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What Is a Mold Clearance Test?

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woman looking at mold in her house

What is a mold Clearance test should be the first thing discussed on a mold project. How do you know if your mold remediation project was done correctly? Well, if you are asking about this after the work has been completed, there’s a good chance it wasn’t done correctly.

Industry accepted mold remediation protocol has the Clearance Testing part of the project discussed and planned for before the projects begin. That way everyone is on the same page where clearance levels are all known (and agreed upon) in advance, what happens if you fail clearance and who pays what is all known before starting the project.

Mold Clearance Test

Post-remediation verification (Clearance Testing) is a mold inspection performed after a mold remediation project has been completed, but before containment and air-scrubbing have been taken down. It usually follows industry-accepted standards which typically include: visual inspection of the remediated area, assessment of moisture management strategy employed, odor detection, and a repeat of the original mold tests with a report of findings.

Mold Investigation

Actual contractor statement after a mold remediation “That’s just dirt”. A clearance inspection would help your verify it.


The Mold Clearance Test is the 3rd part of a mold project that is used to verify that the post-remediation environment has been returned to Condition 1 (Normal Fungal Ecology).

Some Things to Watch out For

We’ve done a lot of clearance work for other firms and homeowners who call us after-the-fact or when a property sale is at stake. Here are some examples of what to watch out for:

  • Remediation work was done a year ago & Clearance Testing is now being requested.
    GWE: Mold testing to be done before containment is taken down.
  • Demolition, Remediation & Restoration done then Clearance Testing (air test only) shows elevated levels. Air scrubbers engaged again & now air test shows good labs.
    GWE: This is very common. But only accounts for testing of purified air. Never corrected what caused elevated post-restoration spore counts.
  • Run air scrubbers for a few days and take some tests.
    GWE: Not a “Clearance Test” as is just air sampling of purified air.
  • Use a biocidal fog or spray, run air scrubbers then perform an air test
    GWE: Not an industry-accepted mold remediation where testing is of purified air.
  • Remediate only part of an area (like basement floor joists or one area of a room)
    GWE: Areas not remediated should be excluded from testing. But many times can’t due to site constraints.
  • Take one tape, bulk or swab test, and declare good clearance.
    GWE: One sample is not enough samples to declare good clearance.

What’s Best?

mold clearance test being done by an expert

Using a Third-Party Testing Firm for Mold Clearance Test is ideal. But many times it’s just not practical (or required). We can help establish a clearance protocol for just about any situation, but ideally, like to see:

  • Copy of Mold Assessment / Inspection & Lab Reports
  • Review written remediation protocol with Contractor
  • Clearly define clearance goals and what constitutes failure
  • Agree upon who pays for re-remediation /additional testing should the work need to be redone.
  • Establish a schedule/time frame and coordinate the main point of contact.

Still Not Sure You Need a Clearance Test

Clearance testing should always be performed after a mold remediation. Otherwise, you have no way of knowing if the remediation was successful. Lets face it, we want to trust our contractors. But verifying what they tell you makes good business sense. A quick call to GreenWorks will help you figure this out very quickly. The best part is there’s usually no fee to get this question answered. It’s more common than you think.

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Avatar for Victor Coppola

Victor Coppola

Victor Coppola is a Building Biologist with decades of diverse environmental experience spanning natural resource management and contaminated sites to Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) and building hygiene matters. He focuses on the three most prevalent issues degrading today's built environment: Moisture Odor & Mold (M.O.M.). Mr. Coppola and his Team are sought out by individuals and professionals concerned about IAQ to those actually suffering from Biotoxin Illness. His hybrid blend of environmental interests and services enable him to give a unique perspective into today's changing environment. Think your home is killing you, better call Victor and his Team at GreenWorks.
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