Air Quality Sampling

Mold can affect the health of the occupants of any building that has been contaminated. Air quality sampling may be necessary to evaluate the air inside the building to see if it is safe to occupy. Cobak can do air sampling with impact air cartridges. We use a special cartridge and attach it to an air pump to draw the building’s air through the cartridge. The air passes through it and any debris in the air impacts into the greased slide. That sample cartridge is then sent to a certified lab to evaluate the results. Air quality tests must have something to be compared to. Usually we will need to do an air sample outdoors to have something to compare the interior test to. This outdoor sample is what our industry calls a control sample. Whatever is detected outside is sure to be found inside. But the inside sample needs to have a lower count than the outside control sample. Every building is different, but at a minimum we will take a sample on every floor except for the attic (unless it’s a lived in area).
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Sometimes a control sample cannot be taken, as in the case of a rainy day or when there is snow covering the ground or the air has been cleaned from the rain. That’s when we use the building to compare. We take multiple samples in different locations (i.e. one in a bedroom and one in the living room). At this point we use a standard total spore count and look for spikes in the results.The spikes tell us where there are air quality problems in the building.

We also need to document mold found on surfaces. Usually this is for cases involving faulty construction/remodeling, tenant/landlord problems, condo issues, etc. We can take a bulk sample of the product the mold is growing on such as drywall or wood. If the product can’t be bulk sampled, then we can either do a tape lift and attach it to a glass slide or take a swab sample. All samples are labeled as to where they were taken from and sent to the lab for analysis. This is especially important in cases involving litigation.

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