Have you recently become suspicious that there’s mold in your home or office? Are you worried about the structural integrity of your home, or the health of your pets and family? If so, it might be time to get mold testing. Doing so can help you establish whether or not there are problems in your home, and can point you toward the right solution for getting rid of mold.
Below, let’s discuss what mold testing is, the best options for mold testing, including doing it yourself with a kit, types of kits, calling in professionals and next steps if you do discover mold. This problem is common and can become dangerous, so don’t wait.
Once you’ve done your research, you can check out a list of the most common types of indoor molds at the Center for Disease Control.
What Is Residential Mold Testing?
First and foremost, what does it mean to perform a mold test? It’s not as simple as doing a visual inspection and determining that you have mold growing under your sink, for instance, or along a wall. A mold test does more, telling you how much mold you have growing in your home by determining the number of mold spores on certain surfaces or in the air.
Air testing, for instance, takes samples of your home’s air to determine how many spores are in it at any given time. This fluctuates quite a bit, though, so you would want to combine air samples with samples taken from surfaces around the home – called surface samples – or bulk samples, which are bits of material collected from around your home.
The nature of these samples points to an important fact: In order to really assess the extent of mold growth in your home, you need to be able to analyze them. You can either choose a professional mold testing company like Mold Inspection Houston, or you can try DIY Home Test kits. We recommend DIY Mold Test Kits brand, because they include FREE lab testing unlike the majority of their competitors.
Lab Testing for DIY Mold Test Kits
Home mold test kits might be a little misleading in the sense that you would think you could do the full range of mold testing yourself, but actually this rarely works well. Mold testing kits that come with their own readouts are usually pretty inaccurate, so it’s rarely even worth buying the cheap $10 kits.
Rather, effective mold testing requires actual laboratory analysis. This will be able to tell you how many particles are in the air or on surfaces of your home at a given time, can assess the types of mold you have (which is necessary for knowing how harmful they are and how to proceed with cleaning them up), and can help you make the best plan for remediation. In some cases, the lab may even culture live mold particles to help them determine the type of mold.
Therefore, the only “home” mold tests that are worth it are the ones that come with full lab testing for no extra cost. If you are going to take samples yourself, make sure you have somewhere to send them where professionals can analyze the information.
Home Mold Inspection
If you want to combine the steps of mold testing, analysis and recommendations for remediation, the best idea is to hire a professional mold testing company. Their services sometimes range, but usually include:
- A complete visual inspection to pinpoint where the mold is located and any problems that might be contributing to its growth
- Various sample types to get the best read on what type of mold is growing and how much of it there is
- Mold identification to tell you whether it is dangerous, how to deal with it and more
- Exposure assessment so you know how dangerous the mold is and can make a safe cleanup plan accordingly
- Recommendations for mold remediation services that can help you get rid of the mold in the most efficient, effective way possible
- A plan for addressing the issues that led to mold growth in the first place
If you suspect you have mold growing in your home, the best mold option is to get a full inspection by a mold testing professional. However, if you would like to take the DIY approach first, just make sure that the mold kit you buy includes laboratory assessment. Otherwise, you may be putting your home and your family at unnecessary risk.