When water is allowed to sit on the surfaces within your home, mold can begin to form. Prolonged exposure to mold can aggravate chronic respiratory illnesses and cause your family to feel less than their best. If you think there is mold in your home, it's important that you take the time to learn how to properly test for spores.
Here are two types of tests that you should consider when attempting to identify mold within your home.
1. Surface Test
If you want to determine whether or not mold is growing on a particular surface in your home (countertop, wall, plumbing pipe, etc.), it can be helpful to conduct a surface test. Surface testing allows you to pull a sample of whatever is present on a suspect surface.
The best way to conduct a surface test is to cut a two- to three-inch strip of clear tape. Using caution to touch only the very ends of the tape, press the sticky side down firmly onto any surface you think might have mold. Use the edges of the tape to peel back the tape, then stick the strip to the inside of a clear plastic bag.
Seal the bag tightly, label the sample, and send it to a testing center that will be able to identify any mold growth that exists on the sample strip.
2. Air Test
Many homeowners assume that the air circulating throughout their homes is clean. If you have a mold problem, your HVAC system could be circulating harmful mold spores throughout your home. Taking the time to conduct a circulating air test can be a great way to determine if mold spores are infiltrating the air your family breathes each day.
Start by sealing off the area you want to test by closing all windows and doors that could allow air to seep in. Invest in a test kit that contains petri dishes filled with a food source for molds commonly found in homes. Leave the dishes in rooms where you think mold may be growing for about an hour. Seal the petri dishes back up, and send them to a laboratory for testing.
It can be helpful to leave a petri dish sitting outside your home to determine if the air quality in your home is consistent with the air quality outdoors. This will help you determine if your mold problem is internal or caused by something in the outdoor environment.
Taking the time to test your home for mold will help you determine if you need to contact a mold investigator to help you get rid of unwanted spores and colonies in the near future.
For mold investigation and remediation, contact a company such as GEM Environmental, Inc.