Have you ever walked into one of your bathrooms and couldn’t figure out where the heavy mustiness was coming from? Well, a simple answer is mold. Typically, mold thrives in damp environments as it is quite dependent on moisture.
Essentially, mold is a type of fungi that is very good at breaking down materials and elements that form structures. Mold can degrade essential building materials, and that could lead to high costs of renovations. The presence of mold is great for processes such as decomposition. However, you don’t want it growing in your house.
To tell whether your house is growing some mold, look for discolored regions or spots on your floors or walls. In addition, you might also develop significant respiratory problems if the mold level is high. At times, this might not be as noticeable, and signs could be less obvious. However, the idea of mold growing in your home can be pretty unsettling. To test for mold in the air, purchase a mold testing kit and follow these steps.
1. Make the Space Ready for Testing
Essentially, this step requires the preparation of the space for testing. The space could either be a living room, storage area, or the whole house. To prepare your space, seal all the rooms and close all entries that might lead to mold escaping. You can also read the instructions in your kit for any particular actions you must take to prepare for testing.
2. Get Your Test Kit Ready
Typically, an average test kit comprises various disks containing a substance capable of evaluating your air for mold. Known as "microbial culture," the substance promotes faster mold growth to levels that you can easily detect. These disks help you to collect significant amounts of the mold if it exists in the air.
To prepare your kit, remove it from the packaging and unfasten the lid. Once the dish is open, place it on a flat surface — a table or a stool — with the open side facing up. However, you should avoid placing it on the floor since it is too low to provide accurate test results.
3. Give the Dish Some Time to Collect the Mold
Once you are done setting up the test kit, it is time to relax and let the test kit do its magic. Wait for 48 hours before you go back to check. During this time, ensure that your dish remains untouched. It is also advisable to keep the room sealed off as much as possible. This will allow the device to collect any tiny amount of the spores and will enable them to grow. If possible, get your family members to stay away from the space by cordoning off the area with some type of marking such as bright colored tape.
4. Collect the Dish and Close It
After 48 hours, your device will have collected enough mold from the air. Collect the dish and put the lid back on; covering the dish ensures that no mold particles escape. If the lid is not tight enough, you can secure it using tape. You can use electric or scotch tape. However, avoid duct tape since it can be challenging to remove.
When you purchase the test kit, you will also get a sticky label that allows you to record the date or the complete duration of exposure. On this label, write the date and stick it to the dish before putting it in a dark space. You can store the dish in a closet, in a drawer, or on a shelf.
5. Allow the Mold in the Dish to Grow for Two Days
The dish should remain in the dark space for about 48 hours. After the two days, take your dish out of the dark space and evaluate it for any sign of growing mold. If there was mold in the air, you will notice a significant number of spores growing in the dish. The mold in the dish will be similar to the kind of mold that you see on old food substances or damp materials.
If you found mold in the dish, then your house or space has mold in it. Fasten the lid back on the dish and send it to Pur360 for evaluation. Our experts will evaluate the mold type by running differentiating tests and then recommending the best treatment. Usually, mold testing kits come with an envelope for mailing that you can use to send the dish to us.
What if you don’t notice mold on the dish? If nothing grew in the dish, it is likely that your home is free of any mold. However, to be sure, you can put the dish back in the dark space and give it a few more days. During this period, ensure that you check the dish daily for any mold. If after five days there is no mold growth, you can rest assured that your home is free of mold.
Waiting for the Results
After sending your dish to Pur360 for evaluation, you might have to wait for some time before getting the results. During this time, ensure that you keep your environment clear of mold by doing further tests. You can do this by testing rooms and spaces you had not tested before. Essentially, this will prevent any future transfer of mold from one room to another, either through the air or by human action.
Why You Should Test for Mold
Testing for mold ensures that you keep your living and working environment free of growth that can damage your property and harm your health. Mold is hazardous and can cause irritations and congestion in your breathing system. Common signs of mold infection include reddened eyes, heavy sneezing, rashes, and a runny nose.
If a loved one has a high sensitivity to mold, these reactions can be fatal or disabling. If you live with asthma, mold can be very harmful. Mold is known to trigger asthma attacks, throat irritation, and lung problems.
Common Places Where You Can Find Mold
Before mold spreads into the air you breathe, you might find it on surfaces in your home. The most common areas that you are likely to find mold include:
- Dark, moist, and warm areas
- Behind drywall surfaces
- Below old newspapers, cardboard, or other old materials
- Below sink surfaces
- Inside vents and around the ventilation ducts
- Inside the padding of the carpet
Apart from getting a testing kit, you can also detect mold in your home by watching for the following signs:
- Pungent smell that has an earthly hint
- Allergic reactions such as coughing, running nose, and sneezing
- Patches and spots of mold
If you find the above signs, you should promptly test your home for any mold to ensure that your environment is clean and more habitable.
Contact the Professionals
Mold can be dangerous for your health and damaging to your home. If you need any help with testing for or controlling mold, you can seek our services at Pur360. Our team provides mold eradication, mold testing, air purification, and odor removal services. We're based in Chicago, but we also serve communities in Florida, Texas, and Wisconsin. To learn more about how we can help you, contact Pur360 today.