Mold in your home can be a serious health hazard, especially if you or a family member have sensitivities, allergies, respiratory tract issues, or a compromised immune system. We offer mold testing as an additional service for you.
We test a home for mold using air sampling, surface sampling, or both. A state-of-the-art professional lab will analyze the samples and produce a detailed report for you within 3 to 4 business days after we collected the samples.
We offer two options for mold testing:
- As a separate mold inspection service where we come to your home, speak with you about your concerns, collect samples, and collect information about your home.
- As an additional service with a home inspection where we collect samples while we are performing a home inspection for you. Get a $50 discount when ordering mold testing with a home inspection!
How can I get mold in my home?
Even though we live in the desert, water damage to homes is a constant concern. Water damage can occur when rain water enters the home, for example through a roof leak or flooding outside. Another source for water damage are leaks inside the home. Slow drip leaks can occur over time without being noticed, for example at a water pipe or connection under a sink, in the wall, or in the attic, behind the dishwasher or washing machine, etc. Catastrophic leaks can occur when a water pipe bursts, for example polybutylene or old galvanized steel lines, or a water heater rusts through. If such water intrusion or leaking is not identified and remediated immediately, mold will likely result.
What is mold?
Mold is a fungal growth and can be found everywhere around us, both indoors and outdoors. Mold is present almost everywhere on this planet, except for a few places like industrial clean rooms for example. Take a deep breath. Chances are you just inhaled some mold spores – and that’s OK.
There are many different types of mold, and they come in many different colors. Mold reproduces by releasing tiny spores that float through the air and land on places that are conducive to mold growth.
How does mold grow?
There are three things needed for mold to grow:
- A mold spore
- Organic matter
A common scenario is where a water leak causes wet drywall, wood, or carpet. A mold spore lands on the wet material, and mold begins to grow. Take away one of these things, and mold cannot grow.
How do you prevent mold?
It is impossible to filter out all mold spores from the air in your house. Your house is built of and contains large amounts of organic matter that provides food for mold. So the only thing left to control is moisture. Keep your house and the materials it is made of dry to prevent mold from growing. This is a major reason why home maintenance is very important, such as roof maintenance and checking for leaks just to name a few.
How dangerous is mold?
Just some mold spores by themselves floating through the air is not really a danger. Things get more serious when a mold spore lands on wet organic matter and starts to grow.
Mold affects every person differently. Some people barely react to mold, or not at all. Some people with allergies, compromised immune systems, or respiratory tract issues such as asthma might react more strongly. In rare cases, people have a severe reaction such as fever and shortness of breath.
Some – but not all – types of mold might produce mycotoxins. There are unfortunately many myths out there about toxic molds or black mold causing all kinds of major diseases and death. These stories are exactly that: stories and myths. There is no scientific evidence for most of these claims. Source: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31608429/
In reality, a person’s reaction to mold depends on many factors such as the person’s health, allergies, type of mold, length and amount of exposure, just to name a few.
What if my house has mold?
Mold can be remediated. If it is just a small area, clean-up with a mixture of a cup of bleach in a gallon of water is most likely sufficient. If it is a larger area, or hidden inside walls or ceilings, then a qualified water damage specialist should evaluate the issue and suggest a professional method to remove it.
The most important part of mold remediation though is the removal of the moisture source. It doesn’t matter how thoroughly you clean up the mold. If the moisture source, i.e. the leak, continues to exist, mold will return quickly. Find the source of the moisture first, eliminate it, then clean up the mold.
When do I need mold testing?
If the house is in great shape, there is no visible evidence of past leaks, and nobody in your family has any known sensitivities, allergies, or respiratory tract issues, then it is not necessary.
However, if the house has a history of leaks, or there are visible signs of water leaks, and/or somebody in your family has known sensitivities, allergies, or respiratory tract issues, then mold testing is a good idea. If mold is indeed present in the home, you need to take that into consideration. Mold remediation can be very expensive.
How does your mold testing work?
We offer two different methods of mold testing:
Air sampling: We take three different air samples (included in base price). One outside for comparison, and two inside the home. This is the standard testing method. For larger homes, or homes with multiple suspected areas of mold growth, we take additional air samples for an additional fee.
Surface sampling: We take three different surface samples (included in base price). If there are additional surface areas that require testing, we take additional swab samples for an additional fee.
After we collect the samples, we send them to a state-of-the-art next-generation lab for analysis. The lab then produces a very detailed report for you.
Can I combine air and surface sampling, and/or add additional samples?
Yes, absolutely. If you want both air and surface samples, or samples in additional areas, we’re happy to accommodate and add them as needed. Please contact us prior to the appointment and let us know your situation and what you’re looking for.
How much does your mold testing cost?
The pricing depends on several factors. The base fee depends on whether we test for mold as part of a home inspection (this is cheaper) or we are coming out just for a mold inspection. Additional fees depend on how many samples we take. Three samples are included in the base price. Additional samples can be added with a reasonable extra per-sample fee.
How soon will I get the report?
We send the samples 2-day FedEx to the lab. The lab will have the report ready the next business day after they received the samples. This means that usually you will receive the report 3 to 4 business days after we collected the samples. Please note that if the lab is closed for a holiday this might add a business day to the report delivery.
What does the report look like?
The report that is produced by the lab that we work with is very user-friendly and easy to understand compared to most other lab reports.
Can I get some help reading the report?
Absolutely. You can speak directly with a certified mold expert at the actual lab that performed the analysis for you. They will be happy to go over the report with you, explain the findings, and answer any questions you might have. A 30-minute consultation is available for a $99 fee.
The test says I have mold. What do I do now?
We recommend you contact a professional qualified water damage specialist. There are several companies in town that can help.