Do you feel like your Denver home has a mushy smell, but you’re unsure if it’s mold? Most damp areas in your home may create perfect conditions for mold to grow. Whether you can spot the dark moldy spots or smell the mushy smell, mold is known to grow in strategic and hidden areas of a house.
While mold doesn’t eat away at your home’s wallpaper, grout, or wood, it contaminates your indoor air quality causing numerous health problems to people in your household. Mold growth in homes is linked to respiratory tract issues such as a running nose, itchy eyes, wheezing, and sneezing. So how do you test for mold?
This article will explain the best way to test mold using at-home test kits. These kits will help you determine whether there is mold in your house, the type of mold, and the safest way to get rid of the mold spores.
Start With the Hidden Spots
Dark, damp, and humid areas in your house offer the best conditions for mold to grow. Pipe leaks are a significant trigger for mold growth in homes and commercial buildings. Therefore, it’s essential to repair any plumbing leaks as soon as you notice them. Any visible mold should be quickly removed using the safest methods available. However, there are times when mold grows in hidden spots around your house.
The best locations to test for mold include:
- Behind your fridge
- Under stacks of cardboard and newspapers
- Below your sinks
- In your ventilation ducts
- Around hidden leaking areas of the house
- Behind your dry walls subjected to flooding and leaks
- Behind ceiling tiles
- Under your carpet
Above are the most common hidden spots for mold to grow. You can also find mold under the carpet, mostly if the carpet was not well dried after cleaning or recent leaking.
Use a Mold Test Kit
You can purchase mold test kits from online retail and home improvement stores. However, not all kits are similar. Some kits test for mold spores in your indoor air, while others test for the presence of mold on home surfaces. To test for mold spores in your indoor air, you will need to purchase a test kit. Most test kits cost around $20 to $50, while the whole testing process may take up to one week.
If you would like to know the exact type of mold spores in your air and the best treatment method, you can send the test kit to a lab for analysis. This might cost an additional $35 to $70. Below are the steps to use a home mold test kit to confirm the presence of mold spores:
Ensure all doors and windows are closed in the room you’d like to do the testing. Do this for 24 hours before you start the testing process. This step is essential for allowing the congregation of the mold spores without disturbance.
Get your test kit and remove it from the packaging. Inside, you will find a label, a glass petri dish or a shallow plastic dish, and a lid. The petri dish contains microbial culture, which is a substance that stimulates the growth of mold spores. Microbial culture will help you collect enough sample during the testing process within the time frame recommended by the manufacturer.
Carefully remove the lid from the petri dish and place it on a table in the room. Ensure it is flat and facing upwards. Leave the petri dish undisturbed in the room for up to 48 hours, depending on the manufacturer’s recommended time. Ensure the room receives as little traffic as possible to avoid disturbing the mold spores in the air. You can put up a sign to remind your household members and guests that the room is off-limits.
After 48 hours, put the lid back on the petri dish and seal it with tape. Ensure to use electric or scotch tape and avoid using duct tape or any other tape that’s too hard to remove. Write the date on the label and affix it to the bottom of the dish for future reference.
Ensure the petri dish is well taped and place it in a dark spot in your home, like a closet or the dresser. Check the dish after two days for any signs of mold growth. If there are mold spores in the air, the inside of the petri dish will have molds similar to ones found growing on bad food.
After 48 hours, if there is no sign of mold in the petri dish, put it back to the dark spot for up to 5 days. Ensure you check the dish every day for signs of mold. If there are no signs of mold growth after five days from the labeled day, then there are no mold spores in the tested room.
On the other hand, if mold grows in the dish, you can send the petri dish to a lab recommended by the manufacturer. This will help you determine the type of mold and the safest treatment method for the mold.
The lab may take up to eight weeks to send the results back. In the meantime, you may continue to test for mold in other rooms of your house. Ensure you purchase additional home mold test kits to test every room in your home.
How to Test for Toxic Mold
Do you suspect that toxic mold is growing in your Denver home? Are you wondering how to test for this type of mold? Fortunately, there are no special ways to test for toxic mold. A viable home test kit will detect all types of molds present in your house. If the lab detects toxic mold in your house, the best thing to do is contact a professional to do further tests. Mold produces mycotoxins that affect human health. If you suspect your body has been exposed to toxic mold, ensure you seek immediate medical attention. Your doctor will run tests and give advice on the best treatment method.
Get to the Root of the Problem
Mold will affect people differently. Some of the most common health effects of mold include fever and red-eye. People with asthma and allergies are more likely to experience severe effects, including skin rashes and respiratory reactions.
The best way to get rid of molds from your home is to get to the root of the problem. Mold is reproduced through spores found in your indoor air. Make sure to follow the DIY home test kit with a professional inspection and mold treatment.
Contact Us Today
Are you or your family members experiencing severe respiratory issues or allergic reactions? Are you suspecting that your home may have mold? Contact us today at Summit Heating & A/C. We offer mold treatment services and air cleaning systems for both commercial and residential buildings. We also offer other services such as air purification, air cleaning, duct cleaning, and air filters along with our heating and cooling services. Our experienced contractors can also design air cleaning systems to target specific pollutants such as dust particles, mold spores, and pollen grains.