On an initial mold investigation, Pacific IAQ does not always recommend mold sampling. As degreed scientists, we believe that any test should be conducted with the specific purpose of answering a question. If you have visible mold growth on your wall then we don’t need a surface sample to answer the question “is that mold?”. If you have a reaction to a specific mold and the question is “is that Aspergillus niger” then a surface sample is a very good option.
In general, mold samples fall into two categories; viable and nonviable, and within each of those categories we can collect air samples, surface samples, or bulk samples. The samples are sent to an accredited laboratory where they are examined under direct microscopy. The type of sample taken depends on the specific question we are trying to answer.