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Mold Testing Options

Discussion in 'Addressing Biotoxin, Chemical & Food Sensitivities' started by Viking, Nov 24, 2015.

  1. Viking

    Viking

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    What options are availble for testing mold levels in my house? I have had mold in my basement, and am not sure what amount, or kind, is still present.. or what amount got up into the main living areas.

    Methods?
    Costs?
    Accuracy?

    Regards,
    Viking
     
  2. barbc56

    barbc56 Senior Member

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    You can get tests, at least for mildew at places like Home Depot. They're fairly cheap but I have no idea of it's accuracy.

    Barb
     
  3. ghosalb

    ghosalb Senior Member

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    upstate NY
    go to homeadvisor.com, and fill up info for mold testing.....you will get few local guys give you quotes.
     
  4. halcyon

    halcyon Senior Member

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    I would save the money you would spend on testing and spend it on remediation.
     
  5. acer2000

    acer2000 Senior Member

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    The standard test used to tell if your house has a history of water damage is called an ERMI test. It is a DNA based test that shows 36 different molds. It can be ordered from a company called Mycometrics. There is an abbreviated version of that test called the HERTSMI-2 test that only shows species of mold that are associated with water damage. According to Dr Shoemaker, patients who have bad genetics for detoxing mold or who have been exposed to bad mold are are sick need an ERMI lower than 2 or HERTSMI-2 lower than 10 to feel OK in a building.

    You can also do air tests. In my experience, Air tests are helpful if they are high, but not if they are low. They are basically just a snapshot and not all bad molds get airborne. You still need to find the source of the moisture and shut it down and find the mold.

    You should check out the info posted by Lisa Petrison, however. She writes extensively about mold avoidance and how to tell based on your symptoms if you are being exposed to mold toxins.
     
    Forebearance likes this.
  6. minkeygirl

    minkeygirl But I Look So Good.

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    Left Coast
    Home Advisor sucks Dont use them. You don't have to spend a ton just to get an idea to start.

    I got a little kit on Amazon. I'm looking for it now. It showed right away I had aspirgilis. I Sent it in for testing and determined I had black mold. (I had water intrusion so it was pretty obvious)

    Then I searched around and got quotes from 3 places to do remediation. Yelp is good. But I made a lot of phone calls.
     
  7. minkeygirl

    minkeygirl But I Look So Good.

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    Left Coast
  8. minkeygirl

    minkeygirl But I Look So Good.

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    Doing air testing imo is a waste of money until after remediation. That's when you want to make sure the air inside is the same as outsider

    I paid about $1200 for mold removal after I used my little test kit. Air testing was w few hundree more and you can always negotiate

    If you're worried now, block off the basement with thick plastic.

    Rushing in is a sure way to get ripped off.
     
  9. halcyon

    halcyon Senior Member

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    I don't understand the need to identify the type(s) of mold present. There is no such thing as good indoor mold and if you can see it with your eyes you know it's there and it needs to be removed.
     
  10. Viking

    Viking

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    I had an mold issue in the basement after water intrusion and high humidity levels. Initial remediation was done, but the basement is still prone to being very humid. I would like to do at least some basic testing to see where it stands.
     
  11. xena

    xena Senior Member

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    Check out
    http://paradigmchange.me/testing/

    My home passed ermi and a good invesitgators home mold testing but cross contaminated items and environmental molds were dragging me down

    I kid you not immediately after moving my PEM disappeared. It comes back when exposed to mold but still incredible after being couchbound for most of last year...
     
    Forebearance likes this.
  12. Gingergrrl

    Gingergrrl Senior Member

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    The issue is that sometimes you cannot see the mold with your eyes but the mycotoxins are still present. Stachybotrys is near impossible to capture in an air sample but we captured it on the first try by both the mold company from our former landlord and our own company plus 19 other species. The results led to the mold restoration company and my doctors telling me that our items could not be salvaged and if we moved them all to our new place, I stood no chance of recovery. You can easily kill mold, but you cannot kill it's mycotoxins, and our levels were some of the highest ever seen by both air testing and swab testing of our furniture, electronics, clothing, etc. The results can also be useful for legal purposes in addition to medical/treatment purposes.

    This is aimed to hopefully help the OP, not @halycon!
     
  13. acer2000

    acer2000 Senior Member

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    Nothing beats a good inspector. But it can be difficult to find one, and depending on the situation you are in (apartment, condo, house, etc) it can be hard to do an inspection thoroughly. The best thing to do is to rule out causes of moisture intrusion. But even that can be misleading because previous owners may have had a leak and fixed it. If you are lucky (or unlucky) they may have left trace of the water damage so you can get an idea if it was repaired correctly. But sometimes these things are fixed leaving no trace of the water damage, but without proper containment/cleanup and then you get mold dust and toxins spread throughout the area that can still make you sick after the water damage itself is fixed. Its really a very tough problem to solve.

    If you live in an area with high humidity, running a dehumidifier (or two - depending on the design of the house) is a necessity. They say keeping it below 60% is OK, but if you buy a dehumidifier I'd just set it to something really low like 40% - especially if its in a basement. Better safe than sorry.
     
    Forebearance likes this.
  14. barbc56

    barbc56 Senior Member

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    I am renting and maintenance just repaired my roof. While I didn't notice any leaks, I now get an odor of mildew after it rains. Could it be that repairing the roof has closed any ventilation to the outside? I am going to have them look into this.

    What is involved when removing mold from a house?

    Out of curiosity, when you buy a house, can you request a mold inspection or is that something you would have to pay extra.

    Barb
     

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