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Old 02-24-2014, 05:43 PM   #1
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Basement - Mold?


Not sure where to post this...

is this a simple (or free) home test for mold?

i went into my basement and probably kicked up some dust, measuring the distance between walls (going to frame the basement).

I came out of the basement with itchy eyes....

i dont smell anything musky, or see mold.

PTMD

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Old 02-24-2014, 06:36 PM   #2
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Basement - Mold?


Renovation places (Home depot..) usually sell a test kit, that let sit in the air to catch the mold, you mail them the sample back and they give you results after proper testing.


Is it quite damp or humid in your basement?

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Old 02-25-2014, 11:48 AM   #3
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Basement - Mold?


damp and humid - not really...

im going to measure tonight
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Old 02-25-2014, 04:01 PM   #4
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The best mold test kit you can get is attached to your face. If you don't smell it and you don't see it, you probably don't have it. The helpy selfy mold test kits are a total waste of time and money. I garentee they will find mold. They will even tell you what kind is growing when you send them in. And when you have that information, what are you going to do with it? That last breath of air you took included several mold spores. Any of those will produce a colony on a test kit. It doesn't mean you have a mold problem. It only proves that spores are present and they are..... even in the sahara where they never produce mold. Save your money.
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Old 02-25-2014, 04:57 PM   #5
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Basement - Mold?


I'd check for radon...
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Old 02-26-2014, 07:38 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Maintenance 6 View Post
The best mold test kit you can get is attached to your face. If you don't smell it and you don't see it, you probably don't have it. The helpy selfy mold test kits are a total waste of time and money. I garentee they will find mold. They will even tell you what kind is growing when you send them in. And when you have that information, what are you going to do with it? That last breath of air you took included several mold spores. Any of those will produce a colony on a test kit. It doesn't mean you have a mold problem. It only proves that spores are present and they are..... even in the sahara where they never produce mold. Save your money.
thanx - this is what i have been told a number of times and we did do a mold test (from a professional) a couple of months after we moved in and found a high concentration of penicillium aspergillus. BUT, we did not have a functioning AC unit, so humidity was through the rough (north of 60). Humidity came down after the install, and more importantly the smell went away (in the basement). We are planning on installing a dehumidifer in the spring.

With the winter, humidity in the house is closer to 35 on the main levels (first and second floor). I need to test the basement still.

my concern though, is that even though in the basement I dont smell it or see it, i still got itchness around the eyes.

Is that mold'?, randon? excessive dust? i'm not sure.

We even have a 5in air filter and i inspected that, no mold there. It has a merv of 11.

trying to think of cost-effective ways to better diagnosis the situation.
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Old 02-26-2014, 07:41 AM   #7
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Basement - Mold?


Do you have uncovered fiberglass insulation anywhere down there?
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Old 02-26-2014, 02:49 PM   #8
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Do you have uncovered fiberglass insulation anywhere down there?
we have a plastic wrapped fiberglass blanket against the poured concrete basement walls.
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Old 02-27-2014, 04:01 PM   #9
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Penicillium and aspergillus are two common species of mold that would typically thrive on damp building materials. When you had testing done, the tester should have taken several samples including one outside as a backround reference. If, after doing that he concluded that spore counts were high in your basement and you had a musty odor, then you had a mold problem somewhere. Reducing the humidity level put the mold into a dormant state, but, if you did not locate it and clean it up, then you've still got colonies that are emitting spores to some degree, as well as depositing mold fragments into the air stream. You need to locate the dormant colonies and clean them up. Note that I said "Dormant" not dead. Add some moisture and the dormant colonies will come back with a vengeance.
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Old 02-28-2014, 07:36 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Maintenance 6 View Post
Penicillium and aspergillus are two common species of mold that would typically thrive on damp building materials. When you had testing done, the tester should have taken several samples including one outside as a backround reference. If, after doing that he concluded that spore counts were high in your basement and you had a musty odor, then you had a mold problem somewhere. Reducing the humidity level put the mold into a dormant state, but, if you did not locate it and clean it up, then you've still got colonies that are emitting spores to some degree, as well as depositing mold fragments into the air stream. You need to locate the dormant colonies and clean them up. Note that I said "Dormant" not dead. Add some moisture and the dormant colonies will come back with a vengeance.
Thanx - the tester did exactly that, one sample outside and another in the basement. Mind you, we had no AC or dehumidifier at the time and it was record hot! His suggestion was to install a dehumidifier. This spring we planned on installing this.

http://www.homedepot.ca/product/elim...tractor/811129

How do i locate the dormant colonies? We dont see it or smell it?

I am thinking of removing the fiberglass blanket and see whats behind there.
Also, maybe we just need to wash the walls with soap. not sure.

the humidity in the basement right now measures from 34 to 37
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Old 02-28-2014, 11:11 AM   #11
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Without some visual indication, dormant colonies are going to be tough to pinpoint. Ideally, you would take air samples at several locations throughout the basement and see which area is showing elevated counts in comparison to others. A reference sample someplace outside of the suspect area is good practice. When you have an area approximated, you may have to do some destructive testing to see if it's hiding on the back of drywall or someplace out of sight. An area that has an infestation should show significantly higher counts than other areas and all should be higher than your reference taken outside of the space. This is not the kind of testing that you can do with a helpy selfy mold test kit. You also don't want any air handling equipment running for several hours before doing the testing. You don't want to be moving around in the space either.
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Old 02-28-2014, 01:49 PM   #12
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So, noob question - how do I test?
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Old 02-28-2014, 06:14 PM   #13
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Photo #3, 7, aka; the diaper; http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j...Gq3ToLZQruI9mg

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Old 02-28-2014, 07:00 PM   #14
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Well if you can't find a problem by looking, you'll need to get a pro in to help you pinpoint the area by doing some air sampling.

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