Mold testing is used to evaluate indoor microbial levels in the air and to document suspect mold growth on surfaces. Mold testing should not and cannot be used as the only tool to identify or to rule out and indoor contamination & is not an alternative to a detailed Mold Inspection of the home. Mold Inspection
Air quality mold samples are collected to identify the airborne levels of mold present within the indoor environment beyond what we can see.
Surface mold samples are collected using a sterile swab or tape lift method to identify the types of mold growing on the building materials.
There are several types of mold sampling & analysis methods available the most common being non-viable which does not differentiate between active or dormant (dead) mold spores. According to the EPA, active molds or dormant molds may be just as harmful to sensitive individuals.
These samples are collected using an air pump and the use of a spore trap cassette which draws the airborne particulates onto an adhesive slide. These samples are analyzed using direct microscopy and the molds are identified to a genus level by an AIHA (American Industrial Hygienists Association) Laboratory.
Viable air quality mold samples only identify the mold spores that are alive or active but do not identify the dormant or dead mold spores. The collection method for air samples utilizes the use of an air pump that pulls the air through an agar media on a petri dish which then incubated at the laboratory for a period of 7-10 days. This method can identify the species of the mold however is not always accurate as only 10% of the actual molds present may be reported. The advantages of this method is that it’s a cost effective way to identify species.
Beyond mold, indoor allergens include common household dust which comprises pet dander, human skin cells, insect fragments, fibers, dust mites, and different types of pollen. These particulates are all considered irritants and the can cause allergic reactions in sensitive individuals. HNST Mold Inspections can have your mold samples analyzed with these additional irritants identified using a single collection method.
ERMI (environmental relative moldiness index) & EMMA (environmental mold & mycotoxin assessment) sampling methods are also available and use PCR (polymerase chain reaction) analysis methods.