It’s time to clarify a common question about mold testing: what is the difference between a mold test and an air quality test? It’s no wonder so many people are confused. After all, both types of tests are used to detect and diagnose mold problems. However, they each have their own particularities, and one test is more revealing than the other.
What is a mold test?
Typically, a mold test is a quick procedure that involves taking a sample of the suspect material, inserting it into a liquid and waiting for a color change.
While instant mold tests give you a clear yes or no answer to your mold concerns, they will not tell you what type and how much is present in your environment. Nor are they a direct indication of what is in your air. So, for more accurate information, it is highly recommended that you contact a professional to test for mold in your home!
What is an air quality test and mold test?
An air quality test analyzes a sample of air taken from a room suspected of being contaminated with mold. The results tell you about the different particles floating in the air, such as mold spores, asbestos, VOCs, pollen, or other allergens.
As a rule, each air sample contains 75 L of compressed air. The results provide a very accurate snapshot of the health of your indoor environment. Air quality tests often reveal major mold, moisture, and ventilation problems in seemingly normal spaces.
Which one should be preferred?
The answer to this question depends entirely on what you hope to learn. Generally, air quality tests are recommended because of the amount and accuracy of information they provide about your environment.
Mold tests are great if you want a quick and easy answer to your mold problems (for example, to see if mold is growing on your antique wood table). However, if you’re looking for the big picture, an air quality test is the best way to go.
6 signs of mold in your home
Most people know that mold is toxic to their overall health and their home, but few are able to detect it. While it is possible to determine by certain signs whether or not mold is present in your home, the only way to accurately assess the amount of mold is to have it tested by a professional. The three main types of tests for mold are:
Your home can be tested if you see, smell or detect mold problems in your home or more regularly if any occupants suffer from allergies or asthma. It is best to have mold testing done by a qualified professional. Hiring a mold tester experienced in collecting and analyzing mold samples will provide you with impeccably accurate results.
If you see any of the following signs, contact an expert for a full mold assessment:
One of the easiest ways to determine if mold is growing inside or outside your home is by smell. On the outside, the smell that comes off is bland, while on the inside, it is more akin to mold and dampness. A moldy smell is not something to ignore. So, spraying Febreeze or any other such product on a daily basis will not solve the problem. If you have detected a little mold, take care of it before it becomes a pervasive problem.
Of course, if you see mold, you know for sure that your home contains it, but how bad is the problem and what kind of mold is it? It would be easy to assume that your home only contains the mold you’ve detected, but unfortunately, that’s not always the case. And it’s the mold you CANNOT see that is often the scariest!
Current or past leaks are a good indicator of the presence of mold. Whether it’s a leaking pipe or a leak in the roof, it often leads to moisture in neglected areas.
Water intrusion can take many forms. Whether a sewer line has backed up, a pipe breaks, or flooding occurs from an exterior building, each problem can lead to mold growth if not carefully and thoroughly cleaned. Often these problems cannot be spotted immediately, leading to the likelihood of mold.
If your home has been flooded, chances are you have a mold problem. After a flood, the best thing to do is to contact a mold remediation company or water damage specialist so they can perform a flooded home cleanup.
Health symptoms in a mold test
Black mold is known to cause the most damage to our bodies, as it contains mycotoxins that affect our skin, respiratory functions, etc. If you or someone you love is experiencing any of the following symptoms, a home inspection is in order:
Inflammation of the skin
Inflammation de la peau
Irritation of the mucous membranes
Damage to internal organs
Suppression of the immune system
Mold can cause both short and long term damage to your health and your home. For this reason, if you think you have a mold problem, it’s best to address the situation as soon as possible by contacting a professional who will perform an inspection without delay.