A DIY indoor mold test may not give you the information you need.
If your home has water damage, or if you have a chronic illness that doctors cannot diagnose, testing your home for mold will be beneficial. However, don’t be tempted to use do-it-yourself home mold test kits just to save money. To accurately test for mold in your home requires a professional mold inspection company.
Using Home Indoor Mold Test Kits to Check for Mold
The do-it-yourself test mold kits are easy to acquire online or at any home imCredit: Flickr: Angela Schmeidel Randallprovement store. These do cost significantly less money than a professional mold inspector and come with easy to understand instructions according to the makers. However, in a 2006 Consumer Reports test of several brands of home mold test kits, none earned a recommended rating. This was in part because the tests were often not as easy to use as the instructions claimed. Another problem with doing your own home mold test has to do with understanding the lab test results. Just because mold in your home is found does not necessarily mean your health or home are at risk. At best the home mold test kits you can buy, make a good science project for kids, but will not come with professional advice on the results.
Hiring Professional Mold Inspectors for an Indoor Mold Test
Several governmental organizations, including the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the California Department of Health Services, strongly recommend that homeowners hire professionals when checking their home for mold. The California Department of Health Services states, “Reliable air sampling for mold can be expensive and requires expertise and equipment that is not available to the general public.” With a professional mold inspector, testing procedures and equipment are more accurate and the inspector has the ability and expertise to interpret the test results for the homeowner.
Finding a Professional Home Mold Inspector
Finding a professional mold inspection company is made easy with FindaMoldExpert.com or through a professional home inspectors association, such as the American Society of Home Inspectors. The EPA recommends that such companies use American Industrial Hygiene Association or the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists mold testing protocols. This is something you can, and should, ask about when hiring an inspector. Also when hiring a company, do mention why you are having a home mold test done. If it is due to health concerns or water damage, this information will help the inspector know where in the home to test and what type of molds to test for.
Regular mold testing of homes is not considered necessary by any health organization. Most, such as the California Department of Health Services, point out that you can usually see and smell mold, making it easy to know what areas to clean or repair. However, when the mold is elusive, or your family is in poor health and testing is necessary, getting professional help will give you the most accurate and comprehensive results.