What is air quality testing?
Reliable Home Services conducts air quality testing measuring biological pollutants such as pet dander, bacteria, pollen, mold, and dust mites. Many of these pollutants can be carried indoors after having guests or opening your windows. Even just being outside can track these pollutants back into your home. Air quality tests measure the air indoors and calculate how many pollutants in each category are present (if any) compared to outside your home. Not all of the pollutants present are necessarily dangerous, but that does not mean it is acceptable to have higher levels of them inside your home. Some of these pollutants are common, and their presence is normal. However, you should always strive to keep them at a minimum in your home and/or office.
What is mold?
Molds are small organisms found almost everywhere, inside and outside, including on plants, foods and dry leaves. Molds are beneficial to the environment and are needed to break down dead material. Very tiny and lightweight, mold spores travel easily through the air. When molds are present in large numbers, they may cause allergic symptoms similar to those caused by plant pollen.
Exposure to a large number of mold spores may cause allergic symptoms such as watery eyes, runny nose, sneezing, itching, coughing, wheezing, difficulty breathing, headache, and fatigue. Repeated exposure to mold can increase a person’s sensitivity, causing more severe allergic reactions. These problems are worse indoors, where mold causes indoor air quality problems. Certain molds, such as Stachybotrys and Aspergillus,can produce toxins called mycotoxins under certain conditions. Exposure to mycotoxins can cause more serious illness.
How common is mold in homes?
Molds are very common in buildings and homes. Mold will grow in places with a lot of moisture, such as around leaks in roofs, windows, or pipes, or where there has been flooding. Mold grows well on paper products, cardboard, ceiling tiles, and wood products. Mold can also grow in dust, paints, wallpaper, insulation, drywall, carpet, fabric, and upholstery.
What are the health problems associated with exposure to mold?
People with allergies may be more sensitive to molds. People with immune suppression or underlying lung disease are more susceptible to fungal infections. Individuals with chronic respiratory disease (e.g., chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder, asthma) may experience difficulty breathing. Individuals with immune suppression are at increased risk for infection from molds. If you or your family members have these conditions, a qualified medical clinician should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment.
I heard about “toxic molds” and “black molds” that grow in homes and other buildings. Should I be concerned about a serious health risk to me and my family?
Certain molds are toxigenic, meaning they can produce toxins (specifically “mycotoxins”). Hazards presented by molds that may produce mycotoxins should be considered the same as other common molds which can grow in your house. Not all fungi produce mycotoxins and even those that do will not do so under all surface or environmental conditions.
Mold growth, which often looks like spots, can be many different colors, and can smell musty. Color is not an indication of how dangerous a mold may be. Any mold should be removed and the moisture source that helped it grow should be removed.
How much is air quality testing?
Mold and air quality testing starts at $250. This service includes 3 air samples and a report. 1 of those air samples has be obtained from the outdoor air to be used as a control sample for comparison. The other 2 samples (included) will be taken inside the home at locations to be determined by the inspector. Generally, air samples should be taken for every 1000 sq ft of indoor space for accurate results. Our base pricing will cover up to 200 square feet of home space. Additional air samples are available for an added fee of $50 per sample. If, while we are in your home, there any surface areas you are concerned with, we are able to take surface samples for testing as well. Surface sampling will identify the possible fungus growth. Surface samples are also an additional $50. At the completion of the testing those samples taken will be sent to a lab for analysis and a report will be generated usually in 3-5 weekdays.
*The turn-around time for reports will vary as shipping may be delayed by the weekends(Saturday and Sunday) and Holidays.