INDOOR AIR QUALITY (IAQ)
The presence of mold, VOC’s, and other micro-debris inside a house is of great interest to a lot of folks. Some people have real concerns due to a compromised respiratory system (asthma, severe allergies, etc.). This article from the Center for Disease Control (CDC) contains some pretty level-headed, factual information. It is worthwhile reading, if only to counter the sensationalism that abounds in the media. As home inspectors we are often asked our opinion on various circumstances regarding these household irritants. So here is the scoop from AllPro Inspections as we see it….
MOLD INSIDE THE HOUSE
Mold is naturally occurring and abundant in our environment. Even if you started with a 100% mold-free house (not realistically possible), as soon as you opened a window or door airborne spores would flow in from the outside. Therefore an air sample taken from inside a house will typically reveal some level of mold presence.
WHY TEST FORM MOLD? WHAT CAN WE LEARN?
AIR SAMPLING – Analyzing an air sample gives us two pieces of valuable information; types of spores, and the concentration of those spores. People who are sensitive to mold will be more affected in higher concentrations and may feel little or no affect in low concentrations. Comparing indoor and outdoor concentrations of each spore type can also help us determine if a mold reservoir (source) may be present inside the house. The laboratory analysis of the air samples will reveal the types of spores present. This can be especially helpful to people who have known sensitivity to only certain species of mold. It will also indicate whether stachybotrys (aka “black” or “toxic” mold) spores are present in the home.
SURFACE SAMPLING – Surface sampling reveals the type of spores present on the surface that was sampled. This can be useful in determining whether a stained area is mold or just discoloration. Surface sampling can often help identify the specific problem area when taken along with air samples.
VISUAL INSPECTION – It is important to perform a visual inspection at the house in order to identify potential water sources. In my experience, the findings in the visual inspection nearly always correlates with the mold test results. A strong understanding of building science as well as thermal imaging technology will help achieve a reliable visual inspection.
ALLPRO MOLD TESTING SERVICES
AllPro mold testing always begins with a thorough visual inspection (including thermal imaging) to identify potential water sources. The type of testing (air, surface, or both) and the number of samples taken varies based on the circumstances of the individual project. Rest assured that AllPro mold testing and interpretation of the laboratory analysis will remain unbiased as we do not perform mold remediation or refer any partner company to do so. If you would like to pursue surface or air testing in a home we will be happy to provide you with a cost effective plan.
All of our sample analysis is performed by EMLab P+K and includes a proprietary analytical interpretation of the test results. This report is concise and easy to read.
SCHEDULE YOUR NORTH GEORGIA PROPERTY INSPECTION by calling +1 (770) 710-1856.
AllPro Inspections has been inspecting the Southeast one house at a time since 2005! We are based in Alpharetta and service all surrounding North Georgia communities including Alpharetta, Norcross and Lawrenceville.