Mold Testing – How To Read A Mold Report?
Mold reports are slightly different in different areas of the country but most are read fairly similar to each other. The process to reading a mold report is first knowing what a proper test or inspection consists of. There are two types of mold tests which are an air sample or a swab, these are the two most famous tests and used most often.
Both should be completed by an Industrial Hygienist or a home mold inspector. The difference between the two is an Industrial Hygienist test would hold up in court as a mold inspector test generally does not. Also, an Industrial Hygienist test typically will come with a Mold Remediation scope of work as the mold inspector typically does not. Some mold inspectors will charge extra for a mold report but be careful to pick one that knows how to write a proper report. In some cases, we’ve seen great reports and in others it’s almost impossible to follow the protocol to remove the mold.
Getting to the report, for this article I’ll go into the air quality mold sample as that’s the most famous test. The swab is a simple test which takes a small section of the room to determine if it’s mold or not. This would help you to understand the types of mold you have or if you have mold in the home. Useful but in most cases isn’t the best sample to obtain from the inspector or hygienist. The other mold sample is the air quality test, this will determine how much mold is in the room or rooms and what molds are present. In Industrial Hygienist will also be able to write a protocol saying where the mold is present in the room or home.
Once the test are completed the mold tester will send the samples off to an approved lab, always make sure it’s a reputable lab which will be analyzing the samples. There are a few labs which are not reputable so don’t be afraid to ask where the company will be sending the tests too. It typically takes anywhere from 2 – 7 days to obtain the test results back so be patient with the tester as it’s not there fault for the wait time.
Once the tests come back and are given to you, compare it with the protocol to make sure everything is correct. Here is what to look for in a mold test.
1. Make sure that the mold tester has tested the outside and suspected areas inside the home
2. Make sure to obtain a valid lab test from a reputable lab
3. Compare the results inside to the results outside the home
4. Areas higher inside than outside should be re-mediated by a professional
5. Hire a certified, insured firm to complete the mold remediation
These are the proper steps to read a mold report from your Industrial Hygienist or home mold inspector. The counts of mold don’t need to be 0 as there is always mold present in a home but they should be lower than the outside counts of mold. Here is a helpful EPA Mold Resource to read and learn more about mold and it’s spores.