing in Washington, D.C., most players involved would agree – the District sits poised on the cutting edge of mold legislation in this country. Stay tuned for updates.