Which Tests Should I Get Done: A Decision Making Chart
Is Mold visible?
Yes - Then you have mold. A mold test would only tell you the type of mold, which is unnecessary unless you are allergic to a certain type of mold. For most people, knowing the type won't matter.
We do recommend getting a moisture scan to find out where the moisture is coming from (if it'snot obvious) so you can stop the leak and the mold growth. Once the moisture is taken care of you'll need to remove the mold. If it's not extensive or inside the walls you can usually clean it up yourself.
Do you smell mold?
Yes - When you smell mold you most likely have mold because the "smell of mold" is the byproduct of living mold and an air test would tell you the type of mold, the air concentrations and any health affects associated with the mold. More importantly, you should find out where the moisture is coming from that caused the mold. Mold testing would be optional at this point.
No - If you don't smell mold, see mold or have any evidence of mold then testing usually not necessary (unless you're allergic to mold). You'll always find mold in homes but it will likely be from outdoor mold entering the home when the doors or windows are opened.
Is there an active radon mitigation fan installed and running?
Yes - You probably don't need to test for radon if everything is working. After installing a radon system the installers have to go back and test for radon again to make sure the system works and provide the home owners with a report of the results.
Is there a passive radon mitigation system? (all homes after 2008)
Yes - You shouldn't need a radon test unless the building has a central HVAC system that brings air up from the bottom floor of the building to your unit.
No - Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer among non-smokers in the U.S. and easily mitigated.The EPA believes all homes should get a radon test if they don't meet the criteria above. A common belief is that radon only affects homes with basements. We routinely find high radon in homes with crawlspaces and concrete slabs. The structure does not determine the radon levels. While some geographic areas tend to have lower radon than others, all areas in and around the Portland area have recorded high radon results. The only way to know for sure is to have it tested.
Infrared and Moisture Scan
Do you see visible signs of moisture or smell mold?
Yes - Have a moisture scan done immediately if you can't see where the leak is coming from. This will help determine where the leak is coming from and what areas of the home are affected. Our equipment allows us to "see" moisture through walls and floors. We can also tell if the moisture levels are enough to cause mold and rot. Read More
Is the home older than 1985 and have any original plumbing in the home?
No - You probably don't need to test your water for lead because all plumbing that had lead was outlawed after 1985. The City of Portland never had any lead in the supply pipes. We're not sure about other cities.
Yes - We recommend getting a lead test done because lead was allowed in solder until 1985.
No - We can do lead in water testing and get results in 3-5 business days.
Does the water have high lead?
Yes - Replace all of your plumbing or buy a lead water filter for your drinking water for $50-$100.
No - Life is good.
Are you buying a house?
Yes - Even if the home is new we recommend getting a sewer scope done. It doesn't happen often but we do find failed sewer lines in new homes because heavy construction equipment compacted the soils above the sewer. Sewer repairs can range from a few thousand to fifteen thousand. It's a good idea to know so you have time to negotiate repairs.
If the home is older and you've never done a sewer scope we do recommend getting one done because some of the older homes have disconnected lines, holes in the line and root intrusions.
If the home is newer and you've never had a sewer scope we do recommend getting one just in case a problem is starting to develop.
If you've had a sewer scope done recently it's likely not worth it. We do recommend getting the line checked every ten years.