MOLD TESTING

Molds are microscopic fungi that can be found almost anywhere - both indoors and outdoors!

Mold growth occurs mainly in warm, damp, and humid conditions. They reproduce by making spores that are released into the air to be transported to other places where they can germinate and grow. When mold is in an active growth phase, it releases gases into the air called Mold Volatile Organic Compounds (MVOCs or Mold VOCs). Some MVOCs you can smell; however, not all of these gases can be detected by smell.

STEP 1

Identify problematic areas of the home where mold is suspected. 

STEP 2

Collect one of 4 samples (1-2 hr average per test)

Mold/VOC Sample

Spore Trap Sample

Tape Lift/Swab Sample

Bulk Sample

STEP 3

Send samples off to laboratory. We will  receive the results in 5-7 business days. 

STEP 4

Price is $150- $500 for basic testing. Other factors on price are the size of the property and number of samples to be taken.

STEP 5

Receive your report, a list of contractors that can assist you, & a written guideline for how to remove the source of the mold to avoid future problems. 

What other tests can be done in conjunction with a Mold Test?

Mold is not the only consideration of indoor air quality.

Carbon Monoxide, VOC's, Gas leaks, Formaldehyde, Radon can all be tested.

 

  • Carbon dioxide (CO2), tobacco smoke, perfume, body odors – from building occupants.

  • Dust, fiberglass, asbestos, gases, including formaldehyde – from building materials.

  • Toxic vapors, volatile organic compounds (VOCs) – from workplace cleansers, solvents, pesticides, disinfectants, glues.

  • Gases, vapors, odors – off-gas emissions from furniture, carpets, and paints.

  • Dust mites – from carpets, fabric, foam chair cushions.

  • Microbial contaminants, fungi, molds, bacteria – from damp areas, stagnant water and condensate pans.

  • Ozone – from photocopiers, electric motors, electrostatic air cleaners.

What are the symptoms of poor indoor air quality?

  • Dryness and irritation of the eyes, nose, throat, and skin

  • Headache

  • Fatigue

  • Shortness of breath

  • Hypersensitivity and allergies

  • Sinus congestion

  • Coughing and sneezing

  • Dizziness

  • Nausea

 

When should you have your air quality tested?

If you experience any of the symptoms listed above more prominently in a certain room in your home, during particular times throughout the day, or if you notice them improve or get worse depending on your location, you may want to have your air quality tested. 

 

The symptoms listed above can often be attributed to other respiratory illnesses such as allergies, asthma, sinus issues, etc. However, chemicals, glues, molds, paints, cleaning products, gas leaks, radon, formaldehyde or asbestos could be the cause. 

Poor indoor air quality for prolonged periods of time may cause a variety of respiratory illness, infections, some cancers, or even death. 

  

WHY DOES INDOOR

AIR QUALITY MATTER?

 

"People are increasingly concerned about mold, radon, carbon monoxide, and toxic chemicals in their homes. Poor indoor air quality can lead to eye irritation, headaches, allergies, respiratory problems such as asthma, and other serious health problems. EPA studies show that levels of many indoor air pollutants can be two to five times higher than outdoor levels. And since most people spend close to 90% of their time indoors, keeping indoor pollution levels as low as possible is the right thing to do for you and your family".

 

When you're re-modeling or building a new construction home, it is important to take indoor air quality seriously and ask your contractor/builder important questions regarding materials, glues, finishes, products, and building practices that will be used to ensure your home doesn't end up making you sick. 

START WITH ENERGY STAR

ADD INDOOR AIR QUALITY IMPROVEMENTS

FINISH WITH INDEPENDENT VERIFICATION

Every Indoor airPLUS home must first earn the ENERGY STAR Certified Home label, the trusted symbol of energy efficiency. ENERGY STAR certified homes are between 15% and 30% more energy efficient than code-built homes.

Additional home design and construction features are included in the Indoor airPLUS label to help protect homes from airborne contaminants. These features stop air pollutants at the source and properly seal and ventilate the home.

The home’s energy performance and key indoor air quality features are verified by an independent third-party inspector to ensure that the builder has met all of EPA’s rigorous guidelines for energy efficiency and indoor air quality

HOW CAN BUILDING PRACTICES HELP IMPROVE INDOOR AIR QUALITY?

 

"Builders can use a variety of construction practices and technologies to decrease the risk of poor indoor air quality, including careful selection and installation of building materials; heating, ventilating, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems; combustion venting systems; and moisture control techniques. It’s not easy for home buyers to keep track of all the preferred construction details that lead to improved indoor air quality.

That’s why EPA created the Indoor airPLUS label. Ask for it in your next new home"

What features are included in Indoor airPLUS homes?

"Mold and Moisture Control: Excess moisture breeds mold, attracts pests and deteriorates building materials. Mold is a common trigger for allergy and asthma symptoms. Indoor airPLUS homes have additional construction features, including improved roof, wall, and foundation drainage to keep water where it belongs— outside of the home. Moisture-resistant building materials are also required in moisture-sensitive areas of the home and building materials are required to be kept dry during construction".

 

Efficient Heating, Ventilating, and Air Conditioning Systems (HVAC):

"Poorly designed and installed HVAC systems can lead to comfort and air quality problems. ENERGY STAR certified homes include properly engineered systems and quality installation requirements. Indoor airPLUS homes add enhanced filtration; additional de-humidification capacity in warm, moist climates; and inspection of air handling systems and duct work to ensure they are clean, free of debris, and provide adequate airflow".

 

Combustion Venting:

"Fuel-burning appliances can release dangerous gases, like carbon monoxide. All ENERGY STAR and Indoor airPLUS labeled homes include furnaces, water heaters, and other combustion appliances that are specially vented to prevent back drafting of pollutants into the home. All Indoor airPLUS homes also include carbon monoxide alarms in each sleeping area".

 

Building Materials:

"Many building materials release chemicals (often called volatile organic compounds, or VOCs) into the indoor air, sometimes long after the home is constructed. These chemicals can produce strong odors, and cause eye, nose, and throat irritation, as well as other effects in sensitive people. Indoor airPLUS homes use no-VOC or low-VOC paints, carpets, and low-formaldehyde manufactured wood products".

 

Pest Management:

"Pests, like rodents and cockroaches, can trigger allergy and asthma symptoms, as well as cause structural damage. Indoor airPLUS homes seal or screen pest entry points, reducing the need for pesticide use. Radon Resistance: Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer. In high-radon zones, Indoor airPLUS homes are built using radon-resistant construction techniques".

 

Homeowner Education:

"After purchasing a home with the Indoor airPLUS label, owners receive a checklist of verified indoor air quality features, and instructions for operating and maintaining equipment to continue minimizing risks of indoor air quality problems".

To learn more about indoor air quality visit https://www.epa.gov/indoor-air-quality-iaq

View the EPA Consumer Brochure PDF

 

MOLD TESTING

Molds are microscopic fungi that can be found almost anywhere - both indoors and outdoors!

Mold growth occurs mainly in warm, damp, and humid conditions. They reproduce by making spores that are released into the air to be transported to other places where they can germinate and grow. When mold is in an active growth phase, it releases gases into the air called Mold Volatile Organic Compounds (MVOCs or Mold VOCs). Some MVOCs you can smell; however, not all of these gases can be detected by smell.

STEP 1

Identify problematic areas of the home where mold is suspected. 

STEP 2

Collect one of 4 samples (1-2 hr average per test)

Mold/VOC Sample

Spore Trap Sample

Tape Lift/Swab Sample

Bulk Sample

STEP 3

Send samples off to laboratory. We will  receive the results in 5-7 business days. 

STEP 4

Price is $150- $500 for basic testing. Other factors on price are the size of the property and number of samples to be taken.

STEP 5

Receive your report, a list of contractors that can assist you, & a written guideline for how to remove the source of the mold to avoid future problems. 

What other tests can be done in conjunction with a Mold Test?

Mold is not the only consideration of indoor air quality.

Carbon Monoxide, VOC's, Gas leaks, Formaldehyde, Radon can all be tested.

 

  • Carbon dioxide (CO2), tobacco smoke, perfume, body odors – from building occupants.

  • Dust, fiberglass, asbestos, gases, including formaldehyde – from building materials.

  • Toxic vapors, volatile organic compounds (VOCs) – from workplace cleansers, solvents, pesticides, disinfectants, glues.

  • Gases, vapors, odors – off-gas emissions from furniture, carpets, and paints.

  • Dust mites – from carpets, fabric, foam chair cushions.

  • Microbial contaminants, fungi, molds, bacteria – from damp areas, stagnant water and condensate pans.

  • Ozone – from photocopiers, electric motors, electrostatic air cleaners.

What are the symptoms of poor indoor air quality?

  • Dryness and irritation of the eyes, nose, throat, and skin

  • Headache

  • Fatigue

  • Shortness of breath

  • Hypersensitivity and allergies

  • Sinus congestion

  • Coughing and sneezing

  • Dizziness

  • Nausea

 

When should you have your air quality tested?

If you experience any of the symptoms listed above more prominently in a certain room in your home, during particular times throughout the day, or if you notice them improve or get worse depending on your location, you may want to have your air quality tested. 

 

The symptoms listed above can often be attributed to other respiratory illnesses such as allergies, asthma, sinus issues, etc. However, chemicals, glues, molds, paints, cleaning products, gas leaks, radon, formaldehyde or asbestos could be the cause. 

Poor indoor air quality for prolonged periods of time may cause a variety of respiratory illness, infections, some cancers, or even death. 

  

WHY DOES INDOOR

AIR QUALITY MATTER?

 

"People are increasingly concerned about mold, radon, carbon monoxide, and toxic chemicals in their homes. Poor indoor air quality can lead to eye irritation, headaches, allergies, respiratory problems such as asthma, and other serious health problems. EPA studies show that levels of many indoor air pollutants can be two to five times higher than outdoor levels. And since most people spend close to 90% of their time indoors, keeping indoor pollution levels as low as possible is the right thing to do for you and your family".

 

When you're re-modeling or building a new construction home, it is important to take indoor air quality seriously and ask your contractor/builder important questions regarding materials, glues, finishes, products, and building practices that will be used to ensure your home doesn't end up making you sick. 

START WITH ENERGY STAR

ADD INDOOR AIR QUALITY IMPROVEMENTS

FINISH WITH INDEPENDENT VERIFICATION

Every Indoor airPLUS home must first earn the ENERGY STAR Certified Home label, the trusted symbol of energy efficiency. ENERGY STAR certified homes are between 15% and 30% more energy efficient than code-built homes.

Additional home design and construction features are included in the Indoor airPLUS label to help protect homes from airborne contaminants. These features stop air pollutants at the source and properly seal and ventilate the home.

The home’s energy performance and key indoor air quality features are verified by an independent third-party inspector to ensure that the builder has met all of EPA’s rigorous guidelines for energy efficiency and indoor air quality

HOW CAN BUILDING PRACTICES HELP IMPROVE INDOOR AIR QUALITY?

 

"Builders can use a variety of construction practices and technologies to decrease the risk of poor indoor air quality, including careful selection and installation of building materials; heating, ventilating, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems; combustion venting systems; and moisture control techniques. It’s not easy for home buyers to keep track of all the preferred construction details that lead to improved indoor air quality.

That’s why EPA created the Indoor airPLUS label. Ask for it in your next new home"

What features are included in Indoor airPLUS homes?

"Mold and Moisture Control: Excess moisture breeds mold, attracts pests and deteriorates building materials. Mold is a common trigger for allergy and asthma symptoms. Indoor airPLUS homes have additional construction features, including improved roof, wall, and foundation drainage to keep water where it belongs— outside of the home. Moisture-resistant building materials are also required in moisture-sensitive areas of the home and building materials are required to be kept dry during construction".

 

Efficient Heating, Ventilating, and Air Conditioning Systems (HVAC):

"Poorly designed and installed HVAC systems can lead to comfort and air quality problems. ENERGY STAR certified homes include properly engineered systems and quality installation requirements. Indoor airPLUS homes add enhanced filtration; additional de-humidification capacity in warm, moist climates; and inspection of air handling systems and duct work to ensure they are clean, free of debris, and provide adequate airflow".

 

Combustion Venting:

"Fuel-burning appliances can release dangerous gases, like carbon monoxide. All ENERGY STAR and Indoor airPLUS labeled homes include furnaces, water heaters, and other combustion appliances that are specially vented to prevent back drafting of pollutants into the home. All Indoor airPLUS homes also include carbon monoxide alarms in each sleeping area".

 

Building Materials:

"Many building materials release chemicals (often called volatile organic compounds, or VOCs) into the indoor air, sometimes long after the home is constructed. These chemicals can produce strong odors, and cause eye, nose, and throat irritation, as well as other effects in sensitive people. Indoor airPLUS homes use no-VOC or low-VOC paints, carpets, and low-formaldehyde manufactured wood products".

 

Pest Management:

"Pests, like rodents and cockroaches, can trigger allergy and asthma symptoms, as well as cause structural damage. Indoor airPLUS homes seal or screen pest entry points, reducing the need for pesticide use. Radon Resistance: Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer. In high-radon zones, Indoor airPLUS homes are built using radon-resistant construction techniques".

 

Homeowner Education:

"After purchasing a home with the Indoor airPLUS label, owners receive a checklist of verified indoor air quality features, and instructions for operating and maintaining equipment to continue minimizing risks of indoor air quality problems".

To learn more about indoor air quality visit https://www.epa.gov/indoor-air-quality-iaq

View the EPA Consumer Brochure PDF

 

View sample reports from our past Home Inspections, Home Performance Audits, Air Quality Tests, etc. 

© 2020 by Insight Property Services, Inc..