When should you hire a mold expert? Don't bother. Recently we hired a mold expert to do indoor air samples as we were concerned about a mold problem in our home. The tests came back and according to our "expert" we didn't have anything in our home that needed treatment. Yes the air samples had mold in them. But according to the experts the mold we had in our sample wasn't statistically significant enough to point to an indoor source. He believed that what was in the sample had been tracked in by people and dogs. My symptoms told me otherwise. The expert looked at me like I was crazy when I told him I was sure we had mold.
At a loss for what to do next and a word for the experts that we didn't have a treatable mold problem, we installed an infinity air purifier to our HVAC system. The air purifier kills mold, dander, bacteria,viruses etc. Within 5 days I was feeling much better and actually in certain parts of the house had no symptoms. However, certain rooms would flare up my symptoms. So we bought an $8.00 mold kit from Lowe's. Big surprise--the test was positive for mold! The picture above is our mold petri dish after 5 days.
So the hunt for a mold source was on. We removed carpet in our home office. We had already removed my son's carpet before the air samples were done, but when we went back in to remove the carpet in his closet we discovered mold underneath the carpet and up his wall and in his ceiling. So much for the expert advice! My recommedations for anyone out there with mold suspicions: "find it yourself!" In our case the expert did not lend a bit of help to the situation, in fact he temporarily through us off the trail of what we needed to find. I was getting sicker by the day. I am so thankful for my husband who hung in there with me on the hunt.
Moral of the story: be your own mold detective. If you find yourself facing a mold situation, check out the American Environmental Health Foundation and do your own research.