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Pass the Test the First Time

Imagine that you’re on a mold remediation job. You’ve safely removed the visible mold, cleaned thoroughly, and now you’re ready to finish up and head home. However, the job isn’t over yet – first you have to pass the post-clearance mold test, which includes a visual inspection and moisture assessment of all the construction materials that were a part of the remediation work and an air quality testing inside the work area.

Passing this test means that you have achieved mold remediation successfully and the property is now safe for occupation. So do what you can to get it done and get it right the first time. As restoration and abatement professionals know, if you fail this test, you’ll be putting in more time at that location instead of moving on to the next job, which equals less money and even lost opportunities for you and your business. Don’t wait until it’s too late and you’re forced to play catchup, trying to chase down a problem that caused your test failure instead of starting a new job or marketing your business.

What can be done to prevent a few rogue mold spores from causing you to fail a clearance test?

Here are some tips:

  • If possible, try to schedule the test at least two days after the last rainfall. Rain will “wash” the outdoor mold spores from the air. Why is this so important? Since the inspector will compare the outside air to the indoor air, you’ll have a greater chance of passing if there are spores aplenty floating around outside.
  • ULV fog or mist an antimicrobial product throughout the affected area 24 hours prior to a post-clearance testing. It doesn’t hurt to do this even if you believe you’ve already thoroughly cleaned the area.
  • If the inspector is going to perform a tape-lift test, do a thorough HEPA vacuum one more time to ensure all dead spores are removed. As with the ULV fog or antimicrobial mist, it never hurts to go over it one more time.
  • Once your crew is finished but before the inspector arrives, it’s a good idea to use a microbial test kit (available from Sporicidin and Benefect) to do your own informal pre-test, making sure the inspector won’t have to make a return visit. Letting your techs know beforehand that you’ll be doing your own follow-up test may help to improve the results, requiring less rushed follow-up work before the inspector arrives.
  • If you come across a mold inspection company that also does mold removal (or visa-versa), you might not want to hire them as they could have honesty issues, or at the very least, the inspector may not recognize the inherent conflict of interest. Choose an AmIAQC or IICRC certified contractor and ask for references.

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Wade Lauhon
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