If you suspect you have a mould problem in your home or just want to check for peace of mind (because, for example, someone in your home is particularly sensitive to black mould), then using proper testing mould methods can help you determine whether or not mould is present in your home, and if so, what type of mould it is.
In many cases, people are aware of whether or not mould is growing in their home, because they commonly appear in kitchens and bathrooms (particularly on walls and ceilings), where it’s in clear view. That’s when people usually start to take action. There are many common symptoms of mould, which can also help you identity mould growth, so testing isn’t always necessary. However, if you’re unsure and/or want to know if there is mould in your home, along with wanting to determine what type of mould it is, then mould testing is the solution.
Types of mould tests
There are three main ways of testing for mould:
- Air testing
- Surface testing
- Bulk testing
Air testing for mould
The air testing method samples the air in your home and checks for mould spores. The samples are collected and tested in a lab where they check under a microscope.
The air testing method is useful because it can detect mould even if you can’t see any infestations with your eye owns.
It is advised to test different air samples because the amount of mould spores can vary significantly, giving varying results at different times.
Surface testing for mould
Surface testing takes samples from surfaces around your home. The samples are typically collected by swabbing or tape lifting. As with the air testing method, the samples are then sent to a lab where they are examined under a microscope.
Bulk testing for mould
Bulk testing involves collecting pieces of material from the home that show signs of mould growth. The material is then taken to a lab where mould particles on the material are examined under a microscope.
Why you should test for mould in your home
Here are a few reasons why you should test for mould in your home…
- You notice symptoms of mould such as a mould smell, but can’t find the source of the problem.
- Someone living in your home is particularly vulnerable to mould e.g. someone with a weak immune system.
- You or someone in your home is suffering from unknown illnesses. Refer to the health risks of mould page for further details.
- To test if mould in your home has been fully removed (assuming you tried to remove it).
- To find where mould is growing in your home (if you can’t find a source).
How to test for mould yourself
It is always advised to use a professional mould expert to test and examine for any mould in your home, as they will collect mould samples and provide much more accurate results. However, you can purchase home kits and do the testing yourself- and it will save you some money. But you will still need to send your samples to a lab to get confirmation of whether or not you have mould growth. They will also tell you what type of mould it is and whether or not is dangerous. Despite the threat level of any mould growths, we always recommend removing mould as soon as possible, regardless of what a test might reveal.
Here are a few mould testing kits…
Professional mould testing
As said, it is advised to get a professional if you want accurate results or if you don’t feel confident collecting the samples. There are plenty of experts around, just do a quick search on Google for local mould experts/professionals.