Best mold test kits

Home Improvement

HVAC systems can spread mold throughout your entire home. Place tests in or near vents.

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Which mold test kit is best?

Mold growth in your home is more than just unpleasant. Foul odors, property damage and health complications such as asthma, skin irritation and respiratory issues can all occur as a direct result of living where mold and mold spores are present.

The DIY Mold Test from Mold Inspection Network provides homeowners with an affordable and simple way to check for potentially harmful mold growth. This product’s easy instructions and detailed laboratory analysis make it the best home mold test kit currently available.

What to know before you buy a mold test kit

Signs that you may have a mold problem

  • Odor: Some types of mold create an unpleasant, musty odor.
  • Water damage: Mold requires moisture. Signs of water damage or persistent moisture like stained ceilings or peeling paint often mean that a mold problem is also present.
  • Visible mold: Mold comes in many forms, from black spots to white, fuzzy patches. Unexplained discoloration or texture changes on certain surfaces can indicate microscopic mold growth.
  • Physical reactions: Coughing, sneezing, eye irritation, skin rashes or an itchy throat after spending time indoors can all indicate an allergic reaction to mold spores in the air.
  • Past flooding: If your property has been flooded in the past and not treated afterward with proper water mitigation techniques, it may harbor unseen mold growth.

Mold test kit methods

Mold tests are performed using one of four basic methods. Which one works best for you depends on where you suspect mold may be present and the accessibility of the areas you wish to test. For further information regarding how to best use or place these tests in your home, refer to the mold test kit buying guide on BestReviews.

  • Tape-style mold test kits adhere to surfaces you suspect to have mold growth. Their sticky surface will pull off any mold present. The strip is then sent to a lab for analysis. These tests are best for dry surfaces where you can physically see what you believe to be mold or mold spores.
  • Instant mold test kits work by using a chemical reaction. A change in the color of the test strip indicates the presence of mold. 
  • Swab-style mold test kits contain a swab that you rub across the area you suspect is growing mold. The swab is then placed in a special container and sent away for laboratory inspection. Swab tests are ideal for wet or moist areas that a tape strip won’t stick to.
  • Collection-style mold test kits take time to work but provide observable results. A petri dish or plate that contains a special growth medium or adhesive is left open to collect particles from the air. Any mold spores will begin to visibly grow after resting in the dish’s medium, alerting you to their presence. A more detailed laboratory analysis is then possible if the dish is sent away for inspection.

Mold tests urgency

How urgent you feel your mold problem is will determine the manner in which you test for it. Instant mold tests provide immediate results but generally don’t indicate what type of mold they detect. Tests that require laboratory inspection will yield detailed information but take time. If you feel you have a critical mold problem or require immediate attention, professional mold remediation is recommended.

What to look for in a quality mold test kit

Application

Choose a kit that works best for the kind of test you wish to perform. For example, if you don’t notice any signs of mold on a dry surface but suspect mold may be growing in a damp area, opt for a swab test as opposed to a tape strip for best results.

Accuracy

Consider how important knowing the type of mold that may be present in your home is to you. If you require detailed, accurate results, you will need a test that gets sent to a laboratory for analysis.

Simplicity

Select a mold test kit that you fully understand how to use, read and possibly mail away for results. While at-home kits are designed to be simple, some have more complicated instructions than others.

How much you can expect to spend on a mold test kit

Mold test kits that include the cost of analysis typically run from $30-$50. Kits that include lab analysis, multiple ways in which to collect samples or special devices cost between $75-$100. 

Mold test kit FAQ

How often should I test my home for mold?

A.  It is recommended that a professional mold test be administered once a year or more depending on weather and property conditions. However, mold tests purchased for home use can be performed whenever you wish.

Is it OK to have mold in my home?

A. Some mold will naturally occur in any environment. However, mold is a problem when its growth becomes uncontrollable, its presence results in adverse health conditions or it is determined to be an especially toxic species.

What is the worst kind of mold to have in my home?

A.  Stachybotrys, commonly referred to as “black mold” due to its appearance, is the most dangerous kind of mold to have in your home. It can cause flu-like symptoms, respiratory damage and even memory loss. Homes with black mold can suffer severe damage. Professional assessment and removal is required.

What’s the best mold test kit to buy?

Top mold test kit

DIY Mold Test Mold Inspection Network

DIY Mold Test Mold Inspection Network

What you need to know: This mold test includes three easy-to-use tape strips that are then sent out for speedy laboratory analysis.

What you’ll love: Lab testing fees are included in the price of this test kit. The kit includes detailed, illustrated instructions on how to determine if you have a mold problem. The company staff is responsive to customer inquiries and provides confidential test results via email.

What you should consider: This kit is for mold on surfaces only and does not test your property’s air.

Where to buy: Amazon

Top mold test kit for the money

Healthful Home 5-Minute Mold Test

Healthful Home 5-Minute Mold Test

What you need to know: This test provides instant results for the two most dangerous types of mold.

What you’ll love: Simple to use with immediate, readable results, this black mold test kit is great for those who need to quickly determine if their property has any particularly hazardous mold growth.

What you should consider: Expensive lab fees for more detailed results are not included in the price of this test.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon 

Worth checking out

My Mold Detective MMD103 Mold Test Kit

My Mold Detective MMD103 Mold Test Kit

What you need to know: This kit tests the air in your home using a special, reusable device.

What you’ll love: The device samples the air itself, so no sticky tape or swabs are required. Pro lab mold test kit results are accurate and easy to understand.

What you should consider: The device itself is expensive and lab fees are an additional charge for each test performed.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon and Home Depot

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Derek Walborn writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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