As a home, or property owner, there are a number of DIY maintenance projects we can tackle on our own to save money. However, there are some jobs that should be left to the professionals. Mold is a perfect example. Mold can cause severe structural damage to your home or building, as well as affect your health by releasing tiny spores, aka mycotoxins, into the air. You do have the option to do a Home Mold Test Kit, or you could have it checked out by the professionals.
How do the Home Mold Test Kits work? There are a variety of Home Mold Test Kits you can purchase at most big box stores. Most of the Test Kits run of the same basics: collect a sample, using a petri dish set out in the affected area for a period of time, or swabs used on visual mold, and mail it to a lab to be analyzed. The lab will send back a report letting you know the types of mold and quantities in the areas you tested. These Test Kits can be a good indicator of harmful mold being present in your home or property, but one of the biggest downfalls is that there is no actual inspection performed.
By calling in a professional remediation company, like CREW Construction and Restoration, a trained professional will inspect all areas of your home. Our Team member will start with a visual inspection of the areas you are most concerned with. We will then inspect all other troubled areas that mold is usually found. This includes areas like the HVAC system, basement closets, crawl spaces and wet attic areas. This inspection may include the interior of the building, the exterior building envelope and even exterior landscape surrounding the building. Once we have done an inspection for all visual mold, we will use those findings to try and locate where the water intrusion, or humidity problem that is causing the growth is coming from. We use thermal imaging cameras, accompanied with moisture meters to determine where the source of the intrusion is and work with you to mitigate the problem. Once we have identified the moisture source we perform Air Testing. We will test affected areas, as well as an unaffected area and an outside sample to determine a control. The Air testing will determine what type and quantity of mold is in the area (for example, it could be the type of mold that causes allergic reactions when inhaled). Once the entire inspection is done, we will provide the owner with a report of our findings, and the best solution to fix the moisture problem, remove the mold, and prevent future mold growth from happening.
DIY Home Mold Test Kits do provide a property owner with a test sample that will tell you what kind and quantity of mold is growing in the area tested, but lack the thorough inspection that a professional will provide, as well as a remediation plan. Aside from that, here are just a few disadvantages of using the Home Mold Test Kits.
*When mailing your kit, due to shipping and handling, you risk inaccurate results. You don’t know how it was handled during the shipping process.
*Majority of homes show some signs of mold. Your test will more than likely show a positive result. The key information missing is where the level and growth of the mold is, and how to remove it.
*Mold Kits don’t provide a control sample, therefore, without a baseline, you aren’t able to assess the elevation of the spores.
* The US EPA advises against doing DIY Mold Kits, as mold is a serious matter. They advise leaving this to the professionals, like Crew Construction and Restoration.
In the end, these kits are ultimately ineffective in offering the information you need to protect your home and your family from the dangers of mold. If you sense that you, or your family members have been struggling with signs similar to allergies, and you suspect you may have some mold issues, don’t hesitate to call Crew Construction and Restoration to have a proper inspection performed.