Mold Testing Lab Services
Mold Spores are found everywhere in our environment and, to some degree, we are constantly exposed to these spores. However, when higher concentrations of mold are present in an indoor environment, there is a greater likelihood that the occupants will experience one or more adverse health reactions.
Sampling is typically performed in conjunction with a visual inspection when determining if an indoor environment has excessive amounts of mold and requires remediation. The purpose of sampling is to collect samples for lab analysis. During the non-viable analysis procedure, spores are visually identified and counted via microscopic examination by trained technicians.
Air Sampling: Air samples are taken by pulling a known amount of air through a collection device with an air pump. The device catches the mold spores to be counted under a microscope. Mold spores are microscopic and may be carried easily through the air. Sampling of air always includes inside and outside samples. There should be no mold in the building that is not found outside and there should not be higher concentrations of mold inside than outside the building. Mold spores in the air vary greatly with the life cycle of the mold, atmospheric conditions and ventilation.
Air sample reports include spore counts for each category of spores and the grand total spore count for all spores per cubic meter of air.
Tape Sampling: Tape lift samples are taken by making direct contact with and lifting visible mold. Bio-Tapes are slides which have been pre-prepared with an adhesive and are easily pressed against a moldy surface in order to collect the sample. This method is non-invasive and will not damage materials or surfaces, when performed properly.
Swab Sampling: A swab sample should be taken where one sees visible mold or moisture stains. The swab is moistened with a preservative and then used to collect a sample of the mold to be sent to the lab for analysis.
Carpet Sampling: This sampling is done to discover previous or undetected mold problems that may have been covered over or cleaned up. A carpet tends to contain a history of mold that has previously grown in a building. Unless the carpet has been recently cleaned, it may contain evidence of a mold problem. The sampling is done using the air pump and a carpet-sampling cartridge to vacuum as small area of the carpet.
Bulk Sampling: Small pieces of carpet, drywall or other porous material may be collected and sent to the lab for spore identification.
Tape Lifts, Swabs, Carpet and Bulk Samples are reported semi-quantitatively.