Air Quality Testing & Mold Testing
Canada's Restoration Services works with a third party company that specializes in air quality testing. Our mold professionals will happily connect our valued clients with an accredited and professional local mold testing company. At Canada's Restoration Services, we advise homeowners and business owners to conduct air quality testing on non-visible mold.
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What is Air Quality Testing?
Air Quality Testing or Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) is a test that checks the quality of air in a certain environment. It has become very popular in residential properties for landlord/tenants as well as when selling or buying a property. Commercial and industrial buildings will conduct an air quality test to ensure that employees are working within a safe environment.
Air Testing is used to identify any contaminates within the air such as carbon dioxide, toxic vapours, dust, fungi and ozone. The most common contaminate that is tested is for mold. The reason air testing is utilized and beneficial is because it distinguishes the type of mold particles and their individual spore levels, which is crucial.
Safe Mold Levels
As previously mentioned, mold is all around us - the levels of mold is what makes it dangerous to your health. If the mold levels in your living or working environment are higher than the mold levels outsides, your health and safety is at risk. Depending on your location, your health symptoms can vary. For instance, if you live by a forest, woods, or lake there will be more mold spores given the natural environment.
How is Air Testing conducted?
When an air test is being performed, there are a minimum of two samples that must be taken. One sample is taken from the area of concern and one sample is taken from outside or in the "controlled environment". If there are multiple areas of concern, than multiple samples must be captured. Once samples are taken, they will be shipped off to a lab where experts will analyze the samples. The results will be provided and a report will follow that breaks down the various types of mold discovered, along with the different mold spore levels. If the levels of spores are higher in the area of concern, than the levels of spores on the outside or "controlled environment", then you are facing a mold issue. The report will specify if the mold spore levels are:
- not elevated
Who can Conduct Air Quality Testing?
Air Testing must be done by a certified environmentalist company. This should be a company that does not perform mold remediation and conducts testing only. There is a conflict of interest if a company where to conduct lab testing and results and perform work, thereby keeping these two separate is crucial to obtaining effective. This is considered to be "third party testing".
Mold Swab & Mold Testing
Mold Testing or a Mold Swab is one of the ways of determining what type of mold is present. This typically needs to be done when there is visible mold. This type of testing does not let you know the elevations of mold spores and if it is present in the air. With Canada's regulations, you do not need to know what type of mold is present - industry standards recommend that the area should be cleaned & mold should be removed. Some molds are safe for you to remove yourself but we advise homeowners to contact a professional mold remediation company before doing so.
There are many types of molds - some are toxic and some are not. The ones that are toxic are called mycotoxins and they can produce possible health issues. The most common molds that are found within your home are: penicllium, aspergillus, cladosporium, and alternaria. The most dangerous mold to have in your property is stachybotrys or black mold. It should be noted that mold will change black in colour eventually. To see if it is stachybotrys, it must be tested. Regardless what mold is present, an inspection must be completed if you suspect or find mold.
Mold spores do not turn into mold growth unless they are given the right environment to grow on which requires: a surface to grow, “food” and water. When mold is given these three ingredients, mold has formed. This is why it is imperative to keep your home at the right humidity levels (35% - 45% relative) and look for any signs of water damage or leakage.
Stachybotrys or black mold, needs constant moisture/water to continue to grow and is common proceeding a major water damage that was not treated properly.