1.) Mold Testing Is Necessary- Mold testing is never "necessary", especially when there is visible mold growth present in a building! Even the EPA doesn't recommend testing because there is currently no "official" threshold for mold spores. This means that even if you have testing done there really is no standard for what is considered a safe building. Does this mean mold testing is completely useless? No, it just means that for the average homeowner spending hundreds and even thousands of dollars on testing isn't usually worth spending their hard earned money on. Mold testing is useful for customers who need documentation for potential liability, lawsuits, legalities, etc. Also, testing can be a useful guide to help discover potentially hidden mold, and even help remediators do their jobs. For example, if mold tests show above average levels of highly toxic mold known as wallemia. Good remediators will be able to understand that wallemia is often present in HVAC systems and to provide extra attention to that specific area. Though testing does not necessarily change the mold remediation protocol it definitely can help guide us, allowing us to understand the scope of work, level of caution, and of course provide post-remedial results. If our customers have a budget for mold testing it definitely has its benefits, but is not necessarily a need!
2.) All Mold Tests Are Accurate- As of today, there is not one 100% accurate method of mold testing on the market. Air samples, swabs, and tape lifts which are most commonly used today are highly susceptible to numerous variables including weather, air circulation, human error, and so on. In reality, these extremely common methods of testing are only 56% accurate at best. The only test that has proven to have accuracy at all is Environmental Relative Moldiness Index (ERMI). The ERMI, developed by the EPA uses MSQPCR(Quantitative Polymerase Chain Reaction) which is a DNA-based form of testing. The EPA currently considers ERMI testing still in a "research" stage but has gained massive support from some of the top researchers in the field. One of them is Dr. Richard Shoemaker who has dedicated his life and career to research the negative health effects of biotoxin illness related to our indoor environments. Dr. Shoemaker is a highly respected pioneer in the field, and after his very extensive research on the subject matter, he is a huge advocate in the accuracy and validity of MSQPCR forms of testing. This is why we recommend the ERMI with confidence to our customers.
3.) Mold Testing Must Be Completed By 3rd Party Inspectors- There are no laws anywhere that state this to be the case, and for 90% plus of cases a 3rd party industrial hygienist is not necessary. Companies who only are in the business of solely conducting testing & inspections for mold often claim that if mold remediators take post-clarence tests of their own work that it is a conflict of interest. That their services are a must! Of course, they say this because it doesn't take a genius to realize it's bad for their businesses to have remediators take business away from them. Well, there are of course a small amount of unethical companies out there in the mold remediation industry these inspectors will never to tell you that almost all tests are administered by the same handful of Third-Party Labs located around the country at their usually inflated prices. We can say with confidence that any reputable mold remediation company is fully capable of administering their own tests in an ethical manner. Industrial hygienists with deep scientific knowledge in the field do serve a valuable purpose in certain situations. For large scale projects, legal matters, building design, etc their scientific background can be of great use. With that said a highly knowledgeable industrial hygienist will never be cost-effective. For the most remediation projects, it is usually more convenient and cost effective for customers to let a reputable company provide both services. The two services really go hand in hand which is why most educated remediators bring extensive knowledge to both.
4.) It's Possible To Get Rid Of All Mold- Molds are part of our everyday environment and there will always be levels of mold present to a certain extent. As mold "remediators" we have two main goals. The first is to reduce levels of harmful toxins present in every project while attempting to create the healthiest environment possible. The second of course is to keep the environment at safe levels and prevent toxins from returning. Projects more than often vary in results because every project is subject to a number of different variables. These variables include levels of contamination present, the location of a building, construction design, construction materials, the age of a building, budget, building history and so on. This is why certain jobs even after proper remediation vary in success. Also, this is a factor why the EPA hasn't set an official threshold. VARIABLES in the environment! A good remediator is often able to provide better quality work of course, but even the best face unique challenges highly contaminated projects. This is why honesty is another trait of a good remediator. Mold remediators are not miracle workers, and certain projects have their limits. Communication is crucial for both parties to understand what they are signing up for. Some properties we look at have such high levels of contamination we refuse to even touch them because it is near impossible to ever make the building habitable again. We recently looked at a massive project with some of the worst contamination levels we have ever witnessed. The project was a church that was vacant for over a year after suffering from water damage. The contamination was so severe that the mold looked like wallpaper throughout the walls & ceilings of the building. Though our company could have profited easily in the six-figures we had to decline the project while advising that the building should be condemned for good. Our services more than often provide pretty incredible results, but even the best remediators can provide a miracle.
5.) Mold Remediation Will Bring Me Back To Perfect Health- As much as we wish that were the case, mold illness can be very complex! Even after completion of a successful remediation project will there ever be a guarantee of a drastic improvement in your health. In fact, if you are suffering mold biotoxin illness aka CIRS mold remediation is just a step in the recovery process. Just like any other health matter, certain people are more sensitive to indoor toxins than others. While remediation is a very important role severe sufferers often need medical help from a specialist, a diet change, and even medication. Mold remediation is the foundation of every recovery because your indoor health is absolutely crucial to your well-being in general. Reducing mycotoxins where you live, sleep, and eat is extremely beneficial to anyones health!