The kits provided in stores such as Home Depot are a different testing method than the type of samples professional mold testing companies like ours provide.
The kits are petri dishes that one leaves out for a period of time and any active (does not catch inactive) ambient airborne spores that may cross it’s surface area may adhere and may grow. The lab then analyses the types of molds that have grown.
In our testing, we use air sampling. Air sampling involves using a specialized cassette (called an Air O Cell spore trap). We attach this cassette, which has a sticky film inside of it that catches (traps) spores both active and inactive, to a pump that sucks in air. The pump is set at 15L of air per minute for 10 minutes (recommended standard) and so, we have a controlled amount of air (150L) being sucked through the cassette. This forced air flow pushes all spores in the area of concern through the spore trap, which is later analysed by the lab. With the spore trap, in this type of controlled and forced setting, the lab can create a much more indepth analysis of the current levels and types of molds present in the indoor environment. We compare this analysis to a sample (taken the same way) taken just outside the building. The idea is were are looking for similarities and differences in the types and quantities of spores; if the spores levels and types indoors are similar to those outdoors, the indoor air quality is likely fine. If we notice a discrepancy, i.e. much higher levels of molds indoors, or types of spores indoors that do not exist outside, this is indicative of a mold contamination issue. This information coupled with our inspection using such tools as thermal-imaging camera, moisture meters, borascopes (if necessary) and noting the relative humidity and temperature. Not only do we want to gather information as to whether or not there is evidence that is indicative of a mold contamination issue, but if there is a mold contamination issue, we gather information on the likely SOURCE of the problem, so we can provide solid information on how to get the issue fixed, i.e. the mold cleaned up and the source fixed, so the problem doesn’t happen again.
To be clear, airborne mold exists in every single environment on Earth, save for perhaps a sterile operating room or something like this. In the average home, the levels of indoors molds are similar to the levels and types (identification and quantity) of airborne molds outdoors it the natural environment. This is not a concern as it pertains to either mold contamination or indoor air quality. The concerns arise if the levels of indoor molds are higher than those of outdoors, or if types of mold indoors are not found outdoors (these conditions are considere ELEVATED), this is then indicative of a mold contamination issue and an indoor air quality concern.
With the sample kit, you will receive a laboratory report of just some of the molds that happed to have passed over the kit, which really doesn’t provide any information as to whether or not there is in fact a mold contamination issue, or if it is just normal airborne mold ebbing and flowing in an out of the house. It will seem, however, that there is a mold issue, because naturally some mold will grow no matter what. This provides a very slanted and inadequate assessment of the indoor air quality.
We also provide answers to any quesitons you may have, a detailed laboratory and Healthy Abode reports, with observations, suggestions and conclusions. Our turnaround time is one business day.
For more information, please call us at 647-889-2254 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org