Toxic Mold Test

You need a toxic mold test if you believe you might have toxic mold in your house. Some people prefer to buy a home mold test kit because it’s cheaper than having a specialist come in to test for mold, and it seems more convenient since you can do the test at any time you like. The problem is that a home mold test kit is not as accurate as a professional mold test, and most people use the test incorrectly.

If cost is a factor, you should know that your home owner’s insurance may cover the cost of a professional test, though it will not cover a home test kit. The professional testing procedure is fairly simple and does not take much time, either. That’s why we recommend you don’t bother with a home mold test kit but just call in a professional instead.

Finally, the cost of a test for mold is less than you could spend on medical bills if toxic mold remains in your home for any length of time. Addressing the problem will save you money in the long run.

Mold Testing Procedure

With a professional toxic mold test, the specialist will first inspect your property to identify all areas that contain mold. Then they will take one or more air samples to test for mold spores. With some home test kits, you can take a sample from the air yourself, and that’s the type of home mold test kit we recommend if you’re determined to use a home test kit.

Home inspection for mold

With other home test kits, you scrape up a sample of mold and send it to a laboratory, but those tests are not as accurate as the ones that take samples from the air.

When you have a professional do the job, an air sample from near the area where you have mold is sucked into a collection box, and then another sample is taken from outside your house because there is naturally mold in the air outdoors and it’s necessary to compare the two samples. If you have mold in more than one area of your home, you should test the air near all areas affected by mold. The mold in one area could be hazardous to your health while the mold in another area may be less hazardous.

Interpreting the Results

Neither the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention nor the Environmental Protection Agency have established any standards for how much mold is acceptable and how much poses a health risk. However, the specialist conducting the toxic mold test in your home should know what levels are typical and can advise you if the levels in your home are higher than normal. Also, the comparison of the mold in your home to the mold outside your home will tell you if you have an abnormal or risky level of mold in your home. A home mold test kit, on the other hand, may or may not provide the information you need about the safety of the levels of mold in your home.

It usually takes a couple of days to get the results of a professional test, though it may take longer to get the results of a home test kit.

If your test does detect toxic mold, you’ll need to have a mold removal specialist take care of the problem for you. You should have another test conducted afterward, to make sure all of the toxic mold has been removed.

Benefits of Having a Professional Conduct a Mold Test in Your Home

  • Most professionals that test for mold are engineers. They have extensive training and education in how to conduct and interpret the tests.
  • They know how to find mold in hidden places, where homeowners frequently miss it.
  • They can tell you what strains of mold are present in your home (often there is more than one strain) and provide you with information about the health risks of exposure to those specific strains.
  • They can advise you about the safety precautions that should be taken during the mold removal process.

Follow the link to find a Certified Mold Tester in your area that can test your home for mold.

Additional Reading:

We also have more information on how to test for mold, what the mold count means, and reviews of home mold testing kits. One toxic mold test kit that we get a lot of questions on is the pro lab mold test kit. Follow the link for our in-depth review.

Feel free to contact us if you have any questions about how to detect mold, testing for mold and why a home mold test kit is usually not reliable.

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