New Jersey mold testing and mold inspections

John Martino is certified by The Mold Inspection Consulting and Remediation Organization to perform independent mold testing and inspections throughout New Jersey.

Like many, you may be wondering how concerned to be about the presence of mold in homes and buildings. There is a lot of uncertainty about this issue because the answer is not clear-cut. Mold can cause health problems, but not all who are exposed experience the same effects. Mold may cause no harm in one individual and very serious heath risks in another. Variations in the effects of mold can be related to differences in the molds and differences among people. Some, but not all, molds produce toxic chemicals called mycotoxins. Exposure to mycotoxins can cause adverse heath effects ranging from scratchy throat and watery eyes to severe sinus infections and respiratory issues. Individuals who have allergies or asthma tend to be more affected by the presence of mold than are non-asthmatic individuals. People who are immunocompromised or elderly, infants, and those with past respiratory problems are more susceptible to the negative heath effects of mold.

What can you do if you are concerned about mold? Have your home or the home you are purchasing inspected for mold.

The Two-Part LookSmart Approach to Mold Inspection
I use a two-prong approach in performing mold inspections. The first is a thorough visual inspection of the exterior and interior of the home, and the second involves taking air and direct samples to identify the type and concentrations of the mold in the home.

Part 1: The Visual Inspection

The single most important contributor to mold growth in a home is moisture; therefore, during the mold inspection I will be inspecting for areas of high moisture, as well as for visible mold. During this portion of a New Jersey mold inspection, the following parts of the home are inspected visually:

Exterior/grounds
Grading, vegetation, exterior siding material, driveway, patios, decks, landings, windows, doors and other penetrations, roof, roof flashings, chimney, chimney flashings, skylights, porches

Structure
Basement, basement floor, walls, ceiling, sumps, visible structure

Systems
Plumbing waste, plumbing supply, valves and fittings, water heater, HVAC system and ducts

Interior
Kitchens, bathrooms, laundry rooms, garage, ceilings and walls, windows

Attic
Sheathing, rafters, flooring, joists, insulation, ventilation

Part 2: Air and Surface Sampling

Air and surface sampling techniques are widely recognized as the best processes for achieving accurate evaluations of both indoor air quality and the types of molds that exist in the home. They are best used in combination; use of one of these sampling techniques without the other may result in an inaccurate characterization of the area sampled. For example, toxic mold has shown up in surface samples but not air samples in the same home. This can occur because there can be surface mold that is not yet airborne. Thus, it is prudent to sample both air and surface molds.

Air Sampling
Air samples are taken using the Air-O-Cell® canister, which is a unique air sampling cassette specifically designed for the rapid collection of a wide range of airborne aerosols including mold spores, pollen, insect parts, and fibers. After sampling is completed, the cassettes are sent to a laboratory where direct microscopic analysis can be performed.

Air sampling provides information about the type of mold (if any) in the home air. It also assesses the mold concentrations. A properly performed air test consists of two samples, one ambient sample from the outdoor air and one sample of the indoor air. The outdoor sample provides a baseline standard. An abnormal mold condition exists when lab results indicate that the indoor air has a higher spore count than the outdoor air.

Surface Sampling
Surface samples are usually collected from visibly moldy surfaces by wiping the area with a sterile swab. Surface sampling will accurately identify all types of mold growing on a surface.

Some of the questions that surface samples will help answer are: Is a discoloration mold or just a stain? Is the mold found on the surface the same mold that was found in an air sample taken from the area?

Your Options for a LookSmart NJ Mold Inspection

Standard mold inspection package

  • Comprehensive visual mold inspection
  • 1 Exterior air sample used as a control
  • 1 Air sample from the basement or first floor
  • 1 Air sample taken from the HVAC unit if so equipped
  • 2 Surface samples as needed

Air sampling package only

  • 1 Exterior air sample used as a control
  • 1 Air sample from the basement or first floor
  • 1 Air sample taken from the HVAC unit if so equipped

There's Mold. What Now?

Once you know whether mold is present, in what concentrations, and what type it is, you can make informed decisions so you can improve the indoor air quality and, if necessary, lower the mold concentrations in the home.

Because LookSmart is completely independent, John Martino does not have any association with any mold remediation companies. He has no vested interest in finding mold or not finding mold. He will not recommend any specific mold remediation companies to you. However, once the mold has been removed, I will be able to provide you with strategies to reduce moisture in your home to prevent the recurrence of mold.

Important mold resources:
http://www.epa.gov/mold/moldguide.html

http://www.epa.gov/mold/append_b.html

http://www.epa.gov/mold/moldresources.html

Call LookSmart today to schedule your NJ mold inspection:

973-407-9621