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How Do Mold Tests Work?

how do mold tests work

Some people may be skeptical about mold testing, especially testing for mold in your home. Testing for mold can be a concerning thing, considering there are reasons to be worried about mold. If you’re wondering how mold testing works or the cost for mold testing, you’ve come to the right place. We will tell you all about testing for black mold and other molds, lab testing, and air quality testing for mold.

Mold is a scary thing to come into contact with. There are people who have gone through it as well, so you’re not alone. Never panic whenever things like this come up because there are practical and easy ways to get rid of it. Some of them may be relatively expensive, but mold can cause a lot of problems for you and your family. Since some molds produce mycotoxins, it can make you sick and can even result in death in extreme cases.

Health Problems from Mold Exposure

Mold is dangerous to you and your family because it can cause your health to deteriorate. It can be difficult to know if you have mold in your home. However, if you find yourself sick often, with a chronic headache, or with allergies throughout the year, it might be mold. There are some specific health issues that are linked to mold, but there are others that are less common. Even if you are not sensitive to mold, you can end up becoming sensitive and sick.

If you suffer from any of these symptoms, you may want to get a mold test done:

  • Chronic headaches
  • Sneezing
  • Itchy, runny nose
  • Dry, patchy skin
  • Watery, itchy eyes
  • Coughing or wheezing

While these are common mold reactions, there are also symptoms that can be related to mold that aren’t as common:

  • Fatigue
  • Loss of appetite
  • Mood swings
  • Fever
  • Sinusitis
  • Hair loss
  • Anxiety
  • Stomach pains
  • Muscle and joint cramps

If you’re ever feeling these symptoms over a long period of time, they may worsen or become unmanageable. Mold could be a big possibility if you find yourself suffering from these symptoms, so it may be time to get a mold testing kit from a retailer. They can be relatively expensive at times, considering most include a lab test, but it would be worth it in the end.



How Do Mold Tests Work?

There are a few things that you have to do when it comes to a mold test. Mold tests usually come with some sort of small container to gather a mold sample in. These can come in the form of petri dishes or small envelopes. Either way, getting the sample is important because you have to send this off to a laboratory. Usually, these mold tests come with laboratory evaluations included in the price.

Some mold tests even have air quality tests that you can partake in. These are usually petri dishes with substance in the bottom. All you have to do is set the petri dish in front of the air source and let the air settle on it for about an hour. Afterward, you can watch the petri dish over a course of 48 to 72 hours to see if mold grows on it. If there is any response, you can send that into the laboratory as well.

There are many sources that you can buy a mold test on. Most mold tests come with prepaid envelopes and you can get a response in less than a week. Some molds aren’t dangerous, however. Truth be told, mold is all around us, so you might have some results that you aren’t expecting. The mold in your home might not be toxic at all, so it’s only a matter of removing the mold yourself.

Cost of Mold Tests

There are different types of mold tests. The first type is the kind you can do yourself, which includes the laboratory diagnosis. These can be intimidating, considering you might not think you can do it correctly. There are step-by-step instructions in each of these kits, so you don’t have to worry that you’re doing it wrong. It’s only a matter of scraping some of the material or taking an air sample.

Proper mold tests can cost anywhere from $50-300. The high-end price usually contains multiple dishes or containers for multiple rooms. It also shows the expertise of the laboratory you’re sending it to. The higher the price, the more experience you’re paying for and the more knowledge you’ll have about the mold in your home.

Another type of mold test is done by mold remediation services. These local services will run their own tests and inspections when it comes to mold removal. This may be the easiest and least-stressful way to take care of a mold problem in your home. It can be a bit more expensive than do-it-yourself mold tests, though.


Testing for mold is an important step in mold remediation. They will have information that you can’t find on your own—laboratories will be able to tell you if the mold is problematic. Never assume mold in your home is safe, because you may find yourself getting sick. This is especially true if you have kids or pets. They can be affected by mold as well.

Doing a mold test is easier than you might think. All it is composed of is a container where you scrape the mold samples onto. If it’s an air quality sample you’re testing, it’s simply a matter of setting it in front of the air source. After you do this, it needs to be sent into a laboratory for testing. These usually come with prepaid envelopes to send it off.

If you’re ever unsure about doing these things, however, a black mold abatement assessor will handle it. They will test for mold and give you a thorough inspection. Afterward, they will let you know what you’re dealing with and you will be able to let them progress with their mold removal. It is important not to stress out about the situation! They will help you and you will be mold free in a matter of days.

  • Tiffany Ellis

    Tiffany Ellis is a writer for Damage Control 911 and has been in the water damage and mold remediation industry since 2007.

  • Jim Corkern

    Jim is a water damage and structural drying technician. He's been in the water damage restoration industry for 15 years.

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