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Custody Form and Mold Inspection
How to Do Low-Cost Mold Sample Collection and Mold Laboratory Identification
of Mold Species Growing in Your Home, Office, Workplace, or Other Building
Although any mold in elevated levels indoors can cause severe health
mold-sensitive occupants, several toxic molds such as Stachybotrys,
Aspergillus, and Penicillium pose far greater health risks than others,
according to Phillip Fry,
Certified Mold Inspector and author of the book
Mold Health Guide.
Thus, many homeowners, rental property owners, tenants, employers, and
employees in the USA, Canada, Asia, and worldwide want to know, and need to
know, the precise identities of the various mold species that may be
infesting their home, apartment, office, or workplace.
The accurate identification of mold species requires two steps: (1) physical
collection of mold samples from the building being mold tested; and (2) mold
laboratory analysis and mold species identification of the collected mold
You can collect your own mold samples by using lift tape sampling,
an easy, practically-free (except for the cost of the Scotch tape), and an
effective way to do mold sampling when you---
(1) Can see mold growing on a wall, ceiling, floor, carpeting, furniture,
heating/cooling duct register, or other surface;
(2) Want to know whether a particular stain, discoloration, or mystery
substance on the wall or another surface is actually mold growth; and/or
(3) Smell mold (the digestive gas emitted by mold eating the home or
building) and want to test a number of surfaces upon which elevated levels
of airborne mold spores may have landed or been deposited, such as on walls,
window sills, window and door trim, refrigerator top, kitchen cabinet tops,
undusted furniture, heating/cooling duct registers, and the return air
filter in the heating/cooling system.
Follow these easy steps for do-it-yourself mold sample collection---
(1) Use inexpensive, transparent, sticky, one inch wide adhesive tape, such
as Scotch® brand tape, cut into three inch long strips to collect the mold
(2) Record each lift tape sample collected onto the EnviroFry™
Chain of Custody
(3) Provide the complete information on the
Chain of Custody form, including, but not limited to, the precise lift
tape sampling location (such as “master bedroom dresser surface ”, “kitchen
counter”, “west wall of guest bedroom”, “living room carpeting in middle of
(4) You can either take an immediate lift tape sampling at each location
(“snapshot”), or clean the horizontal or vertical surface with denatured or
rubbing alcohol 24 hours prior to testing to get a 24 hour mold
deposits/landings in the subsequent 24 hours on the test location prior to
taking the lift tape sampling, or do both a snapshot and 24 hour test of the
same testing location. Do the snapshot testing first, before cleaning the
surface with alcohol. For a 24 hour test, after cleaning with alcohol, wipe
the cleaned surface with a paper towel or clean rag to make sure that the
surface is completely dry. Taking a 24 hour time period test is very useful
in determining the total mold exposure being experienced daily by residents
or occupants of that particular tested room or area.
(5) Some of the best horizontal locations to do a lift tape sampling on
either a snapshot basis or a 24 hour test basis (or use both methods at each
location---a very beneficial way to conduct your mold testing) are: a
horizontal, hard surface such as a table top, counter top, appliance top,
TV/stereo top, fireplace mantle, exposed window sill, or a hard-surfaced
floor in each room you wish to mold test. You can even do a sampling of a
carpeted or rug area by pressing the sampling tape very firmly and deeply
into the carpet or rug pile to collect any mold spores deposited therein.
Sampling a horizontal surface will enable you to collect mold spores that
have been deposited/landed on each lift tape location.
(6) You can also do lift tape sampling of vertical surfaces such as walls or
the sides of furniture or the inside side walls of heating/cooling ducts..
It is especially important to take lift tape samplings on all wall surface
areas that have likely-to-be-mold visible dark or colored areas or
biological growths of any kind.
(7) You should definitely take lift tape samplings of the inside (back side)
of each air conditioning register grill (remove the grill, if possible, to
have full access for lift tape sampling). You should also do a lift tape
sampling of an inside side wall, just inside (behind) the register. If the
home or building is mold infested, so will be the heating and air
conditioning ducts and equipment. Mold-infested hvac (heating, ventilation,
and air conditioning) ducts and equipment continually distribute elevated
levels of airborne mold spores throughout the home or building, and thus
causing widespread mold cross contamination. You can also do a 24 hour test
of a hvac system by putting a lift tape onto the front of the grill so that
most of the sticky surface is exposed to the outward air flow coming out of
the register. Then run the heating/cooling system for 24 hours (with the
hvac system’s operation automatically controlled by setting the thermostat
at the normal temperature you heat or cool your home or building).
(8) While wearing rubber gloves and a 3M brand breathing respirator mask
(with organic vapor filters) or a low-cost N-95 breathing mask (available at
most pharmacies, safety stores, and hardware stores) from the local hardware
or home improvement store, press the tape strip firmly (sticky side down)
onto the visible mold growth or onto the suspect surface being tested.
(9) Remove (peel back) the tape from the surface.
(10) Then, attach the tape (sticky side containing the possible mold
samplings downward) onto a non-stick plastic food wrapping paper such as
(11) Put the collected mold sample into a small ziplock bag (one bag per
mold sample analyzed). Close (zip shut) the ziplock bag completely. Tape it
shut if necessary to make sure no airborne mold spores can escape.
(12) Attach to the outside of the ziplock bag a large adhesive label with
the tester’s name, date of sampling, property address, the precise testing
location at that address (e.g., “air conditioning duct register in living
room”), testing method (“lift tape sampling”), and the name, postal address,
email address, phone number, fax number (if any), and email address of the
person submitting the sample to our
mold analysis lab.
(13). Mail or express the collected lift tape samples, along with your
Chain of Custody form to our mold analysis laboratory for mold
species identification and quantification. You will receive by email the
postal mailing address of our lab closest to you (along with the necessary
lab fee payment receipt) when you have paid the mold analysis fee at
(14) The mold lab analysis results will be ready in about 3 to 5 working
days after the lab’s receipt of your submitted samples. You will receive the
results in a comprehensive lab analysis emailed to you.
(15) If you have any question of any kind as to how to take, process, or
submit your lift tape samples, please email Phillip Fry
or phone Phillip 480-310-7970 USA (Arizona).