To Sample For Mold or Not?

The million dollar question for Real Estate Professionals from their clients:

To sample/test for mold or
not to sample/test for mold?

Here are some excerpts from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) website regarding testing for mold along with our (RespirCare Analytical) explanation of these statements:

“In most cases, if visible mold is present, sampling is unnecessary.”
RespirCare Analytical Associates are taught this exact EPA information in class. We routinely receive calls from homeowners who have mold growth in their shower and/or toilet inquiring if it should be tested. Our response is, “No. Clean it up and monitor the situation.” If the mold returns, then further inspection may be necessary. We recommend our associates provide their clients with a link to the USEPA website and/or Health Canada for further information.

“In most cases, if visible mold is present, sampling is unnecessary.”
If a home buyer observes suspect mold in a home they may be thinking of purchasing, we recommend that sampling IS conducted. Most of the population is unaware that many times what they perceive as “visible mold” is nothing more than amorphous debris, or a dozen other possible stains. We recommend to our inspector and real estate professional audience that they DO NOT declare a substance as mold without the laboratory data to support their claim. The only way to identify a specific substance is with testing and laboratory data.

The U.S. EPA recently added to their website the following statements: Sampling may help locate the source of mold contamination, identify some of the mold species present, and differentiate between mold and soot or dirt. Sampling may be useful in determining if an area has been adequately cleaned. After remediation, the types and concentrations of mold in indoor air samples should be similar to those in the local outdoor air. Sampling for mold should be conducted by professionals who have specific experience in designing mold sampling protocols, sampling methods, and interpreting the results. Samples should be analyzed according to the analytical methods recommended by the American Industrial Hygiene Association, or AIHA, the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists, or ACGIH, or other professional guidelines.

The portion of the U.S. EPA sentence that states ‘Sampling for mold should conducted by professionals who have specific experience in interpreting the results’ is extremely important since many inspectors continue to provide ONLY the raw laboratory data to their clients; leaving the client with a lot of scientific data and no clear explanation of what it actually means or what to do next.

A much wiser alternative would be to provide an explanation of the data in an interpretive report that is clear and concise.

RespirCare Analytical offers our associates data review endorsements and ongoing mentoring by ACAC* board certified personnel. RespirCare Associates believe it’s beneficial to be able to intelligently and accurately communicate laboratory results to their clients, especially when those clients have detailed questions concerning microbial data.

RespirCare Analytical would like to help end the industry damaging practice of conducting air sampling without performing any moisture assessment and to educate those in the industry why providing raw laboratory data to their clients without providing any interpretation of the data can be a liability for their business.

Mold Inspections don’t kill real estate deals,
poorly trained inspectors do.

Don’t settle for a poorly trained inspector,
chose a RespirCare Associate.

For more information on mold and moisture in your home,
Click the U.S. EPA website link provided below:


* American Council for Accredited Certification –