Your comprehensive guide to mould testing and mould removal services in Australia.
Mould is a fairly common problem that many households face. Outdoors, mould fungus plays a vital role in breaking down and decomposing organic matter. However, indoors, mould growth has the potential to cause serious health concerns to one’s respiratory system.
Mould is a form of fungus, and like many fungi, will form in places with high humidity and low ventilation. Mould spreads by emitting spores – tiny microscopic particles that float around in the air until they land upon a surface. Mould spores are common in both indoor and outdoor environments; however, they only begin to form mould when they fall on a moist surface.
If you’re reading this, you’ve likely just discovered some mould growing on your property. Mould will typically grow indoors in spaces that have high humidity levels and are lacking ventilation. Despite most species of mould being harmless, living with any mould bacteria is not safe for your home and your health. There are two main reasons for removing and remediating mould:
- Mould damages the surfaces it grows on, which can compromise the integrity of your house structure.
- Mould has the potential to aggravate one’s respiratory system, causing asthma and hypersensitivities. Houses with mould are not safe living environments.
It is crucial to remove and remediate mould before it becomes a huge problem. Professional mould removal services include a comprehensive inspection, physical removal, and remediation treatment to prevent the mould from returning.
What’s Involved in A Mould Inspection?
A mould inspection is an assessment of a property to identify any mould problems and detect the cause of mould germination. Mould tends to develop in places that are not easily accessible, including ducts, between walls, crawl spaces, basements, and attics. A mould inspection will include a comprehensive assessment of an entire property to ensure all areas are harmless.
A mould inspector is a professional who has undergone specific and relevant training to identify and detect mould. Professionals are aware of the most common spots for mould development, as well as the common causes of mould spores spreading. A mould inspection will positively identify any mould infested areas and specify the size of the problem, typically in square footage.
What Is Mould Testing?
Mould testing is a means to confirm the presence of mould contamination in an area through samples. A technician will take a specimen and send it to an accredited lab to have it identified. Mould testing is typically for proving the presence of mould, in case the indications are not visual or for documented proof of mould infestation.
Professional mould testing will identify what specific type of mould is present in a house, as well as how populated the area is with mould spores. There are two types of mould and microbial testing:
How to Test for Mould
To accurately test for mould on a property, a professional mould tester will need to obtain a sample. Lab accredited air samples or surface samples taken from the contaminated area can positively identify mould spores. Professional mould testing may involve:
Mould spores are tiny minuscule particles that float in the air. Air samples pick up any mould spores and collect them for thorough analysis at an accredited lab. Air samples can be taken and examined in several ways.
The most common method of air sampling for properties uses a spore trap – a device that works by having a known volume of air pass through with a sticky surface to trap the spores. Most spores will adhere to the sticky surface, where they are contained and sent to a lab. When the sample arrives for analysis, the trap will open, and stains are applied to the sticky surface for mould to absorb. From there, the captured spores can be positively identified and quantified.
Other less common methods of air sampling include culturing or growing the spores captured from the air and creating identifiable samples from there.
There are a variety of ways to take surface samples. The three most common methods of surface sampling include bulk samples, swab samples, and tape samples.
Bulk surface sampling of mould involves a piece of mould contaminated material being physically removed and sent directly to the mould testing laboratory.
Swab surface samples are pretty simple in that they require a cotton swab to wipe over a mould affected area. Once the swab has collected the bacteria, it will go to the laboratory for further testing.
Tape samples for surfaces involve using a piece of clear tape pressed against and removed from the area suffering from mould infestation. The sticky tape will pick up and remove particles from the mould surface before being sent to the testing laboratory for analysis.
Different sampling methods can offer various analysis. For example, most testing will be focused on the presence of mould spores rather than which type of mould is present. However, if the main goal is to identify black mould, a different method for sampling may be required for a black mould test to confirm the presence of the toxic bacteria.
Large-scale mould infestation can usually be detected visually. However, there are times where mould cannot be identified through sight alone and testing and analysis will be required. A professional mould detector will need to carry out further assessment and testing to confirm the presence of mould before removing the bacteria.
Further mould detection efforts may be necessary if:
- Visible mould is not present, but the smell of mould is. Many types of mould can are identifiable through smell alone – the mildew scent is strong, potent, damp and musky.
- The house is suffering from leak issues, and there is a suspicion of mould in inaccessible areas.
- Residents are suffering from increased health problems. In some cases, a doctor may not be able to work out the cause of present symptoms that are actually related to toxic mould exposure. Mould detection can pinpoint the reason for a compromised respiratory system.
- For the purchase or selling of a property – mould detection and testing may be required for the protection of buyers and sellers.
- Increased humidity levels and lack of ventilation is noticed, but the presence of mould is yet to be identified.
Do I Need a Mould Inspection and Testing?
If you want to keep your property entirely safe, yes.
Having your property inspected and tested for mould will allow you to relax, knowing a professional is doing everything they can to keep your house safe. Sure, there are some online DIY methods for mould testing and removal; but comprehensive mould identification and remediation requires the skill and expertise of a professional.
At-home mould testing kits can also be terribly misleading and provide inaccurate results. If you suspect a mould presence in your home but are not able to visually identify it, these test kits do very little in helping you locate the problem or the scope of the problem. It’s best for both you and your home to have a professional accurately detect mould before advising you on the best route for mould removal.
Mould inspection services are vital for identifying the cause of mould and preventing future mould from developing. A professional mould inspection not only includes sampling, but a comprehensive and thorough assessment of the property to find infested areas that the average homeowner wouldn’t think to look.
How Much Does a Mould Inspection Cost?
Mould inspection and testing costs can vary from state to state, and from company to company. Mould inspections are crucial for an expert to appropriately assess and determine how much removal and remediation will cost. A thorough inspection that includes testing and comprehensive mould detection will come at a cost.
The two main driving factors for the price of mould inspections and testing are the size of the inspection are, and whether or not the mould specialist will need to remove or demolish parts of the property to carry out extensive assessments and testing.
To put it simply, a large house with significant square footage is going to cost more to inspect as it will take longer. An invasive inspection that involves removing materials for mould detection will require a more laborious approach, which will cost more. It can be challenging to put a number on mould inspection and testing costs as they will largely depend on the scope of the mould project.
Finding the Right Mould Specialist
The key to a thorough inspection of your property is finding a reputable and trustworthy mould testing and remediation company to work with. While it might be tempting to go with a cheap at-home testing kit or a local handyman, you can’t be sure that your property is entirely safe without engaging a professional. Mould specialists are skilled tradesmen that have undergone special training in the detection, testing, removal, and remediation of mould bacteria. Don’t run the risk – rely on a professional.
GBAR Group has been in the industry of hazardous materials and mould remediation for over 30 years. Our team of qualified and experienced specialists have worked on a large variety of sites with large mould infestations – we have seen it all. We offer mould inspections, testing, removal and remediation work per occupational hygienist standards to ensure each property is entirely safe.
Every mould inspection and remediation project that we complete is carried out to the highest standard to ensure that mould is not an ongoing issue at your property. Do it right the first time with GBAR Group’s expert mould removal services that catch the problem at the root of the cause. Get in touch with our team to learn more about mould and microbial testing and treatment today.