Mold Testing

Your guide to home mold detection

No one wants to have mold in their home, but any home can get mold. All it takes is some mold spores from the air to land on some moisture in the home.

Mold is a natural part of the air around us all of the time, both inside and outside. Outside, when spores of mold set down on moist organic matter, such as fallen leaves, the mold helps with the decomposition of the matter. Inside the home, however, it's a different story. We don't want or need mold to grow (let alone decompose anything!), yet it will if it settles on something even slightly wet or damp.

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It is quite important to perform mold testing if you think there is mold present in your home. There are several home mold testing kits that you can use; none are particularly difficult to handle. Some home mold testing kits will have you use clear tape. With these mold testing kits, all you do is adhere the tape to the suspected mold spot, then stick it to a clean surface (such as a plastic bag or a microscope slide).

With other kits, you may do indoor air quality testing for mold. Some experts believe, however, that doing indoor air quality testing for mold may not be very accurate unless it's done by a professional.

You need to be cautious when doing mold testing, as some types of mold may be toxic. Be sure to wear plastic gloves and perform the test quickly in case the mold you are testing turns out to be toxic mold. The regular mold testing kits will inform you if any of the types of mold you send in for examination are toxic. They will also likely give you further information about toxic mold testing and removal if this is the case. If the possibility of toxic mold testing makes you nervous, you can hire a professional who is experienced in testing toxic mold.

Why do mold testing?

Besides the fact that some molds can be toxic, there are other reasons mold testing is important. For some people, being exposed to mold can cause health problems, such as:

  • Stuffy nose
  • Irritated eyes
  • Wheezing or difficulty breathing
  • Skin reactions, such as rashes or hives
  • Mold infections in the lungs

Treating these symptoms involves getting rid of the source of exposure (the mold) as well as working with a doctor.

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