Acceptable Mold Spore levels from Quality Air Test Results
Significantly different from the surrounding environment. Mold is almost universal since it feeds on rotting plant and wood materials among many other things. As Certified Mold Testing Experts, we do not anticipate a mold test finding that indicates there are no spores present in the house. The existence of these spores, however, could signify a problem with the quality of the air in the home if we discover mold in the home in quantities and forms that we do not observe in the area around it.
The Type of Mold Present
The following list includes some of the most significant molds that your test results may reveal, along with a succinct description of each:
The most prevalent mold species in homes are Aspergillus and Penicillium, both of which have over a thousand distinct species. Even in reasonably clean conditions, these molds can thrive when the only supply of moisture is the air's humidity. Since many times the species of mold outside and inside your home are different, it might be challenging to entirely eradicate these molds from your home.
Another allergenic mold that grows outdoors and indoors is called Cladosporium. It frequently grows on fiberglass, wood, and painted surfaces. Cladosporium has a velvety look and a dark green or black tint.
A particular kind of mold called chaetomium is frequently discovered in wet structures. It typically develops from moist drywall, carpets, and insulation. This particular mold breeds swiftly and disperses. It can seriously harm a house's structural integrity once it gains control of it.
Basidiospore Mushrooms and other fungi create basidiospores. They can frequently be found outside in moist, shaded settings like woodland areas or next to pools of water. On moist surfaces or in humidifiers, basidiospores can also be found indoors.
What is a mold spore trap or air sample? How were these samples collected?
Using a specialized pump, a consistent volume of air is drawn through a mold spore trap, a tiny plastic container about the size of a silver dollar, to collect an air sample. For small to medium-sized homes, we normally collect three air samples: one from the outside, one at the lowest finished level (where we suspect the most problems), and one at a higher level or in the area where we suspect the least problems with the air quality. We might take more samples from larger homes or residences with many possible problem locations for poor air quality.
We transmit the traps and supporting documentation to a lab for analysis after collecting the samples. Each trap's catch will be identified and counted by the lab, and we will receive the results in a report. The findings of a mold test should always be understood in the context of a house inspection or a mold inspection, which is why home inspectors who specialize in mold testing are some of the best experts to contact for a dispassionate assessment of the air quality in the home.
The test outcome will list the quantity and kind of spores discovered in each sample. The information will be presented and organized differently across different labs. Our laboratory divides the various spore kinds into three groups:
Water Indicators: (Red row)
These spores develop on moist or saturated surfaces within the home and may be an indication of a more serious/active/persistent indoor air quality problem with a higher potential for mycotoxin and allergy production.
Predominantly outdoor: (no color)
In general, these spores develop primarily outdoors and are poor predictors of the general air quality within the home.
Indoor/Outdoor: (Yellow row)
These spores, particularly aspergillums/penicillium, are excellent indications of indoor air quality problems since they frequently develop in damp settings in the home. Penicillium and Aspergillus are capable of producing mycotoxin and allergens.
An indoor mold is a form of fungus that is occasionally called mildew. Mold needs moisture to grow. It is recognized that some molds contain mycotoxin and allergenic potential. Mold is highly prevalent inside. Although most molds are benign, some varieties can be extremely harmful to human health, especially when present in huge amounts.
Evaluation of Mold spores Test
Spore Counts in the Raw
The best way to evaluate test findings is to consult a professional. Air quality issues may be indicated when the raw counts of specific spores are significantly out of range from the outdoor sample. Sometimes there are too many spores to count individually, thus only a percentage of them are counted in the lab. For instance, if only 10% of the raw count, which is 60, was evaluated, that may mean there were 10 times as many spores as 600. (Not 60). View the video for additional details
Spores per Cubic Meter Calculated
The report then estimates the calculated number of spores per cubic meter, or how many spores we can anticipate finding floating around in a cubic meter of air, using the raw counts. The test findings are best read by an expert; these visualizations can be informative but potentially deceiving. Remember that the maximum amounts can change depending on the sample; check the video for further details. These graphs are not to scale.
Recognize that fungal spores can be found both inside and outside of the home, so if you see some red on the report marked "ELEVATED," don't panic. That does not imply that there is always a problem. Simply put, it indicates that the fungal spore count in question was at least ten times greater than in the outdoor sample. Regardless of that figure, it might not be a problem. The kind and overall quantity of spores will determine this.
Three air samples are taken to examine the air's quality; one sample is taken outside the house, and the other two are taken within. When the test results are available, we contrast the two indoor samples with the outdoor sample (which is called "background" on the report). We will know there is a problem in the house if any of the inside samples contain noticeably more mold spores than the exterior sample.