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Tell me about mold testing


happyWImom
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Has anyone ever had it done?  We had a recurrent leak in a 3 season room off of our kitchen, and it was so bad that the wood underneath the floor was disintegrating!  Dh repaired that and fixed the leaking, but I'm very concerned about possible mold, because this leak happened for 3 consecutive springs.  Lots of time for stuff to grow.  We also had broken faucet that caused a major leak in our familyroom ceiling a few months ago and we didn't know how long it had been going on prior to our discovery.

 

I called a mold inspector and to test our whole house is going to cost a couple of thousand dollars-just the testing!  Money we do not have, but I'm concerned about the health of my dc.  Dh, of course poo poo's the whole thing.  I know there are home tests you can get, but I'm sure they aren't as reliable.

 

If anyone who's had any experience with testing, cleanup, health issues due to mold; I'd appreciate the info.

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No advice here.....but just wanted to mention that my DH poo pooed the whole mold issue when I was worried about it in our home as well. What is it with men?? I was so annoyed LOL.

Me too!  My dh poo poos anything like this that I come up with (like GMO's, gluten-free, taking certain supplements) but if he reads information on certain things and it's his idea, it's okay.  Also, with the mold, I think he thinks Oh, our house was new, there's no way it could happen, and there's the cost to consider.  Yes, it would be a big pain and expensive, but we're talking about our health!

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What kind of testing do you want to do, and how will that information help you decide what to do?  

 

We ended up having a mold inspector come just to measure moisture inside walls where we though windows might be leaking (he had a very cool meter to do that without disturbing the wall at all), and to give us advice on what/how to remediate.  It was super helpful, very targeted and not terribly expensive (under $500 for his assessment).  We didn't do any air testing or growth plates, because that wouldn't have given us any more information we could use.  I did call a few mold inspectors and eliminated several before I found a guy who was really good.  There are lots of unethical people in the field of mold testing and remediation, so do your homework to figure out what you're looking for and who offers that service in your area.  The guy we went with does testing only, not remediation, so there was no conflict of interest (i.e., he wasn't going to tell us we needed 10K remediation that his company would be happy to start tomorrow, lol!)  Can you find an industrial hygienist or indoor air quality specialist who is certified?  I forget the relevant certifications, but they will be listed on the person's website.  You want someone who is scientific in their approach.  

 

If you need remediation, many asbestos remediators also offer mold remediation too, because the principles are the same, isolate the area, creative negative air pressure, contain dust etc.  At this point I feel familiar enough with mold remediation protocol that if we had minor issues again I'd have our handyman do it.  He's scrupulous about containment and we work well together, so I'm confident we could figure out setting up negative air pressure and protective clothing and breathing masks for him in the work space.

 

Quacks in the mold field may offer misting services to "kill" mold.  When you have moldy building materials, however, you need to first correct the source of water infiltration, then remove the moldy material under containment so it doesn't spread around the house.  2x4s can be cleaned and then sealed to prevent further growth before the area is rebuilt.  The room should then be HEPA vacuumed and wiped down before the sealed-off area is opened to the rest of the house.  So address the water issues, remove moldy material under containment, and clean up.  Dead mold causes just as many health problems as live mold, so those mists/sprays do nothing to improve health.  If someone mentions them, look elsewhere.

 

Air testing and growth plates do have limited usefulness (i.e., you can test before and after remediation to make sure it was effective).  The work that needed to be done at our house was fairly straightforward and I was comfortable skipping that kind of testing and putting our money into the remediation work itself.

 

Amy

 

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Has anyone ever had it done?  We had a recurrent leak in a 3 season room off of our kitchen, and it was so bad that the wood underneath the floor was disintegrating!  Dh repaired that and fixed the leaking, but I'm very concerned about possible mold, because this leak happened for 3 consecutive springs.  Lots of time for stuff to grow.  We also had broken faucet that caused a major leak in our familyroom ceiling a few months ago and we didn't know how long it had been going on prior to our discovery.

 

I called a mold inspector and to test our whole house is going to cost a couple of thousand dollars-just the testing!  Money we do not have, but I'm concerned about the health of my dc.  Dh, of course poo poo's the whole thing.  I know there are home tests you can get, but I'm sure they aren't as reliable.

 

If anyone who's had any experience with testing, cleanup, health issues due to mold; I'd appreciate the info.

 

We're in Florida, so no strangers to mold. Most of it is harmless. The stuff that isn't can make you feel sick. (we've never had harmful mold)

 

But I do want to let you know that even people who claim to be "mold inspectors" generally are not licensed, and many don't do anything special to get rid of the mold that you couldn't do yourself. They are also famous for quoting thousands of dollars to do the job, but again, nothing special about what they do.

 

It is a field ripe for scamming people.

 

I wish I had better advice about what TO do, but I definitely advise not taking a mold remediation company at their word.

 

BTW the "quote" should be free!

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Why do you want to be tested? Is someone sick? Do you see or smell something suspicious? Are you about to sell your home? Do you live in Florida where almost every home gets mold? If the answer is "no" to all of these questions, then I would be on your Dh's side.

 

Nonetheless, here in Florida, most testing is free because the tester wants to receive thousands cleaning it up. We have been warned to never use a tester that also remediates. When there is a property transaction, all have to be tested here. The air test is the standard screening test followed by a moisture test if the first is positive. Anyone who lives in south Florida knows mold is everywhere. Try sitting a piece of bread out overnight. We do not worry about it at all unless someone was to be repetitively sick.

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Why do you want to be tested? Is someone sick? Do you see or smell something suspicious? Are you about to sell your home? Do you live in Florida where almost every home gets mold? If the answer is "no" to all of these questions, then I would be on your Dh's side.

 

Nonetheless, here in Florida, most testing is free because the tester wants to receive thousands cleaning it up. We have been warned to never use a tester that also remediates. When there is a property transaction, all have to be tested here. The air test is the standard screening test followed by a moisture test if the first is positive. Anyone who lives in south Florida knows mold is everywhere. Try sitting a piece of bread out overnight. We do not worry about it at all unless someone was to be repetitively sick.

Well, my ds gets headaches & is always slightly congested and has a lot of phlegm.  My dd gets a lot of sore throats that never are the result of any type of infection.  Now, they both could have allergies, and we did have ds tested-he does have allergies and has started allergy drops.  One of his allergies is to mold. :001_smile:   Dd, we're still not sure.  So, nothing huge, but based on the condition of that room, which isn't airconditioned, I can't imagine there isn't some.  To what extent and is it causing harm-I don't know.  I guess I'm looking for peace of mind.  But I don't want to be ripped off, either.

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Just wanted to say that any mold has the potential to cause a reaction, depending on the amount, length of exposure, and the sensitivity of the person.  Although there are certain types of mold that tend to cause more serious problems, it's a myth that mold can be divided into harmful and harmless categories.   

 

Especially with a history of allergies in the family, I think you're smart to address this, but take your time to make a decision you feel comfortable with and doesn't break the bank.  

 

Amy

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I may be mistaken, but I'm pretty sure they sell mold testing kits at places like Lowes and Home Depot.

 

Otherwise, instead of hiring an inspector, why not just cut a few holes in the drywall and look for mold on the wall and the insulation behind it? You can also take off the covers of your electrical outlets and check inside them for discoloration of the wiring. If you can check underneath the flooring (like in a basement or crawls pace,) that can be useful, and if you have an attic, you should check there as well. Also, feel around your walls for soft spots in the drywall, which can indicate moisture damage, and look for discoloration of the paint.

 

I know there are many online sites that will give you far better suggestions than I'm giving you, if you Google for ways to find mold in your home.

 

Many "inspectors" also offer mold remediation services, so I'm not sure I'd trust most of them to be honest if there was no mold in the house.

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Just wanted to say that any mold has the potential to cause a reaction, depending on the amount, length of exposure, and the sensitivity of the person. Although there are certain types of mold that tend to cause more serious problems, it's a myth that mold can be divided into harmful and harmless categories.

 

Especially with a history of allergies in the family, I think you're smart to address this, but take your time to make a decision you feel comfortable with and doesn't break the bank.

 

Amy

:iagree:

 

If a person is allergic to mold spores, it's not always just the black mold variety.

 

Ask me how I know. :glare:

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Regulations on the entire mold industry can vary by state.
In my opinion (as a layperson married to someone with multiple certifications and many years of experience, and related to several others,) a mold inspector is probably unnecessary.  If you have the money to spend, spend it on a remediation crew instead.  If you're handy people, DIY isn't impossible.

 

If you're dh has already ripped out and repaired the floor AND the leak, and nobody is experiencing mold symptoms, you may want to just leave it.  Though I'm not an expert in the details, I can tell you that basic remediation is ripping out all wet, porous materials, drying studs, cleaning affected areas with anti-microbials, then replacing what was ripped out.  The real key is in preventing further leaks.

You could also check your insurance policy. The people I'm close to focus on commercial work b/c residential coverage is meh and deductibles are often high. But it doesn't hurt to check.

 

Just going on the casual conversations I've sat in on, residential remediations tend to come in at "a few grand."  If an inspector wants to charge "a couple grand," I don't see the benefit to involving him at all.

As far as worry goes (and I do tend to be a worrier,) I'll just tell you that we are the shoemaker's family, going without shoes, lol.  Our crawlspace has mold, and the section of our roof that leaked 2.5 years ago has not been "properly" remediated. And dh is allergic to mold.  We're fine though. ;)

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Regulations on the entire mold industry can vary by state.

In my opinion (as a layperson married to someone with multiple certifications and many years of experience, and related to several others,) a mold inspector is probably unnecessary.  If you have the money to spend, spend it on a remediation crew instead.  If you're handy people, DIY isn't impossible.

 

If you're dh has already ripped out and repaired the floor AND the leak, and nobody is experiencing mold symptoms, you may want to just leave it.  Though I'm not an expert in the details, I can tell you that basic remediation is ripping out all wet, porous materials, drying studs, cleaning affected areas with anti-microbials, then replacing what was ripped out.  The real key is in preventing further leaks.

 

You could also check your insurance policy. The people I'm close to focus on commercial work b/c residential coverage is meh and deductibles are often high. But it doesn't hurt to check.

 

Just going on the casual conversations I've sat in on, residential remediations tend to come in at "a few grand."  If an inspector wants to charge "a couple grand," I don't see the benefit to involving him at all.

 

As far as worry goes (and I do tend to be a worrier,) I'll just tell you that we are the shoemaker's family, going without shoes, lol.  Our crawlspace has mold, and the section of our roof that leaked 2.5 years ago has not been "properly" remediated. And dh is allergic to mold.  We're fine though. ;)

Well, that makes me feel a little better!

 

It all just seems overwhelming, because we are dealing with a bunch of other issues here, too.  

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Has anyone ever had it done?  We had a recurrent leak in a 3 season room off of our kitchen, and it was so bad that the wood underneath the floor was disintegrating!  Dh repaired that and fixed the leaking, but I'm very concerned about possible mold, because this leak happened for 3 consecutive springs.  Lots of time for stuff to grow.  We also had broken faucet that caused a major leak in our familyroom ceiling a few months ago and we didn't know how long it had been going on prior to our discovery.

 

I called a mold inspector and to test our whole house is going to cost a couple of thousand dollars-just the testing!  Money we do not have, but I'm concerned about the health of my dc.  Dh, of course poo poo's the whole thing.  I know there are home tests you can get, but I'm sure they aren't as reliable.

 

If anyone who's had any experience with testing, cleanup, health issues due to mold; I'd appreciate the info.

If your husband ripped out all the wet area and repaired it, stop worrying.

NO, you do NOT want to mold test the entire house.  Every house will have mold spores. Mold spores are EVERYWHERE inside and out.

 

You have to reveal the results of any testing to future buyers, by law. 

If everything was removed, you should be fine.  If you aren't sure, rip up the floor and take a look. 

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