So, you think you might have mold, but you’re not positive. You get a musty smell and/or you see a layer on your walls or ceilings that appears like mould. If you start to panic, look online and see that there are Do-It-Yourself (DIY) Mold Test Kits available. Because this seems far more cost-effective than finding a contractor (which can cost over $350.00 for mold testing), you go to the closest store to pick one up! Click here to enable the notifications for Mold Testing Sacramento CA details here.
You see different brands at the store and the cost is even more reasonable than you initially thought-usually between $10 and $30. Once you’ve got the package in, you’ll open it up to see a petri dish and sticky solution that you can place in the space you know may have mold. You follow the instructions closely, and after the 24-48 hours allocated, decide whether you actually have some form of mold growth. You must submit the sample off to the company for “lab testing” and find out exactly what kind of mold you have (there are more than 1,000 kinds of mold typically found indoors). About a week away, the results come back and they tell you that you really have mold and the precise sort of mold that you have.
Your results, however, do have a few issues. First, most mold testing firms are telling you to send in 2 samples. One is tainted from the space you say, and the other from outside. This is because there are mold spores everywhere and to decide if there is a question, they need to measure the gap between the inside and outside. Sadly, due to weather conditions, location, sun exposure etc., the test sample from outside is hard to get exact tests. Since they want to equate 2 items, now you’ve increased the original package cost.
The next concern regarding the DIY test kits is the calibration of the petri dish. While this may be an effective method, it’s important to remember that if the conditions are right, mold can grow on almost any surface. If the surface in the petri dish is struck by a mold spore (which can easily have come in on your clothes or through an open window), it will expand but may not be due to mold growth in that particular room.
The molds often expand at varying rates. So, it can be misleading to have your “lab results” showing you the forms of mold present in your house. A single mold may be more prevalent in your tests precisely because it grows faster than the other molds and during incubation choked them out at the petri dish. In general, these assessments also come with the disclaimer that False Negatives and False Positives are a risk because the buyer / user is not mold experts and could have made mistakes during the study.