Testing for black mold should be done for two main reasons: preventing your home from a larger infestation of black mold and leading the way to remove the mold if your home has been infected. In either case, the following information should be kept in mind when you want to undergo black mold test.
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When do you need to test your home for black mold?
An early sign of black mold should be identified as soon as possible before the mold spreads quickly into a larger area and make it harder to remove. You need to have your home tested if you experience the following conditions:
- Your home has been flooded lately. The moist and wet environment is the perfect place for mold to grow. Homes which are recently in flood may have been infected and should be tested immediately.
- Black mold found in one area of your home. Whether it is on the corner of kitchen wall or the side of the ceiling, black mold that is spotted in one or more parts of your home is a sign for you to have it tested. Black mold spreads quickly, so neglecting the test may lead to the harder removal of the mold.
- You are starting to smell unpleasant odors. Black mold infestation commonly causes musty odors. If unpleasant and slightly wet odors have started to smell, there is a possibility that black mold has infected your home.
- You or other members of the family develop several allergic symptoms. Black mold can cause some allergic reactions, such as sinus infections, sore throats, headache, coughing, rashes, and hives. It is recommended to test your home for black mold if the symptoms start to develop.
- More serious illnesses are developed. In addition to several allergic symptoms, black mold is the leading cause of another serious health disease. If you or your family members suffer from asthma attacks, pneumonia, bronchitis, or immune system disorders, testing your home for mold is a must.
Besides five primary signs mentioned above, it is necessary for you to have your home tested for black mold infestation if hidden mold behind the wall is suspected of growing.
Black mold test is needed to conduct as one of anticipation programs to prevent mold growth which can lead to the worse possibility of black mold exposure.
Black mold test kits that you can use
Some mold testing kits can be used to conduct the test for mold infestation on your own. The kits available in the market are helpful in detecting several common types of mold, including black mold.
First Alert, IAQ, and Pro-Lab are three of black mold test kits that can be used to examine your home for the growth of black mold.
Where can you buy black mold test kits?
Black mold test kits can be bought in home improvement stores near you. The kits are also available in several online stores and can be purchased by order. Some platforms that provide black mold test kits are Walmart, Amazon, Lowes, Home Depot, and Ace Hardware.
DIY black mold test
Do-it-yourself black mold test can be done by following several simple steps below:
- Look for the damp areas in your home, including kitchen, bathroom, and basement.
- Prepare clear or transparent tape to begin your test.
- Hold 3 inches of tape and press it to the surface you want to test. Wait for a few seconds before taking it out from the surface.
- Some debris usually stuck on the tape. The next thing you need to do is examining it under the light or microscope. Dark blobs on the tape are the sign that black molds have infected the surface you examined.
As a side note, you can test different surfaces using similar steps. Separate the result into clear plastic or zip-lock bag and give the label of the place where you collected the result. By doing so, you can compare the black mold samples in different areas of your home.
You can also send the sample from DIY black mold test to the laboratory if you want to get clearer results through more detailed examination.
How to test for black mold in the body
Black mold exposure can be diagnosed in three stages. The first stage shows allergic reactions such as swollen eyes, sneezing, and itchy feeling on the skin. In the second stage, infected people may experience a headache or difficulty breathing that leads to more serious symptoms in the third stage: asthma, pneumonia, and brain damage.
To test for black mold in the body, the early indicator can be gained through a blood test which consists of three primary tests: white blood cell counts, IgE and IgG counts, as well as blood mycotoxin levels.
How to test for black mold in house
Black mold test in the house can be done in different ways. The common checks for black mold are conducted by examining the surface of each room in the house. Other ways are done by detecting mold spores that float in the air due to black mold infestation inside the air conditioning, heating system, or humidifier.
The simplest way to check your home for mold development on the surface is being aware of dark patches (usually in black or dark green colors) which are spotted on the wall or ceiling.
Kitchen, bathroom, basement, attic, and some other dampen areas are common places in your house that can be easily infected by black mold.
Checking for black mold spores in the air is more difficult because the molds cannot be seen. In this regard, you need to know the exact location when the spores grow. You can use special mold testing kits that can collect the air sample and then send it to the laboratory for further analysis.
Without the help from the professional tester, homeowner alone can conduct the black mold test. Despite this, the proper examination should be realized to avoid inaccurate results.
Moreover, because the test for black mold done by yourself sometimes has a limitation, you need to conduct the test using the suitable black mold kits carefully.
Having your home tested for black mold is important since you can avoid the harms caused by black mold exposure. Early detection will also save your time and energy in black mold removal, making you and your family healthier and happier at home.