Testing for mold & mildew

Parent Q&A

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  • mold + lead testing and contractor rec

    (3 replies)

    Hi all!

    We bought a house and are looking for a rec on:

    1) a company for mold and lead testing

    2) design build contractors! 

    For lead testing we used Norbay Consulting in San Rafael - Bob Gerhold. He was great. 

    When we were getting our house inspected for mold, we worked with Cheryl Pearce, who's a certified microbiologist and mold inspector. Her company is called "Mold Busters". She was great and answered all of our questions/concerns. She can be reached via phone (415) 731-6653 or email: cpearce [at] moldbusters.net

    We have used Restcon Environmental for mold testing several times over the years. Extremely knowledgeable, helpful, and professional. Highly recommended! Their number is (916) 736-1100

  • Does anyone have a mold and lead testing company they can recommend? We rent an apartment in Oakland that was built 1920. Our toddler has begun to have different types seizures and we are on the hunt to find anything possible to make our home safer for his immune system.

    Additionally, if you have a toddler that has unfortunately experienced seizures, I would be really privileged to speak to someone who is going/gone through this terrifying situation. 

    I can’t speak on lead, but the best test for mold toxicity is Great Plains Labs urine mycotoxin test:


    My son was diagnosed with severe mold toxicity in 2018

    Good luck to you,


    If you have a doctor or pediatric provider they should be able to easily order a lead test. It's a blood draw and should be done asap if you're at all concerned about lead exposure. Once you have a result of that of its high they will either have you go into the hospital for treatment (or would have to be very high) or would have a public health nurse put to inspect. Our daughter had elevated lead levels although no seizures and we found the source and removed it immediately. But if you are dealing with high levels and an unclear source you should definitely have a public health inspection. There is also a program to help landlords afford remediation if needed. But regardless you should definitely be talking with your doctor about these concerns and the seizures. 

  • There is a musty smell in our home that is really unpleasant.  Looking for a specialist to come in to investigate and identify the source and advise on remediation if necessary.  Any recommendations? 


    We just went through a 300K remediation from black mold. Our upstairs bathrooms were slowly leaking into our walls/downstairs ceilings unbeknownst to us until our son became ill. This was due to negligent workmanship in remodeling of the upstairs bathrooms by the former owners who sold us our home 2.5 years ago. I consulted many nationally known experts and they all recommended Anderson Group International out of San Jose. And, true to the recommendations, they were incredible. We are finally on the other side of this ordeal and AGI was nothing but professional, honest, efficient and informed. I could not recommend them more highly. Especially Tony Navarez who was our contact person. Absolutely a pleasure to work with in what was one of the most difficult times in my life.

    I had a similar issue and used Moldbusters and liked Cheryl a lot.

Archived Q&A and Reviews

August 2002

i have discovered wall to wall mold under the 4 yr old paint in my daughter's room. does anyone know how to determine the extent and hazard of hidden mold ' a test or service ' any tips on dehumidifiers or what certain weather brings ' we used a humidifier alot in the winter when she was sick, but try to open the windows daily. thanks for any advice. andrea

Can anyone recommend a good mold inspector? My husband and I are buying a house, and we've only got a week to do all the inspections. Since we're in a big rush, it would be great if you could e-mail me your suggestions

Mold Identification In an attempt to detect allegens triggering/exacerbating my son's asthma. The most rigorous way to do this is to sample air sucked through a vacumm pump and filter, which is then assayed. A San Diego lab rents the setup and does the lab portion, for several hundred bucks (previous poster sent this but lost the address) They also recommended doing a Google web search that turned up a less rigorous, but good enough for them option: get a set of culture plates sold through National Allergy Supply, exposing the plates for a set period of time, then sending them to a lab in New York for culture/analysis. They said it costs $40 to $60. David

June 2002

Sometime ago, someone posted information about testing your home for the presence of mold/mildew, particularly for individuals with allergies. Is there a service that can do this? Does anyone have any recommendations or advice about the process of having this done? Any insight would be greatly appreciated. Thanks. -Lisa and Mike

after repeated sinus infections, i thought the problem might be environmental, so i obtained a few names of mold people.

Robert of Jacob's Maintenance (887-1719) made some recommendations(air cleaner, de-humidifier) without actually seeing our house based on hearing about heavy window condensation (soon to be resolved with replacing our c. 1936 ones). His cleaning service picks up where normal house cleaners leave off. Sounds like he does deep cleaning and special projects. I can definitely see using his services...

the other people whose name was passed to us, i have not spoken with. apparently, Safe Environments (415-302-4397 or 510-54-99693) will do an assessment of your house. we'd heard that they did an assessment of a house (the inhabitants were sick a lot) to the tune of $1,700 - and no written report. it sounds pretty high, and turns out the people were not getting sick from their house. good luck.

March 2002

We're looking for somebody who can test household air to detect the presence of molds or other unwanted bugs. Any ideas? Marty

I recently went through this drill trying to ID allegens triggering/exacerbating my son's asthma.

The most rigorous way to do this is air sampling. A vacumm pump sucks ambient air through a filter. The filter is assayed. There is a lab in San Diego that rents the setup and does the lab portion, but it was several hundred bucks, and I've lost the address - I found it using Google, you can too!

Less rigorous, but good enough for me, was a set of culture plates sold through National Allergy Supply. You expose the plates for a set period of time, then send them to a lab in New York for culture and analysis. It seems like it was $40 to $60. They are also on the web.

Mold levels in my digs were too low to worry about, by the way. Basement Dweller