How To Do Your Own Mold Inspection,
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How To Do Your Own Mold Testing with Scotch Tape Lift Sampling and/or Physical Mold Growth Samples from Your Home, Office,
or Workplace Anywhere in the USA or World-Wide

by mold consultant Phillip Fry, Certified Environmental Hygienist, Professional Industrial Hygienist, and author of five mold advice books

Although any mold species in elevated levels indoors can cause severe health problems for occupants, several toxic molds such as Stachybotrys, Aspergillus, and Penicillium pose far greater health risks than less dangerous mold species.
  
Thus, many homeowners, rental property owners, tenants, employers, and employees in the USA, Canada, Asia, Europe, and worldwide want to know, and need to know, the precise identities, quantities, and locations of the various mold species that may be infesting their home, apartment, office, or workplace.
 
For both the accurate identification of mold species, and to find and document the specific locait mold growth problems, there are two mold testing steps:

(1) lift tape mold sampling or the physical collection of actual mold samples from the home, apartment, or commercial or public building being mold tested; and
(2) professional and accurate mold laboratory analysis for mold species identification and quantification of the lift tape mold samples or collected mold samples by the experienced and accredited mold analysis laboratory utilized by EnviroFry.

You can do your own effective mold testing by using your choice of: (1) Scotch tape lift sampling; and (2) physical mold samples (“bulk” samples), both of which are explained below as to testing techniques and steps---
 
1. Scotch Tape Lift Sampling

Scotch tape lift sampling is an easy, inexpensive, and effective way to do mold sampling anywhere in the world when you---
  
(1) Can see mold growing on a wall, ceiling, floor, carpeting, furniture, heating/cooling duct register, or other surface;
  
(2) Want to know whether a particular stain, discoloration, or mystery substance on the wall or another surface is actually mold growth;
  
(3) Smell mold
(the digestive gas emitted by mold eating the home or building) and want to test a number of surfaces upon which elevated levels of airborne mold spores may have landed or been deposited, such as on walls, window sills, window and door trim, refrigerator top, kitchen cabinet tops, undusted furniture, heating/cooling duct registers, and the return air filter in the heating/cooling system; and/or

(4) Want to test the inside walls of heating/cooling ducts for the possible presence of elevated levels of mold spores.
 
Follow these easy steps for do-it-yourself Scotch tape lift sampling---
 

(1) Use inexpensive, clear, transparent, sticky, one inch wide adhesive tape, such as Scotch® brand or similar tape that you cut into three inch long strips to collect the mold samples;

(2) While doing lift tape sampling, you should wear disposable gloves, eye goggles with no holes (“chem. splash”), a low-cost (US $3) N-95 breathing mask ("nurse type" available at most pharmacies, safety stores, hardware and home improvement stores). Please read additional safety mold testing tips at http://www.moldinspector.com/mold_removal.htm;  
  
(3) Number and record the precise testing location (e.g., "west living room wall") of each Scotch tape lift sample and any other mold tests done or collected onto the Chain of Custody Lab Form at http://www.moldinspector.com/chain_of_custody.htm. The Chain of Custody is the mold laboratory form that is completed by the mold tester (occupant, tenant, property owner, landlord, employer, or other concerned party), who collects the mold samples and records the details of each mold sampling on this form. This form also serves to document both the transfer of custody of the mold samplings directly from the tester to the mold lab, and the receipt of the samples by the lab. Be sure to put your name, complete postal address of the tested property, your email address, and your phone number on the Chain of Custody so that you can receive the mold lab results promptly by email within 24 to 48 hours after the lab’s weekday (Monday through Friday) receipt of your submitted mold samples, and so that the mold lab results will have the correct information on the lab results;
   
(4) As indicated above, please provide the complete requested information on the Chain of Custody form, including, but not limited to, the precise lift tape sampling location (such as “master bedroom ceiling”, “kitchen cabinet”, “west wall of guest bedroom”, “living room carpeting in middle of room”, “top of kitchen cabinet”, “inside living room air duct”, etc.);

(5) To do the Scotch™ tape sampling, please cut Scotch™  tape (one inch, clear tape) into three inch long pieces;

(6) When testing a surface, press the sticky side of the tape very firmly against or onto the tested surface;.

(7) After sampling, peel back the tape carefully and lightly tack the mold sampling tape onto the inside wall of a small Ziplock bag (or other sealable plastic bag) or onto a glass or plastic microscope slide (available at many pharmacies);

(8) Attach to the outside of the Ziplock bag a large adhesive label with the tester’s name, date of sampling, complete property address of the tested building, the precise testing location at that address (e.g., “air conditioning duct register in living room”), testing method (“lift tape sampling”), and the name, postal address, email address, phone number, fax number (if any), and email address of the person submitting the sample to the mold analysis lab;
   
(9) Some of the best horizontal locations to do a lift tape sampling are onto any visible mold growth areas, inside heating/ventilating/air conditioning ducts and grills (see more air con testing tips below), walls, ceiling, fireplace mantle, window sill, top of kitchen cabinets, top-side of a ceiling fan, topside of door or window wood trim, or a hard-surfaced floor. You can even do a sampling of a carpeted or rug area by pressing the sampling tape very firmly and deeply into the carpet or rug pile to collect any mold spores deposited therein. Sampling horizontal and vertical surfaces will enable you to collect mold spores that have been deposited or landed onto each lift tape sampling location;
  
(10) You should definitely take lift tape samplings of the inside side wall(s) of one or more heating/air conditioning register grill (remove the grill, if possible, to have full access for lift tape sampling). You should also do a lift tape sampling of an inside side air duct wall, just inside (behind) the register. If the home or building is mold infested, so will be the heating, ventilating and air conditioning (HVAC) ducts and equipment. Mold-infested HVAC ducts and equipment continually distribute elevated levels of airborne mold spores throughout the home or building, and thus causing widespread mold cross contamination. You can also do a 24 hour test of a HVAC system by putting a lift tape onto the front of the grill so that most of the sticky surface is exposed to the outward air flow coming out of the register. Then run the heating/cooling system for 24 hours (with the HVAC system’s operation automatically controlled by setting the thermostat at the normal temperature you heat or cool your home or building). In addition, or alternatively, do a lift tape sampling of the outside surface of the HVAC return air duct filter.

(11) Pay for and get your Lab Fee Payment Receipt (which has the lab's mailing address) by phoning your credit or debit card details to Phillip Fry Toll-Free 1-866-300-1616 Monday through Saturday in the USA and Canada.  International callers can phone USA 480-310-7970. Alternatively, you can use your credit or debit card on the PayPal payment link below, or mail your check or money order payable to EnviroFry, 10104 Sheridan Road, Montrose Michigan 48457, U.S.A. We welcome international orders!! The certified and accredited mold lab analysis fee is only $35 for each submitted mold sample.

(12) Mail (priority or first class mail) or FedEx your Scotch
tape lift samples and/or physical mold growth samples ("bulk samples"), as explained below, to the certified and accredited mold analysis lab at the USA lab address specified and included on your Lab Fee Payment Receipt, along with a photocopy of your lab fee receipt, which is emailed to you upon your payment of the lab fee(s).

(13) If you have mold testing or lab questions, please email mold consultant Phillip Fry phil@moldinspector.com or phone Phillip Toll-Free
866-300-1616
Monday through Saturday, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. eastern time in the USA and Canada.  International callers can phone
USA 480-310-7970.

2. Physical Mold Samples ("Bulk samples")

(1) As an excellent alternative to lift tape sampling, you can cut out a two inch by two inch-sized physical sample of the actual building material in which the mold is growing---e.g., drywall, wood, ceiling tiles, carpeting, carpet padding, upholstery, HVAC return air filter, or other surfaces;

(2) While cutting out the physical mold sample, you should wear disposable gloves, eye goggles with no holes (“chem. splash”), a low-cost (US $3) N-95 breathing mask ("nurse type" available at most pharmacies, safety stores, hardware and home improvement stores). Please read additional safety mold testing tips at http://www.moldinspector.com/mold_removal.htm;  

(3) Place each physical bulk sample collected into a separate Ziplock or other sealable plastic bag;

(4) Attach to the outside of the Ziplock bag a large adhesive label with the tester’s name, date of sampling, complete property address of the tested building, the precise testing location at that address (e.g., “air conditioning duct register in living room”), testing method (“lift tape sampling”), and the name, postal address, email address, phone number, fax number (if any), and email address of the person submitting the sample to the mold analysis lab;

(5) Number and record the precise physical sampling test location (e.g., "west living room wall") for each collected physical mold sample and any other mold tests done or collected (such as Scotch tape lift sampling) onto the Chain of Custody Lab Form, which is available at http://www.moldinspector.com/chain_of_custody.htm. The Chain of Custody is the mold laboratory form that is completed by the mold tester (occupant, tenant, property owner, landlord, employer, or other concerned party), who collects the mold samples and records the details of each mold sampling on this form. This form also serves to document both the transfer of custody of the mold samplings directly from the tester to the mold lab, and the receipt of the samples by the lab. Be sure to put your name, complete postal address of the tested property, your email address, and your phone number on the Chain of Custody so that you can receive the mold lab results promptly by email within 24 to 48 hours after the lab’s weekday (Monday through Friday) receipt of your submitted mold samples, and so that the mold lab results will have the correct information on the lab results;

(6) Pay for and get your Lab Fee Payment Receipt (which has the lab's mailing address) by phoning your credit or debit card details to Phillip Fry Toll-Free 1-866-300-1616 Monday through Saturday in the USA and Canada.  International callers can phone USA 480-310-7970. Alternatively, you can use your credit or debit card on the PayPal payment link below, or mail your check or money order payable to EnviroFry, 10104 Sheridan Road, Montrose Michigan 48457, U.S.A. We welcome international orders!! The certified and accredited mold lab analysis fee is only $35 for each submitted mold sample;

(7) Mail (priority or first class mail) or FedEx your Scotch
tape lift samples and/or physical mold growth samples ("bulk samples") to the certified and accredited mold analysis lab at the USA lab address specified and included on your Lab Fee Payment Receipt, along with a photocopy of your lab fee receipt, which is emailed to you upon your payment of the lab fee(s).

(8) If you have mold testing or lab questions, please email mold consultant Phillip Fry phil@moldinspector.com or phone Phillip Toll-Free
866-300-1616
Monday through Saturday, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. eastern time in the USA and Canada.  International callers can phone
USA 480-310-7970.

CREDIT CARD PAYMENT for Mold Lab Analysis for Submitted Scotch Tape Lift Mold Samples and/or Physical Mold Samples

   
You can use your Visa, Master Card, American Express card, Discover card, PayPal balance, or electronic transfer from your USA checking or savings account, by clicking on the PayPal link below to pay for mold lab analysis for your Scotch tape lift samples and or physical mold samples. You have the opportunity to select and pay for whatever number of mold samples that you are submitting for mold lab analysis. If you want to pay for lab analysis of more than 5 samples, just repeat the transaction as many times as needed. The certified and accredited mold lab analysis fee is only $35 for each submitted mold sample.  Upon your PayPal payment, we will email your Lab Fee Payment receipt (plus a lab chain of custody form for you to send with your samples to the lab) to your provided PayPal email address, or an alternative email address that you can email to phil@moldinspector.com.  Each received mold sample is immediately analyzed within 24 to 48 hours of lab receipt using the non-viable mold analysis method. Mold samples are NOT lab-grown in the non-viable method, but you, if you so desire, make arrangements with EnviroFry to have the lab perform viable, grown culturing of lift tape or physical mold samples (viable analysis cost more and takes 7 days for mold growth and mold lab analysis). For details of viable analysis, email Phillip Fry phil@moldinspector.com.
 

Number of Samples For Lab Analysis

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