It is widely accepted that mold growth in occupied places should not be allowed because of health risks. However, it is always debated as to whether mold testing is necessary in situations where growth is visible. Both mold assessment and mold testing are necessary as discussed below.
Mold assessment involves a qualified professional who would conduct a thorough inspection of the building. The key objectives of a mold assessment are to determine the underlying cause of mold growth and the extent of contamination. Mold assessment does not tell the investigator the types of molds growing in the building and whether these molds have contaminated the air.
Would doctors prescribe antibiotics to patients with bacterial infection without testing to know which bacterium is causing infection? Similarly, a mold investigator requires to know whether the building is contaminated with toxigenic molds such as Stachybotrys, Aspergillus, Fusarium, or any of the close to 200 molds likely to be found in a water damaged building. The investigator may also want to know whether the air is already contaminated with spores from the visible growth and hence, they have to collect samples and send them to a reputable mold laboratory for testing.
From laboratory results and the visual assessment data, the investigator is able to give recommendations on the level of mold abatement required and the necessary protection for the workers and the building occupants. Read more about why test for mold at http://www.moldbacteria.com.