Where can I learn about types of mold?
I have my test report. What do I do now?
If you received a lab report back that had high or abundant levels of potentially dangerous types of mold, we usually recommend that you hire a professional to inspect your home or business. If you need help finding a professional in your area to take air samples, we may have a referral for you. You can also find professionals on the Internet or in your local phone book.
I have mold. How do I get rid of it?
- Most molds are considered allergenic and some may be toxigenic, so if you are going to disturb the mold with cleaning methods you increase your chances of exposure to the mold particles. A good rule of thumb is that if the contaminated area is small and the material is non-porus, it can be cleaned by traditional methods. Porus materials, on the other hand, are difficult to clean because of the tiny microscopic holes in the material. The root type structures of the mold can grow down into the holes and make it hard to clean completely. For more information, you can visit the EPA’s website or OSHA’s website .
Do I have Black Mold?
- Usually when a customer asks this question he/she is referring to Stachybotrys, because that is the particular type of mold that received so much media coverage in the late 90’s and early 2000’s. Although Stachybotrys is black in color, so are many other types of mold. Do not assume you have Stachybotrys just because the mold is black.
- You do not want to discount the importance of other types of mold that may be listed on your report. Just because you do not see the word or words Stachybotrys or Black mold on your report does not mean that there may not be a potentially harmful mold present. Please look up the type of mold detected on your report on our glossary of terms for a better understanding of the type of mold you are dealing with.
I have mold. Can I still live in my house?
That is a difficult question to answer since there are no established ‘safe’ levels of mold and more importantly, individuals have dramatically different resistances to mold. If you received test results back and have determined that there are potentially harmful health effects associated with the mold, you should consult with your healthcare provider regarding further exposure. The following questions may help you answer that question:
How wide spread is the contamination? Is it inside a cabinet? Or is it inside a wall cavity, or under the entire carpet pad? If it is a small area you can close/seal it off until it can be cleaned properly by a professional. If the contamination is wide spread or you do not know the extent of the contamination you should probably contact a professional in your area for advice.
Are any of the occupants particularly susceptible to mold or lung problems, like persons with existing respiratory disorders, the young, the elderly or the immune suppressed? If so, it is recommended to err on the side of caution and discontinue any possible mold exposure to these individuals.
Is the mold airborne? Is the mold in an occupied area? If you received a lab report back from tape lifts and the types of mold listed have potential health effects associated with it, we recommend contacting a professional in your local area to take air samples for you. A professional must take air samples because specialized equipment is used. Having air samples taken will let you know if the mold you sent in on the tape lifts has contaminated the air. We highly recommend having an Exterior / outdoor sample taken at approximately the same time the interior samples are taken so you will know what is considered normal for your area this time of year
Have you been experiencing any health problems that you think may be due to mold exposure?
I cleaned my mold. Will it come back?
- It certainly can if the conditions are conducive to its growth. Different types of mold thrive in various conditions. Some types of mold grow in high moisture, some low, some like cellulose, some prefer decaying material, etc.
Which type of test should I choose?
- Our Visual Mold test is designed to take samples of visible mold. Choose this test kit if you want to spot test for mold.
- Our Airborne Mold test kit is designed to test for mold spores that are in the air. Choose this test kit if you have concerns about your air quality and airborne mold.
How do I purchase rush analysis service?
- Rush analysis service is available for Visual Mold tests only. The cost is $10 per sample in addition to the normal analysis fee amount contained in your information card. Older test kits do not contain rush service option; you may download and print your rush service card here.
How many tape strips do I have to use for my Visual Mold kit?
- You can use as many or as few test strips as you need. You will have to pay the cost for analysis for each test strip sent in or your test will not be analyzed.
How can I pay for analysis?
- We accept check, cash, money order, or credit card (Visa, MC, AmEx, Disc).
Where do I ship my test kit?
- Your completed test kit should be shipped immediately to Moldlab at 2501 Mayes Road Ste 110 Carrollton, TX 75006.
How long until my test results are ready?
- For Airborne Mold tests, your results are available 24-48 hours after our lab receives your test kit
- For Visual Mold tests, your results are available 72 hours after our lab receives your test kit. If you need your results faster, you may purchase rush service to have your results delivered within 24 hours of receipt of your kit. For more information on rush service, see the F.A.Q. topic above or the test instructions here
How do I get my results?
- Your results will be delivered by fax or email, depending on which option you choose. To have your results resent, please call the Moldlab at 866-416-6653.
How do I read my Visual Mold Test report?
- The top portion of the report is all the information you provided on the paperwork, test kit, or samples you sent in to the lab
- The second or middle section of the report is a list of the sample location (if provided) on the left side of the page. On the right side of the page the types of mold that were found (if any) are listed, along with a rating system of 1x – 4x. See the next FAQ for more information on this.
- The bottom portion of the report shows the laboratory licenses and certifications as well as the technician who analyzed your sample(s).
What is the Raw Count on my Airborne Mold Test report?
- The raw count, found on the right side of the summary report, can be thought of as an actual count. The number is how many spores we actually viewed on your sample while looking through the microscope. We use this number to generate the Calculated Concentration.
How do I read my Airborne Mold Test report?
- For air samples, the general guideline is that you want the inside air sample to be similar to or less than the outside types and concentrations of mold detected. For this reason, it is very important that you take an outside/baseline/control sample from a non-contaminated area, preferably outdoors so you can establish what is considered “normal” in your specific area at that time of year.
- EPA, OSHA, NIOSH and other occupational health related associations in the U.S. have not yet to this date established permissible exposure levels (PEL), recommended exposure limits (REL), or other limit values for aeroallergens. The general guidelines listed here represent commonly accepted interpretations and practices derived from various sources, including the American Industrial Hygiene Association and Health Canada. Please realize that the evaluation of one's specific results in terms of potential health hazards and subsequent courses of action are beyond the scope of the laboratory analysis. Contact your physician to discuss possible health effects and medical advice. Those requiring expert advisement on a particular indoor air quality issue should retain the services of a professional IAQ consultant.
What is the Calculated Concentration on my Airborne Mold test report?
- The calculated concentration can be found on the far right side of the Summary Report for the non cultured airborne spore report. The number is listed as spores per cubic meter of air. The number is derived using several pieces of data: the number of minutes the pump ran, the pump settings, the raw count (see raw count # x), cassette dimensions and microscope info. All data goes into an equation to generate the ‘calculated concentration’. We think this explanation works well: Imagine taking a 1 liter pitcher from the kitchen and scooping up one pitcher full of air, (of course you can’t really do this, but imagine if you could) the calculated concentration is a representation of how many mold spores would theoretically be in that pitcher of air
What does the rating system (1x-4x) mean?
- Although the visual/tape type testing is generally not used for quantitative testing, we created the rating system of 1x-4x so you will have a relative idea of how much mold there is in your sample. 1x equals a trace amount, like would be found in typical dust samples. A 4x rating indicates an abundant amount of spores and typically means the sample was taken from the source of the mold.
What does the “other” on my report mean?
- Occasionally we find a type of mold spore on a sample that we are unable to identify by direct examination under the microscope. When this happens, the lab will try to get the mold to grow on a Petri dish to identify it. However, there are many types of mold that do not grow well in a laboratory and are difficult to identify. In those cases we will list the spore as “other”, indicating that mold was found but could not be identified.