Is ERMI Mold Testing Right for Your Home? Find Out Now

Is ERMI Mold Testing Right for Your Home? Find Out Now

In the wake of Florida storms, many families deal with new and unexplained health problems. Take this family for example, who dealt with severe symptoms and hospitalizations after Hurricane Ian. 

The issue? Mold. Thanks to our high humidity levels, heavy rainfall, and high water table, Tampa homes are prime targets for mold growth. 

This is where ERMI mold testing comes in. With the right home mold testing, you can determine what steps to take next to protect your home, family, and indoor air quality.

What is ERMI mold testing and how can you decide if it’s right for your home? Read on to find out.

What Is ERMI Mold Testing?

ERMI stands for the Environmental Relative Mold Index, a mold testing process developed by the EPA. The goal of ERMI mold testing is to analyze a sample of dust from a property to determine how much mold is in the property and what kind of mold you’re dealing with. 

Unlike other mold tests, the ERMI mold test considers the kind of mold you’ll commonly find indoors. This gives homeowners a better sense of how dangerous the conditions of their homes actually are. 

The ERMI Testing Process

First, ERMI specialists will take a dust sample from your home. They will then use a DNA-based method to analyze the sample and determine which species of mold, if any, are present in the house. The process is non-invasive and quick, meaning homeowners won’t need to set aside hours of their day for ERMI testing.

From there, the sample is compared to a database of reference homes to calculate the ERMI index rating of mold present in the house. It may take five to seven business days to receive your lab results. 

Advantages of ERMI Testing

One of the biggest advantages of ERMI testing is that it can reveal information about mold growth in your home, even when that mold growth isn’t visible or it’s in the early stages. Dust samples can often tell us more about long-term mold growth than air samples can, giving you a more accurate read. Once you know more about the type and amount of mold in your home, you can make an informed remediation plan. 

Limitations of ERMI Testing

The biggest limitation of ERMI testing is that it can’t always pinpoint the exact location of mold growth in your home. It is not a substitute for actual mold remediation, which involves removing mold and eliminating the source of mold growth. If homeowners schedule ERMI testing, they should be prepared to schedule additional services as needed.

Who Should Schedule ERMI Mold Testing?

ERMI mold testing is only one of many mold remediation options available to homeowners. Let’s take a look at the signs that you would benefit from ERMI mold testing. 

New Tampa Homeowners

Before closing on a home, most buyers will invest in a property inspection. Inspections will reveal obvious signs of property damage, including visible mold growth. However, typical inspectors don’t have the equipment to perform a thorough mold assessment.

Since the likelihood of mold growth in Tampa is high, you may want to invest in ERMI mold testing once you have the keys to your new home. That way, you know what you’re dealing with and can take steps to remediate mold if necessary before moving in. 

Homeowners with Mold Sensitivities

Mold has the potential to cause a variety of unwanted respiratory symptoms, from congestion to itchy eyes to coughing. An estimated 10% of the population has a mold allergy, making them more susceptible to negative effects. The same goes for anyone with existing respiratory issues like asthma. 

If a member of your household has mold sensitivities, consider scheduling ERMI testing. This quick process can help you determine the steps to take, if any, to make your home safer and healthier. 

Homeowners with Potential Water Damage

Moisture is one of the most important resources mold needs to grow. That’s why you’re often going to find mold in homes with roof damage, plumbing problems, and flooding. 

If you know or suspect that your home has sustained water damage, it’s time to take action. Addressing the water damage can prevent the problem from getting worse, but it won’t get rid of existing mold. ERMI mold testing can give you a better sense of how bad mold growth is due to water damage.

Who Can Skip ERMI Mold Testing?

If you discover visible mold growth in your home, you don’t need to start the remediation process with mold testing. Yes, it can be helpful to know what kind of mold you’re dealing with. However, any visible mold growth indicates that you need to start the mold removal and remediation process.

This is largely because once you can see visible mold growth, it’s likely that there’s more growth where you can’t see it. You’ll often find visible mold in damp areas, so keep an eye on bathrooms, basements, and cupboards that house pipes. 

What Happens After ERMI Mold Testing?

After ERMI mold testing, you’ll receive your ERMI score. The ERMI scale ranges from -10 to 20, with higher scores indicating more mold growth. A score as high as -4 means you may want to move forward with mold remediation.

Professional mold remediation is the most thorough way to address mold growth in a residential property. The timeline varies based on the amount of mold. During this process, professionals will kill and remove mold and remove any materials that aren’t salvageable. 

Call Big Easy Restoration for ERMI Mold Testing and Remediation

If you discover visible mold growth, it’s time to dive headfirst into professional mold remediation. What if you don’t know what you’re up against or if you have a mold problem? That’s when ERMI mold testing can make the biggest difference and help homeowners make informed decisions.

Our Operations Manager at Big Easy Restoration brought the company to Tampa after spending years working on restoration and remediation in New Orleans. We use time-tested methods to tackle mold growth and water damage, including the EPA’s ERMI testing. Contact us to protect your home and improve your indoor air quality once and for all. 

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