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Mold Detection Kits

Molds are common in our world, but certain types, quantities, and individual sensitivities can lead to allergic reactions, sickness, and (as the name suggests) death. Mold thrives in warm, humid conditions, such as that frequently found in bathrooms (around showers, in particular), vent ducts, or places where there has been water damage from ground water flooding, broken plumbing, or a leaking roof. Often mold can be seen as stains, spots, or a fuzzy growth on a surface, but mold can also be hidden behind walls and within the ducts.

To detect mold, you can buy home detection kits. When shopping for a mold detection kit, here are some tips to consider:

  • collection method - mold samples can be collected by scraping a portion of the visible mold into a sample container or by using "lift" tape. Samples of invisible airborne mold can be collected using collection plates. Most people will want to test for mold in each room and in the basement and attic, so choose a kit with the type and quantity of collection devices you need.
  • analysis method - some kits allow for self-analysis; that is, if you do not find any mold growing in the collection device within a week, then there is no mold. Other kits provide only laboratory analysis, which is necessary to determine the type of mold.
  • if you are going to use laboratory analysis, compare the contents of the report. In particular, you will want to know the mold type; whether it can cause sickness, allergies, or death; and the concentration level.
  • make sure the kit includes a sample device for collecting the "normal" mold levels outside your home.

For an accurate test, be sure to follow the directions closely. Exposing the collection devices too long will give an abnormally high mold reading. Similarly, hand the devices carefully so as not to touch the collection areas and thus transfer dirt from your hands.

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