Mold can take hold in a home or office without anyone noticing until it is too late. It begins with the mold spores that can be found naturally in our air. Most of the time, the mold spores do not do anything. The spores might settle onto surfaces but never take root. Mold spores exist all around us, so the possibility of mold growth is always present.
Mold growth factors
The problem arises when the mold spores find a place to settle down. Ideal conditions for mold growth tend to be in warm, damp places within the building. Once a mold spore has taken root, it can begin growing in 24 to 48 hours. People often do not notice it until the mold has covered a larger area or begins to emit that tell-tale mold and mildew odor. Testing for mold can be done long before mold growth has gotten out of control.
Mold damage can harm the structural integrity of a property. It can also cause numerous health problems by affecting the air quality within the home or workplace. This is why it is important to have mold testing done on the property, especially after a flood or water damage incident.
Mold testing procedures
The mold test can be completed by testing the air for the existence of mold spores, or by testing surfaces to see if mold exists and if the conditions are right for mold growth. A mold testing professional will use a spore trap to capture spores from the air that will then be analyzed. The mold spores can be identified. Different areas might have different types of mold spores in their air.
Surface testing for mold can be done several ways. Bulk samples involve taking an actual piece of the area being tested, like a small portion of the wall. Swab samples can be collected by running the equivalent of a swab across the surface to collect mold spores and mold samples. Or, a tape sample can be collected. Tape will be pressed against the surface to capture the mold for it to be tested.
Once the samples have been tested, the mold cleaning and remediation professional will be able to determine a strategy for mold removal and prevention in the areas that are prone to mold growth.