Mold Testing

Building Diagnostics Group, Inc (BDG) is an independent indoor air quality inspection company, as recommended by the IICRC S520 (Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification).

All inspections are conducted to industry standards and performed by professionals certified as either Certified Indoor Environmentalist (CIE) or Certified Industrial Hygienist (CIH).

BDG does NOT perform mold remediations (mold cleaning). This allows us to answer your questions regarding mold testing and the mold remediation process without a conflict of interest. We evaluate indoor environments and provide unbiased detailed recommendations. BEWARE of a company that offers an inspection and then offers to remediate your home/building. BEWARE of a company that offers a one price inspection service. There is no way to determine the amount or type of mold sampling needed over the phone or through the internet. In some cases, tested is not needed at all.

Most common forms of testing for indoor molds:

» Air testing / Direct examination – this can include several types of sampling media including air sampling (most common), tape lift sampling, swab sampling, and bulk sampling. This is the most common form of mold testing.

» Petri Dishes – this is a non-quantitative method that will identify molds to the genus level. Many do-it-yourself kits offer this type of analysis. Results are generally not helpful in a cause & origin investigation.

» DNA (ERMI) Testing – this is the most accurate mold testing analysis available and is endorsed by the United States Environmental Protection Agency. DNA testing provides the most comprehensive testing results available today.

Feature DNA Based Air Testing /
Direct Exam.
Petri Dishes
Accuracy of results 99.99% 11-56% < 10%
Precision of testing Single spore Per volume of air Not quantitave
Species Indentification Yes No No
Interpretation Easy Moderate Positive or Negative
Possible interferences None Weather, HVAC, Overloading Overgrowth, Placement
Likely to find hidden issues Yes No No
Human error in analysis No Yes No Analysis
Approx. cost for a 2,500 sq. ft. home  $1,500.00 – $2,250.00 $650.00 – $900.00 $150.00

 Features / Benefits of the different types of testing  

The United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) developed a standard for indoor mold analysis called ERMI (Environmental Relative Moldiness Index). The standard is based on a test using state of the art DNA testing (MSQPCR) to identify molds that are linked to water intrusion and various respiratory diseases such as Asthma, Chronic Sinusitis, and Infant Wheezing. The results obtained from this test give each home a meaningful ERMI score, which can be compared to the 1,100 homes that were studied by the EPA. Homes and businesses receiving a high ERMI score are more likely to have unwanted indoor mold growth than those that receive a low ERMI score.

Due to the establishment of a standard, this new test makes obsolete all previous tests used to identify potential mold-related issues, including traditional microscopic analysis of spore traps, tape lifts, and swabs. In addition to the ERMI test, we offer limited versions of this test based on the testing protocol developed by our professional during the site visit.

Typically, we recommend DNA analysis in most of our investigations. DNA based testing is slightly more expensive, but the analysis (results) usually provides much more detail as to cause of the mold condition.

It is important to understand that when considering a company to inspect/test your home or business, a “one stop shop/one price” is usually a red flag as to the intentions of the service company. BDG will first inspect your property and then offer a sampling plan based on conditions observed during our inspection. Unfortunately, mold testing is often over performed, usually to inflate the service fee. We believe that testing provides us with data and that data should only be collected to validate a claim or provide information to develop a remediation protocol.

We offer three levels of Mold Inspection service: 

» Customer Defined Inspection (CDI) – this includes a full inspection of the area(s) defined by the homeowner or client.

» Full Inspection with Protocol (FIP) – A FIP is a full investigation of the property to develop a sampling plan, implement our sampling strategy, and provide a full remediation protocol to rectify the mold condition.

» Post Remediation Verification (PRV) – A PRV is the final test to verify the home/building‘s environment has been returned to a normal fungal ecology level as described in the IICRC S520 (Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification) standards set for “Professional Mold Remediation.” This is the final “clean bill of health” for the property after an elevated mold condition has been determined.

We also offer bacterial, coliform, legionella, and asbestos sampling. 

We are frequently hired and/or referred by commercial property managers, municipalities, homeowners, insurance companies, attorneys, and mold remediation professionals. All samples are sent overnight to a reputable AIHA/EPA accredited laboratory. Lab results are accurate and reported in an easy to understand format. All laboratory reports are included in our written reports.

BDG is fully insured; we carry general liability, worker compensation, and professional liability insurance (E&O). Don’t trust your health or your most valuable investment to just anyone. We are dedicated to handle any size project with attention to every detail. Call us today for more information regarding all of our indoor air quality services.