Mold testing and inspection are crucial if you believe you have a mold problem. They can help to determine how bad the situation is and if evacuation is necessary.
For overall air quality assessment and practicality, a method called non-viable testing is generally more valuable and less costly for the consumer. Non-viable mold testing counts all spores collected by the test media. The collection media does not need a food source, and the test makes no distinction between viable (living) and non-viable (dead) spores, since mold spores have the same allergenic or toxic properties whether they are viable or non–viable.
By contrast, a viable test counts only living mold spores that are actively reproducing. It will not count the dead spores in the air. Viable testing requires a culturable media, where the spore can grow and then be analyzed at the lab. Viable mold tests take time for the culture to incubate, and they generally cost considerably more than non-viable testing. In addition, if all the spores collected in the media are non-viable they will not grow and therefore cannot be analyzed through this type of test media.
Tri State Restorations’ mold testers offer two main types of mold sampling:
- Air Sampling
- Bulk Sampling
Air samples reveal mold types at the genus level and the counts of those types present in the air. Surface samples are used for identification of visual growths and should be used in conjunction with air samples. Surface samples will not yield counts. Some mold spores, such as Stachybotrys sp. (a toxic mold), will not readily appear in air tests because of their relatively large spore size and moisture content. Therefore, surface sampling becomes valuable for proper identification of these more harmful types of molds that may have otherwise gone undetected.
For more information on our testing capabilities and your needs, give us a call.