You Can Test Mold Yourself
For most people, the easiest way to test for mold also probably means that the problem is very severe. Being able to see mold all over the walls, or smell a powerful, musty odor means that the mold infestation is already at a serious stage. By the time it hits this stage, a serious mold remediation process is called for, and there’s little choice but to bring in the experts.
The important thing to remember is that it doesn’t have to get this far. It’s actually possible for mold to be caught at an earlier stage, it just means that home owners need to be a bit more diligent and proactive about looking for these problems while they’re still small. One of the ways to do this is to test for mold, but how does that work?
Bigger hardware stores actually carry mold testing kits, but these are “hybrid” kits. You will collect the samples yourself, often using a petri dish with a chemical compound designed to accelerate mold growth. Some of these kits involve simply leaving the exposed petri dish in an area you suspect mold may be present, or even using central heating system of your home to blow into the dish to see if mold spores are already in the ventilation. After an incubation period, you can check to see if mold is growing in the dish.
If you want more information, some of these mold testing kits have the option of sending the collected samples back to a lab for analysis, so they can even tell you exactly what kind of mold you are dealing with, but this requires paying an extra fee for the lab processing.
Mold testing kits are actually not very expensive, and you’ll often find them for sale at hardware stores for $15 or less, so if this is something you’d like to do as a first step towards getting early warning on mold in your home, start looking at which stores and which test kits are in your area.