As continued from my earlier post, and, a little more to the point…What do you ACTUALLY do when you think you have mold?
Test the air! Perform air monitoring for as many different things as you possibly can. Just kidding. Actually, DON”T do this. (caveat: if you plan legal action-then you might do this)
If there is visible mold/fungus. The first step is to find the water. In order for mold to grow it must have moisture and a place to grow. There are many places to look including; the roof, windows, seams, ANY penetrations into the building envelope, from below (seeping up), water lines, A/C units, condensation, etc. You absolutely cannot fix the damage or test the air until you stop all sources of water.
Second step, assess the damage. The general rule of thumb is if the damage has altered the substrate (ie, the wood is damaged) then you need to replace it. If it is only on the surface, it may be possible to just clean, dry and seal it. If it is more than 10 square feet of damage, consider hiring a qualified specialist.
Thirdly, repair & replace any concerned areas.
Fourthly, dry it thoroughly, then seal it. Look into methods to increase the ventilation into this area.
Fifthly, inspect and finish. A good visual inspection is far better than air monitoring. If you can still see mold growing, you’re not done.
Finally, clean the ducting & surrounding areas. Please choose a qualified inspector. For some reason this industry attracts lots of bogus contractors.
Air sampling vary rarely gives you any information that will assist you in these steps. Some other good information about indoor air quality and mold from California can be found here.