Frequently Asked Questions

The most commonly asked questions about Sporecyte and mold testing.

A few common situations occur during real estate transactions which can make a property a good candidate for mold testing:

  • Seller disclosed past water damage or mold issues
  • The home buyer or their family are in a sensitive population (allergies, asthma, known mold sensitivities, immunocompromised, infants, elderly, etc.)

Additionally, some situations may occur during your inspection of the property that may be reason to suggest mold testing:

  • Suspected mold growth is observed
  • Water damage is found
  • High humidity in the home and/or condensation issues found
  • Musty odors 

Here are a few common industry practices:

  • Have windows and exterior doors closed
  • Set the sampling pump in the “breathing zone” (3’-6’ from the floor) near the center of the space you are testing
  • Sample for 5 minutes

Inspectors with experience may decide to collect samples differently than described above, collecting the samples properly is the inspector’s responsibility!

Yes, collecting an outdoor air sample is absolutely critical when sampling for airborne mold. Since there are no established “acceptable” levels for mold in the indoor environment, we must use a real time “control” sample collected from the outdoor air to provide a reference point for the types and concentrations of the naturally occurring mold in the air at the time of the assessment. Without an outdoor air sample, very little interpretation of your results can be made.

If you fail to provide an outdoor air sample when submitting air samples to us, our report will not include any interpretation information, and we will not be able to provide professional phone consulting services in relation to the project. 

Sporecyte can analyze spore trap air samples and direct read surface samples (tape lifts/swabs). Sporecyte does not perform any viable or genetic based mold testing.

Our preferred spore trap cassette is the Allergenco-D Posi-Track. Alternatively we can also analyze Zefon Air-O-Cell cassettes. If you use a different type of spore trap, reach out to us to discuss!

Generally speaking, for the testing that Sporecyte performs, tape lifts are the preferred capture method for surface samples. Tape lifts preserve the suspect growth and the corresponding structures much better than swabs. Swab samples are preferred when the surface to be sampled is extremely wet, heavily soiled with non-fungal debris (such as dirt, dust, etc), or difficult to reach with a tape lift.

Air samples are used to assess the types and levels of mold present in the air of the home. Air samples can be helpful in identifying mold issues that are impacting the indoor air quality of the home. Surface samples are done to determine the condition of building materials. Surface samples can help determine if discoloration on a surface is mold growth, and if so what kind of mold is present.

No, we can not determine the age of growth from any type of mold testing. This is of secondary importance for the vast majority of mold testing, though, as the focus is more on remediation.

Sporecyte alone is not intended to be used to assess the completion of a remediation project. Generally speaking, a remediation project should be visually assessed and determined to be free of visible mold, moisture, in addition to assessing the airborne mold.

Depending on the location of the property you are inspecting, there may be State or local requirements for performing mold testing. Currently, there are 5 states which require some form of certification or license to perform residential mold testing: Florida, Louisiana, New York, New Hampshire, and Texas. Additionally, Washington D.C. also has mold inspection requirements. Please note that regulations may change, and this list may become outdated. The inspector should keep up to date with regulations in the areas in which they work.

The “egg” air pump sold by Sporecyte is very inexpensive pump, but it gets new inspectors a quick and inexpensive option to start testing for mold and indoor air quality.

We do not warranty the egg pump as it is not designed for long-term use.

Our hope is that new inspectors will get started making money from mold/IAQ testing and then upgrade to a pump that will fill their personal requirements.

Pumps are available to purchase at various price points from multiple vendors.

  1. Peace of mind
    • Protect your investment – an affordable/inexpensive screening for possible issues in the home
    • Is existing water problem evident
      • mold
    • General cleanliness of the home
      • Soil, carbon, particulate matter
    • Potential allergens from animal dander
      • Human vs animal skin fragments
    • Pictures of what is actually found in your air
    • Potential to ask for Seller concessions based on visual results – carpet cleaning, HVAC filter improvement (?$$ to upgrade MERV system inline), other simple changes
  2. Improved health

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