While mold can grow both indoors and outdoors, it poses a higher health risk indoors, given that indoor air pollution is already five times higher compared to outdoors. One of the biggest problems with mold is that it’s not always visible, and even if it is, you may not know exactly where in the house it is. Even worse, mold spores tend to fly around in the air, and they can be dangerous to your health. The best thing is to eliminate the source. But first, you need to test your air quality for mold to determine if you do have mold in your home. Here’s a guide that will help you carry out a test.
1. Get a Mold Kit
To test for mold in your home, you need to have a mold-testing kit. Testing kits are affordable and widely available in most home-improvement stores and online e-commerce websites. Once you determine that you have mold, you should call a professional mold company such as IBBOTSON Heating & Air Conditioning Co. for professional testing to determine the type of mold you have and how to get it removed.
2. Prepare the Room You Need to Test
Before starting the testing process, it’s imperative that you close your doors and windows at least 24 hours before the test. This will help the mold spores gather in that room and make detection easier.
3. Prepare Your Testing Kit
Mold-testing kits come with several disks that are treated with a substance known as microbial culture. This treatment promotes mold growth after detecting mold spores. The culture will help you collect enough for testing. There are many types of mold-testing kits on the market, so make sure you read the instructions carefully. Start by removing the lid from the petri dish, then place it on a flat surface open-side up. Place it on a level that is the average height of the room so that the kit is not too high or too low.
4. Leave the Dish Untouched
The dish should sit for at least 48 hours or as directed on the instructions. It needs to remain untouched during that period. Keep that room closed off, if possible. Once the time lapses, cover the dish with the provided lid and use tape to seal it. This will prevent the mold spores from escaping. Write the date and duration of exposure on the sticky note that came with the kit, then put it in a dark spot.
5. Leave the Dish Alone for a While
Keep the dish in that dark spot, which could be a shelf or drawer, for at least two days to allow mold growth. This is sufficient time for mold to grow and become visible. If, after two days, there are no signs of mold, leave it for another three days, then check back for signs. If there’s no mold five days later, then it’s safe to say that the room you tested has no mold. Now, you may still notice a musty order in the room and suspect there’s mold. In this case, it’s prudent to give us a call, and we’ll conduct a professional test for you.
If you do find mold in the dish, send the sample to a lab for testing to determine the type of mold. You’ll have to wait for a few weeks to get the results back, during which time you can go ahead and test other rooms.
Common Areas to Test
Mold grows in areas prone to moisture, warmth and humidity. It also tends to grow more in darker areas, so when testing for mold, certain areas of the house are more suitable. Some of these areas include bathrooms, behind appliances like dishwashers, behind drywall where there are possible pipe leaks as well as beneath sinks. You can also check ventilation ducts and under carpet paddings. Beyond that, some telltale signs that you may have mold include a pungent and musty odor, allergic symptoms and visible mold. Use test kits in these areas to detect whether you have mold in your home.
Contact the Professionals
If you find mold in your Arlington Heights home, removing it can be dangerous. In fact, mold removal requires professional handling. Even if you don’t find any and still smell a musty odor in your home, the last thing you want is to overlook it. If you’re in Cook County and need your home tested for mold, call IBBOTSON Heating & Air Conditioning Co. in Arlington Heights for professional indoor air quality testing as well as heating and cooling solutions. If you have questions or need more information, get in touch with us today.