If you suspect that you could have a mold problem, one of the first things you should consider is having your home tested for mold.
Having your home tested used to mean that you had to hire someone else to do the work. Today, you can actually buy mold testing kits that will let you test your home yourself. This can make the process of testing for mold much more affordable.
The biggest possible mold-testing mistake is to test only one or just a few indoor locations for mold. Mold test all around your home or building, including mold testing of the airflow out of each heating/cooling duct register. Mold can freely colonize a home or building through spores that float on air currents. You have to test all around your home.
Test your entire home for possible mold growth and infestation. Locate the likely mold hotspots, where you know there is humidity or pre-existing mold. You can find entire home test kits that allow you to check your entire home for mold contamination at a more affordable price than using a contractor. Kits designed for testing a home will give you from 10 to 20 individual mold test kits inside, so that you can test thoroughly.
As you test, keep in mind the following:
- Use the mold test kits to test every room (including the attic, basement, and crawl space) of your home or other property for the possible presence of elevated levels of airborne mold spores. If these spores are present, they indicate a likely mold infestation problem.
- Use the mold test kits to test the airflow coming out of the heating/ventilating/air conditioning (hvac) duct registers. Be sure to run your hvac equipment for these tests. Test at least two duct registers in different areas of your home or building.
- Use the mold test kits to test the visible mold growth locations. Collect a test sample from each separate infestation or growth location. (Please note that you can also use Scotch tape to collect test samples of visible mold. This is a simple method that can give you a good sample of the mold that is growing.)
- You should always do an outdoor control test which you can compare test results with your indoor test samples. What's an outdoor air test? You will actually test an air sample taken five feet beyond the drip edge of your roof.
Not comfortable doing this yourself? There are many reputable companies who can come and do mold testing for you. Just be sure to check their credentials, including membership in the Better Business Bureau or other certification agencies.