Are Home Mold Testing Kits Accurate?
Homeowners may consider using home mold testing kits due to the comparatively low cost of these tests relative to professional testing and analysis. There are several reasons why expert testing is more accurate and useful. Learn more about the shortcomings of DIY mold tests and why it is worth it to seek the services of a certified environmental hygienist or full-service mold restoration company in your home.
Home mold tests vary in sensitivity. Many tests are prone to return positive results for several reasons:
- Mold spores are everywhere
- Some kits are not properly calibrated
- Results may be ambiguous
A home mold testing kit may react to the presence of spores without factoring in whether microbial volatile organic compounds are present. These off-gases are released during the active growth cycle of fungi and indicate that mold is actively growing.
Inaccurate Species Identification
Most home mold tests are not precise enough to identify the species of mold. It is not possible to make a positive identification based on color. Black mold or Stachybotrys is actually dark green early in the growth cycle. As there are more than 100,000 known species of mold, lab testing is necessary to obtain an accurate identification.
No Expert Opinions
Environmental hygienists and mold specialists can offer informed opinions throughout the professional testing and remediation process. Insight into the following factors may be helpful:
- The location of mold growth
- Potential causes
- Whether a species of mold is toxigenic
All of these factors will impact the type of cleaning methods and equipment necessary to remediate mold damage. Remediation may be more affordable and successful if expert knowledge is available.
A home mold kit may be affordable, but it is unlikely to be as accurate as professional testing. Homeowners should put the money they might spend on attempts at DIY mold tests toward expert mold testing and remediation services. SERVPRO of Texarkana can fix the problem "Like it never even happened."