Exposure to mold is very common inside and outside of the home. However, some individuals have more vulnerability to mold than others. Small children, medically frail elderly, people with autoimmune diseases, and those suffering from respiratory infections or difficulties are the most susceptible to mold ailments. Mold exposure in its more mild forms may cause cold-like symptoms, watery eyes, sore throat, wheezing and dizziness, and trigger asthma attacks. Some mold spores are very small and can be easily inhaled deeply into the lungs. It is a health risk to live in houses with high mold levels so, if there is a musty smell in the home, than there is surely a mold problem that must be addressed. Depending on the prevalence of the problem and the mold, homeowners may wish to have a mold professional conduct a mold identification consultation.
Mold Identification is often achieved through a microscope where the naked eye may mistake a dangerous type for a common kitchen mold. For example, a homeowner may see black grime on tiles and believe it to be grout when in fact though the process of mold identification the grout is found to be Stachybotrys chartarum or toxic black mold and causing all kinds of horrific health problems. Typically, mold identification of a specific classification of mold is not usually necessary or recommended because of the expense in testing the molds.
However, there are some more inexpensive alternatives in mold identification such as air testing and tape testing. Air testing will assess the extent of contamination throughout the residence and sampling can be done to assess the microbial contamination on site. Tape testing is a method used to determine if a mold is toxic and should be examined further for toxicity and health risks. There are also 24-hour labs available for quick and inexpensive testing of samples.