How much does it cost to test for mold?
It depends on the size of the home and the size of the problem. If mold is visible or not can play a factor as well.
Why is an outdoor air sample necessary?
The outdoor sample is a rough baseline for indoor testing. If I find mold spores inside the house that were not in the outdoor sample, that raises a red flag that there might be an issue. Often insurance companies require outdoor air samples. The industry is divided about whether outdoor air samples are required or not.
How do you identify the source of a strange odor?
I always start with a questionnaire, visual inspection, and walk-around. I’m a “fresh nose” to your house or business, so I’ll have a much better chance of finding the odor than you will. VOC sampling is also very helpful at finding the sources.
How long does it take to get the lab results?
Typically it takes 3-5 business days, but results can be rushed for an extra fee.
What if you find a mold problem, then what?
The next steps depend on the severity and the extent. There are two possible protocols: sanitization and remediation. If you need sanitization, we install or recommend purification technology and devices. If you need remediation, then I can recommend up to 3 vetted remediators.
Why should I pay you when I can just call a mold remediator?
You should always have a third-party assessor check for mold. A mold remediator has an incentive to find problems and recommend the highest levels of services. That’s why, in states that have licensing requirements, a mold remediator cannot legally do an assessment.
How much does a clearance test cost?
It depends on the nature of the problem and the size of the remediation needed.
Does a mold problem go away on its own over time?
It absolutely will not. The mold might die and not be viable anymore, but dead mold can cause as many problems as live mold.
Your IAQ assessment quote is way higher than others, why is that?
I am more thorough than most other assessors and you do tend to get what you pay for in this industry. You can’t be too careful when you’re dealing with mold. Taking just a couple of samples will not get to the bottom of the problem. I check my clients’ homes thoroughly to find the root causes of mold and other indoor air problems and make sure that the issue won’t come back by finding the source of the problem and recommending solutions.
Will you also help me with solutions to my IAQ problems?
Absolutely. Based on the assessments and lab reports, specific indoor air pollutants will be identified, and I can design solutions to those problems. That’s what my book, Healthy Harmless Home, is all about.
I see that you have lots of HVAC experience. Can you help me with that also?
Of course. While I’m in the home, I often take the time to review existing HVAC equipment and make recommendations, plus I can answer all your questions about HVAC and ventilation and humidity control.
I see that you are also an author of the book, Healthy Harmless Home, how can I get a copy?
Will your book be available in Spanish?
Yes! It is currently being translated and should be available by mid-2020.
I have family members with IAQ problems in other parts of the country, can you possibly help them in some way?
Best Living Systems has a product called the PSP (Professional Screening Partner). This kit allows them to take the samples on their own, send them to the lab, and receive a very thorough informative report. If they need additional advice I can often help them over the phone.
If the samples for my home come back very bad, will I need to move out of my house?
Maybe. I have recommended homeowners leave the house before. It can be a dangerous situation. Toxic black mold is very rare, but when I find it, I recommend they leave. Especially if they have young children.
Do air purifiers help with mold?
Yes, they do, if they have the right technology built into them. Common consumer-grade “air purifiers” that you get at big-box stores won’t do it. You need PCO technology (photocatalytic oxidation). PCO technology deactivates viable mold spores, bacteria, and viruses. My book had a specific chapter about this technology.
How do you know if mold is behind drywall?
Oftentimes air sampling will detect mold that is growing behind a wall. Some VOC testing can detect MVOCs (mold-generated VOCs) that tell us mold is present behind a wall as well. Thermal imaging can show moisture behind a wall, which is a sign that mold could grow there.
Can mold spores travel through drywall?
Yes. Drywall is a permeable material that mold spores can get through. Spores can get through cracks and crevices too, which are always present in drywall.
Is it safe to stay in a house with mold?
It depends on how much mold and what types of mold. Testing is needed to determine how safe the situation is.
Is it safe to sleep in a room with mold on the wall?
No. There are some types of mold where it wouldn’t be harmful, but you would need testing to determine if that’s the case. It is always smart however to open your windows a crack in bedrooms to allow fresh air to enter. This assumes of course that your outdoor air is of better quality than your indoor air.
How do you detox your body from mold?
If you think you have adverse health symptoms from mold, you need to talk to a medical doctor and especially to one who is a member of the American Academy of Environmental Medicine (AAEM).
How is an air quality test performed?
The most typical air samples taken by IAQ assessors are called Air-O-Cells or spore trap air sampling. Air is sampled for typically five minutes at an air flow rate of 15 liters per minute for a total of 75 liters of air. These samples are sent to a laboratory where the cassettes are opened up and a “direct read” of the particles is made by the technician. Particles are identified to whatever extent is possible and counted. Many IAQ assessors also take air samples for VOC analysis, or use a direct read instrument for VOC numbers.
Can an air quality test detect asbestos?
Yes, air testing for asbestos is possible. Inspired Indoor Air has decided not to get involved with asbestos testing at this time.
What are the symptoms of sick building syndrome?
Sick building syndrome make its victims have watery eyes, headaches, dizziness, nausea, chronic fatigue, and tremors. Consult a doctor if you think you have sick building syndrome.
What are the symptoms of bad air quality in the home?
The signs of bad air quality are usually in the person. Symptoms like allergic reactions, fatigue and headaches can be signs of bad air quality. You may also notice mugginess, musty smells, dampness or uneven air distribution (hot or cold spots in the home).
How long does an IAQ test take?
It depends on the size of the house and the number of HVAC systems.