Palm Beach County Home Mold Testing Kits Article Part 2

SOME BENEFITS AND DRAW BACKS OF HOME MOLD TESTING KITS INFORMATION FROM A PALM BEACH COUNTY TESTING COMPANY.

For part I  of this article click here.

The most common home mold testing kits consists of Petri dishes filled with a nutritious growth media known as Malt Extract Agar or MEA. The growth media contains carbohydrates and other nutrients, moisture, and bacterial growth inhibitors to prevent bacteria from crowding out any mold that may grow on the media. These kits can be found at many local building supply stores.

During an investigation with a local news crew our Palm Beach County mold testing specialist utilized several of these testing devices.

The dish is opened and set in your home for a predetermined amount of time allowing spores to settle on the plate. Depending on how much you want to spend you may examining it yourself for the presence or absence of mold after a few days, or you may send it back to the laboratory for analysis to determine the type of mold found.

Other test kits involve the use of tape pressed against a moldy surface, the tape is later mailed to the laboratory for confirmation of the presence of mold and identification of the types of mold present on the tape strip if any. Though the use of tape sounds unprofessional or non scientific, it is in fact a heavily relied on method of sampling mold and is quite effective.

Still other kits involve a dust dsampling cassett. Dust is samples and analyzed for the presence of allergens.

All the above tests have a few serious drawbacks.

1) Mold test kits can tell you if you have mold, and can help identify the type to the genus level, but such methods cannot typically tell you if the amount you have is at normal or abnormal levels. Though any amount of some molds such as Chaetomium or Stachybotrys also known as toxic black mold would be unusual and a concern indoor, other mold such as many species of Cladosporium and Pen Asp are not so unusual in home or office air, such spores showing up in a home test kit tells us nothing useful.

2) Unfortunately some people may not interpret the results properly, for example if mold is found in a petri dish and its identify is provided by lab analysis many home owners will look at the report and panic even if the types and amounts of mold were normal.

3) Another person may be inclined to have a false since of security when sampling mold, for example if mold on a tape sample is identified by the lab but is in not toxic black mold then some homeowners may think that it is not a serious problem when in fact the entire interior of the wall may be infested with unhealthy mold and moisture issues that can cause problems for years to come. Neither the surface sample, nor the lab would be able to give any indication of the true severity of the problem.

Other kits available allow homeowners to test for dust mite, rodent, and a wide assortment of other allergens, as well as lead, and other indoor contaminates.

If you need detailed mold testing in Palm Beach County or anyplace from Vero Beach to the Keys then turn to companies who provide mold testing in Palm Beach County Florida and A Accredited mold Inspection Service, Inc. If you reside outside of South Florida visit the www.ACAC.org  website or the www.AIHI.org website for a list of consultants in your area.

Unfortunately it cannot be overstressed that mold spores, the mold that produces spores, and the underlying moisture problems that cause such problems are often well hidden from sight behind building materials and may require a trained and certified mold inspector to assess the situation and possible take samples from areas that the homeowner may not be equipped to sample. Clues and red flags may exist that sometimes signal that a mold problem or moisture condition exists, and such clues may go unnoticed by the homeowner with a home test kit. Thus while test kits can provide a small amount of information to the curious homeowner, a mold inspection by a properly certified, and where applicable state licensed mold assessor may be worth the investment.

For an investigation that can often determine the cause and origin of such contaminates, and how to properly control them you will need a trained and certified inspector to provide inspections and on site air testing at your building. Such services cost hundreds of dollars more than a home mold test kit, and generally take 2 to 4 hours in a typical home depending on the complexity of the issue at hand. Is the condition of your home and your health worth the extra investment? Our mold testing service in West Palm Beach can provide such services.

 

 

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