Molds not only look disgusting by appearance but can also cause sickness and allergies to you and your family. Testing for mold is probably the last thing any homeowner would like to hear since professional mold testing can be quite expensive. Mold spores are generally harmless in small amounts but certain types of mold can compromise good air quality. The only way to get rid of invisible mold is to carry out a mold test so that appropriate measure can be undertaken. This article gives a detailed guide on the types of mold test and why it is a good idea to test for mold in your home.
Professional Mold Testing
It is important to seek help from a qualified mold professional to perform a mold test if you think your home is affected. They are experienced in analyzing and collecting mold samples, giving you the most accurate results. You can also use mold test kits to take mold samples on your own. Although this is a less expensive option, you still need to send the samples to a professional laboratory and wait for the results.
However, most of the mold test kits out there give a false reading about the presence of mold in your home. A mold test is only meant to give you a hint of the number of mold particles found in a certain area and at a certain time. Since this trend fluctuates over time, it is important to test different locations in your home several times to get a more accurate and complete snapshot of the mold problem.
Types of Mold Tests
There are three main types of mold tests. These include:
- Surface Mold Testing
Surface testing determines the number of spores and growth of molds deposited around the home by taking samples from household surfaces. The samples can be collected by tape lifting and swabbing before being examined in a laboratory. The results may vary because the presence of mold spores can change over time and aren’t spread evenly.
- Air Mold Testing
The mold spores in a home can be tested using Air sampling tests which are always examined by a professional under a microscope. Even if you cannot find the mold growth, Air tests can determine the presence of mold spores in the air although they may vary over time.
- Bulk Mold Testing
It involves collecting pieces of material to be examined by a professional under a microscope. Performing a bulk test for mold gives you an idea of mold concentration in your home and how they can be removed.
Why You Should Test for Mold
- To Find Out Where the Molds are Located
There are situations when you might notice the smell of mold but you cannot see them around the house. The moldy smell is a sign that the mold is probably growing somewhere in a hidden area. People who are allergic to molds may end up sneezing or having a runny nose. Testing is necessary if you can notice the signs of mold but they seem invisible. This is because it can narrow down your search by identifying places that have the highest amount of mold in your home.
- To Identify Mold Species
Other people consider this as a poor basis for testing, but there is a reason why you need to determine the kind of mold species that have invaded your home. It helps to determine if there are toxic molds since you need to take extra caution for safe removal. The Aspergillus and Stachybotrys are types of mold that are known to cause sickness and other serious health problems.
- General Indoor Air Quality
If you are interested in knowing the level of your indoor air quality, then you should consider performing a mold test. Testing for presence of mold in your home can be useful in determining whether your house has an unhealthy level of spores, or if mold is the major cause behind your allergies. There is a possibility that the molds might have been blowing into the house from the outdoors. Performing a test will give you a full picture of indoor air quality in your home.
- It is Useful For Real Estate Transactions
Certain defects in a home can interfere with the closing process of a real estate property as it may cause termination of a contract by the buyer. Mold testing is important for the protection of both buyers and sellers since the high presence of mold may prevent an agent from closing the transaction. You will also have problems selling the property once you consider moving into a new house. Testing for the presence of mold keeps your home safe from potential health hazards and makes it attractive for sale.
- How Much Does Mold Testing Cost?
Mold testing companies use specialized equipment to perform tests in your home. Although the equipment used ensures some degree of accuracy, there are always possibilities of a false negative or a false positive. The exact cost of mold testing may vary depending on your geographic location. The cost is more likely to be higher if a few samples are sent to a lab. Test kits could be the most affordable option of testing for mold as they go for around $50. However, it is important to note that there are higher chances they will compromise your accuracy.
It is always important to go through a mold inspection in your home before turning to mold testing. If there are any traces of mold then you can skip to the mold removal stage. However, it is a good idea to test for mold when they are not visible but you can notice its smell. It can also be useful after removal to determine if there is still any presence of mold. Furthermore, mold testing can help in closing real estate transactions since buyers want a home that is safe and free from any health hazards. Professional testing might be quite expensive to a homeowner but it offers a lot of benefits in the long term.