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Testing for Mold & Allergens in Your Home

Sample Collection (and Testing) for Mold and Allergens in Your Home

By Frank J. Delle Donne, Licensed Home Inspector & Licensed Radon Measurement Technician

December 30, 2013

 About the author.  I am a NJ Licensed Home Inspector.  I am the owner and Senior Inspector at Regal Home Inspections, LLC.  I am a member of the New Jersey Association of Licensed Professional Home Inspectors (NJ-ALPHI) and the National Association of Certified Home Inspectors (NACHI).  The standards used to inspect your home’s systems are in accordance with New Jersey State laws, the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI) and NACHI Standards of Practice.  Regal Home Inspections, LLC can also test your house for Radon,  Indoor Air Quality; Mold and Allergens.  We can also facilitate testing of septic systems and oil tanks; tank integrity and soil tests below ground.

 

Introduction

Many parents and house buyers are concerned about their children’s health.  As a 20+ year volunteer EMT I see many people, children and young adults alike that have respiratory problems and moderate or severe allergies.  If you are considering buying a house or if you are a homeowner or if you reside in an apartment, I strongly urge you to get your house or apartment (or house or apartment  you may move into) tested for Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) including MOLD and ALLERGENS.  Here at Regal Home Inspections, LLC our motto is “Buy with confidence and Sell with Pride”.  Testing enables you to buy with confidence.

 

As an additional introduction to Mold and IAQ  please read our post, “Mold, Will I Know it if I See it?”  The challenge is that we don’t always see mold or allergens.  Call Regal Home Inspections, LLC and we can determine the best course of action for your particular needs.

 

Sample Collection Methods – Swabs, Tape Lifts and Air Samples

MOLD – Mold can appear in a couple of different ways and therefore we can collect samples using different methodologies.

 

Often times we can see discoloration that give us a high suspicion that it is mold.  Since we can’t definitively determine that a substance is mold we have the capability and tools to collect samples.  Sampling will enable us to send the samples to a lab and have them analyzed.  This analysis may confirm that the surface matter is mold and the testing can help identify the types of mold.  To accomplish this we can take a SWAB or use a tape-lift as it is called.  These samples are sealed and sent for analysis.   

 

Occasionally there is a smell of mold in the air.  There may not be visual evidence of mold but health issues, respiratory problems or simply prudent, precautionary steps lead you to seek our help collecting air samples.  Regal Home Inspections, LLC is skilled at air sample collection.  When testing for IAQ we use sophisticated equipment to collect air samples.  Air samples are taken from different areas of the home including two (typically) baseline samples from the outdoor environment near the home.

 

ALLERGENS – For Allergens We will use a vacuum pump and a small canister.  We will collect samples from rugs, corners of the rooms, and other areas.  These areas collect small samples of all the dust particles that have been in the air.  Pet dander, indications of rodent infestation and other unwanted critters and bugs and more.

 

TESTING & REPORTING

After collecting all the samples they are sealed.  Then they are sent to a NJ State Licensed Lab for analysis.  The lab uses different techniques to analyze all the different samples for mold and allergens.  A report is generated.  The report for Allergens will identify the different types of allergens found.  It does not indicate the quantity.

 

For Mold, the swab and tape lifts will also quantify the samples; Substance, type, species, etc.

 

For Mold testing done with air samples the different spores collected are quantified and identified.  Proportions are also provided and it is the proportions that are of particular interest.

 

Testing can range from $70 for a single, residential swab or tape lift or a single allergen sample to a few hundred dollars for a multi-location air sample test.  All prices INCLUDE the lab analysis and over-the-phone review of the results with Regal Home Inspections, LLC.

 

To schedule your IAQ consultation please call 908 902 2590 or email Regal Home Inspections, LLC at frank07722@gmail.com.

I would appreciate your comments about this article.  Please email your comments to frank07722@gmail.com