Mold Testing Services
Our experienced inspectors can test for mold through a variety of techniques such as air, surface, and bulk sampling to identify the presence of mold. Collecting control samples (such as outdoor air) to compare to samples from the suspect area will help determine if there is an indoor mold problem. Our tests for mold include:
Techtron Engineering frequently recommends using HEPA air scrubbers as part of the mold remediation process. It has come to our attention that some companies are using ozone generators. These devices are designed to intentionally produce ozone. Ozone is a strong oxidizing agent and a known irritant of the lungs and respiratory system. Studies have shown that ozone, even at high concentrations, is not effective at killing airborne mold or surface mold contamination. Even if mold was killed by ozone, the health threats would not be reduced until mold contaminants are removed through cleaning. Health experts, including the Minnesota Department of Health, DO NOT recommend the use of ozone to address mold or any other indoor air quality problems.
What should I know about mold?
If you test for mold, it should be expected that mold will be found. Molds are found almost everywhere; they can grow on virtually any organic substance, as long as moisture and oxygen are present. There are molds that can grow on wood, paper, carpet, foods, and insulation. It is impossible to eliminate all mold and mold spores in the indoor environment, but ANY mold growth indoors should not be tolerated. Eventually, the moisture and mold will damage what it is growing on, which may include both the building materials and personal belongings. Excess moisture is the critical factor in any indoor mold problem. The key to preventing mold growth is to prevent moisture problems.
There is an important distinction between the normal presence of mold spores, versus mold growth and accumulation indoors. Unfortunately, testing may not always be able to distinguish between “normal” and “problem” conditions. It is vital to appreciate that an air quality test result only gives a “snap-shot” estimate for a single point in time and a single location – how well it represents other locations and times is uncertain since the amounts and types of mold in the environment are always changing.
It is also safest to treat any indoor mold growth as a "potential health hazard" which needs to be corrected. There are over 1000 different molds that have been identified indoors and the health effects of mold growth in homes are not well understood. At present there are no state or federal standards established for unsafe levels or types of mold. Mold tests cannot measure all the molds in an environment or how much occupants are exposed to over time. Any amount or type of mold should be removed and the moisture problem that allowed its’ growth should be fixed.
What are the health concerns with mold?
Some types of mold can produce chemical compounds called mycotoxins although they do not always do so. In some circumstances, the toxins produced by indoor mold may cause health problems. Many, if not most, molds can produce potentially harmful substances, whether it’s allergens, mycotoxins, or other compounds. Hence, all indoor mold growth should be removed promptly, no matter what type of mold is present or whether it can produce toxins.
Health effects from exposure to mold can vary greatly depending on the person and the amount of mold in their home. The types of health symptoms that may occur include:
People with asthma or allergies who are sensitive to mold may notice their asthma or allergy symptoms worsen. Individuals with a severely weakened immune system, who are exposed to moldy environments, are at risk of developing serious fungal respiratory infections. You should consult a medical professional if you are concerned about the effects of a moldy environment on your health.
If there is visible mold growth in your home it should be removed whether or not you are having health problems. It is important to keep an open mind and consider other possible causes of illness. As with any illness, you should see a physician to try and determine the cause of the symptoms.
What are some common moisture sources?
Will painting over mold solve the problem?
NO! The mold needs to be removed from the materials it is growing on with soap and water then dried thoroughly. If it is a porous material that cannot be cleaned, such as drywall or particle board, it needs to be removed and replaced. The moisture problem needs to be corrected. If you simply paint over the problem, the paint may not adhere and the mold problem will redevelop on the painted surface.
Links to outside sources are not controlled or monitored by Techtron Engineering are intended for your information only.
Located in Anoka, Minnesota, and Chesterton, Indiana, we service homeowners and businesses in the St. Paul and Minneapolis area, greater Minnesota, Iowa, North and South Dakota, Wisconsin, and the Chicago area.