Testing for Mold
There are many testing methods that can detect molds. Some methods can identify a portion of the types of viable molds but these may also miss or undercount those that are not viable or will not grow well on the nutrients used to incubate the sample. Even tests that are done well only give a partial estimate of the amount and types of molds actually collected in a sample or in the sampled environment.
It is necessary to recognize that a test result only gives a “snap-shot” estimate for a single point in time and a single location. Whether the test result represents other locations and times is uncertain. The amounts and types of mold in the environment change constantly. Airborne molds change significantly over the course of minutes or hours.
When interpreting mold testing, caution must be used. Unless many samples are taken over a period of time and the investigator has been mindful of building operations and activities during the testing, the results might not be accurate. Despite these limitations, there are situations where mold testing by skilled investigators may be valuable, such as when it is necessary to justify remediation expenses to an insurer or governmental entity.
Experienced investigators should evaluate whether testing is warranted. The ethical mold investigator should advise against testing whenever the problem can be corrected without it.
Every property owner, developer, contractor or investigator must recognize that doing mold testing well is often expensive.
Testing that is not needed or done poorly is a waste of money. The basic goals of any mold investigation are always to find the locations of mold growth, and to determine the sources of the moisture. If these can be answered by simpler or more cost-effective methods, mold testing is probably not a wise use of resources.
© 2020 – Barry Zalma
Barry Zalma, Esq., CFE, now limits his practice to service as an insurance consultant specializing in insurance coverage, insurance claims handling, insurance bad faith and insurance fraud almost equally for insurers and policyholders. He also serves as an arbitrator or mediator for insurance related disputes. He practiced law in California for more than 44 years as an insurance coverage and claims handling lawyer and more than 52 years in the insurance business. He is available at http://www.zalma.com and firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mr. Zalma is the first recipient of the first annual Claims Magazine/ACE Legend Award.
Over the last 53 years Barry Zalma has dedicated his life to insurance, insurance claims and the need to defeat insurance fraud. He has created the following library of books and other materials to make it possible for insurers and their claims staff to become insurance claims professionals.
Go to Barry Zalma videos at Rumble.com at https://rumble.com/c/c-262921
Read posts from Barry Zalma at https://parler.com/profile/Zalma/posts
Listen to the Podcast: Zalma on Insurance https://anchor.fm/dashboard/episodes Zalma on Insurance
Go to Barry Zalma on YouTube- https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCysiZklEtxZsSF9DfC0Expg/
Go to the Insurance Claims Library –https://zalma.com/blog/insurance-claims-library/