As a homeowner, it’s vital to be aware of the presence of mold spores in your house, as they can cause health issues and property damage. In this comprehensive guide, we will provide you with actionable steps to detect mold spores.
While there are tasks homeowners can perform, it’s important to note that some methods require professional-grade tools for accurate results.
Mold is very obvious.
Look for any signs of mold growth, which include discoloration, dark spots, or fuzzy patches on walls, ceilings, floors, or other surfaces. Pay attention to areas prone to moisture, such as bathrooms, kitchens, basements, and around windows.
DIY Mold Testing Kits
To further investigate the presence of mold spores, you can use DIY mold testing kits available at hardware stores or online. These kits typically include petri dishes or cassettes with a growth medium that captures mold spores from the air.
DIY mold testing kit
Select the area for testing: Choose a room where you suspect mold growth or where you spend most of your time.
Follow the kit instructions: Open the petri dish or cassette and expose it to the air for the specified time. Then, securely seal it as instructed.
Wait for the mold to develop: Place the sealed kit in a warm and dark area for the recommended incubation period.
Analyze the results: After the recommended time has passed, compare the mold growth to the provided chart or send the sample to a laboratory for professional analysis.
Check out the 4 best mold detection kits to buy
Hiring a Professional Mold Inspector
If you’re uncertain about the results or prefer a more accurate assessment, consider hiring a professional mold inspector. These experts have specialized equipment and knowledge to detect mold spores effectively.
Professional tools used by mold inspectors may include:
Air Sampling: Professionals use air pumps to collect samples from different areas of your home. These samples are then analyzed in a laboratory to determine the types and quantities of mold spores present.
Surface Sampling: Mold inspectors may also collect physical samples from suspected mold growth areas using swabs or tape lifts. These samples are examined under a microscope to identify the specific type of mold present.
Moisture Meters: Professionals use moisture meters to measure the moisture content in various materials, such as walls, ceilings, and floors. Excessive moisture often indicates potential mold growth.
Observing Unexplained Symptoms
Sometimes, you may suspect mold spores in your house due to unexplained health issues. Common symptoms caused by mold exposure include persistent coughing, sneezing, throat irritation, nasal congestion, or worsening asthma symptoms.
If you experience such symptoms that seem to improve when you’re away from home, it’s advisable to investigate further for mold presence.