Mold testing can tell you if you have a mold problem in your home. Mold tests can also help you find hidden mold, measure your indoor air quality and identify what specific species of mold is in your home, commercial, or industrial property.
It’s best to have mold testing performed for you by a qualified mold professional. Hiring a professional mold tester who is experienced at collecting and analyzing mold samples will always lead to the most accurate results.
A mold test gives you a snapshot of the number of mold spores in a certain area at the time of inspection. Since mold spores are everywhere, the only way to determine if the building has a normal fungal ecology is through a thorough visual inspection and moisture testing, thermal imaging etc. A thorough visual inspection allows for a professional mold inspector to set up a valid sampling strategy. Inspection and testing will garner a more accurate picture of the mold problem in your home, if there is one and a detailed mold removal strategy to remove the mold and repair the source of any indoor air quality concerns.
The three main types of mold tests are:
All three types of tests are needed for an ideal mold test to utilize the strengths and weaknesses of each type of test.
Mold air sampling tests the concentration of mold spores in the air of a building. Samples are taken from the air and are later examined under a microscope to determine the concentration of mold.
Mold air testing can indicate if you have a mold problem even if you cannot find the mold growth through a mold inspection or with the naked and untrained eye. However, the number of mold spores can change significantly in a small amount of time and give varying results at different times.
Learn more about mold smells musty odours.
Mold surface testing takes samples from household surfaces to find the amount of mold growth and spores around the home. Mold samples for surface testing are collected by swabbing, tape lifting or other methods. Samples are then examined in a laboratory to determine the amount of mold spores.
Similar to mold air testing, the results can vary for surface testing because mold growth and spores are not spread evenly across surfaces in the home and can change over a period of time.
Unlike air testing, however, surface testing can’t identify the exact concentration of mold spores in the air.
Bulk testing involves collecting pieces of material from the home to test for mold. The materials are then taken to a laboratory where mold particles on the materials can then be examined under a microscope.
Bulk mold tests can indicate if you have a mold problem and give you a clear idea of the concentration of mold particles in your home.
Mold culture testing takes mold particles in a sample from the home and grows those mold particles into larger mold colonies in a lab. Culture tests identify the species of molds in houses through this process.
Only mold particles that are still alive can be grown. Dead mold particles in the home still cause allergies and health problems. Other tests can detect both living and non-living mold in a home but can’t always identify the species of molds, which makes culture testing an important part of the mold testing process.
A clear and obvious sign you could have mold in your home is mold smell.
If you notice a moldy smell in your home or property there is a very good chance you could have mold hidden somewhere.
A second sign of the presence of mold in your home mold is allergic symptoms. If there’s mold hidden in your home there will be mold spores present in the air, which will cause telling allergic symptoms.
When you breathe mold spores in, the body will react with allergic reactions like sneezing, a runny nose or sore eyes. Mold allergies are a good indicator that mold testing for black mold and other mold species is required to determine the problem.
Read about how badly mold can impact your health.
Another reason for mold testing is to determine exactly what kind of species of mold is in your home.
Identifying the specific mold species is highly important for toxic molds as extra caution needs to be taken to safely remove toxic mold from the home.
A well known and prevalent toxic mold is the toxic black mold Stachybotrys.
If you see mold which looks like toxic mold or if you are suffering from toxic mold symptoms, you should have it tested before you try to remove it.
The only way to identify the species of a mold colony for certain is to have a certified mold professional look at a sample of it under the microscope.
Mold testing can tell you if you have a mold problem somewhere in your home, but it can also help you to find it.
Mold often grows hidden away behind walls and other places where moisture exists and cannot be seen.
Mold tests help to narrow down the location of hidden mold growth by indicating the places in a home with the highest amount of mold spores.
Mold testing will tell you the amount of mold spores in the air.
You can suffer mold allergy symptoms even if there is no mold presently growing in your home. Mold spores blowing into the home from outdoor mold or previous mold growth in your home can leave behind a build-up of mold spores that will cause mold allergies.
Testing for mold indicates if there is an unhealthy level of mold spores in your house and can determine if any allergies you are experiencing are from mold or another allergy.
Mold testing is needed after you’ve had mold removed from your home to determine if the mold remediation was a success or if there are still Indoor Air Quality issues in your home.
Surface sampling will indicate whether an area has been properly cleaned of mold. Air testing sometime after the mold removal confirms mold spores were reduced to a safe level. This should be done after any mold removal project to ensure a successful return to air safety in the building..
Before you turn to mold testing you should first complete a thorough mold inspection of your home done by a certified mold testing professional. If the inspection indicates the presence of mold, usually you don’t need to do any mold testing and can book a professional mold removal.
If a mold inspection can’t find the mold issue or if you found mold and want to determine if there are any hidden mold issues or that it could be toxic mold, a mold testing should be done prior to the mold remediation stage.
Black mold and its different variations are some of the most common indoor molds in residential houses and commercial buildings.
How a Regina family’s pre-purchase home inspection missed serious mold issues.
A very thorough inspection was carried out, going just over the one-hour time frame suggested. Besides inspecting all the appropriate housing spaces, there was also ample opportunity for us to provide relevant information and history, and to ask questions. A comprehensive report was provided with options for dealing with the issues.
Our professional teams are trained to determine the best way to get rid of mold.
Mold can be hidden so it's crucial to book a mold inspection from a certified inspector.
Learn more about our 8 step mold remediation process and restore your indoor air quality.
Get answers to frequently asked questions about mold and mold removal.