Curious about potential mold in your home?
Current federal rules and state rules allow a homeowner to collect mold swab samples (without training/licensing) to check for mold type in their own home. home. If you wish to collect samples from your home and send them to our lab, please keep the following in mind before you proceed:
- Mold has the potential to cause health problems and even make a home uninhabitable. However, everyone is affected differently when in contact with mold.
- All molds have the potential to be harmful. The mold that may not bother one person may severely affect another; however, some molds are known to be more likely to present health concerns.
- Some mold can produce allergens, irritants and in some cases, potentially toxic chemical substances known as mycotoxins. People who are sensitive and exposed to mycotoxins can become ill.
- Allergic reactions to mold are common. They can be immediate or delayed.
- People diagnosed with allergies and asthma may be very sensitive to mold. Mold can cause asthma attacks.
- Others at risk may include: Infants, children, the elderly, immune compromised patients, pregnant women and individuals with existing respiratory conditions.
- There are thousands of molds and fungal spores produced and circulated naturally outdoors. Hundreds of these are native to your home's environment.
- Current data suggests the overwhelming majority of people have no susceptibility to environmental mold and fungal spore exposure.
- Black mold is a slang term for Stachybotrys chartarum and is indeed black in appearance. However, not all black appearing molds are Stachybotrys.
- Nearly all mold growth in homes is a result of water leaks or excessive moisture.
- Eliminate water leaks, keep humidity levels low (below 60%), and control condensation and the mold spores in the home (provided by the outdoor air) will not have the environment needed to establish and grow.
- Many health symptoms attributed to mold exposure are caused by other circumstances. Common colds and allergies have similar symptoms. Issues which may be created indoors but are not mold related include: Not enough clean air entering the home through the HVAC system, HVAC filters not adequately filtering particulate matter, and odor/irritant sources brought into the home.
- We have observed items such as pet hair, leaking sewer pipes, dead animals, the excessive use of scented candles, cleaning products, crafting supplies, outdoor landscaping features holding water, and poor housekeeping practices which we believe created mold exposure-like symptoms in homes where mold investigations were performed. Critically analyze your environment for other explanations for odors or irritant sources in the absence of leaks, condensation, or high humidity if you suspect mold, or are experiencing symptoms.
- A swab sample will confirm the type of mold present. We can advise you if the mold found is generally thought to be more or less hazardous after you receive your results. Just call our office when you get your results and one of our staff TDSHS Licensed Mold Consultants will go over your report with you.
- Swab samples will not measure airborne concentration levels of mold, but may provide useful information and indicate if additional sampling or remedial measures are recommended.
Still wish to collect and send a sample in? If so:
- Use a cotton swab that has been moistened with tap water.
- Roll the swab over the spot/area in question.
- Place the swab in a sealable container (plastic sandwich bag, i.e.).
- If you have multiple samples, place each one in a separate container.
- Fill out the Chain of Custody for this site found here.
- Mail or bring with the Chain of Custody to our office.
Still have questions about mold testing in your home?
Please feel free to call and speak with our lab, or email us. We would be happy to guide you through the process. Or, if you wish, our staff can provide a free estimate to perform a mold assessment of your home.
All samples will be analyzed by Phase Contrast Microscopy for the determination of fungi/mold.
Our laboratory is licensed through the Texas Dept. of State Health Services. #LAB0llS Mold Analysis Laboratory.
Our laboratory participates in the A.I.H.A. Proficiency analytical Program #101408.
Our current price for individual mold sample analysis is $60.00/ea. Final lab reports will be emailed to you, typically within two days after receipt of samples.