This depends on what your concerns and goals are. Sure, everyone wants to make sure they have a healthy home. But, as a renter, you may suspect or have knowledge of a leak or suspect a mold situation. The more tests you can do then the stronger your ‘case’ is when presenting it to your landlord for them to take needed action. It also makes a stronger case for going to court.
1. Before any testing an Inspection for Potential moisture/mold needs to be performed by a professionally certified inspector for this. The reason is that when any testing is done it needs to be done in context with an inspection. It helps identify the likely causes of any mold/bacteria growth. If an area has elevated moisture, then mold and bacteria will be present even if you don’t see it.
2. Air sampling: An air sample can tell you what is currently in the air as far as mold spores that may be affecting you that you are breathing in. One outside air sample is needed in addition to any indoor air samples that may be taken.
3. Bacteria: This should normally be done of an identified ‘wet’ area. Meaning, high levels of moisture has been found in drywall, for example, under a kitchen sink.
4. Endotoxins: These are the toxins that come from the cell membranes of dangerous bacteria as they die. These are very dangerous to people and can even cause death. These should also be sampled/tested in ‘wet’ areas as this is where the endotoxins would be.
The costs of the above tests vary and the more you do the more information you can get and the stronger your evidence is depending on your goals. There are more tests than can be performed. The ones listed are the top 4 to do.
Steve Mullins (i.e. Mold Detector)
CMC, Certified Microbial Consultant
Moisture and Mold Detection, Inc.