Have any of you used one of the services that provides a test kit that is mailed to their lab? They claim to have results comparable to a pro's.
If they're legitimate, then I think I'll use one. I'm suspicious that they tell everyone that they have mold though.
Thanks in advance for any information you can share.
Reviews on Amazon are kind of a mixed bag. One kit sold at Lowe's for about $10, but you needed two kits one as a control and one that you actually use for the test and then the lab is a separate fee.
Amazon reviews aren't a bad way to start researching a product.
Any advice given here is general in nature and is not necessarily valid for your given area. If in doubt check with your local codes enforcement department for what is required when doing electrical, plumbing or structural work on your house. Permits may or may not be required in your area and home owners may not be able to DIY some tasks. I have no way of knowing if you have the skills needed to complete the tasks you are asking about, when in doubt seek professional assistance.
My advice may be worth exactly what you pay me for it. :-) For the record I did not stay in a Holiday Inn Express last night.
The test you referred me to is a petri dish test.
I found an air sample gathering kit sold by Moldlab. The kit normally sells for $239, but there is a special on Angie's List now for $199. Moldlab has an A rating on Angie's List.
I "think" I want the air quality test, but not sure. Maybe I need to do both or do the petri dish test only if the air quality shows excessive mold.
only mold around the house is growing on me.
every house has mold spores. given time, water, and food, you will have mold. "food" means any biological product... paper, wood, jute carpet back, old grease, the back of the refrigerator and the drip pan, and so on.
the trick is, is it bad mold like stachrobotys or aspergillus, and do you have materials and conditions that keep it coming? that's where you need professional testing.
myself, I bought a petri-dish kit and never used it. we knew the basement was a grid-dipped mess, so we looked for and found the water intrusion area, fixed it, then gutted the basement to the block and rebuilt it. clean and dry. LOT of research online for best practices and materials before we bought the first box of drywall screws.
we have used the AirChek radon tests (radon.com) and are nicely under the redline. that package is well reviewed, but it's an indicator. if you have issues, you need a professional test after remediation. radon is the silent threat, and you can't clean it up, you have to block entry where you can and ventilate as the final step.
fun factoid... aspergillus is unfriendly stuff. unless you get it from the ******** //edit// p harm acy. the cholesterol **** //edit// d4ug simvastatin is made from aspergillus.This message has been edited. Last edited by: swschrad,
sig: if this is a new economy, how come they still want my old-fashioned money?
SN, who manufactures the mail order kits? If they're from China, I'd forget about it. The kit itself could be contaminated with mold or lots more.
Perhaps you could consider the cheaper test like the Lowe's one, then decide how much further you want to go for evaluation if the test is positive.
Is mold the specific issue or do you want to test for lead as well?
And just a comment about Angie's List. Within the last few months while driving I saw a truck of one of the 4 plumbing services I used before settling on the one I've had for decades.
This particular company did the work requested, but one of the plumbers blew a fuse while cutting something, and the other complained repeatedly about the brand of kitchen faucet I purchased for replacement of the leaky one.
Granted, I now know that Price Pfister is a brand to avoid and would never buy another one, but at the time I bought it (almost 20 years ago), I was unaware of its bad reputation. I understand his position but his repeated b-i-t-c-h-ing and whining was annoying. One loud b-i-t-c-h session would have made his point.
And the other plumber who blew the fuse never offered to replace the phone which was ruined when the fuse blew.
Now this same plumber's truck advertising boasted of an Angie's List rating. Perhaps they've improved their service, but it's not the first time I've seen someone on Angie's List with which I've had unsatisfactory experiences.
Just my $.01 less inflation.This message has been edited. Last edited by: GardenSprite,
With respect to your statement, "every house has mold spores", the air sampling test actually uses three different samples; two from within the house and one from the outdoors. The indoor concentration is compared to the outdoor.
I'd like to do what you did in your basement. I've seen you reference that work in the past. I think you compared it to scrubbing it down like the inside of a submarine. I'm most concerned about the attic crawl space though. It's tight up there. If it's mold on the underside of the roof decking, that really can't be scrubbed off. Mike Holmes would bring in an outfit to dry ice blast the place, but I doubt I could afford it--especially since we recently found out that our leach-field has stopped leaching and needs to be replaced. Also, there might not be much left of the scant 1/2" decking after the dry ice treatment.
The mold pros say not to bother with bleach treatment, but I tried it anyway. Only got about 1/4 to 1/3 of the way done and had to abandon. Even though I was wearing a respirator, I was getting asphyxiated.
Thanks for bringing up radon though. Something else to worry about
I'm wondering how any type of control and then comparison could possibly be established given the wide range of mold spores in any outdoor area.
If you've got an area of high moisture, you might have fungi which could have just released their spores.
If you're near water, I'm assuming there would also be some mold spores from that source.
If you compost, expect mold to grow even in small amounts and even if you turn your compost regularly.
And there are also mold varieties growing on trees with branches that are less than healthy or dying.
If I remember correctly, weren't you having some moss problems in your yard as well? Were there areas of higher moisture in that area?
Just wondering how any indoor/outdoor sample could be accurate. I would think that a kitchen to kitchen or bathroom to bathroom sample of a "dry" house to a potentially less dry house would be more relevant.
I'm certainly not questioning your judgment - far from it. Just questioning the validity of the testing and comparison process.
Lastly, do you have a specific reason to be concerned about air quality in your home? Does a hygrometer show a high level of moisture?
I know you've done a lot of renovation but I thought most of it was on the exterior of your home.
Hello GardenSprite. Thanks for your thoughts.
I question the validity of the tests as well--which is why I opened up the discussion.
Yes, I have moss where there should be grass and it's filling in quite nicely this spring; green fading to yellow ;-)
You're right. I have been working on the home's exterior. I've read about people with attic mold problems who determined it was cheaper to have the roof and decking replaced than to have the mold re-mediated. I don't know how I'd afford that, but if I had to, it would undo much of the work I'm still doing on the exterior (replacing fascia and shingles above the fascia).
Why am I concerned? Because I can see what looks like mold. My wife, daughter, and I all have tinnitus which can be an allergic reaction to mold.
Indoor humidity level is reasonable now, but we are still having the effects of a time when the house was much more damp and the attic was not properly ventilated.
Thanks for the explanation.
I wasn't aware that tinnitus could be caused by mold. Unfortunately medical diagnosis can ID an issue but not necessarily the cause, so I don't know how much good it would do to visit an ENT. Still, I'm wondering if the mold wouldn't have to come in contact more closely with you and your family in order to cause the tinnitus. I could understand this is the mold was in the bathroom.
Still, I understand your concern and would trace it down as much as I could.
Good luck, and I hope that if there is any mold it's not the cause of your family's ear issues.
GardenSprite, I have been to an Ear, Nose, Throat specialist and he says that there is still much that is unknown about tinnitus. They do believe that allergies can be a contributing factor. Airborne mold spores are known allergens.
SN, the info you've shared on tinnitus is interesting and helpful. Thinking about mold and it's allergenic effects, it does make some sense that it could affect hearing functions as it most certainly affects brain function by causing headaches. And I would assume that the nose is the pathway that the spores take to get to the brain. A slight turn one way or the other and they're into the ear canal.
Interesting diversion here and something to think about.
For general message board help, click the tab labeled "Tools," and choose "Help" from the dropdown menu.