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MOLD: A COMPLETE GUIDE to TEST CLEAN PREVENT
AIR CLEANER PURIFIER TYPES
AIR FILTERS for HVAC SYSTEMS
AIR POLLUTANTS, COMMON INDOOR
AIR QUALITY IMPROVEMENT STRATEGIES
ALLERGEN TESTS for BUILDINGS
ANIMAL ALLERGENS / PET DANDER
ANIMAL ODORS IN BUILDINGSS
ATTORNEYS and EXPERT WITNESSES
BIBLIOGAPHY ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH, MOLD, IAQ
CAR MOLD CONTAMINATION
CARPET DUST IDENTIFICATION
CARPET MOLD CONTAMINATION
CAT DANDER in BUILDINGS
COMBUSTION GASES & PARTICLE HAZARDS
CONDENSATION or SWEATING PIPES, TANKS
CPSC Indoor Air Pollution Book Online Copy
DUCT SYSTEM & DUCT DEFECTS
EMERGENCY RESPONSE, IAQ, GAS, MOLD
FLOOD DAMAGE ASSESSMENT, SAFETY & CLEANUP
FLOODS IN BUILDINGS-mold
GAS EXPOSURE EFFECTS, TOXIC
HUMIDITY CONTROL & TARGETS INDOORS
HOUSE DUST ANALYSIS
HOUSE DUST COMPONENTS
INDOOR AIR QUALITY IMPROVEMENT GUIDE
MILDEW REMOVAL & PREVENTION
MOISTURE CONTROL in BUILDINGS
MOLD GROWTH on SURFACES, TABLE OF
MYCOPHOBIA, STAINS MISTAKEN for MOLD
NOISE / SOUND DIAGNOSIS & CURE
ODORS GASES SMELLS, DIAGNOSIS & CURES
OZONE for MOLD OR ODORS
RADON HAZARD TESTS & MITIGATION
SAFETY HAZARDS GUIDE
SICK HOUSE IAQ QUESTIONNAIRE
SMELL PATCH TEST to Track Down Odors
STAIN DIAGNOSIS on BUILDING INTERIORS
VENTILATION in BUILDINGS
When should you test building insulation for mold contamination? This document explains when and why it is appropriate to test for mold contamination or actual mold growth in certain insulation in residential and light-commercial buildings. This article series discusses health hazards associated with moldy fiberglass in buildings, with focus on fiberglass insulation, fiberglass fragments, fiberglass in heating and air conditioning duct work, and invisible but toxic mold growth in fiberglass which has been wet, exposed to high humidity, or exposed to other moldy conditions.
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That is because by no means is it always appropriate or justified to test building materials for mold.
Insulation that has been properly installed, not subjected to water leaks, and not subjected to contamination from external sources such as an improperly-conducted mold remediation job should be fine. (Photo at left).
But sometimes it's a good idea. This article explains how to find or test for moldy insulation in buildings, the probable cause of mold contamination in building insulation, and how to
recognize conditions that make that problem likely in a particular case.
When Not to Test Building Insulation for Mold
Visible evidence of extensive mold contamination may already indicate that insulation needs to be replaced: Insulation that obviously needs to be replaced because it has been in contact with or exposed to heavy mold contamination such as the Memnoniella echinata - contaminated wall cavity in this New York City apartment does not need to be tested. It needs to be replaced.
Exception: for medical reasons such as to provide possibly helpful environmental information to a treating physician, we may test a building or building materials to identify contaminants.
Furthermore if insulation has been soaked from a building leak or fire extinguishment, it should be replaced regardless, and testing is probably not necessary.
Non-suspect low-risk cases of fiberglass insulation: we do not recommend routine testing of building fiberglass for mold in non-suspect cases such as where insulation is new and/or has not been exposed to water, dampness, or other mold contamination sources.
"Spot checks" by "mold testing" in buildings, if conducted without an expert diagnostic visual inspection and history gathering, are simply not reliable and thus not cost-justified.
Other building insulation materials that are not conducive to mold growth: such as
are unlikely to be mold-contaminated but might need to be replaced anyway if damaged or soaked.
Watch out: leaving wet building insulation in place during a restoration project is asking for a future mold contamination issue in the building.
Low-risk buildings where there are no building-related occupant health or air quality complaints: See When to hire a professional to investigate a building for toxic mold for more detailed advice on deciding when it is appropriate to hire a professional or to perform further mold testing in a building.
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