If you find what you suspect might 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 even in your closet it is always wise to identify the type of mold before attempting any kind of clean up.
Why? Well, some molds are pretty harmless, maybe causing some minor allergies such as itchy eyes, headaches or irritating some existing illness such as asthma. Others can be dangerously toxic and should only be cleaned up 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 ever the choice can be confusing with certain kits designed for a specific type of test.
So, in an effort to help you decide what kind of mold testing kit you should purchase shown below are some different types of kit and an explanation of their uses.
- The Lift Tape Kit
This kind of kit is perfect if you are already certain that the staining you have found is undoubtedly mold but still need to identify the type. It can be used to test the surfaces of floors, walls, ceilings, furniture and so forth.
This testing kit could not be easier 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 take it off for laboratory testing.
- The Instant Kit
This testing kit will confirm immediately – well, in about 10 minutes to be more accurate – whether the growth you are concerned about definite mold. What it does not tell you is the actual type of mold; you will still require laboratory analysis to determine whether it is toxic and/or potentially damaging to health.
Once again this mold kit is extremely simple to use. Remove the swab out of the tube – make sure 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 check the color against the color chart which is provided in the kit.
- The Viable Kit.
The Viable mold test kit is probably the one which has most uses for a mold testing kit which does not need laboratory analysis.
This kit can be used to establish whether there is mold present and also the strain of mold. You can also to use it in testing the air quality of your property and the heating system.
This mold kit consists of 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 germinate for a few of days – usually anything from 3 to 7 days.
If you wish to use it to test the air quality of a room you will require 2 mold test kits. Remove 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 kits in place for about one hour before replacing the lids. In approximately 7 days you should have some mold growth.
Next, compare the results. If both produce the same strains of mold growth then the mold found in your room is merely representative of what is found in the general environment. If differences are found and the Petri dish from the room is displaying additional or different strains of mold growth it is certainly wise to have it checked out at a laboratory.
To check your heating system, close all vents with the exception of 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 maximum.
If you discover that there is significant mold growth in the Petri dish used to test the heating/cooling system it would be sensible to have it properly checked out at a laboratory.