Mold removal is a three-step process. First, it includes the mold assessment phase to document the problem through an inspection as well as mold testing to assess the degree of mold contamination; second. the mold remediation phase to fix the problem; and, finally the post-remediation phase which insures that the mold remediation has been performed properly and the air quality is within the normal range.
A mold inspection is a visual and non-intrusive inspection of a building performed by a licensed mold inspector, also known as a mold assessor. The purpose of a mold inspection is to identify and to document any red flags that are present or conditions that could lead to mold growth. If a mold contamination is found, the mold inspector will formulate a hypothesis about its origin, so that he can outline solutions in his mold inspection report.
No-one can guarantee 100% that a home is mold-free, and this is why:
If we tested every room of a typical 3 bedroom home, we would have, as a minimum, 3 bedrooms, 2 baths, a kitchen, a living room, a dining room, and a laundry room. That’s 9 rooms plus the outdoor sample making a total of 10 air samples.
The question as to when mold testing is warranted is dictated by the goal or objective of the homeowners or building occupants. Many people who call for a mold inspection actually only need mold testing. Once we start asking questions about their objective, 95% of the time we will recommend mold testing over a formal inspection of the entire building.
We recognize that every situation is different and there are times
A second mold testing following remediation means that the mold remediation failed air clearance. It is customary for homeowners to pay for the first mold testing following mold remediation; and, if the remediation is covered under the homeowner’s insurance policy, the cost of the post remediation testing is normally part of the remediation process and covered by insurance.
Mold testing following mold remediation, known as post-remediation testing, is an absolute must! This verification testing ensures that the mold remediation has been performed correctly, as evidenced by the laboratory results, which should show that the levels of mold spores are within the normal range for all types of mold spores compared to an outside control sample.
After mold remediation is completed, but before containment is removed and before any reconstruction has taken place, such as closing the wall by installing new drywall, a post remediation testing is necessary. No matter how “clean” the area remediated may be, skipping this mold testing is not a good idea.
Beware! The EPA mold scale ERMI© is misleading
ERMI testing, developed by the EPA to test a home for mold is, in our opinion, totally meaningless, flawed, and impractical. This post is actually a paper we published several years ago, and we thought the information would interest our readers. The post is in two-parts. The first part, Is ERMI Testing Reliable to Test a Home For Mold, explains how the ERMI test was developed. In the second part, we point out the flaws of ERMI testing.