How To Test For Mold

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If you have a mold problem in your home, you’ve probably already smelled it. Smell is one of the best ways to identify a mold infestation, even if you can’t see the mold itself. While mold doesn’t necessarily have to be toxic in order to cause your family problems, if you do have a black mold infestation, it is more likely to cause serious problems, including exacerbating allergies and breathing disorders, all the way down to causing an idiopathic pulmonary hemorrhage in a baby. If you’re concerned about mold in your home, here’s how to test for it:

  1. Do a smell test. Your nose is one of the best mold testers you have and it’s free. Take a walk around your home, smelling each room—the walls, floors, cupboards, carpets, and closets. Make sure to do this in every room of your home, especially the bathrooms and basement.
  1. Do a visual test. If you can see the mold, you know you have a serious problem. Mold can be a variety of different colors, ranging from rusty brown to green to black. You’ll know it when you see it—it’s a patch, usually circular, of little, often furry-looking spots. Keep in mind that you can smell mold and have mold in your house, without actually being able to see it, as it will live in the walls, under the carpets, and inside of cabinets.
  1. Get a mold testing kit. You can buy a kit that will allow you to test for mold. There are essentially three types of tests you can do: an air test, a surface test, and bulk test. The air test will tell you if you have mold spores in your home’s air. Because mold is almost always present in the air, these tests are looking for elevated levels, which indicates an infestation, not just for any trace of mold in the air. Surface testing looks at the surfaces of your home to find mold, while bulk testing actually takes materials out of your home for testing.
  1. Hire a professional. One of the best ways to know for sure whether or not your home has mold is to hire a professional. Not only do they know what warning signs to look for, they also know where to look and what to do if they find the mold.

 

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