Do I Need A Mold Remediation Professional
The answer to this question depends on a lot of factors, such as how big the mold problem is, what surface the mold is growing on, and how handy you are. But, in general, the answer is that the smaller the mold problem, the less likely you are to need a professional.
Mold problems go hand in hand with water problems, so when youve got a water leak or flooding that isnt taken care of quickly, mold is usually soon to follow. But it doesnt just take a catastrophic water event to bring on mold. For example, almost every home I have been to has some mold growing in the bathroom.
Now, Im no doctor, but Id stake my reputation on stating that common bathroom mold in your tub or shower isnt going to kill you. But lets face it its gross, its unattractive, and it doesnt give you a feeling of cleanliness. The reason its so prominent in homes is because the bathroom is a high humidity environment, and most people dont take the time to properly ventilate it and dry it out.
But do you need to spend a lot of money on a mold professional to get rid of bathroom mold in your tub or shower? No! It is completely unnecessary. Any moderately handy person can buy some over the counter mold cleaner and clean their tile and grout and replace their caulking all for the grand total price of under $10! Just make sure to ventilate your bathroom going forward, so all your hard work wont be wasted.
Seeml Labs Diy Mold Test Kit
When you suspect mold growth in several areas, the SEEML Labs DIY kit is exactly what you need to check whether its toxic. Why should you purchase this kit? Because it enables you to carry out three different tests simultaneously.
It comes with three different types of adhesive plastic tape. Theres a strip suitable for wet and high humidity rooms such as bathrooms. Wait until your bathroom is partially dry then rub your adhesive on moldy areas. Each adhesive strip has its own clear case that you use to mail for lab analysis.
Rather than spend money buying three testing kits, your SEEML package comes with an adhesive strip for air conditioning units. Activate your unit at the highest setting for five minutes then switch it off. Rub this adhesive strip on the air outlets then prepare it for mailing.
While purchasing this unit comes with recurring costs, theyre quite low compared to rival brands. You only pay for mailing back and forth. Why? Because the price already includes your lab analysis fee.
Treatment For Mold Exposure:
The best treatment is to avoid places that trigger your allergic reactions. To put you at ease, your doctor may suggest the following:
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How Mold Affects Your Health
Mold produces irritants and allergens that can cause various reactions when inhaled or touched. Reactions to mold are often allergic symptoms such as sneezing, red eyes, runny nose and skin rashes.
Sensitive individuals may experience immediate reactions when in contact with mold. Others, on the other hand, might have delayed symptoms .
Individuals with asthma may have an especially hard time when in a room with mold. Mold can trigger asthma attacks while irritating the throat, lungs, nose and eyes.
People who dont suffer from allergies or asthma may also experience irritation in the eyes, nose, lungs and throat.
One mold species, in particular, can be more hazardous than others Stachybotrys chartarum. This species is generally referred to as black mold or toxic mold. Despite the name, this mold is actually more greenish in color and is gooier in texture compared to other species.
Black mold can grow on surfaces high in cellulose and low in nitrogen. These include fiberboards, paper, dust and lint. This mold requires constant moisture in order to grow, so its commonly found near water damage, leaks and after floods.
While mold, in general, isnt toxic or poisonous, some species such as black mold can produce toxic byproducts. One of these is called mycotoxins. However, little research is available as to how it affects peoples health .
Mold Testing By A Professional Mold Tester
A professional mold tester will use a microscope to look for mold spores. A professional will also be able to identify what type of mold is in your home and whether or not its toxic. The results from the lab can help determine if your symptoms are related to mold exposure. In addition, some researchers believe that there may be different types of molds that affect people differently depending on their genetic predispositions. If you have been experiencing chronic or severe symptoms such as bloodshot eyes or skin irritation, you should consider using a professional testing service.
You will need: Powerful Microscope with Light Source Accurate identification of any problems requires a microscope specifically designed to view mold organisms. The microscope needs a fiber optic light source and should be at least 100x magnification. A Compound Microscope is Ideal If you are looking for accurate results, its important to use a microscope like this one that will allow you to make comparisons with other test samples as well as identify the genus and species of the mold.
Estimated Cost: $500+ Mold Testing DIY Kits
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How To Choose The Best Mold Test Kit
There are a few key things to consider when selecting a mold test kit. These include the types of supplies that are included and the customer support that’s available. Here are the main factors to think about to make sure you choose the best mold test kit for your situation.
It is important to find a mold test kit that includes all of the equipment necessary to collect complete samples. If a test kit can collect surface samples but does not include swabs or adhesive strips, youll have to look elsewhere to buy these items at an added cost. Usually, you can determine the types of tests the kit can perform by looking at the included supplies.
Help and support
Reputable mold test companies include their telephone numbers and email addresses on their websites. In addition to contact information, you might want to select a company that has strong support options, including FAQs and video tutorials. Aside from our top two products, the Pro-Lab Mold Test Kit and the Home Mold Laboratory Viable Mold Test Kit, you can find full customer support with Healthful Home’s 5-Minute Mold Test and the Mold Check Whole House Mold Test.
It also is handy if either the kit itself or the website offers a guidebook to tell you how to test for mold and identify what you find.
Are Home Mold Test Kits Reliable
Mold is everywhere. All homes have mold in them. Mold spores can be found in the air, on surfaces, furniture, and all over the place, especially where there is moisture. Although we already know that mold is everywhere, we all experience the unexpected or the unplanned. A natural disaster, such as a flood, where mold will begin to grow fast and you will need to act fast by testing to be sure you have mold present will make you ask the question, Are home mold test kits reliable?
Most mold testing involves taking a sample of either the air or a surface. Essentially, a mold inspector tests the air or surface to find out what kind of mold exists and/or if the mold found is able to grow in the area tested.
So, the question becomes again, Are home mold test kits reliable? Or, Should I hire a professional to test my home for mold?
So, to answer the question, Are home mold test kits reliable, the answer is, they can be. You just have to do your research and make sure you get that value added, quantifiable results.
Also Check: How Do I Know If I Am Allergic To Mold
Common Mold Hiding Places
All mold needs to grow is moisture, darkness and warmth, but where exactly should you look when you suspect a mold problem? Here are a few common places around the house where mold is likely to grow :
- Behind appliances such as a refrigerator or dishwasher.
- Behind drywalls where plumbing pipes are located.
- Underneath cardboard or old newspapers.
- Beneath sinks.
- Under carpets, particularly in the padding.
A Qualified Environmental Lab Took Samples Of The Mold In My Home And Gave Me The Results Can Cdc Interpret These Results
Standards for judging what is an acceptable, tolerable or normal quantity of mold have not been established. Sampling for mold can be expensive, and standards for judging what is and what is not an acceptable quantity of mold have not been set. The best practice is to remove the mold and work to prevent future growth. If you do decide to pay for environmental sampling for molds, before the work starts, you should ask the consultants who will do the work to establish criteria for interpreting the test results. They should tell you in advance what they will do or what recommendations they will make based on the sampling results. The results of samples taken in your unique situation cannot be interpreted without physical inspection of the contaminated area or without considering the buildings characteristics and the factors that led to the present condition.
Also Check: Is Mold Damage Covered By Renters Insurance
How Do Doctors Test For Mold Exposure
If you have molds in your home and youre not paying any heed to your surroundings, you are putting your health in jeopardy. Molds are fungal species known to create havoc in your life. It is the moisture to be blamed for insidious mold growth in your homes. Having molds in homes and buildings is a pressing problem that should not be overlooked.
Wherever there is high humidity, these spores grow abundantly. Not only humidity feeds molds but also the puddles and the damp materials in your homes give these molds a safe and favorable place to live. Therefore, living in a water-damaged home or building can lead to serious health issues. This allows the tiny bubble of fear to expand in the heads of landowners and business owners.
If you have a hunch that molds are thriving at your place, take it seriously. The best way to get to these molds is by noticing water stains on walls, discoloration of paint, surface deterioration, flaky wallpaper, musty odor, etc.
Before we let you know how doctors test for mold exposure, it is of supreme importance to first get you acquainted with the mold-centered health problems for which youll turn to your doctor.
Molds are capable of producing many substances that can be detrimental. Allergens, irritants, and biotoxins are a threat to human health.
Best Mold Test Kits 2021
Weve rated the best mold test kits for detecting spores around your home.
The best mold test kits are essential if you can see mold spores in your home or you suspect that theres an issue with damp. These handy kits allow you to swab areas in your home before sending off your samples for professional analysis so you can get on top of the problem.
If youre after one of the best black mold test kits, weve included some great options that are approved by the American Industrial Hygiene Association and are very easy to use. Treating black mold in your home is not only essential because it looks horrible, but it can also lead to health problems if it spreads. If left to its own devices, mold can devalue your home and cost thousands to fix.
The good news is that even the top-rated mold detection kits wont cost you a fortune, and many options in our guide are less than $20. Take note, however, that some kit companies charge you extra for the lab testing part of the process but some return your results in just five days.
Weve ranked the best mold test kits for how easy they are to use, any extra fees involved, and how quickly the results are returned. You can find a range of kits to choose from below but for other ways to monitor and tackle the air inside your home, head to our guides on the best air purifiers or the best dehumidifiers.
Also Check: Can Black Mold Cause Asthma
Home Mold Laboratory Viable Mold Test Kit: Easiest To Use
The Home Mold Laborator Viable Mold Test Kit provides accurate results. It also happens to be one of the easiest test kits to use, since the supplies are ready to use right out of the box and don’t require any preparation. However, bear in mind that because the supplies are prepared ahead of time, these mold test kits have expiration dates, which you will want to keep note of.
You can use this kit to detect dangerous growth colonies like black mold, but it cannot detect bacteria or fungus. There are three different testing methods you can use. All three testing methods require that you incubate samples for three to seven days to make sure you give time for slow-growing mold and yeast to appear.
Should you find mold growing within this time frame, you’ll want to send a sample to the lab for analysis. This company charges $50 per sample that you submit, which is more than some other companies. Additionally, it can take up to eight days to get a sample back from the lab, which is longer than most other companies.The easiest sampling method requires that you leave a petri dish in a room for an hour before sealing it up and letting it incubate. The second has you use a swab to determine whether the visible mold that you find in your home is alive or not. The last and most difficult testing method requires that you place a test kit on the air vent farthest away from your central air system.
Check Your Petri Dish
After 48 hours, check your petri dish for signs of mold growth. If you do not see mold, wait another 24 hours and check again. If you still dont see mold, wait again for 24 hours and check one last time. If you do not see mold growth after 96 hours, your test did not detect any mold. If you do see mold on your test plate, you should take additional steps to remove the mold.
Read Also: How To Clean Mold Off Leather Furniture
Professional Testing For Mold
We recommend having a professional come in and conduct testing for mold if you arent sure youve located all the mold in your home or if youre having health problems that might be related to mold. Most professionals that do mold testing are actually engineers and they are trained to conduct mold tests with precision to ensure accurate results. They also know where to test for mold in order to make sure all the mold in the home is located. Their tests can tell you what type or types of mold is growing in your home, information which may help your physician in formulating the best treatment plan if youre suffering from mold-related health problems. A certified mold tester can also tell you the expected and safe levels of mold in the home and let you know if the levels in your home are unusual or unsafe. For a list of certified mold testers in your area, follow the link.
Home Mold Test Kit Reviews – Although the home mold testing kits are generally inaccurate and the results vary greatly due to improper testing techniques and handling, we get questions about them every week. To answer those questions we have published our reviews of the most popular home testing kits for mold.
Are Home Mold Test Kits Reliable When Testing For Mold Spores In The Air
The difference between testing mold air samples and mold surface samples is that air samples can be taken and analyzed in a variety of ways. When testing mold spores in the air, I would say to leave that up to the professionals, as they would have to have the understanding of building construction, water sources, and other factors that may not be apparent to many people, such as condensation occurring in a poorly ventilated attic, poor drainage on the exterior of a building, or cracks in the foundation.
Surface samples can be taken in a variety of ways. The three most common methods are:
So, to sum it all up, Are home mold test kits reliable? Yes! Give you and your family a sense of security and know first hand whether or not there is mold present..
Recommended Reading: Is Vinegar Or Bleach Better For Killing Mold
How To Remove Mold
- Wear old clothes and shoes that you can launder or throw away after the cleanup work.
- Wear special N-95 or P-100 respirators, in addition to goggles and gloves.
- Set an old box fan or a cheap new one in a window to ventilate the room while working. Throw it out when you’re done cleaning, because the spores are almost impossible to clean off. Tape plywood or cardboard around the window openings so the spores can’t blow back in.
- Wrap and tape moldy carpeting in 6-mil plastic, and double-bag mold-infested debris in garbage bags for disposal.
- To control airborne spores, moisten moldy areas with a garden sprayer while you work.
- Turn off your furnace and air conditioner and cover ducts and doors to contain spores.
- Keep your wet/dry vacuum outside when you vacuum.