When we imagine different ways to keep our homes safe, we don’t think of mold.
Most of the time, we consider protection from outside dangers: rain, snow, wind, and animals. However, we often overlook inside problems, which is where mold comes in.
Mold is capable of growing in almost any place in your home and leads to several health conditions. That’s why it’s important to test your home for mold and find ways to keep it at bay.
You need the best mold test kit to find mold in your home. Here are some of the kits you can try.
Table of Contents
- Do You Really Need Mold Testing?
- Best Mold Test Kits for Home or Office
- Best Mold Test Kit Review
- What is the Best Mold Test Kit?
- How Does a Mold Test Kit Work?
- How to Use a Mold Test Kit?
Do You Really Need Mold Testing?
Places that get more wet weather may see more mold as a result. Because many people in warmer climates don’t deal with mold, they may not know what to look for. But understanding what mold is and how harmful it can be is important for staying healthy and safe.
People think mold isn’t problematic because some people are immune to its allergies. However, people that are allergic to mold suffer from a variety of ailments. These include nasal stuffiness, coughing or wheezing, and skin irritation.
On top of that, long-term exposure to mold without treatment is even more detrimental. Toxic mold exposure can lead to asthma, insomnia, and depression.
While mold is perceived as a small problem, it can cause lifelong illnesses like memory loss. These reasons combined show exactly why it’s important to do mold testing in your home.
Depending on where you live, getting a mold test professionally done is expensive. But completing a mold test on your own is just as effective and significantly cheaper.
Best Mold Test Kits for Home or Office
If you’ve never dealt with mold before, you might not know which mold test kits are reliable.
A good mold kit should get you fast and legitimate results without breaking the bank.
|Pictures||Mold Test Kits||Tests||Links|
|DIY Mold Test, Mold Testing Kit||3 Tests|
|MOLDetect - Accredited One Sample Mold Test Kit||1 Tests|
|Seeml Labs DIY Mold Test Kit||3 Tests|
|MoldCheck Mold Test Kit||10 Tests|
|Healthful Home Mold Test||1 Tests|
|Instant Home Mold Test||2 Test Sticks|
Best Mold Test Kit Review
1. DIY Mold Test, Mold Testing Kit
A good place to start with DIY mold testing is this DIY test from Amazon. This test is great because you get the accuracy of lab tests.
Because you are given three slides, you can test multiple areas in the same price and shipment.
There’s also an instruction guide included that gives you details on specifics. After collecting a small specimen, simply ship the slides back to the lab for testing. You should then receive results quickly and can find a treatment accordingly.
One negative factor about this product is that some places require separate lab fees. For most states, the cost for this product includes the lab service fees. But for others, that’s another cost they have to deal with.
- This product gets accurate results.
- Specimens are testing thoroughly in a lab.
- Cost is very low for the amount of getting tested.
- Simple and easy to use.
- You get three tests for one price.
- The cost of this product doesn’t include lab fees in some states.
- You have to wait to get your results in the mail.
2. MOLDetect – Accredited One Sample Mold Test Kit
Another good product for testing mold around your home is the MOLDetect Test Kit.
This test kit follows the design for many DIY mold tests. You take a sample and ship it back for lab testing. After the tests, you find out what you’re dealing with and fight it accordingly.
This product is great because the lab is accredited for quality and thoroughness. That means you get lab-quality results for a fraction of the regular cost.
However, one major issue with this product is that there’s only one test included. This makes it difficult if you want to take more than one sample around your home. You have to choose only one area, or buy a completely different test for other places.
- This test is certified by the American Industrial Hygiene Association.
- The price for this test is very low compared to others.
- The instruction guide provides information on collecting specimens.
- A pamphlet about how to deal with mold is included.
- This test only includes one sample reading.
- You have to rely on snail-mail to get results.
- Collecting samples may be trickier because of the tape collector.
3. Seeml Labs DIY Mold Test Kit
This next DIY mold kit from Amazon offers a great combination of quality and cost. It’s a cost-effective product for the items that you receive.
When you order this product, you get three sample slides and a free consultation. The lab fees for testing and a detailed report are also included.
One problem with it, however, is that it’s not suitable for testing all mold types. Molds that are airborne and not found on a surface are undetectable through this product. You can’t attach it on the sample strip, so you wouldn’t be able to find it.
It makes sense because they’re relying on a slide sample, but it’s inconvenient for some people. If you’re looking for airborne tests for mold, this isn’t the product for you.
- You can test three different areas for mold.
- The price is reasonable.
- The response rate is fairly quick.
- Testing is done between thousands of mold types to get thorough results.
- This is only beneficial for surface molds.
- It’s not effective in detecting mold polluted air molecules.
- There’s no detailed instruction list included.
4. MoldCheck Mold Test Kit
The MoldCheck test kit gives the user more control over their testing. The user is given the chance to test several areas.
There are 10 swatch portions, making for 10 different tests. Unlike many other tests, you can even do air samples with this product.
The test involves using a chart to match the results with the likely sample of the mold specimen. You compare the formations to the chart that’s given to figure out which mold you’re dealing with.
One problem with this product is that the results depend on how you read the chart yourself. This leaves it up to the user to interpret it, setting up a margin for error.
- This product has the most sample tests included.
- You don’t have to wait for results, as you do it yourself.
- There are no lab fees to pay with this product.
- It’s easy to read the results and pinpoint mold hot spots.
- Different interpretations of results could lead to inaccuracy.
- Some people may find the self-testing process tedious.
- There’s no formal process for keeping the samples separate and labeled.
5. Healthful Home Mold Test
The Healthful home mold testing product makes it easy and quick to do a mold test. Unlike other products, this is just a pen that you use to swab on the area. You find results through the pen in just a few minutes.
The Healthful home mold testing kit is probably the easiest test to read, with a simple line design for mold. This makes it more likely to understand the results and takes out a lot of confusion.
One problem with this product is that it’s only good for one use. After that, you need to buy another set to use.
Secondly, this product doesn’t go into detail about which mold you have. You can understand the general bacteria, but you don’t find any specific name.
- This test gives very quick results compared to other products.
- There’s no swabbing or mailing involved.
- Works for both air and surface testing.
- You don’t have to pay lab or shipping fees.
- This test doesn’t give details on which specific mold is found.
- You have to pay extra for optional lab confirmation.
- The swab pen is for one-time use only.
6. Instant Home Mold Test
This Instant Home Mold test comes in a pack of two pens and is simple to use in its design. All you have to do is swab it on the desired area for testing and get results, as the swab end changes colors.
One negative aspect of this product is that the cost of the product doesn’t include lab fees. You have to pay extra to get a professional lab to take a look at it.
Secondly, when you’re getting the results from the lab, you have to specify what mold you’re looking for. This makes it inconvenient for users that don’t know much about mold and its differences.
- The kit comes with two testing pens.
- You can see results in just a few minutes.
- The product price is one of the most affordable on the market.
- Understanding the results in very simple and fast.
- You have to pay separate costs for getting results interpreted by an expert.
- You have to specify what molds you’re looking for during consultations.
- There are separate lab fees.
What is the Best Mold Test Kit?
When you’re looking for the best mold test kit, it’s important to look at it from different aspects. Your own experience with mold and how much you’re willing to spend on it all affect your decision.
Firstly, consider how much you already know about mold. Have you worked with differentiating between mold before? If you’re experienced in the different types of mold, then a self-conducted test works.
If you’ve never worked with mold before or have little experience, it’s best to get a lab involved. Different mold tests require the help of labs for interpretation. Getting an expert opinion might be better for newbies in the mold world.
You should also look into why exactly you’re doing a mold test. If you suspect that you have mold because of dampness, then getting rid of the dampness should get rid of the mold.
On the other hand, if you’re not sure why you’re getting mold in the area, it would be best to get a mold testing done.
The best mold testing kit for you also depends on how many allergies you have. If you’re not allergic to mold, you might benefit from doing a general mold test.
Some people are more allergic to mold and the like, so doing a routine mold test is helpful in finding relief. You can pinpoint which molds are in the area and how you can avoid or erase them.
Ultimately, the best mold test kit depends on your situation. Talk to a mold remediation expert to figure out what the best step would be for you.
How Does a Mold Test Kit Work?
Mold testing kits work differently depending on the design. However, the main factor is how the sterile agents interact with the mold particles. This is usually how these tests work and show results.
Let’s start with understanding how a settle-plate application works. These types of tests rely on the environment around them to work. You place the dish in an area where you think mold might be and see results within 24 hours.
These dishes catch any samples that are floating in the air and react to them in the dish. You can see different spores from the mold forming in the dish, alerting you that there’s mold in the area.
Another type of mold test that works a bit differently is the color-matching test. It starts with taking a swab of the area that has mold or residue on it. When you place it on the sterile comparison section, it changes colors.
These colors represent the chemical reaction between the mold and the surface. So, you know the specific type of mold depending on the color. This test relies on the person reading it to make an accurate estimate of the results.
A similar test is based on using a pen. In this case, the sterile pen tip changes colors just like it does in the color-matching test. You usually find results based on the color or through the side panel of the pen.
Another common way these mold tests work is by simply sending it to a lab. Lab technicians take a look at the samples you send them and prepare a report on that. Depending on which company you use, you may get a detailed or vague report on the findings.
How to Use a Mold Test Kit?
There are different ways to use mold testing kits. These depend on the manufacturer and the actual design of the product. However, some tips can be applied when performing a DIY mold test.
When you use a petri dish to test for mold, there’s some wait time involved. Start by preparing the sterile surface or mold-growing agent in the dish. Once it’s prepared, leave it uncovered for an hour in the suspected moldy area.
After an hour, put the lid on the dish and allow it to germinate for 48 hours. If you don’t see any growth, let it sit for up to 96 hours to make sure that there’s no slow growth that you missed. This method is useful in finding out that you have mold, but doesn’t tell you what kind of mold it is.
Another method of finding mold is by using a mold pen test. This pen usually gives fast results, as the tip changes colors or the side panel on the pen shows a result.
Start by locating the area that you want to test. Bend the tip of the pen slightly to activate the mold detecting liquid and dab on the area.
If there’s mold, the tip is going to change color, or you can see a line or mark on the side of the pen. The pen test can be more detailed than a petri dish, but still isn’t that accurate.
Lastly, the most accurate way to get mold results is through the lab. The best places to collect samples for a lab is in your air conditioning vents, as these blow mold in most areas. Once your sample is collected and labeled, you can send it to get checked at the lab.
At the lab, they use different methods to pinpoint which mold you have. However, they almost always start by breaking down the components in the samples you sent. This gives them a range of the mold you have, which they investigate further to give you a specific name.
If you’re not sure whether to hire a professional or just use a top rate mold test kit, there are pros and cons to each side. For a professional, the results you receive are likely to be accurate. However, it takes a long time to get them back in the first place.
On top of that, professionals require a higher fee for their services than doing it yourself. Some don’t even have free consultations, so a lot of money is on the line.
On the other hand, DIY mold tests are simple and affordable. They often give accurate results, and some models can provide as much detail as a pro can. However, because they’re not directly tested in a lab, there is some room for mistakes.
All in all, DIY mold tests are a great way to understand a bit about the mold situation in your home. You can protect yourself and your family from mold complications on your health. All it takes is a little spore action and a simple test.