This is an interesting problem. Some companies offer very low cost ‘mold testing’ with air samples for your home. If the mold report comes back with a higher score for the inside of your home a mold remediation is then recommended for your home that can cost several thousand dollars or more that they are more than happy to do for you. It is also worth noting that a company can sometimes manipulate the samples taken, depending on the circumstances, in order to show your home is in need of an expensive remediation.
This is one reason why my Company does not do Mold Remediation due to a conflict of interest. Though there is no ‘law’ about doing this it is a good practice to keep the inspection company and remediation company separate. When I do an inspection I stay objective and am not looking for ways to ‘create’ work for myself or my company. The recommendations that are made in my reports are based on evidence of potential or current issues to help safeguard my client.
One thing to know is that mold testing or sampling should always be done in conjunction with a Mold Inspection, that is an inspection for potential moisture or mold issues. The reason is that the inspection will normally help explain why there is a higher count if there is one. There are certain recommendations to follow depending on what is found during this inspection which should be specific not general.
There should always be photo documentation of the possible issue. Example: a picture of the moisture reading of ‘35%’ noting where this was found and following up with a specific recommendation.
It is important to understand that air samples can be higher inside a home than outside for a number of reasons and one should not be hasty about employing a company to ‘remediate you home’ just because a lab report says it is higher than the outside.
A case in point: If I do a Mold Inspection and do not find anything significant from that but find that the Mold Samples taken show a higher count inside than outside I have basic recommendations that cost very little overall to do in this situation.
1. Do a good cleaning of the home or affected areas.
2. Use a vacuum with a hepa filter which captures mold spores and other contaminants in the air and use on carpet, drapes and fabric furniture.
3. Use an anti-microbial (disinfectant) to wipe down all applicable surfaces to kill possible mold and bacteria growth.
4. Get one or more air cleaning machines with hepa filters for all rooms in you home that need one. Some models cost less than $100 and can be rotated throughout your home though more than one may be needed from a practical standpoint.
5. Maintain regular house hygiene so mold does not build up even if you don’t see it.
These are things that can be done that does not cost an arm and a leg, assuming there is nothing else going on like an unseen leak.