Our step-by-step approach will leave you feeling educated and ready to tackle the project!
Every assessment starts by gathering information about your issues, concerns and goals. We also want to know about moisture history of the building, including leaks and spills, as well as other things like visible damage and strange odors. These are all clues that can help us identify the problems.
The next step is a thorough inspection, including the use of specialized instruments including particle counters, infrared cameras, moisture meters, VOC meters and humidity meter, to determine the presence of mold.
After the visual assessment, we’ll briefly discuss what was found and develop a sampling strategy to help confirm mold sources of contamination and to analyze the overall level of contamination in different areas of the building. This is also where we’ll guide you through a high-level overview of the steps needed to correct the issues and get your air quality back under control.
The last step is to collect the air, surface and dust samples that were discussed in the post-inspection consult. A chain of custody is completed and samples are sent to the labs.
“Direct Exam” refers to samples that are read under a microscope to identify and quantify the genus (family) of molds present. Spore trap air samples capture fungal spores present in the air to assess whether a fungal elevation is present in certain areas. Surface samples (tape, swab or bulk) are collected directly from a surface containing suspect visible mold to identify the genus of molds present and whether or not they are growing on the surface.
ERMI, HERTSMI-2 or “dust sampling” refers to a methodology call mold-specific quantitative polymerase chain reaction (MSQPCR), a highly specific DNA-based method for quantifying mold species. Environmental Relative Moldiness index (ERMI) was developed by the EPA as a research tool to investigate mold contamination in homes and quantifies 36 mold species for comparison with a database of reference homes. HERTSMI-2 uses MSQPCR to quantify 5 mold species and is designed to help patients understand if a given building is safe for occupancy. All ERMI samples also include HERTSMI-2 scoring.
The above are simply the standard samples taken. If you and/or your physician would like another type of testing to be performed, please let us know. We are happy to reach out to those labs and gather the equipment and information needed to conduct that sampling.
REPORT & FOLLOW-UP CONSULT
Once we receive the lab results, we’ll put together a report that contains pictures and descriptions of the issues, interpretation of lab results and recommendations for each issue. We include a phone consultation (up to 1-hour) to review the report, answer questions you have and ensure that you have a firm understanding of the situation. Our goal is to educate you!