Not all black spots are mold. Discoloration of surfaces can be caused by a number of things. These are just a few: efflorescence, dirt, rust and insect fecal matter.
We use third-party laboratories for all of our mold tests. This eliminates bias and ensures accurate results. No scare tactics! You will receive a full report of your results in as little as 48 hours of your appointment. Now you can take action sooner rather than later!
Why test your home for mold?
Professional mold testing has several purposes. One of the most common reasons people decide to get a mold test is persistent odours and visible discoloration on walls and other surfaces. Others experience sudden symptoms such as coughing, sneezing and headaches.
There are so many different kinds of mold–black, white, orange, pink, green, etc. It’s extremely difficult to identify just by looking at it. The best way to find out if you have a mold problem is to get a professional mold test.
Getting your home tested for mold will give you important information about the health of your indoor environment. You’ll be able to:
- Assess fungal ecology
- Confirm the presence of mold
- Identify the types of mold present (including black mold)
- Locate the source(s) of moisture
- Evaluate the extent of the contamination
- Assess health risks
- Plan a mold remediation
- Provide evidence for insurance claims/litigation
- Pass clearance testing (to verify job completion)
I already know I have mold. I don’t need a mold test.
Even if you’re sure that you have a mold problem, a mold test will help guide your mold remediation strategy. If you’re hiring a professional mold removal company to do the work, the technicians will use the test results to plan the scope of work and determine appropriate protective measures.
Mold testing can also come in handy when you’re buying a home and want to make sure that there are no hidden mold problems. Standard home inspections typically do not include any type of testing or analysis for mold. Furthermore, home inspectors are not required to have any mold training or certification. They can easily overlook subtle signs of mold that a certified mold inspector will easily catch.
With an air test for mold, you’ll also find out exactly what type of mold is growing in your home, and how bad the contamination is.
Detecting black mold
Black mold (Stachybotrys chartarum) is a huge concern in any home that has a history of moisture intrusion or water damage. Given the right environmental conditions, this toxic mold can form within hours of the water event.
What causes black mold?
The number one cause of mold is moisture. Moisture can make its way into your home in a number of different ways:
- Damaged roof
- Cracked foundation
- Plumbing leaks
- Old windows and doors
- High humidity
- Poor ventilation
- Leaky appliances
Remember, getting the moisture problem fixed promptly is crucial to preventing mold spores from spreading to other areas of your home.
How black mold affects your health
Not all mold growth is visible, which is why many mold problems go undetected for years. And when mold spores become airborne, that’s when you can expect symptoms like difficulty breathing, allergies, skin irritation, headaches, fatigue, memory loss and more.
Health effects of mold exposure depend largely on the species of mold present and individual sensitivities to mold. Some people experience only mild mold allergies, while some develop serious respiratory illness. Others, still, may experience no symptoms at all.
Mold testing allows us to identify if the mold growing inside our homes is allergenic, pathogenic or toxigenic. Exposure to toxigenic species like black mold is known to cause both acute and chronic health problems.
Testing your home for mold and addressing any issues quickly is therefore the key to maintaining a healthy indoor environment.
It is a good idea to get these rooms tested for mold as part of your home’s routine maintenance:
- Crawl spaces
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Using mold tests to detect mold
Mold detection is a broad term that encompasses not just a physical mold test, but also the entire process of inspecting for mold. Often this includes a visual inspection of the area or a thermal imaging scan. The mold inspector will look for potential sources of moisture in your home, such as damaged plumbing and leaking roofs. Basements and crawlspaces are also equally susceptible to moisture buildup and standing water.
During this process, the mold inspector may take a mold test if the situation calls for it. For example:
- If there is an odour present in the room but no visible mold growth
- If the inspector finds a discoloured material and wants to confirm it’s mold
- If water damage is uncovered and the indoor air quality needs to be checked
Maintaining healthy indoor air quality
Some homeowners opt to monitor the air quality inside their homes regularly in order to prevent mold from becoming a major threat. In this case, mold testing is the perfect tool because it’s fast, easy and gives you an accurate picture of your home indoor air quality.
Should I rely on home mold test kits?
Unless you are an indoor environmental professional, you should avoid direct contact with mold. Period. DIY mold testing can release potentially toxic mold spores into your air. Not to mention putting yourself at risk of exposure.
In addition, samples collected using at-home mold test kits are often not handled properly, cross-contaminated and therefore unreliable.
Finally, professional mold services don’t focus just on testing mold, but also on addressing its causes. Your DIY kit may reveal a problem, but it will not tell you the safest and most effective way to get rid of it.
Why Mold Busters is Ontario & Quebec’s go-to mold company
Our comprehensive mold testing services along with our reputation for excellence and customer satisfaction have made us one of the leading mold testing, inspection and remediation companies in Ottawa and Montreal.
We are always innovating and looking for ways to make our services more accessible to you. We have our En-Route System for real-time tracking your inspector’s arrival time. We also have dedicated Customer Solutions Providers working on your reports and mold tests results. This means you get answers within hours of your appointment.