4. ERMI Test
The Environmental Relative Moldiness Index (ERMI) was originally developed by the US Environmental protection Agency (EPA) and is based on dust samples collected throughout a home or building. Thirty Six (36) different fungi make up the ERMI test and are species specific. There are two types of mold groups:Group I (Water damaged homes) and Group II (commonly found in all homes). ERMI does not help identify the mold “Ground Zero” or what the water trigger is. And many times, ERMI does not give you all the answers you are looking for.
5. ARMI Test
The ARMI is an acronym for American Relative Moldiness Index. This test is a more cost efficient version of the ERMI testing but is not as thorough. This test correlates with the ERMI for predicting the moldiness of homes. 13 different fungi make up the ARMI and are designated a group 1 (water damaged homes)and group 2 (commonly found in all homes). The fungi identified in the ARMI tests are: Stachybotrys chartarum, Chaetomium globosum, Cladosporium sphaerospermum, Aspergillus versicolor, Eurotium (A.) amstalodami, Penicillium variabile, Aspergillus flavus, Aspergillus restrictus, Penicillium crustosum, Penicillium purpurogenum, Aspergillus fumigatus, Penicillium corylophilum,
6. MSQ / PCR
Mold Specific Quantitative (MSQ) Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) air testing. Is a fast DNA based analytical method for genus and species level identification and quantification.
7. Petri Dish Test
Different molds like different food sources where agar plate cultivation via a Petri Dish is the best way to identify Genus and Species of a particular mold. But is time consuming often taking more than 2 weeks to get an answer where some molds don’t grow well on this medium (likeStachybotrys)
There are many sources available for quick, inexpensive, DIY mold tests. Some are more reliable than others where none offer interpretative services that are reliable. Stay away from these testing services as it ultimately is a waste of time and money.
Mold Test Cost
Genus level mold testing from a competent / experienced firm usually runs from $75 - $150 per sample (depending on type of test) where species level testing runs a bit more ($150 - $300 per sample). Be sure to ask your mold pro what the difference is where they should be able to explain it to you very easily.
Want the Truth?
If you have a health related issue involving mold or just want to get to the bottom of your mold issue once-and-for-all, you will benefit greatly from engaging an experienced and competent mold investigative firm that not only knows how to identify hidden sources of mold (Mold Assessment), but how to correct the problem (Mold Remediation).
Frequently Asked Questions
Not really. While sometimes you can have a good idea if a piece of pipe wrap is asbestos or if spot on that wall is mold. But all of these items are microscopic and require some degree of testing to deffinitively identify what they are.
Just give us a call and we can help with the numbers. Of course, its best to have a formal mold assessment / inspection done first delineating mold impacts. But if it appears to be a small issue, we can usually figure it out pretty quickly. There's no fee to prepare a quote if you own your home. For Home Buyers, we have a small fee that we credit back when you engage us.
While the State of New Jersey does not require any specific certifications, anyone you work with should have a NJHICL & proper general liability insurance. There are numerous mold certification firms that offer training; any contractor you work with should have mold training and participate in ongoing continuing education.
Many times moisture makes its way into the wall cavity and stimulates molds to grow. Given time they will start to “Bleed Through” the outside wall and at first look like a small dark area. If the moisture source is not obvious, further investigation by a pro is recommended.
Many folks have (or develop) sensitivity to molds and chemicals that are immediately noticeable. Other times it takes longer as we age and our immune systems start to decline. Everyone is different. But when one room in your home gives you such immediate discomfort there almost always a hidden microorganism to blame. Better bring in a mold specialist.
It depends. It’s been our experience that if you are planning on selling your home in the near future, yes! Mold is on everyone’s mind these days and knowing if you have a mold issue can only be determined by a mold test. If negative, the test can be used to assure prospective buyers that there is no mold to worry about.
There are many allergy-like symptoms (like sore throats, sneezing, itchy / watery eyes, sinus infections, headaches) that also come from mold exposure. So ask yourself, when you leave the suspect area, do your symptoms get better? If so, some air tests to identify possible mold contamination would be a good idea.
Cleaning mold often does not address what is causing the mold to grow in the first place. And that’s what we call the “Moisture Trigger”. While we often think of moisture as a “puddle”, in this case, molds don’t like puddles, they like elevated humidity which is hard to detect on your own. Better call a mold pro.
Who did the test? If you used one of those over the counter tests, they recommend that you need a mold professional to interpret the results. Any mold pro should be able to tell you about the molds detected and the water trigger, but you might need to do an additional control test to see if your molds are beyond Normal Fungal Ecology and pose a health risk.