What Are Mold Tests? How To Read Mold Test Results?

Helen Skeates
Helen Skeates
42 min read

The answer to the question of how to interpret mold test results can be a little tricky. Mold sampling findings have always been difficult to interpret and decipher.

In order to prevent homeowners from asking their burning questions, some mold testers simply pass off the nearly incomprehensible lab data and make a quick getaway.

Some mold inspectors, however, would gladly support you and see the project through to completion. If you’re not sure how to interpret these results, your mold inspector probably fits the first description.

As a service to you, we’ve put up a comprehensive guide to assist you better understand your mold test findings!


What Are Mold Tests?

A look at the various services and pricing for mold inspection and testing is likely to lead you to this information. Although these names appear to be interchangeable, they refer to two distinct processes.

Only the existence of mold and the size of the problem can be determined by a mold examination. When a person enters a building or a residence in search of mold growth, this is considered an inspection.

Mold Testing Air Quality and Lab Results Interpretation

It is common knowledge that a mold check is an expensive proposition. Learn more about how you can get a free mold inspection by reading this article.

A mold test, on the other hand, aims to find out what kind of mold is present in a house and how many mold spores are in the air there. Surface or air samples are typically taken during mold testing.

This sample is essentially evaluated by the mold inspector to determine what kind of mold is there and whether it can grow in the area.

How To Properly Read Mold Test Results?

The challenges related to interpreting mold test results are frustrating but downright understandable. Mold spores can be found in almost any environment.

If the space isn’t airtight and sealed, it’s perfectly conceivable for the results to increase tenfold an hour later.

You’ll undoubtedly notice a plethora of columns and statistics when looking at mold test results. Trying to figure out what they imply is surely a difficult task.

Knowing about these data, however, can be useful in reading and analyzing it afterwards.

findings like this are common in spore trap tests:

  • Counted spores are listed in separate columns.
  • How many air samples have been collected
  • Analysis of the airborne spore concentrations for each spore species.

Samples from both interior and outdoor spore traps are included in the final results. In most cases, an outside sample is needed to compare with an inside sample.

Most labs use a chart to show how many different kinds of mold are present in the sample.

Sputum counts on the air cartridge are listed as ‘raw count’ in the test findings. It’s especially useful for figuring out how many spores were sucked into the air cartridge from the location where the sample was collected.

The Count/M3 or Spores/M3 column should be examined next. This section uses statistical analysis to demonstrate how many mold spores are present per cubic meter of air.

The following formula is commonly used by mold testing laboratories to estimate the amount of mold spores present per cubic meter of air:

(1000/Total Volume in Liters) x (Count in Liters)

The presence of multiple mold species and spore counts in your home does not mean that you should panic. That’s just fine, as no home is mold-free.

The ‘total’ at the bottom of the page is the final item you’ll notice. Outdoor spore levels should be higher than interior spore levels in most cases.

When dealing with mold, you shouldn’t solely rely on the findings of a test; there are many other factors to consider as well. This article’s focus on the test is merely educational.

What Is A Good Mold Test Report?

Mold testing should be thorough and easy to understand. The mold inspector’s findings must be included in this report.

An accurate diagnosis and prescriptive information should be provided to the customer, as well as a recommendation for correcting the condition.

It is essential that a mold test report accurately identify the mold and indicate its location and size. Besides that, a competent mold test should be able to identify and recognize the predominant levels of particles present in the surface, air, and other samples.

See this article on mold reporting for additional information!

What Mold Spores Level Is Considered High?

If you observe 1500-3000 spores, that indicates a slightly enhanced mold concentration in that area.

When the spore count rises to between 4,000 and 10,000, it is considered moderate to high. At this stage, remediation is required.

Mold spore sources are readily apparent at concentrations between 10,000 and 25,000 parts per billion. Professional mold remediation is required if there are more than 25,000 spores.

Mold Testing Air Quality Lab Interpretation

Those with mold sensitivities are the first to inquire about testing. For those who have respiratory issues, “air quality testing” is the natural next step. Mold testing air quality services are sometimes requested by other people seeking comfort or experiencing far more severe symptoms. This post focuses on air quality testing and some of the variables and constraints that should be taken into account while doing mold testing.

Mold testing air quality sample plans tailored to your project are part of our job, as is assisting you in interpreting the lab results in light of the findings found during the visual inspection, and here is where we come in. Mold testing has been regarded as “an art and a science” by some, and I wholeheartedly agree with them. A little wild west in terms of who tests for it, what they test for, and how they interpret results because it isn’t a nationally controlled pollutant. This means that anyone may call themselves mold inspectors without proper training or professional qualifications to prove their competency. For a customer, that should worry you!

Mold Testing – When to Test Air Quality?

According to the EPA and California Department of Public Health, testing should only be done under certain circumstances. Inspections for moisture and mold performed by a trained professional are significantly more reliable in helping to identify the presence of mold issues. However, in rare cases, extra air quality monitoring is necessary. When it comes to determining how to do mold inspections and when to conduct mold testing, the AIHA “Green Book,” Recognition, Evaluation and Control of Indoor Mold, is the most frequently cited resource.

Mold testing is justified for the following three reasons:

Identifying the full extent of the contaminated area.

Identify the type of contaminant.

Clearance testing.

Mold Testing – What Type of Air Quality Testing Method?

These are the three most common types of samples collected if mold testing is pursued.

  • Air sampling is the most popular method for determining the level of mold in a building. The amount of mold spores found inside and outside the building is measured using air samples collected from both locations. Non-visible mold can often be detected by performing an air sampling.
  • Samples of mold spores found on indoor surfaces, known as surface samples (tape, and dust samples). There is a significant belief in the use of the Environmental Relative Moldiness Index (ERMI) to collect dust samples (ERMI).
  • Removing large quantities of contaminated items in order to collect a sample in which mold can be identified and quantified.

Air quality testing is the topic of this blog. Mold can be detected in the air using one of four methods:

  • Non-viable (non-culturable) sample with a spore trap. The most prevalent “mold testing” we see in the industry is this one, notwithstanding the controversy. Using a calibrated pump, a lubricated slide is drawn in a known volume of air. The spores are collected via “impaction.” It is possible to estimate how many mold spores are present per cubic meter based on direct microscopic analysis of a part of the slide. Direct visual examination has certain drawbacks, such as the inability to distinguish between common genera such as Penicillium and Aspergillus. In addition, heavier spores such as Stachybotrys may be present but not aerosolized and thus underreported if only air monitoring is undertaken..
  • 2. Viable (cultivable) sampling in the form of a Pitri Dish. Impaction-style collectors are the second most popular kind of air sampling for mold. Under a pin-holed cap, air is drawn over a petri dish containing growth material. Mold colonies (CFUs) are counted after the petri-dish is incubated and visually inspected to identify and identify distinct types of molds. Malt Extract Agar (MEA), Potato Dextrose Agar (PDA), and Hay Infusion Agar are three common mold growth media. This approach has the advantage of being able to identify molds. Using viable (culturable) analysis, you can tell if the mold is Aspergillus niger or Penicillium marneffei in addition to distinguishing between taxa like Penicillium and Aspergillus. Since each genus contains hundreds of species, some of which are more toxic than others, this is useful knowledge. Because different molds prefer different growing mediums, temperatures, and moisture levels, the lab will simply utilize a “standard setting” until directed otherwise. This sample approach has some weaknesses. It’s possible that multiple petri-dish samples may be necessary in order to provide an accurate picture of the airborne spores in a given area, and this may need a variety of agars and incubation conditions. There are molds that thrive in laboratory conditions and there are molds that don’t. It is possible that the quantity of CFUs counted for both species can be affected if molds that produce potent chemical weapons are utilized against nearby colonies.
  • Sampling of MVOCs (microbe-produced volatile organic compounds). As long as they are exposed to moisture and food, molds will continue to multiply. MVOCs are metabolic waste gases produced when mold is “feeding.” Summa canisters and sorbent tubes can be used to collect air samples, and the lab examines the air sample for a limited number of microbial VOCs. However, these are not the only MVOC indicator gases. 2-Hexanone, 2-Heptanone, 1- and 3-Octanol, and Geosmin are all examples of furans. It is difficult to extrapolate from MVOC data alone because most MVOCs have not been directly linked to a specific species of mold, hence the results of an MVOC scan are limited. MVOCs are more likely to blame for “musty” scents. An air sample can be used to detect active microbial growth.
  • Toxicology of Mycotoxins. Fungi produce mycotoxins as secondary metabolites. Self-produced chemicals can injure other fungi as well as people, resulting in sickness and death. The greatest hazard for humans is ingestion, but inhalation is also a possibility. Currently, only a small number of indoor environmental experts perform mycotoxin testing. Aflatoxin, trichothecenes, and ochratoxin are the three most commonly examined mycotoxins. To identify and quantify mycotoxins in air samples, the lab uses polymerase chain reaction (PRC) analysis. There are 37mm cassettes packed with 0.45 um filters, and the sampling durations are longer than those of normal sporetrap grabs. A lab technician’s ability to count and visually identify specimens is required for the aforementioned sorts of laboratory analysis… PCR provides a 95% confidence level and is more automated than other methods.

Mold Testing – How to Interpret Lab Results and Air Quality Data?

What does it all imply now that you’ve had an inspection and lab results? There should be an end to companies that simply send out a complicated lab report without further explanation. As a Certified Indoor Environmental Professional, you are tasked with helping to interpret the test results in conjunction with the findings from the visual examination.

There should be at least one outdoor sample and a few indoor samples in the sporetrap lab results As a comparison to the interior samples, the outside sample is employed. Because sporetrap samples can vary so greatly, the statistical significance of collecting only a small number of samples is extremely low. For the most part, labs just share a table outlining the number of different types of genus found.

MoldScore from EMLab P&K, for example, provides a “limited interpretation.” Analyzing samples of air for mold growth with MoldSCORETM is a highly specialized procedure. If the airborne indoor spores have a score of 100, they are more likely to have come from outside, while a number of 300 indicates that they are more likely to have come from within. These rises in Cladosporium and Pen/Asp were found to be statistically significant when compared to outdoor levels.

When it comes to deciphering sporetrap results, some building biologists consult the Healthy Home Standard.

Sporetrap Analysis Method for Building Biology

Different labs utilize different thresholds for determining low, medium, or high chance of significant mold development, and the results are usually provided in CFU’s. Healthy Home Standard interpretation guidelines are frequently cited by building biologists:

Labs that can be cultivated for the study of biology

These last two classes of samples have a lot less standardization in their interpretation. “Levels below 8 ng/L are typical for most households and should not cause much worry for healthy folks,” would be one possible lab interpretation of your MVOC test results. Generally speaking, persons who are sensitive to molds are affected by levels between 8 and 30 ng/L. If the readings rise above 150 ng/L, there is a strong probability that the entire household will be affected by the mold development.

MVOC (Microbial VOC) Analysis in the Lab

If you’re dealing with an environmental doctor, your mycotoxin test findings may be linked with your blood test results. When an environmental medicine practitioner notices that a patient’s body is reacting to mycotoxins, they frequently contact us. to determine where the exposure is taking place — typically at home or at work –

In order to answer a query or disprove or support a theory, you must first determine whether environmental sampling is necessary. Tests should be conducted in accordance with industry standards, and the interpretations should be documented in a clear and understandable manner for the “proper audience.” Qualified laboratories with proven track records and suitable certificates should be used.

Mold testing will remain “an art and a science” until it is better regulated.

In the greater San Francisco Bay Area and throughout Northern California, including the cities of San Francisco and San Jose, Oakland and Sacramento, Healthy Building Science is an environmental consulting firm offering mold testing and mold inspection services for commercial, multi-family, office, industrial and manufacturing workplaces as well as hospitals and medical facilities.

Is sampling for mold needed?

Most of the time, sampling isn’t essential if mold development can be seen. Samples cannot be used to determine if a facility meets federal mold standards because there are no EPA or other government limitations set for mold or mold spores. An area’s cleanliness or remediation status can be determined by doing surface sampling. Sampling mold should be done by experts in mold sampling protocols, sample collection methods and results interpretation. When doing sample analysis, it is important to adhere to analytical methodologies specified by AIHA, the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH), or other professional organizations.

Are there federal regulations or standards regarding mold testing?

Threshold Limit Values (TLVs) for mold spores or mold airborne concentrations have not been established. Airborne mold pollutants are currently unregulated by the EPA.

  • “A Brief Guide to Mold, Moisture, and Your Home” is an excellent resource. The [EPA 402-K-02-003]
  • EPA 402-K-01-001, March 2001, Mold Remediation in Schools and Commercial Buildings

What is Considered A Normal Mold Count?

In a typical room, there are between 200 and 500 mold spores. It is typical and safe for a room to have anything from 1 to 1500 mold spores as long as mold colonies are not seen growing and there is no water damage to the room.

Mold spores can be found in almost every room in a building, regardless of its condition. These tiny spores can appear in a variety of forms. Everything from the clothes on your back to a breeze coming through an open window.


Mold spores from this species are the most abundant in indoor air samples. Only a few of the hundreds of sub-species are toxic; the most of them are irritating. These organisms can only thrive when they have access to water in the form of air humidity.

Sample Mold Test Reports - MOLD911 Tulsa


Allergic reactions have been reported in people who have been exposed to the most frequent type of mold.


This is yet another mold that is known to cause allergic reactions.


To signify wet paper or drywall, use a simple water marker like this.


Not all sub-species of the most prevalent toxic mold are toxic. To thrive, many species require a direct water supply.


Stachybotrys’s little sister. The two species will interbreed and become toxic together.

Analysts and scientists can’t agree on anything because mold spore species and levels vary from state to state. As a general rule, a comparison to a sample of outdoor air is used. A lab’s “Air Sample Report” uses the spore/m3 number, not the raw count for each species, to interpret the mold spore ranges below.

What Is Considered A High Mold Count?

0-50 spores

These minuscule concentrations aren’t a problem. As long as Chaetomium and Fusarium or significant levels of Penicillium/Aspergillus are also present, Stachybotrys is not considered a concern.

50-200 spores

Only the hazardous mold species Stachybotrys and Memnoniella are considered a problem at this low of a concentration.

200-500 spores

There is no problem with the most frequent species (Penicillium/Aspergillus, Cladosporium, and Curvularia).

500-1500 spores

Penicillium/Aspergillus & Cladosporium levels in this range may not necessitate cleanup in some cases. If no evidence of water or mold penetration was discovered during the examination, the elevated levels may be the result of everyday existence in a confined space.

1500-3000 spores

A problem may not be obvious until the outside sample contains an equal number of individuals. This level can be obtained if there is no water intrusion or mold problem in the home.

3000-10,000 spores

Remediation is required since the outside sample lacks a corresponding number. If a source of mold spores has been discovered, a perimeter clean-up is necessary. A thorough cleaning and evaluation of the duct system may be necessary if water incursion or mold is not found in the residence.

10,000-25,000 spores

A mold spore source is usually discovered if there is no equivalent number in the outdoor sample. A thorough cleaning of the duct system and the rest of the house may be necessary if there was no water incursion or mold problem discovered.

25,000-75,000+ spores

It will be simple to spot whether you have a mold problem. A professional mold remediator should be called in to clean up the mess.

75,000-1,000,000+ spores

You’ll notice it right away. You will need professional mold remediation services like United Water Restoration Group, Inc. to get the job done.

The Best At-Home Mold Tests to Use Around Your Home

Moisture and organic ingredients like wood or paper are all mold needs to thrive. Your basement, bathroom, laundry room, or any other area that doesn’t have adequate ventilation may contain it. Mold can have a negative impact on your family’s health if it isn’t removed swiftly and safely. Even if it’s airborne, finding out if you have mold can be tough, which is why at-home mold testing is so useful.

Mold spores can be detected and even identified by samples taken from the air or the surface in question using mold testing kits. When it comes to determining if your hair is healthy or unhealthy, there are a variety of ways to go about it. Knowing your cleaning efforts were successful while also being able to put your mind at ease is a valuable asset when dealing with potentially hazardous fungi.

John Balmes, a professor at UCSF and at UC Berkley’s School of Public Health, shared his knowledge of the most prevalent molds found in residential surroundings, as well as the risk factors that might lead to mold growth and its possible health effects with us. The most common molds are stachybotrys atra, aspergillus, and cladosporium” (also known as black mold). “However, there are a wide variety of molds.” A mold removal professional should be called in if you’re unsure how to begin with testing or eradication.

According to the CDC, since you never know how mold will impact you or anybody else in your home, it’s best to get rid of it as soon as you notice it. The presence of even a small quantity of mold is a health risk, and removing spores should be your top priority if the affected area measures more than 10 square feet3.

In addition, you might consider hiring a professional4 for this duty and verifying that the testing adheres to standards set by the American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA) and other professional groups, as specified by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). At-home mold testing findings can help you develop a preventative strategy and identify a mold-free area after the fact.

If you’re looking for an easy-to-use and effective home mold test, look no further!

Our Top Picks

Best Overall: LabTech MoldOK Detection Test Kit

Tape, bulk | Result Type: Lab report | Analysis Fees: Yes | Expert Consultation: Yes | Number of Samples:?

What We’re Into

  • The cost of testing each sample is only $15.
  • You can get free advice from an expert.
  • Up to ten locations can be sampled with a cassette or a bulk collection.

What We Hate About It

  • A self-reporting option is not available
  • Not recommended for use in air testing.

With the MoldOk Detection Kit, you can quickly and easily test several samples. If you’re looking for a simple and effective way of testing for mold at home that includes everything you need to collect up to 10 samples, this kit is for you (for things like carpet fibers or insulation). If you suspect mold in your house, garage, office, or car, use this mold testing kit to find out for sure. It also means that you can sample as many or as few areas as you choose.

To get the results, you’ll need to send samples to the AIHA-accredited lab, but the $15 testing charge per sample is substantially less than what you’d pay for other mold testing kits. The type of mold spores found in a sample, as well as their relative concentration, will be determined by the mold analysis (minor, moderate, or heavy). To further discuss your results, you can call the hotline for free expert consultations.

With this at-home mold testing kit, samples can be tested for pollen, dust mites, fibers and skin cells in addition to mold. This is a unique feature of the kit. In order to determine whether or not mold or other allergies may be causing you or your family members any discomfort or health issues, an additional $15 cost is required.

Best for Surface Testing: Seeml Labs DIY Mold 3 Test Kit

Tape test | Lab report type of result | No analysis fees | Yes expert consultation | Three samples tested

What We’re Into

  • Includes laboratory fees for three samples to be tested.
  • In order to gather, you can use swabs or tape.
  • Free consultations from an expert

What We Hate About It

  • Not recommended for use in air testing.
  • Sending samples to a lab requires a fee for shipping.

The Seeml Labs DIY Mold Test Kit is an easy-to-use solution for determining whether mold is developing on surfaces in or around your home, with results from an AIHA-accredited laboratory. The accompanying swab and two tape lifts allow you to submit up to three samples for this mold test at home, which is intended for surface testing. The kit includes instructions on how to submit more samples if you need to test more surfaces.

Each DIY Mold Test Kit comes with the lab analysis fees for three samples, which may be used to identify the genus and concentration of any mold spores present. Testing results and an option for a free consultation are included in your report.

Best for Quick Results: Healthful Home 5-Minute Mold Test

One sample is required for each of the following tests: a swab test, a urine test, a saliva test, and a blood test.

What We’re Into

  • Minutes later, you’ll have the answers you need.
  • Expert consultation is included in the price of the test.
  • Optional laboratory testing is provided at no additional cost by pre-paid mail.

What We Hate About It

  • Test kit for a single sample

Many at-home mold test kits require at least 48 hours before determining whether or not you have mold growth from your sample. You may have to wait up to a week (or more) for the results of lab testing kits. What if you’re looking for a quick answer to whether or not your home has mold growth? In only five minutes, the Healthful Home 5-Minute Mold Test Kit can tell you whether or not you have more than 32 different kinds of mold in your home.

Aspergillus, Penicillium, and Stachybotrys are three of the most hazardous genera that can grow in your house and can be detected using this at-home testing kit. The results of two lateral flow assay tests can be obtained in less than five minutes. Testing for mold growth in your house no longer necessitates waiting days for results to come back from an EPA-licensed and AIHA-accredited lab.

To find out if you have a mold problem that necessitates further testing, you can swab a single spot or collect samples from various locations around the house. The Healthful Home 5-Minute Mold Test Kit includes an expert consultation if you get a positive result. You have the option, as with many other self-evaluated mold test kits, to send samples to be tested in a laboratory. For your convenience, the kit includes sealed swabs and a pre-paid return envelope. However, you should be aware that lab testing is an additional cost.

Tips from a Pro

In addition to producing a foul stench, mold growth can also cause allergy reactions in people who are sensitive to the spores of a particular mold. An allergic or hypersensitive reaction to Aspergillus might include asthma flare-ups and a dangerous lung condition known as hypersensitivity pneumonitis. —Doctor John Balmes

Best for Air Testing: My Mold Detective MMD103 Mold Test Kit

There will be an air pump test; the results will be in the form of a lab report.

What We’re Into

    • The air sampling pump can be used again and again.
    • Lab findings are ready in only three days.

The report lists the types of mold present, as well as their relative abundances.

What We Hate About It

  • The cost of laboratory testing is $35 for per sample.

Mold spores can be detected by using an air pump, which is believed to be an efficient and effective method. Special equipment and expert services are typically required. An at-home mold testing kit from My Mold Detective comprises a tiny, user-friendly air pump as well as collection cassettes for air testing.

The samples must be sent to a professional laboratory for analysis after following the kit’s instructions. The testing fee is $35 per sample, plus the cost of transporting the samples to the AIHA-accredited laboratory. A mold evaluation by a professional may be more expensive than purchasing a kit and paying the lab expenses, but many consumers will find this option more cost-effective. The relative concentration levels of the various types of mold present in the samples will be displayed in color-coded lab findings that you will get (normal, slightly elevated, or elevated). For future mold testing, it’s helpful to know that the air pump can be reused and different sample cassettes may be purchased.

DIY Mold Test Kits - Limitations of Settling Plates - YouTube

Best for Multiple Rooms: Mold Armor FG500 Do It Yourself Mold Test Kit

Type of test: Petri dish; type of results: self-report or lab report; cost of analysis: yes; type of expert: expert

What We’re Into

  • Petri plate, swab, and growing medium are included.
  • Within 48 hours, the results will be displayed.
  • To collect samples from the ground as well as the air

What We Hate About It

  • The cost of the laboratory examination is an additional expense.
  • To complete testing, it may be necessary to purchase numerous kits.

The cost of mold testing might soon escalate. In order to find out if you have mold in your house, business, or car, you may start with an inexpensive at-home test kit like this one from Mold Armor. It comes with everything you need to sample and test a single region of interest. It comes with everything you need to conduct the test, including a petri dish, medium, and swab. If you want to evaluate the quality of the air inside and outside your house, you’ll need to purchase various testing kits.

Using this low-cost mold test kit, you can usually find out if there is mold development in your house within 48 hours after collecting a sample. Mold Armor’s AIHA-accredited facility accepts samples through mail for mold identification. However, you should keep in mind that analyzing each sample costs $40, so while you’ll get more detailed data, you’ll pay more.

Best Lab-Tested: Health Metric Mold Test Kit

It’s a tape-based test; the results are in the form of a lab report. There are no fees for analysis or consultation.

What We’re Into

  • Includes the price of testing and shipping back

Insulation or other products might be sent in bulk samples.

  • Within seven to ten days


What We Hate About It

  • Irreproducible for collecting airborne mold samples
  • Isn’t there a way for me to evaluate myself?

Many home mold testing kits offer the option of having a professional lab do an evaluation. Typically, this will add $30 or more to each sample. Our top suggestion for a lab-tested, at-home mold test kit is the Health Metric Mold Test Kit, which comes with testing expenses for up to three samples.

The Health Metric Mold Test Kit can be used for both surface and bulk sampling. Any flat surface (walls, fixtures, carpeting, and more) can be sampled using the provided tape strips, or you can send in a sample of bulk material like fiberboard. This kit can be used to test a wide variety of surfaces, but it is not intended for air sampling. To test the air, you will need a different mold testing equipment if that is an issue for you.

Send three samples to an AIHA-accredited laboratory for professional analysis after you’ve completed sample collection. The initial purchase price of the at-home mold testing kit covers these charges, so you won’t be responsible for any further testing fees or return shipping costs. Since there is no self-analysis option with this at-home mold testing kit, you won’t know if you’re dealing with mold development until you receive your testing report. However, you won’t have to wait long to learn the results of your tests. After receiving samples at the laboratory, Health Metric guarantees to return results within 5 to 7 days. Testing results that reveal the presence of mold growth include information on the type of mold and an estimate of how much mold growth there is in the sample (the report uses minor, moderate, or heavy growth indicators).

Best for Multiple Rooms: Home Health Science MoldCheck DIY Mold Test Kit for Home

Result Type: Self-reporting | Analysis Fees: No | Expert Consultation: No | Number of Subjects: One

What We’re Into

  • Multiple room testing at a reasonable price

It’s simple to compare because to the color contrast and colony expansion.

  • There are no further charges.


What We Hate About It

  • You won’t be able to identify mold species with this tool.
  • There is no professional advice available.

In order to compare samples from different parts of your home, such as the bathroom and basement, the MoldCheck DIY Mold Test Kit includes ten test films. Test film is exposed to the air in each testing area in order to assist you locate the primary source of mold in your house, which is what this at-home mold test is described as. After the samples are collected, the film is activated with a liquid. Color contrast and colony quantity can be used to compare the films after they’ve been developed according to the kit’s instructions.

Keep in mind that this testing kit is not designed to identify molds. If you want to know what kind of mold is developing in your home, you’ll need to hire an expert or send samples to a lab yourself. While this mold testing kit for numerous rooms will help you locate the highest concentration of mold in your house, it is not the only option.

Tips from a Pro

“Mold flourishes in moist, humid locations, such as basements, showers, and around heating and cooling equipment. ” Ventilation ducts and crawlspaces can potentially harbor mold. —Doctor John Balmes

Best for Monitoring: Airthings 4200 House Kit

The following type of test is not appropriate: Not applicable | Result Type: Expert Consultation is not included in the cost of the analysis, nor is the number of samples.

What We’re Into

  • In order to prevent the growth of mold, it provides an early warning system
  • Use the app to see current air quality data.

What We Hate About It

  • Does not perform a mold detection test
  • Expensive

For mold and mildew to thrive in a warm and moist environment, there must be an absence of circumstances that encourage the growth of fungi. Indoor air quality can be monitored using a system that comprises a radon detector and a VOC and a humidity monitor. The Airthings system includes the Wave, Mini, and Hub. To access this information, download the Airthings app.

You’ll know if your house is at risk of mold growth thanks to the mold risk indicator. It’s possible to keep an eye on rising humidity and warm air even when you’re away from home, such at work or on vacation, with this system of monitoring. It is possible to use smart home assistants such as Google House, Amazon Alexa, or IFTTT technologies in conjunction with the Airthings Hub to make adjustments to your home’s temperature, humidifier, and other equipment in order to limit the likelihood of mold growth.

Tips from a Pro

High levels of moisture make an ideal breeding ground for mold infestations. Moisture control is essential in the fight against mold. Moisture can be regulated in the home by reducing humidity, boosting ventilation, and repairing any water leaks or other sources of moisture.” ” the Deputy Director of Public Affairs for Region 2 of the US Environmental Protection Agency, Elas Rodriguez, M.P.A.

The Bottom Line

A good place to begin evaluating mold growth is with the LabTech MoldOK Detection Test Kit (available at Lowe’s). Materials for up to 10 surface samples are included in this at-home test kit. The $15 payment per sample is lower than others and allows you to analyze as many or as few samples as necessary. Mold Armor’s Do-It-Yourself Mold Test Kit (see at Amazon) gives self-read results in as little as 48 hours after sampling for a low cost at-home mold test.

What to Look For

Test Type

A surface, bulk material, or the air can all be tested for the presence of mold, and the type of test you use depends depend on what you’re looking for. Mold test kits with tape strips for lifting a sample are commonly used for surface testing. Swabs can also be used to collect a sample and send it to a lab or spread it out on a petri plate for testing. An air pump that collects samples for testing in a laboratory is often the best option when testing for mold in the air. Although some mold test kits use collection film or petri dishes that are exposed to the air for testing, this is not always the most accurate method of testing for mold. You should use a test kit that includes a pouch for you to send in samples of drywall or carpet fibers to be tested in a lab.


To be sure of the accuracy of your results, use an approved at-home mold test kit. Check with the American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA) to discover if the laboratory you’re sending samples to has been accredited for lab-tested mold kits.

Result Type

When it comes to mold testing at home, there are two options: self-analysis and lab reporting. If your test kit calls for laboratory reporting, you’ll be required to send samples (usually gathered via tape strip, swab, or petri dish) to a lab for expert analysis. Typically, this includes a wait of a week or more and additional expenses for each sample that is submitted. As a result of this, you’ll be provided with an in-depth report that specifies the type of mold present and its concentration.

Results from self-report mold test kits are available after 48 hours, but fast tests can yield results in as little as five minutes. Keep in mind that some self-report mold kits can also be submitted to a laboratory for confirmation of the type of mold once you observe proof of its growth.

Number of Samples

The materials needed to collect one or more samples will be included in the cost of a mold test. To gather samples from many surfaces, choose a testing kit that includes enough equipment to complete the job. The cost of analyzing a certain number of samples may not be included in some lab testing kits. There is a charge for each additional sample that you submit.


Are at-home mold tests accurate?

There are several advantages to using a mold test kit at home, but there are also some drawbacks, including the potential for errors in sample collection, failure to interpret the results, and poor storage or handling of the material. A mold professional may be the best option for inspecting any areas of concern in your house or property because of this.

To get the best results from an at-home mold test kit, make sure you follow the manufacturer’s directions exactly. If the test kit you chose includes lab evaluation, make sure the facility has been accredited by the AIHA before using it as the basis for your decision.

Can you test for mold yourself in your home?

Mold test kits can help you determine if there is mold in your home. Any visible mold development must be cleaned and removed, regardless of the sort of mold it is, because there are no governmental or regulatory rules prescribing an acceptable amount of mold5.

To be clear, the EPA’s position is that mold sampling should only be performed by trained professionals who have a thorough understanding of mold testing.

After repairs, how can you be sure your house is mold-free?

Mold and moldy odors should not be present, according to the EPA. 6 Mold exposure should not cause any health problems or physical symptoms, therefore you should be able to live in the area.

Using an at-home mold testing kit to check for mold on a previously contaminated surface is not required by federal or state standards, but it is an option.

What is acceptable mold spore count?

Between two hundred and five hundred spores

What is a “Normal” Mold Count Level? There are usually between 200 and 500 mold spores per square foot in a typical room. It is typical and safe for a room to have anything from 1 to 1500 mold spores as long as mold colonies are not seen growing and there is no water damage to the room.

What is considered a high mold count?

During the warmer months, mold spores circulate through the air like pollen. The spore count ranges from 1 to 6,499, which is considered modest. A spore count of 6,500–12,999 is considered moderate. A spore count of 13,000 to 49,999 is considered high.

How do you conduct a mold analysis?

A sterile cotton or synthetic fiber-tipped swab is used to test for mold growth in a suspected location of the home. Direct microscopy or culture can be used to identify species from samples collected using this procedure. In most cases, the presence or absence of a specific spore is noted.

What is an acceptable level of penicillium aspergillus mold?

Aspergillus, Cladosporium, and Curvularia spores (200-500 spores) are frequently within the normal range for Penicillium and Aspergillus. The Penicillium/Aspergillus/Cladosporium levels can sometimes be as low as 500-1500 spores, necessitating no treatment.

How do you read a mold spore trap report?

EXAMINING THE REPORT: Begin by looking at “Total Spores” (last row of the report). Outside, the concentration is lower than the concentration inside (5,938). (3,814). The most prevalent indoor species (68.29) is the mold Aspergillus sydowii, which may be found by looking at the Relative Abundance column.

How accurate are air mold tests?

In order to accurately measure exposure, air sampling is the best method to use. While a tape lift can tell you if there is mold growth on a specific surface, it will not tell you if that growth has altered the indoor air quality. This can only be done with an air sample.

Can high mold counts cause headaches?

Even if you don’t have any other symptoms of allergies, pollen, mold, and pet dander might trigger a sinus headache if your body’s immune system overreacts.

How do you test air quality for mold?

An air pump that collects samples for testing in a laboratory is often the best option when testing for mold in the air. Although some mold test kits use collection film or petri dishes that are exposed to the air for testing, this is not always the most accurate method of testing for mold.


Having the ability to read mold test results will help you better comprehend the findings, severity, and potential solutions to your mold problem. The findings of a mold test can be confusing at first, but understanding the data provided in the report will assist you in resolving your mold issue.

Helen Skeates

Helen Skeates

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