When A House Mold Test Probably Isnt Necessary
The Environmental Protection Agency says that if you have visible mold in your home, you probably dont need to test your home for mold. After all, if you can see it, you already know there is mold in your home. There are no established safe levels of mold exposure, so mold testing cannot tell you if you have dangerously high levels of mold or not. You can assume any amount of mold in your home is not good for you. Furthermore, if you have visible mold, there is probably even more mold that you dont see, so you can assume your home has at least a moderate amount of mold growing in it.
You still might want to test after the mold has been removed, however. It is not safe to assume that just because you no longer see any mold, it is all gone.
A home mold test can tell you what kind of mold is growing in your home, but most of the time, you dont really need to identify the mold. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, all types of mold in the home are considered harmful, or at least potentially harmful, so it doesnt really matter what type of mold you have. Youll want to get rid of it, whatever kind it is. If you do want to know what kind of mold is present in your home, though, you can have it tested.
Mold Testing Safety Considerations
According to the EPA, touching or inhaling mold spores can trigger allergic reactions among sensitive individuals. People with asthma may be especially sensitive to mold and should avoid all contact or exposure. If you have a weakened immune system or asthma, it is likely best to hire a professional to test for mold rather than do a DIY test.
Know Where It Spreads
Have you ever smelled a musty aroma in a damp room? Mold is a type of fungus, and it can grow on just about anything. It thrives in humidity and warmth, making the bathroom and kitchen ideal environments for growth. Potential hotspots are the bathroom, the kitchen, and even the bedroom.
A common myth is that it can only grow on certain materials. Spores can spread on fabric, glass, paper, wood, and plastic in your home. They can even start to digest the material that they grow on.
Each mold type has preferences for where they like to grow:
- Aspergillus tends to grow on powdery substances. This includes food, dust, and drywall.
- Alternaria shows up where its damp. This could be a leak, a shower or bath, or under the sink.
- Cladosporium ends up on fabric and wood in cool or warm climates.
- Penicillium shows up in water damage with a blueish greenish hue.
Fungi like this can be of various colors, textures, and forms, so dont rule something out as safe just because it doesnt look like what youre used to.
Know How to Spot It
Its important to realize that mold is not always visible. This fungus can be detectable by smell, and symptoms, as well as appearance. It can smell musty and stale and cause respiratory symptoms and flare-ups like triggering asthma attacks. Sometimes, these symptoms may be the first sign to you that you could have mold.
Read Also: How To Clean Mold Off Ceiling
Expert Indoor Air Quality Assessment And Mould Testing Solutions
Contact WTS today to find out more about our expert mould testing, monitoring and workplace exposure investigations and how we can help improve workplace health and well-being, employee comfort, attendance and productivity issues.
With offices in London serving the South and South East England, Manchester , Birmingham , Bristol , Leeds and Glasgow , supported by regional teams of specially trained technicians, in-field specialists and consultants we can offer professional, cost effective environmental support solutions across the whole of the UK and Ireland.
Contact us today for more information or for your FREE, no obligation quote.
Will You Inspect My Home Or Apartment
IDPH does not perform inspections of residential environments for mold. We primarily respond to requests for assistance by providing information by telephone and providing recommendations for homeowners, landlords or tenants to take to alleviate conditions that may represent a potential health hazard.
Also Check: How To Get Rid Of Mold On Shower Ceiling
Emsl Mold Swab Test Kit: Best Lab Tests
Reasons to avoid
EMSL has a broad range of testing kits for all kinds of spores, microbes, and other environmental impacts on your home. The swab mold test kit it makes is among the most accurate you can buy, and we like this one because the emphasis is put squarely on the lab report.
When you commit to a lab report, you’re given the test kit for free, and return postage is already paid. The fee here is $75, which is more expensive than some other mold test kits, but we feel you’re getting good value here.
The lab results are very accurate, and each of EMSL’s labs are accredited by multiple bodies, including the AIHA. There are a good number of EMSL labs throughout the US, so dependant on your location, you can actually get results in 24-hours if you really need them. That is quicker than any other test kit on this list.
The kits themselves are very easy to set-up and they will grow spores within a few hours once placed correctly. They aren’t as good for HVAC testing as our top choice, but handle all other rooms with ease. Overall, highly recommended if you need to know exactly what mold you’re dealing with.
How Are Mold Allergies And Exposure Diagnosed
There are no proven tests that show when or where you may have been exposed to mold.
But your doctor may check for mold allergies by reviewing your symptoms and performing one of the following tests:
- Blood test. Your doctor takes a blood sample and then sends it to a laboratory to measure the number of certain antibodies, which can indicate your immune systems sensitivity to different mold species.
- Skin prick test. Your doctor takes a small amount of mold and applies it to your skin using a tiny needle. Your skin will break out in bumps, a rash, or hives if youre allergic to that type of mold.
Recommended Reading: How To Get Rid Of Bathroom Ceiling Mold
The Facts About Mold In Your Home
Mold is a fungus that reproduces by creating small spores that work like seeds. Every home has mold. Mold spores can be unwelcome guests floating in on the breeze through an open window or door, hitching a ride on clothing or hiding in plain sight on packaging materials like cardboard or paper. Once established, it will look like fuzzy spots or blotches that can be black, green, brown, yellow, and even orange or white.
There are nearly 1,000 types of household mold. A few common culprits are Alternaria, Aspergillus, Cladosporium and Penicillium. The dreaded black or toxic mold that you see in the headlines, Stachybotrys chartarum, also know as Stachybotrys atra, isn’t a common mold, but it’s not rare either. It will look dark green or black.
You can’t keep mold out, but you can make it less welcome. Household mold needs hospitable conditions in which to thrive. One key ingredient in establishing and maintaining a mold colony is moisture. If you don’t have a consistent source of moisture, mold won’t be able to survive.
In the next section, we’ll take a look at ways to check for mold.
- Inside ductwork
- Above ceiling tiles
The nose knows, and if you can’t find any mold but the smell persists, there’s probably mold hiding somewhere nearby.
In the next section, we’ll discuss ways to get help dealing with mold in your home.
Are There Professionals That Perform Mold Cleanup
Yes. You can find professionals who perform mold cleanup by looking under Fire and Water Damage Restoration in the Yellow Pages of a telephone book. You also may search for professionals on the Internet. The Institute for Inspection, Cleaning, and Restoration Certification and the Association of Specialists in Cleaning and Restoration allow consumers to perform a search for their members online. The results of a typical search will include names of professionals, geographic location, and a telephone number.
Also Check: Installing Stair Nose For Vinyl Plank Flooring
Difference Between Mold Testing And Mold Inspection
Mold inspection and testing take place at home invaded by molds. A mold inspector carries out a visual inspection of the place and asks the home occupants few questions concerning any cases of water damages, moisture problems, leaks and mold areas that have been spotted. Mold testing takes place in a laboratory where samples are collected during the mold inspection process. These samples gathered are then analyzed under carefully controlled conditions. The types of molds are known as well as the number of mold spores circulating within the area in the air.
During the inspection phase, an inspector will begin by examining places that seem to have been invaded by mold growth. They will also conduct a visual inspection in the remaining areas of the house, especially in concentrated areas mainly associated with mold growth. A professional inspector might use specialized equipment such as the infrared camera or meters to establish moisture presence in drywalls or certain areas that are not easily accessible. After this, they will recommend the best course of action, with part of it being solving the issue of moisture. They can establish the source of the moisture, such as a leaking roof, thus calling for additional investigations.
Reasons To Test Your Home For Mold
Mold is incredibly common in homes as it can grow on any surface that is exposed to indoor moisture.
Some types of mold are great like the mold that grows on cheese and makes it more delicious. However, mold growth within homes is dangerous and can lead to poor indoor air quality and create an unhealthy living environment.
Before you can understand how to test for mold, you should know some key reasons why it is so important. Lets discuss.
Don’t Miss: Clean Mildew Off Bathroom Ceiling
Myths About Black Mold
Its important to address myths some people may have about black mold. One common rumor is that black mold releases toxic compounds called mycotoxins that cause health issues, like memory loss, headaches, and infant pulmonary hemorrhage.
But according to a review from 2017, theres no evidence that exposure to black mold causes particular health conditions.
Furthermore, while a variety of molds produce mycotoxins, these compounds are primarily dangerous for humans only when eaten in significant quantities.
A 2019 review of research into this topic states theres currently no evidence that mycotoxins in the air cause disease.
How To Test For Mold And Get Rid Of It From Your Home: A Q+a With Michael Rubino
Mold can be a very serious health risk when its in our homes, but how do we know if we have concerning levels of mold and what can we do about it?
I chatted with Michael Rubino, a mold remediation expert, to share the what, why and how of mold identification and remediation. This blog is a Q+A summary of our conversation.
You can also listen to the full conversation on Episode 59 of The Missing Pillar of Health Podcast on your favourite player or tap play below.
Don’t Miss: Stair Nose Molding For Vinyl Plank Flooring
How Can You Prevent Mold From Growing In Your Home In The First Place
No one likes dealing with mold. Not only is it unsightly, but it can also cause health problems, especially for people with allergies or asthma.
The good news is that there are a few simple steps you can take to prevent mold from growing in your home in the first place.
One of the most important things you can do is control the humidity levels in your home.
Mold thrives in moist environments, so its important to keep your home as dry as possible.
You can do this by using a dehumidifier, opening windows to ventilate damp areas, and repairing any leaks or other sources of moisture.
In addition, you should clean your home regularly and practice good hygiene habits, such as taking out the trash and washing dishes promptly.
Use dehumidifiers for damp areas in your home and make sure there is adequate ventilation in your house, especially in bathrooms.
Checking For Visible Mold
Recommended Reading: Cleaning Bathroom Mold On Ceiling
What Are The Health Effects Of Mold Exposure
Many molds can cause adverse health effects. Molds produce allergens, irritants and, sometimes, toxins that may cause adverse reactions in humans. A reaction to mold depends on how much a person is exposed to, the general health and age of a person and the persons sensitivities or allergies. The same amount of mold may cause health effects in one person, but not in another.
Exposure to mold can cause a variety of symptoms. Sensitive people who have touched or inhaled mold or mold spores may have allergic reactions such as a runny nose, sneezing, nasal congestion, watery eyes, skin rash and itching. Molds can trigger asthma attacks in people who are allergic to molds, causing wheezing, chest tightness and shortness of breath. A disease like pneumonia also may develop after exposure to mold, but this is uncommon.
How To Test For Toxic Mold
If you have mold in your home, your nose is one of the most inexpensive devises you can use to detect it. Mold smells, and chances are, you’ll be able to detect the distinctive odor that taints the air around moldy walls, carpeting and other objects. The struggle is in understanding when mold is dangerous to your family or home.
The term toxic mold is a little confusing. Some molds, like Stachybotrys chartarum or black mold, produce mycotoxins, toxic substances that cause health problems in some people. There is no direct link yet between mold-produced toxins and serious conditions like idiopathic pulmonary hemorrhage in infants, but there are concerns that exposure to these toxins can exacerbate existing lung conditions and allergies, and possibly cause problems in otherwise healthy people. Common molds that aren’t considered toxic also have the potential to cause reactions in some people, which makes it important to get rid of any type of mold you find in your home as soon as possible, particularly if you suspect that someone in your family is having a reaction to it.
Mold can be scary. There are potential health implications for your family, and a mold outbreak can take a financial toll, too. Once established, mold can be very invasive, releasing millions of spores into your home. Many homeowners’ insurance policies now exclude or limit coverage for mold related problems.
First up, let’s learn a little more about household mold.
Also Check: Sanding Mold Off Wood
Perform A Visual Inspection
If you suspect you have mold, the first step is to perform a thorough visual inspection of your home. You will recognize mold as spots that can appear in many different colors. Mold thrives on moisture, so pay particular attention to roofs, windows, pipes, basements, laundry areas, bathrooms, previously flooded spaces, and so on. Mold commonly appears on fibrous surfaces like drywall, upholstery, wallpaper, fabrics, and cardboard. If you see any signs of mold, call a professional.
How Much Does It Cost To Test Your House For Mold
Getting your home professionally inspected for mold isnt cheap. The average cost for an inspection is around $650. But, it can range between $250 and $1000 depending on the size and location of your house .
Many homeowners are enticed by the affordability of DIY test kits, usually available at around $40 or less. However, its crucial to get the house inspected by professionals if mold is detected or suspected.
Don’t Miss: How To Stop Mold On Bathroom Ceiling
What Are Home Mold Test Kits And How Do They Work
Home mold test kits are an easy and affordable way to test for the presence of mold in your home.
Home mold test kits usually come with everything you need to collect a sample from the affected area.
Once you have collected the sample, you will send it off to a laboratory for testing.
The results of the test will help you determine whether or not you have a mold problem and how to best deal with it.
Mold is a type of fungi that can grow anywhere there is moisture, and it can cause a variety of health problems.
Symptoms of mold exposure include coughing, sneezing, watery eyes, and difficulty breathing. If you suspect that you have a mold problem, the first step is to test for it.
Home mold test kits can an important tool for protecting your health and keeping your home free of mold.
Even if a visual inspection finds no mold there can be hidden undetected areas in your home.
A HOME MOLD TEST KIT CAN HELP CONFIRM WHETHER OR NOT THERE IS MOLD IN YOUR HOME. IT IS REALLY NOT IMPORTANT TO KNOW WHAT KIND OF MOLD IT IS. IF YOUR HOME TESTS POSITIVE FOR MOLD IT NEEDS TO BE FOUND AND REMOVED.