You might have noticed mold in your basement. Probably it doesn’t catch you by surprise because it recently flooded. As per your cursory inspection, the infestation seems to have spread quite a bit. A small niggle of anxiety runs through you.
What you may know about mold is that it can be dangerous. Dangerous to your health and the structural integrity of the home. Perhaps your first thought is to pick up the phone and call the mold inspectors.
But, before you pick up the phone, you should read on. There is some pertinent information you need to have. It is the only way you can make an informed decision on whether you need professional mold testing in your Warrenton, VA home.
What You Need to Know About Professional Mold Testing in Warrenton, VA
Let’s start the conversation with an understanding of some basic things. First, you should know that mold is present everywhere. It plays a vital role in the ecological system. You can, therefore, not do away with it altogether.
But, as it pertains to the home or living environment, it is critical to know some things. What kind of mold are you dealing with? You’ll understand the different types a little later in the article. The location of the mold is also essential. Usually, it’s indicative of moisture, which you need to take care of.
The second part is understanding the process of mold inspection and testing. Mold inspection is the process of checking for the presence of mold. A simple look, as you did, is good enough.
But, what you may not tell with that simple look is the extent of the infestation. You need to know where to look. Yes, you can see it is visible on the walls, but have you checked under the couch, HVAC system, or even behind the pipes?
Sometimes, the mold may not be visible, yet, your nose tells you otherwise. There could also be a flare-up of allergies or breathing problems from people living in the home. In such a case, you must let an expert identify the location of the mold.
Industrial hygienists have the certification to identify the extent of mold infections. Consider it an investment to let one carry out a proper inspection for you.
The second term you need to be familiar with is mold testing. The process will tell you what type of mold is currently inhabiting your house. There are home testing kits available.
It would be tempting to try and save costs by undertaking the process yourself. But, wait just one minute before you subscribe to DIY mold testing. You should know that such kits are not reliable. They can give false negatives or positives.
Mold testing is a process that requires some level of expertise or knowledge. The professionals have protocols, tools, and sampling methods. They will then interpret the results and recommend a way forward. Everything they do complies with guidelines from relevant authorities. Such include the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH) and the American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA).
Do note, after mold removal; the experts will carry out testing again. The aim is to ensure complete resolution of the mold issue.
Essential Things to Know About Mold
There are many types of mold strains. Some are toxic, while others, not so much. For the former, we can classify them into three groups.
- Allergenic mold will cause allergic reactions such as asthma and respiratory issues. An example is Alternaria that favors damp areas like bathtubs, under leaking sinks, and showers. It is also quite common after water damage.
- Pathogenic mold will exacerbate existing illness. Ulocladium mold can cause severe reactions to people with immune disorders or those prone to allergies.
- Toxigenic or toxic mold, as the name suggests, is toxic. They can cause serious health issues if you come into contact with them. An example would be Acremonium that can cause organ and bone marrow diseases. It can also impair brain functions due to its carcinogenic properties.
Other common types of harmful mold within the home include Penicillin, Trichoderma, Stachybotrys, and Mucor.
Unless you are a mold expert, it will not be possible to know the type in your house. That’s why you need professional mold testing in Warrenton, VA.
What Does Mold Testing Entail?
When you call for professional mold testing, you can expect a series of processes. The first thing the mold experts will do is conduct a visual examination. Remember our earlier point of the visible and invisible mold. The teams know the spots they are likely to find an infestation.
The second step is sampling. The team will collect them from the air and surfaces. The experts use several methods to collect samples. They can do bulk sampling that involves removing parts that have mold.
Another option is swabbing, much like you would for the cotton swab. The third method is using clear tape pressed against the area with mold.
The samples then go to independent labs for further analysis. At Envirotex, we only use laboratories that have accreditation from the relevant authorities.
Once we get back the analysis, we recommend the next steps. These include remediation or removal. As we have stated above, we will do another round of testing afterwards. We never leave a client’s house without ensuring the mold is gone, or at least back to acceptable levels.
Is Mold Testing Always Necessary?
As per the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), mold testing is not always necessary. If there is clear evidence of the presence of mold, you can call in the experts to remove it.
The agency goes on to say that surface sampling is critical to ensure that the area has undergone proper cleaning and remediation.
They are, however, specific that professionals, who have relevant expertise and tools, should handle the process. The EPA recommends careful handling of infested areas. Removing wallpaper, for example, may lead to the release of mold spores into the atmosphere. That could end up causing a bigger problem for you.
If you’re buying a new home, mold testing is essential, especially if there has been water damage. It’s better to have information on the type of mold to know what to do. The presence of toxic mold requires immediate removal.
At Envirotex, we maintain total transparency when advising our clients. There are situations when we feel that testing is not necessary. However, we will still insist on a thorough visual inspection before recommending the next course of action.
Most likely, the action would be to remove or remediate once we identify where the mold is. We will, for instance, remove wet material and improve circulation to avoid moisture build-up. The teams also carry out analytics surveys to find the best solution in case of water damage.
We use technologies like diagnostic thermal imaging. Such helps us to identify moisture sources that provide a breeding ground for mold. Such technologies enhance efficiency and provide more thorough inspections.
We also undertake the relevant containment measures to get rid of any material we might remove from the site.
Call Envirotex Today for Mold Testing
Are you still asking yourself the question, ‘do I need professional mold testing in Warrenton, VA? Please note that testing has so many benefits. We have looked at salient points you need to have in mind above.
Mold is indeed a critical component in the ecosystem. However, high levels can be dangerous to your health. Mold infections can also affect the structural integrity of the home. As we have stated, mold testing is something that requires professional handling.
There are indeed home testing kits, but the results will not tell you the type of mold. They’ll also not tell you where or how far the infestation has gone.
Our trained technicians have the expertise to carry out visual inspections. They then determine whether to proceed to testing.
Once we get feedback from the labs, we recommend what you need to do. If you’ve noticed any signs of infestation in your house, call Envirotex today for mold testing.
To get a consultation, all you need to do is fill in the form on our website. We are ready at your convenience for further discussions.