Mold Testing Questions
After 23 years in the mold removal and remediation industry there is one main question that we get daily which is “Do we test for mold?”
The answer we give can be very shocking not only to the average homeowner, but also to commercial property management companies. The answer is no with a few very good reasons. Let’s review some of the reasons why mold removal and mold remediation companies do not test for mold.
The first reason is conflict of interest. To explain this issue let me describe another situation. Let’s say we are building a home without any inspectors to make sure that the building was built correctly. So no electrical inspectors, plumbing inspectors, and engineers to make sure that the building was built correctly. Next we sell the home to a very nice couple who ask us if the building is safe and built correctly. We tell them we did our own inspection and the house is in great condition.
A year goes by and now the house is starting to fall apart. The nice couple has hired an attorney and now everyone is in front of the judge. The judge asked who tested and inspected the home before the house was sold. We tell the judge it was us and we tell her that the house was in great condition and we tested and inspected the house and it was in great condition.
The judge responds that although our testing was a nice gesture it leaves suspicion that we may have miss interpreted the results, because we do not have engineering degrees . She also mentions that although we seem like nice people, there is a chance that we have “fudged” the results so that the house could pass inspection. The judge says that in the end, it is hard to trust the word and testing done by the same person who built the home, who also tests and inspects the house.
The same goes with mold removal and mold testing. Think of a student who not only takes the test, but also grades himself. Doesn’t that sound silly. It’s the same when asking a mold removal company to also test themselves if the mold is gone.
Now there are mold removal companies that take the samples and send it to a professional testing lab. Therefore they claim that the results are accurate. The problem is that the results are described in scientific technical terms that only biologists or a scientist can correctly interpret. The other problem is that a non scientist taking samples without university background expertise creates a suspicion of the results. This again holds true, when the mold removal company is performing the mold testing.
The bottom line is that who is being tested should not perform the tests on themselves. The other options in getting testing of mold would be an industrial hygienist or a home inspector. The question becomes which tester of the two has the most credibility.