Archive for July 2020

Iris Environmental Laboratories’ Newest Mold & Asbestos Inspection Franchisees Officially Launch Their Operation In NJ And NYC

From black mold to Stachybotrys to Aspergillus, mold is everywhere! Hidden mold can cause severe respiratory health problems, including asthma, immune system disorders, or bleeding lungs. It is important to test your commercial properties so that employees have a healthy environment to work in. Mold is a serious health hazard that may cause business owners to face lawsuits if such problems are neglected.

Asbestos is another harmful material that requires everyone’s attention. This toxic substance exists in millions of buildings across the United States. Asbestos testing should also be on a commercial property owner’s safety and health checklist. These fibers are extremely damaging to one’s health and has been linked to several potentially fatal health conditions, including lung cancer, mesothelioma, and asbestosis.

At Iris Environmental Laboratories, we strive to bring our mold and asbestos testing services closer to our clients. That’s why we are expanding our operations and looking for like-minded business owners who share our vision. We are pleased to announce that our newest franchisees have completed their training and are ready to operate in New Jersey and New York City.

Iris Environmental Laboratories Announces Two New Operationally Ready Franchisees

Our new franchisees are Ray Zimmerman and Raymond Zimmerman. Both dad and son have purchased two units in northeastern New Jersey and New York City. The office details are:

Iris Labs – New York

  • Phone: (800) 201-0067
  • Address: 347 5th Avenue, Suite 1402-255, New York, NY 10016

Iris Labs Of Northeastern NJ

  • Phone: (800) 201-2092
  • Address: 18 Amicalola Road Highland Lakes, New Jersey 07422

Both units provide professional mold and asbestos inspection services for businesses, homes, and government agencies. Their field consultants, laboratory analysts, and customer service representatives have the same goal of serving customers with the highest regard for accuracy and efficiency. All Iris Environmental Laboratories agencies operate in accordance with the highest industry standards. Our areas of expertise include:

  • Asbestos and Mold Inspections
  • Air Quality Testing
  • Site Surveys
  • Consultations
  • Possible Response Action
  • Final Clearance Testing

Iris Environmental Laboratories Franchise Opportunity

Do you want to be part of a nationally recognized mold and asbestos lab/inspection organization? Do you want access to state-of-the-art equipment to inspect, collect, and analyze asbestos and mold substances? Do you want to gain both the knowledge and practical skills to deliver outstanding environmental laboratory testing and consulting services to the public? If all of your answers are, “Yes!” and you believe in running a business that develop solutions to combat this environmental crisis, becoming a franchisee is an excellent choice.

Iris Environmental Laboratories welcomes motivated individuals who want to own a franchise in this industry. We are a rapidly expanding organization with huge opportunities and can offer you a rewarding career in mold and asbestos inspection.

Contact Us – Begin Your Exciting Career in Mold and Asbestos Testing Services Now!

No experience in the provision of asbestos and mold inspection services? Don’t worry; Iris Environmental Laboratories trains all of our franchisees in the areas of accounting, marketing, operations, product/service information, and much more. At the end of the initial training phase, you will develop the right foundation to operate a business.

Contact us today and let us know why you would make a great fit for Iris Environmental Laboratories’ growing team! Feel free to call us at 1800-908-6679 or send an email to support@irislaboratories.com.

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4 Important Things You Need To Know Before Choosing A Mold Inspector

There are so many mold inspection companies out there in the market, and we can get overwhelmed with all the choices that lay before us. Which company should we choose? Is that company reliable? Will they be able to help me? We know that choosing a mold consulting company can be a difficult and challenging process and therefore, we have put together four important things that you need to know before choosing a mold inspector for your home or office.

Are Mold Remediation Or Cleaning Services Included?

There may lie a conflict of interest for the firm to conduct both the inspection as well as the remediation of mold. You may not be able to trust the mold inspector completely as well since there is a possibility that they may use the inspection to their advantage and profit from the discovery of mold. It will be best for you to engage a third-party company for your initial investigation and testing so as to get a neutral and unbiased opinion.

How Reputable is the Firm?

There are many companies online that you can choose from. To prevent yourself from wasting unnecessary time and effort calling every firm, you can do some homework beforehand. Look up each company online and check out the customer testimonials or reviews about the mold inspector. This will be a good way to gauge the reputation of the firm, if it is worth continuing your search. Quality companies should have a list of satisfied customers, and probably personal statements from past clients who endorsed their services. The more highly rated the reviews and personal statements are, the higher the chances are that the mold inspector is someone good and reliable.

Is the Firm in Good Standing with the BBB (Better Business Bureau)?

Another great way to determine the reputation of the firm is to see if the firm is in good standing with the BBB (Better Business Bureau). The BBB is a great platform for customers to assess the quality, ethicality and honesty of the mold companies. If a company has zero complaints and favorable ratings, you are probably in good hands!

Does the Firm Has a Professional Liability Insurance?

Also known as the Errors and Omissions insurance (E&O insurance). The E&O insurance is a form of liability insurance. Most of the reputable and quality companies carry general liability (GL) insurance.  This is because E&O insurance is usually expensive and cost prohibitive for most mold inspection firms.   Therefore, majority of the mold inspectors do not carry this form of insurance. By engaging companies with such insurance can provide you with a higher level of protection.

At IRIS Environmental Laboratories, we make it our mission to always deliver quality environmental laboratory testing and consulting services. Our team of highly experienced and certified field experts are here to help you. Our expertise lies in asbestos and mold, and our laboratory is nationally accredited by NVLAP, and NY-ELAP/NJ-DEP. Our numerous customers testimonials are proof why we are the best in the industry. So, wait no further! Call us today at 1800-908-6679 or you can email us at support@irislaboratories.com.

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Bathroom Mold: How Do You Remove It?

Is bathroom mold becoming a nuisance in your home? You are not alone. Mold thrives in moist places, so it is no wonder that places in the home with increased usage of water, such as the bathroom, often become hosts to this unwanted guest. Areas with increased usage, such as the sink, shower and bathtub, are common areas where mold grows since these areas tend to be moist. Apart from being unsightly and giving off an unpleasant odor, prolonged contact with mold may also pose risks to one’s health. Here are some ways you can remove these pesky visitors from your bathroom and keep them at bay.

Clean Your Bathroom Regularly

Keeping your bathroom clean is a must for keeping mold at bay. Try to clean your bathroom at least once a week to discourage the growth of mold. This includes the bathroom floor, as well as surfaces that commonly tend to be wet such as the shower, sink, toilet and bathtub. Wiping away excess water from surfaces after usage will also go a long way in helping to reduce the moisture levels in the bathroom and prevent mold from growing.

Check Your Drain

The bathroom drain is a favorite breeding ground for mold. Mold growing in bathroom drains is usually easily detectable from its distinctive odor. One way of getting rid of this mold involves a household item you probably already have in your pantry: vinegar. Simply pour vinegar into the bathroom drains and leave it for 20 minutes, flushing the drain with water thereafter. Bleach is also an effective cleaning agent against mold.

Sometimes, the problem of mold growth can be compounded if your bathroom drain is blocked. This is because a blocked drain means that water is not being drained properly, causing more moisture buildup and thus making it an ideal breeding ground for mold. You can solve this problem by finding products specifically formulated to dissolve substances clogging the drain. Cleaning mold from the drain may be more difficult than cleaning it from surfaces, since the drain can be hard to reach. If you are finding it difficult to clean mold from your drain, you can consider calling for professional help to do so.

Clean Bathroom Items

Most people tend to keep a lot of things in their bathroom, but these items can become potential breeding grounds for mold if not cleaned regularly. Shampoo bottles, towels, soap cases and other items can have moisture on their surfaces, which can encourage the growth of mold on them. Hence, it is important to ensure that these items are cleaned regularly and kept as free of moisture as possible.

Proper Ventilation

Bathrooms tend to be more humid compared to other areas in the house. This is because water evaporates to become moisture in the air, and since bathrooms tend to have higher water usage than the rest of the house, they tend to also have more moisture in the air. This increased humidity level in the bathroom makes it a conducive area for mold to grow. If the bathroom is not ventilated properly, then the excess moisture gets trapped on surrounding surfaces such as the walls, encouraging mold to grow. Installing a good ventilation system in the bathroom can reduce the level of moisture buildup in the air, slowing down mold growth.

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Common Diseases Associated With Asbestos Exposure

Asbestos is a group of six different minerals that naturally occur in the environment. Due to their heat-resistant nature, asbestos has been widely used for industrial purposes. More specifically, asbestos was often used in building materials and for insulation purposes. As it ages, asbestos can become loose and crumbly. Hence, it can easily get dispersed into the air and inhaled by humans. The risk of this increases around old pipe fittings, ceilings and walls. While asbestos exposure normally occurs via inhalation, it can also be swallowed.

When this happens, it can be extremely harmful for the body, and especially for the lungs. This is because asbestos fibers are microscopic enough to bypass the lung’s defense mechanisms, and can enter and stay in lung tissue forever. This increases the risk for lung cancer, and sometimes even cancers of the throat, esophagus and gastrointestinal system. Apart from cancer, asbestos can also scar lung tissue and impede the lung’s ability to get oxygen into the bloodstream. This can then lead to further complications. Let’s look at some of the common diseases associated with asbestos exposure.

Mesothelioma

Mesothelioma is a form of cancer that affects the lining of the lungs and abdomen. So far, asbestos is the only known cause of this cancer.  When asbestos fibers are inhaled, they penetrate the lung walls and cause cancer in the lining of the lung, known as pleura. The asbestos fibers can also cause cancer in the abdomen lining if swallowed.  Mesothelioma is an extremely aggressive form of cancer that has no cure, and usually causes death within 6 to 18 months after diagnosis.

Asbestosis

Another disease that can be caused by asbestos exposure is Asbestosis, which is the scarring and thickening of lung tissue due to exposure to asbestos dust. This is also known as Fibrosis. The scars caused by the asbestos dust will continue to grow and hinder the transfer of oxygen to the lung, resulting in breathing difficulties. This disease typically manifests 10 to 20 years following exposure to asbestos, and is exacerbated by smoking. Asbestosis can have a dire impact on one’s health, causing problems like reduction in lung volume, shortness of breath, lung infections and massive stress on the heart muscle. It eventually causes heart failure resulting in death. Asbestosis is a progressive disease, which means it cannot be reversed.

Lung Cancer

Lung cancer is a very common disease affecting people who have had high levels of exposure to asbestos. In fact, close to 50% of people dying from asbestosis have been found to have lung cancer at post mortem. Lung cancer tends to develop in people who have had prolonged asbestos exposure because the asbestos fibers are capable of entering the lungs and altering the cells. While lung cancer can be removed surgically, this has to be done early to avoid spreading via blood and lymph, which eventually results in early death. Since smoking in itself is a major risk factor for lung disease, it greatly increases the risk of lung cancer in people with asbestos exposure. Lung cancer from asbestos exposure may take anywhere from 20 to 25 years to develop, and almost always results in death.

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Do You Need An Environmental Investigation?

If you are planning to refurbish your home or sell it away, this article is for you. Many people are unaware of the importance of carrying out an environmental investigation especially when it comes to testing for asbestos and mold. Before you proceed with any of these plans, it is essential that you keep yourself and your loved ones safe no matter what. Hiring professionals to carry out these tests might not be the first thing that comes to your mind, but it is nevertheless highly important. This is especially so if your property was built before the year 2000 because there is a higher chance that you might find asbestos in your home.

Asbestos Testing

A wise and effective investor will know that due diligence before the purchase of a property is crucial for long term success in the real estate market. It will only serve to benefit the seller and buyer for buildings to be tested for asbestos before any transaction is made. Asbestos is a group of 6 different minerals that have been deemed harmful but still remains legal in the United States. Asbestos is made up of needle-like fibers that can be found in many materials in the home. Asbestos can be found in insulating materials such as wiring, roof shingles and siding. However, it has been studied to be harmful to our health whenever the fibers are disturbed and propelled into the air. The fibers can become airborne and get lodged in our lungs, making it very difficult to remove. Asbestos poisoning can manifest in many symptoms, including unexplained coughing and chest pain. In more serious cases, it can also cause mesothelioma and even lung cancer.

Mold Testing

Although not many people know this, toxic mold is more common than you would think. Not all mold that is found in your home is dangerous, but toxic black mold might not be that hard to find. Mold growth can occur in any home, as long as there are preferable conditions that are humid and warm enough for the mold to grow. Mold exposure is caused by the breathing in of the mold spores in the air. Being exposed to mold can mean that there is a higher chance of getting allergies that present themselves in cold symptoms or rashes on the skin. However, it can also cause serious health complications like neurological problems and chronic headaches. If you are planning to rent out your home or renovate it, mold testing can help you to ascertain whether there is a presence of mold. If there is, you can choose to remediate the situation and reduce the risks of structural damage that is caused by water and mold. As such, testing for mold before you sell your home can help protect you from any liabilities in the future.

The Bottom Line

In conclusion, you should definitely hire professionals to test for mold and asbestos in your home because these things can be extremely harmful to our bodies and cause serious health problems in the future. It is only wise to do such testing because it is a win-win situation for you. If there is no mold, you will be able to enjoy peace of mind. However, if there is indeed toxic mold or asbestos found in your property, you can then choose your next best course of action.

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How Asbestos Testing Can Potentially Save Lives

It is a scientific fact that the higher amount of asbestos one is exposed to, the higher the risk of that person getting inflicted with an asbestos-related disease. The way people get exposed to asbestos is through means of physically inhaling the asbestos fibers. This is possible because these fibers are microscopic, meaning that it isn’t visible to the eye. They are can also become airborne after the material has been disturbed. This article will tell you why asbestos testing is so important.

What Exactly is Asbestos?

Asbestos is actually a group of 6 naturally-occurring needle-like minerals that are harmful to the health of those who have been exposed to it. The exposure to asbestos has been seen to cause serious health problems such as mesothelioma and asbestosis. In the worst cases, the material has been known to cause cancer and even death in those affected.

It is commonly used as a material for indulation and fireproofing but what many people do not know is that it is not currently being banned in the United States. If your home was renovated or built before the 80’s, chances are that your property would have materials which contain asbestos. It can even be found in shingles and tiles. If you suspect that there are parts of your home which contain asbestos, it is important to note that you should never damage or disturb that part at all. Trying to remove these materials without professional help might cause you to inhale dangerous asbestos fibers.

Asbestos Testing

As mentioned above, if you think that there are asbestos-containing materials inside your house, it is only wise that you seek professional help. You should definitely consider working with professionals who can help you carry out asbestos testing. Remember that this is important because asbestos fibers cannot be seen by the naked eye. Professionals in the field will be able to collect samples and get them tested in the laboratory without disturbing any of the material. If you attempt to check them yourself, you risk getting the needle-like fibers getting stuck in your lungs. Bear in mind that once these fibers have been lodged deep in your lungs, it is extremely difficult to get rid of them. The accumulation of the fibers can cause severe inflammation that can impair breathing ability and lead to other more serious health issues.

Some Symptoms of Asbestos Exposure

Some of the symptoms that you might experience should you become exposed to asbestos include but are not limited to:

  • Difficulty in breathing, hoarseness of the throat and uncontrollable wheezing
  • Getting a cough that doesn’t seem to go away no matter what you do
  • Noticing blood after you cough
  • Acute pain in the chest
  • The swelling of the neck or the face
  • An unexplained weight loss
  • An unexplained fatigue that doesn’t seem to get better

Scientific Asbestos Testing

Apart from being invisible to the eye, the asbestos fibers are also very hard to detect because they don’t smell or taste like anything. If you work with a reliable company that can provide you a trustworthy asbestos testing service, you will be able to have a peace of mind if it turns out there is no asbestos in your home. Moreover, if there is, you will be able to decide the next best course of action which is to remove it from your home.

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How To Keep Children Safe From Asbestos In School

Asbestos refers to a group of minerals that are naturally occurring and carcinogenic. They pose extremely harmful effects on the human body, and it is extremely important to protect yourself and others from being exposed to asbestos. Sadly, this substance is not banned in the United States, and continue to thrive in our living environment, our neighbourhood, daily commute, schools and workplaces. As children spend a lot of time in their schools, asbestos in schools should not be taken lightly.

A school that is built to provide a safe space for children to learn and grow with their peers can become a life-threatening cancer breeding ground for its students. Hence it is widely encouraged to conduct asbestos inspection and mediation in schools and other spaces we spend a lot of time in.

Understand the Danger

The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) declared that about 170,000 primary and secondary schools are contaminated with asbestos containing substances and more than one-third of American students are studying in schools containing asbestos. As school buildings age, exposure to asbestos increases. As it is not banned in the United States, toys and crayons containing asbestos for young children to play are everywhere. Keep a mindful eye on every stationery, toy, and every other product your children come into close contact with, including those used in school.

Know The Rules and Your Rights

According to the federal law and the Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act (AHERA), non-profit and public schools are required to protect all students and employees from the exposure of asbestos. However, as a result of lack of awareness and ineffective enforcement, students, teachers, and staff still fall victim to the exposure of asbestos, putting their health at risk. A research conducted by Edward Markey to find out how each state has been controlling the exposure to asbestos in schools was deeply disappointing and worrying – a vast majority of states are not doing what they are supposed to do to protect the people.

As a parent, guardian or relative, you have the right to ensure your child’s learning environment is safe. Snoop around and ask the school what they have been doing to tackle the presence of asbestos, and do not stop or give up till you get concrete information. As this threatens the life of your child and so many others, it is important to get a clear answer on the current asbestos situation of the school.

Spread The Word and Take Action

After awareness comes action. “The ABCs Of Asbestos In Schools” was issued by the EPA to help parents and teachers understand and control asbestos effectively. If your child’s school has a parent support group, consider raising this particular issue with them. There is nothing stronger than like-minded parents working to protect their children together.

As the common saying goes, “every cloud has a silver lining”, asbestos-caused illnesses are completely preventable. With the help of a professional service company, your children will be able to study in an asbestos-free environment. Contact Iris Environmental Laboratories for a consultation with our asbestos experts for assistance.

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How To Spot Signs Of Mold Growth Easily And Quickly

Mold is a serious problem that can end up costing you thousands of dollars in repair and medical bills. Mold is a fungus that thrives in moist spaces. It replicates rapidly and does so by producing spores that are then carried in the air. When inhaled by people or pets, they can trigger serious allergic reactions and even cause respiratory complications. Mold also causes discoloration of walls and any other surfaces that they grow on. This is apart from the foul odor that results from mold infestation.

Mold infestations are typically found in places where there is moisture and where there is poor ventilation. Buildings that have suffered flooding, leaks, or are poorly ventilated are prone to mold problems. Here are some ways in which you can easily spot signs of mold growth.

Ventilation Problem

Buildings that are properly ventilated tend not to have moisture problems. A high buildup of moisture in your office or home is typically an indicator that you have a mold problem (or you will have one very soon). You can tell that your building has a higher-than-normal moisture buildup when you notice that your windows are collecting condensation or fogging up. When you have a moisture-buildup, you might also notice that some rooms are constantly damp. Such places can include laundry rooms, basements or attics.

Musky Odors

If you have a mold problem in your home or office, another tell-tale sign is a musky odor that doesn’t go away. The closer you are to the area with the mold growth, the stronger the smell will be. Keep in mind that sometimes mold grows in the AC system due to water leaks. When this happens, the AC system may distribute the musky odor around the house making it harder to trace the source. This is why it is critical to engage mold inspection experts as their experience and training enable them to quickly trace the source of the smell.

Poor Storage

When you have old fabrics, wood, and other items stored in the attic or basement, you inadvertently give mold a source of nourishment. Mold thrives on such substances and if you have such items stored somewhere, it is a good place to start your search for mold infestation. If you are wondering how best to store such items without attracting mold, invest in airtight plastic containers. Mold cannot grow on plastic and if the items are stored in airtight plastic containers, mold cannot reach these items.

Allergic Reactions

Mold spores, when inhaled, cause all manner of allergic reactions. One of the ways that you can tell if you have a mold problem is if you or an occupant of a building are having allergic reactions. These include runny noses, sneezing, and skin problems. These kinds of reactions typically tend to disappear when the affected person is not in the building or when the AC is turned off.

Looking for top-notch mold inspection and testing services for your home or office? Get in touch with Iris Environmental Laboratories! We provide mold inspection services to help our clients keep their homes safe. Call now at 1800-908-6679 to find out more about our mold inspection services or fill up our online form to be contacted by our consultants.

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How To Tackle VOCs In your Living Space

If you are reading this article, chances are you know that VOCs can be extremely harmful to our health. They can cause health problems such as eye irritation and respiratory issues. In some people, they might experience headaches, short term memory loss and even visual disorders immediately after they have been exposed to VOCs. However, VOCs might be even more harmful to people with pre-existing conditions such as asthma and sensitivity to certain chemical. In fact, studies have shown that VOCs are linked to an increased risk of developing cancers such as leukemia and lymphoma.

What Exactly are VOCs?

VOCs, or Volatile Organic Compounds, refer to the chemicals that are emitted as gases from some solid materials and liquids. Some of these VOCs might be naturally occurring but many of them exist because of human activity instead. VOCs can be very dangerous because it is very often that people get these compounds confused for safe ones. Take benzene for example. Although it is known that this chemical is extremely harmful to our bodies, it emits a sweet smell. Furthermore, this sweet smell can only be detectable when VOCs are found in certain amounts. Some examples of VOCs that might be common in our everyday lives include compounds such as ethylene glycol, formaldehyde, tetrachloroethylene and xylene. These might be found in our everyday products that are present in our home.

How Can You Avoid Exposure to VOCs?

For the case of VOCs, prevention is truly better than cure. It is widely known that it is better to remove the sources of the compounds rather than to deal with the effects of it after exposure. For example, it is much more effective to throw out a carpet that emits formaldehyde rather than to use an air filter to filter out these dangerous chemicals.

Bear in mind that you should also refrain from purchasing products that might contain VOCs. It is much better to buy furniture and home products that are made from organic wood or metals instead of boards that are pressed. Additionally, you can remove the current products in your home that might emit VOCs. This includes open cans of paint, sealants and varnish. Ensure that you never leave them open to protect your loved ones and yourself. If you are unsure what kind of products or materials might contain VOCs, you should hire a professional to help you do an inspection.

Buying Green Plants for Your Home

Utilizing plants to combat the ill-effects of VOCs is also incredibly useful. They can help to filter out dangerous chemicals and also facilitate the production of oxygen in your home, which is helpful to our health. It has been studied that plants such as the spider plant and the philodendron are extremely helpful in filtering out the dangerous formaldehyde molecules in the air. Needless to say, buying a couple of plants might not completely eradicate your problem. If you want to remove the sources of VOS, you will always benefit from professional remediation.

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Is It Time To Test For Black Mold?

Unbeknownst to many people, mold growth is more common than you think. Mold spores can be found in almost every household because of how easily it can be spread. Although most types of mold are typically harmless to our bodies, black mold can be very dangerous for our health and might cause medical complications and even death in the worst cases. Inhaling the toxic mold spores can cause many respiratory problems for you and your loved ones. This is why mold testing is so helpful in keeping your family safe. Mold testing can also give you a good gauge of the air quality in your home. In the unfortunate case that black mold is growing in your home, testing would be able to identify exactly where the mold is located and you can then decide on the next best course of action.

What is Mold Testing?

Mold testing typically involves collecting air samples and samples from different surfaces around the house. One of the most common ways of testing for mold is using the spore trap method. Professionals use this method to entrap mold spores that are floating about in the air in your property. This is done so as to identify the type of mold that is present in your home. If you have seen mold tests like that before, you might have been confused as to what the mold catchers are for. To people who do not have knowledge about such processes, it might seem like the mold inspector is not doing much. However, you can rest assured that the professional you hired knows what they are doing. If you happen to be experiencing unexplained phenomenon like allergies and headaches, or if you smell a musty odor that cannot be removed, chances are that you might have mold growing in your home. This is when you should hire a mold inspector.

Why Mold Testing

Essentially the effectiveness of mold testing is in assessing the severity of the mold infestation in your home and finding out the species of mold that is affecting you. However, it goes without saying that the relevance and accuracy of the mold test is dependent on the interpretation of the professional and their experience in this industry.

One of the reasons why it is hard for regular people to carry out their own mold tests is that it can be hard to reach certain areas like basements and the nooks and crannies in your home. Furthermore, the test kits that you can find in your local convenience store or supermarket have been shown to be rather inaccurate. Even if the inspector does a visual inspection and tells you that there is no need to carry out mold testing, it is still wise to request for one so that you will have a record of the whole mold issue.

Ultimately, if you are experiencing symptoms that point to mold exposure, or if you think that there might be a mold infestation due to things like water damage and leaky pipes, you should have mold tests done right away.

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