What's The Difference Between Air Quality and Mold Testing

When we think about pollutants, we think about those found outside. Emissions from combustion processes from cars and gas furnaces come to mind. Indoor quality is just as important to our daily lives!

If you smell something musty in your South Carolina home, what will you do? You don’t see any mold. Should you call the mold inspector for testing? Do you get an air quality test?

What is the difference?

Both tests are used to determine whether you have a mold problem. One of them tells you more about the pollutants in the room. That doesn’t necessarily mean one is better than the other, as each situation is unique and may call for a different course of action.

Do you really need a mold test?

A mold test is a fast way to diagnose for mold. It tells you that there is mold. It doesn’t tell you what kind of mold there is, and how much is in your air. Mold testing can be expensive. At STOP Carolina we follow EPA standards, which don’t recommend testing if mold is visible. If you already see mold, we recommend you call a mold professional who will clean it by following IICRC standard guidelines.

What about an air quality test?

An air quality test collects samples from the room that you’re concerned about. The results of an air quality test will tell you about the particles in the air. You’ll find out the kind of mold spores, pollen, and other allergens found in that room.

Here is where things get tricky. If there is visible mold in your home or business, knowing what type of mold is present is irrelevant. The mold must be removed regardless of the type or species.

So, if you see mold simply remove it! Don’t waste your money on home mold test kits. This is not a DIY you want to try! Mold test kits are often inaccurate. They don’t come with a visual inspection from an IICRC certified professional with the skill & experience to analyze the results. Mold is everywhere! If you do a mold test kit, and it’s positive it’s because it can be found in every property in trace amounts. Mold is often in dark, damp, hard to reach places. Places you can’t see! These kits don’t test those areas, and they can’t tell you the extent of the damage. Always call a professional!

Don’t take our word for it! There are no federal limits for mold or mold spore sampling/testing. Here’s what the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has to say about Mold.

 "In most cases, if visible mold growth is present, sampling is unnecessary. Since no EPA or other federal limits have been set for mold or mold spores, sampling cannot be used to check a building's compliance with federal mold standards. Surface sampling may be useful to determine if an area has been adequately cleaned or remediated. Sampling for mold should be conducted by professionals who have specific experience in designing mold sampling protocols, sampling methods and interpreting results.

There are circumstances where Mold testing can be useful!

When should you get mold or air quality testing?

  • When there is no visible mold, but there is a musty odor. A mold test would be used to reveal if there is mold and where it is.

  • Where there is moisture, there is mold. Recurring water damage or water leaks are a sign mold may exist in the air or behind the walls.

  • After a mold removal, clearance testing is done to ensure the previous mold issue has been resolved. This gives the home or business owner peace of mind by proving mold counts have returned to normal levels.

  • Reporting in real estate transactions for buyers and sellers.

  • Landlord/Tenant disputes as to whether there is a mold problem.

STOP Carolina Restoration is an EPA Certified firm with IICRC Certified Technicians. We are licensed, bonded, insured, and each one of our technicians is fully vetted and background checked. Trust in our family owned business to provide you with 24/7 Emergency Service in Fort Mill, SC and the surrounding areas.

Our STOP Restoration will perform a FREE – NO OBLIGATION inspection to determine what course of action you should take to address the mold or mildew in your York County home or business.

The health of your family and employees is our priority. Call today if you suspect you have a mold or air quality issue at your property.