Understanding Mold as a Pollutant
Measuring such levels of pollutants is most effective if a specific mold contaminant is already suspected in your home. The Environmental Protection Agency considers mold to be a biological pollutant, in the same category as bacteria, dust mites, pollen, and dander.
The EPA concludes that some of these biological pollutants such as mold do cause allergic reactions in people. Among these are allergic rhinitis, hypersensitivity pneumonitis, and even some forms of asthma. These toxins and viruses easily spread as airborne agents and can sometimes lead to disease in individuals. Symptoms of problems in health caused by these contaminants can include itchy, watery eyes, sneezing, trouble breathing, coughing, and dizziness.
Should You Test for Mold?
Mold is a serious issue in many, many American homes. It can grow easily both outside and inside. It is quite capable of floating into your house through open windows, doorways, and even air vents. You also carry mold inside inadvertently on your shoes or attached to your clothes.
Even healthy individuals can suffer negative side effects from breathing in these toxic molds. These include wheezing, coughing, and other symptoms of upper respiratory symptoms. Those sensitive to mold can suffer worse problems still.
Moving from Suspicions of Mold to Testing for Mold
It makes sense to first investigate any suspicions we have of mold in our houses. Suspicions can arise from just a few moments spent sniffing for musty-smelling air. You can easily visually inspect any places that are likely for mold to appear. Mold can also grow in hidden areas so it is always recommended to have a professional mold inspection done if you suspect an issue.
This brings us to the two types of testing for mold. Mold spores will often exist in large quantities, which can complicate air quality testing. Surface testing will generate faster results. In either case, the source of the mold will have to be cleaned up wherever it is noticeable. Besides this, such conditions that caused the mold to take hold in the first place must be addressed, such as too much humidity in the home.
What is Air Quality Sampling?
Air quality sampling is the first of the two methods for testing for mold in your home. An inspector will collect a sample of air out of the room that you believe is contaminated by mold. Samples of air are also taken from other areas inside the property as well as an additional sample of the air outside. The indoor samples will help determine if mold spores have been released into the air and what areas they have traveled to while the outside sample will be used as a comparison for what your mold spore count should naturally be. This comparison is important because mold will naturally be in the air whether you have an issue in your property or not.
The collected samples will then be analyzed in a lab. Results will provide conclusive information on a number of particles in the room, such as mold spores, VOCs, asbestos, pollen, and any other allergens that are airborne.
Generally, the standard air samples will be comprised of 75 liters of compressed air. This allows for the results to be highly accurate as to the air health and quality of your home’s indoor environment. Typically, such air quality sampling tests will disclose significant mold presence, ventilation issues, and moisture problems in rooms where you may be surprised by the results.