Store Bought Mold Test Kits
Store bought mold kits are not advised. Here are several reasons why.
1) The most important part of a mold inspection is the visual inspection.
Standalone sampling can be misleading, create false results (false positives or false negatives) and should be used with a proper sampling plan and a visual inspection. Visual inspections require knowledge of building construction and water behavior in order to identify condensation due to poor ventilation, poor exterior drainage, foundation cracks, etc.
2) Consumer Reports says these kits are “Not Recommended.”
Consumer Reports evaluated four types of test kits and rated all as “Not Recommended.” They found kits which had leaked, already had mold growing in them, and/or had no expiration date. These issues could obviously affect the accuracy and reliability of the results.
3) These kits do not provide meaningful results.
The primary issue is they essentially only test for the presence of mold in the home. These kits equate to placing an open Petri dish in the home for a given period of time. The ‘dish’ contains a substance which promotes mold growth. Since we know all homes have mold, it should be no surprise that these kits result in mold growth virtually every time. However, this does not mean the home has a mold problem.
4) The professional mold consulting industry advises against these test kits.
All credible organizations in the indoor air quality community advocate against using these types of kits. In fact, one of the most referenced books in the industry, Bioaerosols: Assessment and Control by the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH), advises against using these types of kits.