As a homeowner or occupant there are things you can do prior to calling in professional help. In many cases inspecting for mold initially involves common sense. Check for musky odors, look for discolored areas on wall, baseboards, ceilings, cabinets, etc., etc., etc., In some cases you may find no physical evidence of mold growth but still suspect mold spores due to having or suffering conditions such as allergies, respiratory irritation, skin rashes, etc.. In those instances you might want some testing done, i.e. an air sample test for mold spores taken to indicate the level of indoor airborne mold spores or perhaps a carpet test for allergins. For the testing or sampling for mold, you should seek the help of professionals who have specific experience in mold sampling protocols and the appropriate equipment.
Is sampling for mold needed?
In most cases, if visible mold growth is present, sampling is unnecessary. Unless there is a specific agent is in question; an example among others might be perhaps certain allergens in which your physician might have some interest. Additionally, surface sampling may be useful to determine if an area has been adequately remediated. Professionals who have specific experience in designing mold sampling protocols, sampling methods, and interpreting results should conduct sampling for mold. Since no EPA or other federal limits have been set for mold or mold spores, sampling cannot be used to check a buildings compliance with federal mold standards. Sample analysis should follow analytical methods recommended by the American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA), the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH), or other professional organizations.