With weather patterns changing nationwide, many regions are experiencing greater extremes in temperature and intensity, and duration of major events. Those affected by increased rain and flooding may feel particularly vulnerable to mold in their homes and may want to do some mold testing. Regardless of location, taking steps to prevent the spread of mold before it becomes a problem is a good idea.
What To Look For
If you suspect you have a mold problem, there are a number of signs to be aware of:
• A moldy smell — mold has a distinctive odor.
• Visible colored patches (especially black) of growth around areas of condensation.
• Past or present issues with humidity, moisture, or flooding.
If you notice any of these signs, it can be a good idea to test for mold.
Who Should Test
If a homeowner is inclined to attempt DIY mold testing and utilize a mold kit, it should be noted that, in most cases, collected samples will need to be sent to a laboratory for analysis. Further, because of the constant presence of mold spores in the environment, a home test will almost always yield a positive result. Therefore, residents of Knoxville, TN, would be well advised to call a professional hygiene service to address any perceived or potential issues. A certified industrial hygienist has the knowledge, experience, and resources to provide the assurance that homeowners want with mold testing.
What Can Be Done
An expert can perform a variety of tests to ensure the most accurate results. One strategy is testing the air to determine what types of mold spores are present. This is particularly helpful when there are no visible signs of mold. A second regimen uses several techniques to lift samples off of household surfaces. Third, bulk testing involves removing items from the home and lab testing them. Another option is to culture living spores obtained from the previous techniques in the lab. This can be the best way to determine which mold species are present.
Using a home kit may at first seem practical and efficient. However, the most reliable way to do mold testing is to use a professional.