If you’re concerned about a possible mold problem in your home, you can purchase mold testing kits and test your home for mold. If you prefer, you can have a professional come in and test your home for mold, and that’s what we really recommend because a professional test will be more accurate than the mold test kits you can buy at your local home improvement or hardware stores. We’ll explain why that’s what we recommend in a moment, but first we’d like to review some mold testing kits for you in case you do decide to go ahead on your own.
We’ll tell you the advantages and disadvantages of a few of the more popular mold tests, available at many home improvement and hardware stores. Professional tests are generally more accurate, however, plus professionals should know just where in your home to test.
This test samples mold spores in the air in a room. Air is directed onto the collection plate for about five minutes. Then you wait to see what grows. Benefits of this test are the fact that the collection time is so short and that it gives you both qualitative and quantitative results (tells you both what’s in the air and how much of it is there). Disadvantages include the fact that it only shows results for live mold spores, though dead mold spores in the air can still cause health problems, it’s expensive and sometimes some molds overgrow others, giving you an inaccurate picture of your mold problems.
This test also samples mold spores in the air in a room. It samples for pollen in the air in a room, as well. Benefits include a short collection time and a rapid analysis compared to many other mold test kits. Disadvantages include the fact that it doesn’t differentiate between live and dead mold spores and also does not tell you what type of mold you have, only how much.
This is really three mold testing kits in one: a test that allows you to swab visible mold on a surface, a test that samples the air for mold spores and a test that checks your HVAC system for mold. The swab test takes only a minute to swab the mold you wish to test, while the air sampling test requires leaving a Petri dish exposed to the air for about an hour. The test of the HVAC system takes about ten minutes to collect the sample. Benefits include the fact that it allows you to check your HVAC system and that it tells you what kind of mold you have. Disadvantages include the fact that it only tests positive for live mold spores; sometimes some molds overgrow others, giving you an inaccurate picture of your mold problems; it takes a couple of days to incubate your mold samples; and this test can’t show you how much mold you have, just that you have some.
Here is a more detailed review of the Pro Lab mold testing kit.
Different mold test kits work best for different purposes. Consider your unique needs. For instance, have you found some visible mold growing somewhere? Then you need one of the mold testing kits that tests surface mold, one with a swab. Do you have symptoms of exposure to mold, such as respiratory problems, even though you haven’t seen any mold growing anywhere? Then you need one of the mold test kits that samples the air, or possibly the HVAC system. Most test kits contain more than one test so you can test multiple rooms in your home, and some contain both swab tests and air sampling tests.
While there are a number of mold tests you can purchase and use yourself, there are many benefits to hiring a professional to do the job. Professionals:
To find licensed mold testers where you live, just follow this link.