Should you discover what you think may be mold growth in your home whether it is on the walls of your bedroom, in the basement or the crawl space of your home or possibly in your closet it is always wise to identify the type of mold before attempting any kind of clean up.
For what reason? Well, certain molds are pretty harmless, possibly causing some minor irritation such as itchy eyes, headaches or irritating some existing condition such as asthma. Others, can be dangerously toxic and should only be dealt with by professionals.
To enable you to establish mold types in your home there are an array of different home mold testing kit on the market. As usual the choice can be confusing with some kits designed for a specific sort of test.
So, in an effort to help you choose what kind of mold testing kit you should consider shown below are three different types of kit and an explanation of their uses.
1. The Lift Tape mold testing kit
This sort of mold test kit is great if you are already 100% certain that the substance you have found is undoubtedly mold but still need to determine the strain. It can be used to test the surfaces of floors, walls, ceilings, furniture etc.
This mold testing kit could not be more straight forward to use, simply peel back the tape from the tacky surface and press the sticky side of the tape gently onto the mold surface. Then, simply replace the covering over the sticky surface and send it off for laboratory analysis.
Remember – you will require use one mold test kit per surface.
2. The Instant Mold Test Kit
This mold testing kit will confirm immediately – well, in around 10 minutes to be more precise – whether the growth you are concerned about is actually mold. What it cannot tell you is the actual type of mold, you will still need laboratory analysis to discover whether it is toxic and/or possibly damaging to health.
Once again this mold testing kit is very easy to use. Take the swab out of the tube – ensure you don’t touch the end of the swab. Swab the suspect area and then place the swab back in the tube. Shake the test tube and leave for approximately 10 minutes then compare the color against the color chart which is included in the kit.
With this mold testing kit also you will have to use a new kit for each area you wish to test.
3. The Viable Mold Test Kit.
The Viable mold test kit is undoubtedly 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 establish whether there is mold present and also the type 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 contains a Petri dish with gel in it and a swab. To carry out the test simply swab the suspected mold then rub the swap over the gel in the dish, replace the lid and allow it to stand for a few of days – normally anything from 3 to 7 days.
Should you want to use it to test the air quality of a room you will need 2 mold test kits. Remove lids off both – sit one in the room and the second should be situated 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 approximately 7 days you will probably have some mold growth.
Next, compare the results. If both produce the same types of mold growth then the mold found in your room is actually representative of what is found in the general environment. If differences are found and the Petri dish from the room is showing additional or different types of mold growth it is definitely wise to have it checked out at a laboratory.
To check your heating system, close all vents leaving one which is furthest away from the heating/cooling system open. Turn on the system on the highest setting for about 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 “cook” for 7 days at the most.
A cautionary note – if you find 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.