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Pure Maintenance

What are Clearance Tests? – Mold Remediation

What are Clearance Tests?

Our mold clients frequently ask us, “What are clearance tests?” Mold can be a severe problem in any indoor space, potentially harming one’s health and causing structural damage. When addressing mold, it is crucial to remove visible signs of growth and address any unseen mold spores that may be present. Validating such results is why clearance tests are essential to mold remediation.

What are Clearance Tests?

Clearance tests are a standard examination conducted at the end of mold remediation services to ensure the indoor space is safe for occupation. They are how mold remediation specialists demonstrate their successful work to the client. If you are receiving mold remediation services, ensure that your contractor provides you with documentation of their clearance.

To determine that a given indoor space is clear for re-entry, we consider the following factors in alignment with industry conventions:

  1. There is no dust or debris in the areas where we worked. The overall environment should be clean.
  2. There is no visible mold growth in the affected area or elsewhere in the indoor space.
  3. Moisture levels in construction materials should be within normal limits, both inside the containment area and in areas near the affected area.
  4. Air and surface testing for mold spores inside the containment zone and other areas of the space should give results similar to or less than the outdoor control tests, with no marker molds/zero-tolerance molds present, and Aspergillus/Penicillium under NORMI standard of 200. The presence of viable mold should be minimal.

We at Pure Maintenance of Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo send our samples to accredited, independent labs so that you can feel confident in the accuracy and objectivity of the results!

What They Don’t Tell You About Clearance Tests

Conventional mold remediation services typically seal off an affected space within the larger area (e.g., the kitchen) and only clear that space. We at Pure Maintenance go above and beyond and clear the entire indoor area – not just the place where you found mold. 

We take such a thorough approach because mold does not remain where you see it growing. Its spores and other byproducts will float throughout the indoor space, so even if we clear that one room, that clearance says nothing about mold in other places.

We Want “Zero Culturable Mold”

At Pure Maintenance of Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo, our goal for clearance labs is to achieve “zero culturable mold.” This is a higher bar to reach than traditional clearance tests aim for.

Conventional clearance tests aim to reduce mold levels in the affected space to similar or below outdoor levels. We aim to provide a new indoor baseline of zero and optimal indoor air quality.

When our tests demonstrate zero culturable mold, it means we have effectively eliminated all harmful mold from your space – making those spores unviable and unable to reproduce. And while new mold will eventually enter your home again from the outside world, our treatment provides a new optimal baseline that can be managed with high-quality, effective air purification. It diminishes the likelihood of regrowth and leaves you with a space ready for robust mold prevention.

Parting Thoughts

Another reason it may be helpful to understand the distinction between traditional clearance standards and our zero culturable mold goal has to do with occupancy.

Many tenants of a given space may decide to stay with family or in a hotel or other rental while we eliminate the mold. If you are a landlord, you may even put your renters up while we work and be eager to get them back home as soon as possible.

As soon we have cleared the space by traditional standards, it may be reoccupied. Our target for culturable reports is zero, and we accomplish this 99% of the time.  When and if spores grow in a culture, the space is still considered cleared if it meets the above and NORMI standards.  In these situations, we may ask for more time to accomplish our “no culturable” target. This would require that the tenants vacate the space for a few hours, but they will not need to find a new place to stay.

In conclusion, clearance tests are an essential part of the mold remediation process, and at Pure Maintenance, we take them seriously. We use a patented dry fog technology that clears the entire indoor space of mold, ensuring that you and your loved ones are safe from the harmful effects of mold. Contact us today to learn more about our mold remediation services.