Mold inspection & testing
Our inspection involves carefully examining both the exterior and interior of a home or building as well as searching for signs of water infiltration, past and present water damage, and mold growth.
Attention to detail is especially important during this step as there may be signs of water damage that are not visible. We inspect attics, crawl spaces, ductwork, HVAC units, under sinks, behind appliances, and anywhere else that water may have had the opportunity to cause damage.
We utilize state of the art technology and infrared thermal imaging to ensure that we get the most accurate information about the condition of your home.
AIR QUALITY TESTING
We utilize all of the latest advancements in mold and indoor air quality testing.
There are a variety of options available depending on your specific needs, both environmental and health. Once our thorough inspection is complete, we collect samples to send to a laboratory for analysis and identification.
Below are some of the tests we commonly perform.
ERMI & HERTSMI-2
ERMI is short for Environmental Relative Moldiness Index and is a highly specific test designed by the EPA to quantify the overall mold burden of homes and buildings.
This is a PCR test that identifies the species of molds present in dust samples.
Why is this important?
Not all molds are created equal, and in fact, not all species of the same genus are created equal. Toxic molds produce different kinds of dangerous chemicals called mycotoxins. It is important understand which mycotoxins may be present in your home as many of them can have serious health effects.
Read more about specific mycotoxins and their effects on our
Because this test utilizes dust samples, results are representative of mold level over time rather than just which spores are floating in the air right now.
Why is this important?
While mold spores are microscopic, they eventually settle on floors and surfaces until disturbed. Some toxic mold spores are heavier and stickier than others, meaning they will not often be found floating in the air in large quantities, despite their presence in your environment.
The laboratory examines the DNA of the sample, providing a detailed report that differentiates between 36 mold species: 26 toxic molds found in water damaged buildings and 10 others which are commonly found indoors.
Why is this important?
Like we said, not all molds are created equal. Different molds require different environments to thrive. The ERMI distinguishes between 26 "water damage molds" and 10 "common indoor molds." Note that on the sample report above, different species of molds of the same genus are present in different categories. This is why knowing the species of the molds in your space can be so valuable.
ERMI also provides an overall moldiness rating which is helpful for those wishing to monitor their home's progress before, during, and after remediation.
HERTSMI-2 is a simplified version of ERMI that looks at the 5 species of toxic, water damage molds determined to be the most problematic for those suffering from mold related illnesses. This is a test that doctors will often request as part of a treatment plan to ensure that a previously water damaged building is safe for the patient to re-enter after remediation.
Air testing is used to assess what kind of mold spores and particulate matter are present in specific areas of your home.
Air sampling identifies mold spores at the genus level.
This test is generally done in multiple rooms or wall cavities and can help detect which spaces in a home may have higher spore counts present in the air.
Air sampling can also be performed before and after remediation to assess adherence to proper containment protocols.
Surface testing allows us to take samples from surfaces that are suspicious for water damage or that show growth that we suspect may be mold.
These samples are collected with sterile swabs and are then sent to a laboratory for identification.
Surface sampling identifies molds present at a genus level.
MYCOTOXIN TESTING: EMMA
MYCOTOXINS are dangerous chemicals produced by mold. Different species of toxic molds produce different mycotoxins.
Read more about specific mycotoxins, how to test your body for the presence of mycotoxins, and their effects on our Health & Safety page.
Because of their low molecular weight and thermo-stability, they do not degrade easily and can remain present even after the mold has been removed from the environment. They are chemicals, so not alive, and thus can not be "killed." Instead, mycotoxins must be carefully removed from your environment using specific cleaning protocols.
We collect dust samples from your home to send to a laboratory for identification. The test we use is called EMMA which stands for Environmental Mold & Mycotoxin Assessment. This test uses molecular detection technology to look for the presence of the 10 most toxigenic molds and the 16 most poisonous mycotoxins associated with them.
ACTINOMYCETES are a type of bacteria that produce biotoxins, similar to mycotoxins.
ENDOTOXINS are released into the air from gram-negative bacteria when the cell wall is destroyed. Elevated levels are often found in water damaged buildings and on moldy foods. When inhaled or ingested, they can lead to inflammation in the digestive tract and other areas of the body.
Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) are compounds that have a high vapor pressure and low water solubility. Often odorless, they are dangerous chemicals present in many household products and as a result of some industrial processes.
Many toxic molds produce VOCs as well. If you've ever heard the term "off-gassing," this refers to new items like furniture, mattresses, and building materials releasing VOCs into the air we breathe.
They can cause allergic reactions, eye, nose, and throat irritation, and are often carcinogenic.
Our clean-air audit measures both regular volatile organic compounds (TVOC) and mold produced volatile organic compounds (MVOC.) These results are separated into categories, providing valuable clues for identifying the source.
Formaldehyde is present in small amounts in almost all homes.
Elevated levels are sometimes found in spaces with poor ventilation or where new construction or indoor smoking has taken place. It is also common in office materials and furniture.
Examples of sources include cubicle material, laminate flooring, plywood, particleboard, cabinetry, and some drapery.
Formaldehyde is classified as a "probable human carcinogen" and has been linked to diseases such as leukemia as well as eye, nose, throat, and skin irritation.
CALL NOW FOR YOUR FREE CLEAN AIR CONSULTATION (919) 749-4708
our clean air protocol
We then conduct a thorough inspection
of your home or building. We examine both the exterior and interior searching for points of water infiltration, past and present water damage, structural abnormalities, and signs of mold growth.
We check your ducts and HVAC system, sinks, pipes, skylights, appliances, and all potential sources of water.
Once the inspection is complete, we come up with a plan for taking samples from your home, specific to what was learned during the inspection.
Some testing options we use are air spore traps, ERMI, HERSTMI-2, and surface sample swabs.
To learn more about each test and how they differ, check out the 'Our Services' portion of our website above.
We then send your samples to a third party, accredited laboratory for careful analysis.
Once we receive your test results, we provide you with a comprehensive report.
Our report includes your test results and our interpretation, photographs of our inspection observations, our thoughts regarding your next steps forward, and remediation protocol suggestions if deemed necessary.
What separates us from the rest?
Certified Indoor Air of Raleigh, NC is committed to providing you with the peace of mind that comes from being certain that you have all of the information needed to move forward.
Mold inspection is an art form and we pride ourselves on being thoughtful and thorough.
We educate and guide you regarding the testing options that best suite your individual needs.
And last but not least, we provide you with a detailed report which acts as a blue print for how your remediators should proceed, ensuring the best outcome for you and your family.