Hint – It’s Sooner Than You’d Think
So the remediation is complete in your Virginia area home, and the technicians are filing out, yet your mold adventure is not quite complete. You should get the containment area tested to verify that the remediation process was a success.
This testing process, called Post Remediation Verification (PRV), is the final step of the remediation process and is done by a third-party tester. While it might seem easier to have the company that performed the remediation in your home do the PRV, it’s considered a conflict of interest in our industry so it’s not ideal.
Most mold remediation companies will specify a maximum delay of between 3 to 14 days before the PRV must be performed. Valor’s policy is to have PRV within 7 days.
Understanding Mold Remediation
There’s a good reason that mold cleanup is officially called mold remediation. Simply put, removing all mold spores from a home is impossible. Mold is (and will always be) everywhere. Every breath you take has mold spores in it, whether you are indoors or out.
Mold is only a problem when the concentration of spores is too high. Think of your body as an air filter. Normal levels of particulates are easily dealt with, but when the levels become extreme, the filter clogs up, and it becomes difficult to move air through its system.
That’s when you need mold remediation. Not to remove all mold spores from your home but to bring the levels back in line with the normal levels outside your home.
The PRV is a comparison of the counts outside to those inside and ensures that the difference is within a certain threshold. If the counts fall outside that threshold, then the remediation company needs to return to either re-clean, run the air scrubbers more or find and eliminate a hidden mold colony somewhere (along with the tester’s help).
Why Only 14 Days?
As we have said, mold is everywhere and can easily build back up inside the containment through no fault of the remediator’s efforts. The PRV, then, needs to be done shortly after remediation is completed in order to reflect the true results of the process.
Waiting longer than 14 days dilutes the reliability of that assessment because enough time has gone by for new mold sources to have been introduced into the home.
Post Remediation Verification Best Practices
When dealing with mold testing the variables are numerous, such as:
- Where was the air sample taken?
- How many liters of air were taken in the sample?
- What collection device was used?
- What lab did the analysis?
- What tech in that lab looked at the sample?
- Was it their first sample of the day or their 50th?
Any and all of these can affect your test results, so it’s best to keep as many of these variables the same as possible. The more similarities in the process, the more trustworthy are the results.
You should always use the same testing company that did the initial test of your home to perform your PRV. That way, you can be relatively certain that the sampling procedures and lab facility will be the same as the initial test that started you down this road.
But Doesn’t The Mold Remediation
Perform Its Own Tests?
Very few mold remediation companies have the equipment necessary to perform on-the-spot testing of their work. But even if they do, their tests don’t qualify as PRV testing due to the conflict of interest we mentioned earlier.
Just as you wouldn’t want the seller performing the inspection of a home you wish to buy, you don’t want your mold remediation company to verify their own work.
However, we’re data nerds and found only 21% of clients were getting PRV testing. When we saw the InstaScope at a mold conference, we saw a way to test our work for those clients who firmly decided they didn’t want to wait or pay for PRV testing.
The InstaScope has two unique qualities that help limit the “conflict of interest” problem:
- It does on the spot results. So there’s no chance for funny business. With traditional testing, the remediator has to leave your house with the samples and mail them to the lab…and there’s no serial numbers on the samples.
So you don’t know whether they mailed in the samples from your home – or took samples later in their clean room and sent those samples to the lab (I know of at least 2 local remediators who do this shady practice).
- The machine’s software judges air samples as green, yellow or red so it’s easy to understand. You’re not relying on us to interpret the data for you.
At Valor Mold Removal, we want the containment tested, one way or the other, to verify the mold levels are good enough before the containment is taken down.
So whether you get a PRV done (an external quality control check) or we use our InstaScope (an internal quality control check), we want to make sure the air is good enough before we say the project is complete.
Even though our Instascope system is much more accurate than any lab test, it is still us checking our own work, so we don’t recommend it in situations where there might be a lawsuit (e.g., between buyers and sellers of property, landlords and tenants, etc…)
If you are concerned that your Virginia of DC area home might have a mold problem and want the most accurate testing available, contact us at Valor Mold Removal for a free estimate.