How to test for mold in your house

These petri dishes are how to test for mold in your house

If you think you may have mold spores in your home that are causing you to have allergies or other respiratory problems, it’s possible to test for mold in your house.

It’s incredibly important to do this accurately. That’s why we recommend using a professional for mold testing.

However, we do understand some people want to save some money and do it themselves so if it turns out they do have mold they can better afford mold removal.

 Before you test for mold in your house 

If you suspect mold because of a musty smell, you think you see a mold growth, or there’s water damage, there’s ways to be more certain that you need to test for mold. 

Mold requires moisture to survive. So, mold is most likely going to be in an area that gets damp or humid a lot. If you see what appears to be mold somewhere else, a plumbing leak could be the cause for growth.

If you can’t see the mold but your home does smell musty, you can check several commonly affected areas:

  • Around your refrigerator
  • Under sinks
  • Ceilings
  • Around your hot water heater
  • Bathrooms

  How to test for mold in your house

You can get a mold test kit from home improvement stores or from many places online. However, some are only made to check whether mold is on a surface while others test for mold spores in the air. Depending on the type, quality tests can be about $10. Make sure to get enough for each room you plan to test.

Some tests take 24 hours while some take a few days to complete. If the test does determine that mold is in your home, many tests have an option to send the test into a lab to determine what type of mold is present. The cost to do this varies quite a bit but can be an additional $40+.

 Steps for mold testing 

  1. Close off the windows and doors for the space you’ll be testing 24 hours prior to performing the test.
  2. Follow the instructions included in your mold testing kit specific to the type of testing you intend to perform (air or surface).
  3. Leave the petri dish alone for at least the minimum amount of time detailed in the test. A good rule of thumb is 48 hours.
  4. Seal the petri dish and put it in a dark place. Apply a label and write the date and the location each petri dish came from. Wait for two days.
  5. Check the petri dish again in a couple days to see if there are signs of mold growth. If there is, you can pay to send the dish to the lab to see what type of mold it is. If there is no mold, return it to the dark storage place you’ve made for it and check it daily for 5 days. If after 5 days there’s still no mold you can throw the dish away and assume there is no mold in that area.

The most accurate way to test for mold in your house

Mold testing performed by professionals is the most accurate and reliable way to test for mold in your house. Mold can hide in walls and potentially not allow the spores to get into the air or reach places you can surface test.

When you use a professional like Mold and Water Guys, we WILL find mold in your home if it is present. We’ll also be able to tell you what type of mold it is, clean it up, and perform preventative measures to make sure it doesn’t come back.

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