Often times, I get a chance to ask a potential customer of mine on the phone what some of the other companies may be offering for services and/or prices. It's a great way to stay competitive. It's also a great way to keep abreast of what's going on. When it comes to Mold Inspection and Mold Testing, there are some interesting schemes being presented to customers from some vendors.
Often times, one such testing plan offered to clients is individual air sampling for mold spores performed in each and every room in the house. Although there is a protocol out there that suggests this method, I disagree with it - and find that in probably all cases, it is not necessary. Over my years of testing, I have found that in the majority of cases in a typical home setting, where a homeowner may or may not be aware of a potential mold-related problem - as few as one air sample (including no outdoor air sample) is all that is necessary!
In a typical residential environment, the most significant component of a good mold investigation is the visual observation.
Be extremely wary of the investigation company who recommends or requires an air sample in each and every room of your home:
- Many of the leading mold industry standards, including the CDC, EPA, and NYDOH explicitly discourage random air sampling. The New York City Department of Health (NYCDOH) states, "Air sampling for mold should not be part of a routine assessment. This is because decisions about appropriate remediation strategies can usually be made on the basis of a visual inspection"
- The air in an indoor environment very rapidly becomes equalized by our everyday, ordinary comings and goings - and even more so in the presence of hot air heating and cooling systems. The air in your end bedroom most certainly resembles the air in the kitchen at the other end of the hall. This can be very easily demonstrated with handheld measuring instruments.
- Sampling the air inside one room will not prove/disprove the presence of, or locate reservoirs of mold hiding under carpets or behind walls. In most cases, it will only introduce more variables into your results - most likely resulting in more confusion for you. More confusion for you leads me into my final, and unfortunately, most relevant point.
- You've heard it before: it's all about the money, folks. A good lab will turn an air sample report for a vendor for as little as $25-30 each. If your potential investigator is charging you $80-125 per sample, then that can be as much as $100 times the number of rooms in your house/samples for data that is simply not of any real value! Ask your investigator how much each sample costs you and why they recommend that number of samples!
I have had potential customers of mine tell me that other companies were looking to charge $750 or more for a simple investigation that included a multitude of air samples. A detailed and full mold investigation on a typical home even in a scenario when the customer has no idea of a specific problem or problems should require 0-2 mold air samples in total in almost all cases. Larger numbers of samples are for large-scale remediation projects that require professional mold remediation companies and significant repairs or renovations. Be sure to keep these facts in mind when hiring a Massachusetts black mold toxic Mold Inspection company.