Mold is a natural part of the outdoor world. The role of mold in nature is to decompose or break down organic materials. Indoors, mold reproduces by tiny spores that can be present on both surfaces and in the air. Mold needs moisture to grow but remains allergenic and toxigenic even when dead. Mold can make you sick. Allergenic molds cause allergy-like symptoms like coughing, sneezing, runny nose, and itching eyes.
The presence of Stachybotrys, Memnoniella and Aspergillus (Pencillium) molds are much more serious. Potentially toxic mold, such as Stachybotrys or black mold, is found mainly on damp cellulose-containing materials like wallboard, sheetrock, or cardboard. These molds can produce chemicals called mycotoxins that cause illness in people and animals. Toxic mold has been linked to bleeding lungs in infants and even death, particularly in the young and elderly. Research has linked exposure to toxin producing mold to asthma symptoms. A person exposed to mycotoxins can have a variety of symptoms including sore throat, cold or flu symptoms, fatigue, headache, and other ill-health effects. Toxin producing mold has also been suspected to be a cause of Sick Building Syndrome.
Find more information on mold in our Resources.
If you choose to hire a professional, he or she will take indoor and outdoor air samples and compare the values and types. Samples of indoor surfaces may also be taken. After analysis, the professional consultant will then be able to provide advice and recommendations for your specific situation. These services can range from several hundred to several thousand dollars. If you decide on this option, make sure the professional that you select includes not just an inspection of your home, but an evaluation and recommendations for how to proceed.
Tape Lift Sampling - The tape-lifting method is an easy, quick, and reliable way to get a spore sample from a spot or stain that you suspect is mold. This method can also be used determine the presence of airborne mold spores by sampling household dust particles. Dust particles adhere to airborne mold before falling to a surface. Because mold requires moisture to grow, a thorough inspection of your home for water leaks and moisture should be done. This includes pipes behind walls, and roof leaks.
- Receive results quickly and accurately
- Cost far less than hiring a professional
- Use to double-check a 3rd party inspector
- Identifies if mold is a potential toxin producer
- Is an easy way to check a spot or stain
- Use to determine your next steps
- Suspicious Stains
- Spots on Walls or Other Porous Materials
- Fresh Dust Particles
- Sites of Recent Leaks
- Under Sinks and Appliances
- HVAC vent covers/grills
- Record and photograph the areas that you have sampled.
- There can multiple types of mold growing in on one surface so it can be beneficial to take multiple samples in areas where mold is covering a greater area. If two areas are different colors, it is best to take samples from each area. However, if the contaminated area appears uniform in color then one sample should be sufficient.
- Place each sample into a separate zip lock sandwich bag. Stick the tape to the inside of the sandwich bag.
- Do NOT fold the tape back onto itself.
- Do not fold or wrinkle the portion of the tape where the sample lies.
- Write down the location of each sample (under bathroom sink, behind dishwasher, etc…).
- If you are taking multiple samples, you may want to number or letter each sample.
- Complete only one Submittal Form, even if you have multiple samples.
- Make your check or money order payable to Moldlab, Ltd. for the total amount or complete the credit card information on the Submittal Form. We do not accept American Express.
Bulk Sampling - If you suspect there is a mold in drywall, or adhering to another object, a small sample can be taken by physically removing a part of the drywall and placing it into a zip lock sandwich bag. This type of sampling may be unnecessary if the item is something that can simply be thrown away.
Refer to FAQs if you have questions about mold, want more information about how to proceed, or have questions after you have received your results. If you don’t find your questions answered there, please contact us. Our friendly and knowledgeable support staff is ready to help.
The turnaround is 1-2 days, so your results will arrive quickly via email, fax, or postal mail. You will receive a thorough report with an easy to understand summary page. The report will tell you if mold has been found in your sample, what type or types of mold were found, and a relative amount of each mold type that was detected. If you sent in more than one sample, each report will clearly list the location where that particular sample was retrieved.
Depending on the quantity and type of mold, you may want to take certain steps for your safety.
- With a small area or non toxin producing mold, you may choose to do the clean-up yourself.
- Depending on the type of mold, you might want to discard, rather than clean infected items.
- With a larger area or with a potentially toxin producing mold, you may choose to contact a professional.
- With a hidden area, such as under wallpaper, clean-up can introduce mold into the air. Consider the risks of clean-up to you and your family. You may want to hire a cleaning professional.
- With potentially toxin producing mold, you may want determine if a professional’s report is required to file an insurance claim.
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