If you discover what you suspect could be mold growth in your property whether it is on the walls of your bedroom, in the basement or the crawl space of our house or perhaps in your closet it is always sensible to identify the type of mold before attempting any type of clean up.
Why? Well, many molds are fairly harmless, possibly causing some minor allergies such as itchy eyes, headaches or aggravating some existing condition such as asthma. Others, can be positively toxic and should only be dealt with by professionals.
To enable you to determine mold types in your home there are an array of different home mold testing kits on the market. As usual the choice can be confusing with most kits designed for a specific sort of test.
So, in an attempt to help you decide what sort of mold testing kit you should buy shown below are three different types of kit and an explanation of their uses.
1. The Lift Tape Mold Test Kit
This kind of mold test kit is perfect if you are already 100% certain that the substance you have come across is indeed mold but still have to establish the strain. It can be used to test the surfaces of floors, walls, ceilings, furniture and so on.
This mold testing kit could not be simpler to use, simply peel back the tape from the tacky surface and press the sticky side of the tape gently onto the mold surface. All you need to do then is replace the covering over the tacky surface and send it off for laboratory testing.
Remember - you will have to use one mold test kit per surface.
2. The Instant Mold Test Kit
This mold testing kit will confirm straight away - well, in around 10 minutes to be more precise - whether the growth you are concerned about is definitely mold. What it will not tell you is the actual type of mold, you will still need laboratory analysis to determine whether it is toxic and/or potentially damaging to health.
Once again this mold testing kit is extremely simple to use. Take the swab out of the tube - be sure you don't touch the end of the swab. Swab the relevant area and then replace the swab in the tube. Shake the test tube and leave for approximately 10 minutes then match the color against the color chart which is included in the kit.
With this mold testing kit too you will have to use a new kit for each area you want to test.
3. The Viable Mold Test Kit.
The Viable mold test kit is possibly the one which has most uses for a mold testing kit which does not require laboratory analysis.
You can use this mold testing kit to confirm whether there is mold present and also the kind of mold. This kit is suitable also for use in testing the air quality of your home and the heating system.
This mold testing lit consists of a Petri dish with gel in it and a swab. To carry out the test simply swab the possible mold then rub the swap over the gel in the dish, replace the lid and allow it to stand for a few of days - this can be anything from 3 to 7 days.
If you want to use it to test the air quality of a room you will require 2 mold test kits. Take the lids off both - place one in the room and the second should be placed outside but still close to the room you are testing.
Leave the the mold kits in place for around one hour before putting the lids on. Within around 7 days you should have some mold growth.
Next, compare the results. If both display the same strains of mold growth then the mold found in your room is actually representative of what is found in the general environment. If there are differences and the Petri dish from the room is displaying additional or different kinds of mold growth it is definitely wise to have it analysed at a laboratory.
To check your heating system, close all vents leaving one which is furthest away from the heating/cooling system open. Switch on the system on the maximum setting for around 10 minutes with the mold test kit attached to the open vent. Once the 10 minutes is up close the dish and again allow it to sit for 7 days at the most.
A cautionary note - if you discover that there is significant mold growth in the Petri dish used to test the heating/cooling system it would be wise to have it properly analysed at a laboratory.