Mold is natural to the environment, It can be indoors or outdoors. The basics of learning about mold begin with knowing that it is the break down procedure of dead organic matter such as trees, leaves and when the snow melts. When the problem is indoors this is where the issue becomes very important and can cause serious long term health problems for you and your family. Mold spores are invisible to the human eye and travel through the air. There are many different types of mold, but none can exist without water or moisture. If you have any questions regarding Mold and mold removal you can always go online to www.gotmold.ca/blog
As most of our readers are aware, mold is in every household however, large amounts of mold can cause potential health issues especially with young children and the older aged population. When it comes to the removal of mold in your home, we want our readers to be aware that at home tests may not be accurate and may not provide the data required to know the extent of the problem nor how to fix it.
Some at home test kits are designed to collect dust and mold spores from the air that can be sent in for analysis once the collection is complete. No matter where you set up this test kit, indoors or outdoors mold spores will settle into the plate and mold will start to grow. This can be very misleading, and cause unwanted stress due to worry of a significant problem that may not exist.
The most important part of the inspection process is the visual inspection and not the samples themselves. Mold samples can be misleading, are sometimes incorrect with both false positive and false negative results occurring, and can only be accurately interpreted in conjunction with a well thought out sampling strategy based on the visual inspection where atmospheric conditions are gathered. The visual inspection requires an understanding of building construction, water sources, and other factors that may not be apparent to many people, such as condensation occurring in a poorly ventilated attic, poor drainage on the exterior of the building, and or cracks in the foundation.
The primary issue with these kits is that they essentially only test for the presence of mold in the home. The mold testing kits that we are aware of are simply “gravity” or “settling” plates which consists of putting an open Petri dish in the home for some period of time. You could set out a plate of fruit and find out whether mold will grow on the fruit or not. Given enough time, of course it will! If you leave moist food on the kitchen counter for a few weeks, no one is surprised when mold forms on that food, and finding mold on that food does not mean that the home has a mold problem, it just goes to show that mold spores are relevant everywhere and when the right conditions are provided it will flourish.
All credible organizations in the indoor air quality community advocate against using these types of sample kits. In fact, a well-recognized book in the mold industry “Bioaerosols: Assessment and Control” by the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH) advises against using the types of samples included in these home mold testing kits. It’s important to understand that mold is present – it’s everywhere. ALL homes have mold in them. Mold is present in homes, buildings, and the outside air. Mold spores are in the air, on surfaces, on the furniture… all over the place. If you open a Petri dish and take a sample, it is likely that you will get mold growing on the Petri dish. That’s not helpful information!