Photo by M. Gorodetsky
What Area Would You Have Tested?
Whether you should test for mold or not depends on your relationship to the property and the occupants. There are no government regulations or requirements regarding mold testing. If you are a sole owner and occupant, you can do whatever you think is necessary. If you are a Landlord, you may want to spend the additional money for testing to appease tenants and/or to make sure the work is done correctly.
When a property has under 100 square feet of visible mold growth in only one room, you should not have to perform pretesting. Spending money on testing for a scenario like this would be to tell you something you already know, that you have mold. Instead of pretesting, have a mold remediation company assess the problem, repair the cause, and remove the excess mold. After the contractor has completed their work, they can schedule the testing with a third party to provide the post-clearance testing. If you have a larger problem, a difficult issue, or have cause for concern, you then will want to have the contaminated area pretested.
If the property has a musty smell and no signs of mold or moisture,you can have a mold inspector do some pretesting to verify and find the amount of mold and the source if any. Some companies even have mold dogs that will help in pinpointing the location of the microbial growth.
Pretesting for mold is recommended when the home or office has a major mold infestation, the tenant is having health issues, or other alarms have been raised. Be sure to use an Indoor Air Quality Professional when completing pretesting in these higher profile cases. An IAQ will be able to not only test for mold and spore count but also provide specific directions on how to solve the problem.
Reference Guidelines on Assessment and Remediation of Fungi in Indoor Environments, NYCHMH 200*