How to Perform Mold Testing: A Comprehensive Guide

If you're worried that the air in your home is polluted by mold, you can rest assured that you know exactly how to test for the presence of mold. Professional mold inspectors use three methods to take samples from the air, surface, and surrounding dust. These samples are then sent to an outside laboratory to determine the concentration and types of mold present. I like working at Mold Solutions because every job is different.

It requires me to re-evaluate what will work best for each individual client. Mold test kits are widely available at home improvement stores and online stores, but not all test kits are the same. Some species of mold are rare, but they can produce a high level of mycotoxins (dangerous mold-based chemicals) that can create a hazardous household environment. When the spore trap is sent to the mold analysis laboratory for analysis, the laboratory opens the spore trap, applies some stains to the sticky surface that mold spores can absorb, and then identifies and quantifies the types of mold spores captured during the sampling process.

To check for mold spores in the air you breathe, you'll need to purchase a viable mold detection kit, such as the Mold Inspector in a box from Seeml Labs. This should help you collect an appropriate sample when you test for mold in the time period recommended by the manufacturer. Mold visible anywhere in the house should be eliminated quickly by following safe mold removal methods or hiring a professional mold removal company. Mold sampling should be performed by professionals with specific experience in designing mold sampling protocols, sampling methods, and interpreting the results.

Pipeline leaks, for example, often cause mold growth and should be repaired as soon as you find them. Rich has received training and certification from the National Association of Mold Professionals, as well as the IICRC, where Rich holds a water restoration certification and an applied microbial remediation certification. It's important to get rid of mold from walls, but you also need to know how to detect mold on walls to ensure that the problem is completely resolved. To be on the safe side, any mold growth identified by a viable mold test must be treated and eliminated quickly. Mold spores comprise a subset of these “airborne particles” and are also captured in the sticky medium found inside the spore trap.

The most common methods include transferring the relevant sections (or all) of the mold sample sent to a glass microscope slide, adding dye that mold spores can absorb, and then evaluating the sample for evidence of mold growth.

Cassie Ulery
Cassie Ulery

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