What You Need to Know About Mold Testing

All Homes Have Mold

Mold exists in every home. Not all mold is potentially dangerous or indicative of water damage. That’s why AssuredBio tests only look for certain types of mold. The molds in our DIY test, Stachybotrys and Aspergillus family molds, are highly correlated with water intrusion (or damaging) events and potential health hazards.

The EPA splits molds into two groups: Group 2 consists of common outdoor molds and Group 1 consists of water intrusion molds. Group 2 molds are on leaves, in your yard, and in dirt. They are commonly found in homes as well, as people, animals, and air bring them in. Most mold tests almost always show a positive result because they test for mold that are present in every home. Group 1 molds are typically only found in homes that have water damage. These are the molds that damage buildings and can present health hazards. AssuredBio’s DIY mold test for homes, schools, and offices only looks for water intrusion molds, so you won’t become concerned unnecessarily.

All Mold Tests Are Not the Same

Mold self-tests range from $10 to $350. A higher price does not mean a better mold test. The cheap ‘growth plate’ mold tests provide nothing more than whether there is or isn’t mold. They do not determine the type of mold present, much less the quantity of water intrusion molds present. Often the mold detected should not cause concern, but there is no way to tell. The AssuredBio test only looks for molds that signify a problem. The amount of mold is quantified in the test as well, so you know how severe the issue is instead of a simple positive/negative.

Mold tests without laboratory analysis will not provide valid results. There is simply no way to differentiate types of mold on-site. Any mold test that does not use DNA analysis, including very expensive tests, provides less accurate, less precise, and less reliable information than this test. The best non-DNA tests are 56% accurate, compared with the 99.99% accuracy of this test. DNA tests detect all spores present, while non-DNA methods are likely to miss problems. AssuredBio offers additional and more in-depth tests – including ARMI and ERMI. We will gladly discuss further testing options if you need additional analysis.

Settling Plates should not be used

Settling plate testing, where a dish with activated gel is exposed to room air for a period of time, is not a valid mold test for homes, offices, and schools. This method of testing is only applicable to Clean Rooms in laboratories and Micro-sensitive Manufacturing Facilities. In a home, these tests will almost always yield a positive result and are used as a scare tactic by unethical mold inspectors to create remediation business. Most mold tests you can buy in stores are this type and are not reliable.

When should I test my home for mold?

There are several scenarios where you should test your home for mold.

1. When purchasing a home. Most people have mold tests performed with home inspections, but know little about it. DNA mold testing will find hidden problems all other tests miss and are often cheaper too.

2. Your home had water damage, or a water intrusion event, and had remediation. Testing can verify that remediation is complete and the building is back to normal.

3. You feel ill in your home. Mold-based indoor air quality testing can determine the ‘moldiness’ of your home and indicate whether mold may be the problem.

4. You want to monitor your home and detect issues before they become a major problem. Quarterly testing is recommended and very economical with our DIY mold test.

The best way to insure that your home is safe from hazardous mold species is quarterly testing using EPA DNA detection technology and AssuredBio’s Clean Air Index.

Comparison Chart of Mold Testing Methods