The Complete Guide to Testing Your Home for Toxic Mold

It’s estimated that 70% of homes have mold behind their walls. This means that even if you have a spotless house, there still may be something more sinister lurking and hidden.

If you have allergies or other health conditions, then you’ll know how important your air quality is. And without ridding all impurities, you can never have good enough air to breathe.

Do you suspect you might have mold in your house? Do you want to get peace of mind? Then keep reading.

In this article, we’ll give you a complete guide on how to test for toxic mold so you can keep your family safe and healthy.

Do You Have Symptoms?

Before you look around your house, assess the health condition of your family. Do you have odd symptoms? Or perhaps you have some of the following:

  • Fatigue
  • Memory issues
  • Disorientation
  • Muscle cramps
  • Headaches
  • Red eyes
  • Light sensitivity
  • Shortness of breath
  • cough
  • Diarrhea
  • Joint pain
  • Skin sensitivity
  • Mood swings

A lot of these symptoms are shared across other types of health problems, so if you or your loved ones have any of them, it doesn’t necessarily mean you have mold in your house. However, it can be a warning sign.

If someone has more serious symptoms than the rest, then it might indicate that the mold is in a room they’re frequently in.

Inspect Your Home

There are some places that mold lives to grow, as they have more favorable conditions. For example, all sorts of mold like to grow in damp and warm places, such as your bathroom. So it’s very common to find mold in your bathtub, sink, and other places in this area.

But there are definitely more places mold can appear in your home. For instance, if you have leaking pipes anywhere in the house, then there might be mold. Mold can also grow in windows and doors that aren’t properly sealed. 

Other places you should check include your HVAC vents, refrigerator, carpet and rugs (especially if you’ve had a flood before), and things like dehumidifiers and humidifiers.

Don’t Disturb the Mold

If you do manage to find mold growth in any area in your home, don’t attempt to get rid of it or clean the spot. It’s true that not all mold is toxic, but in case it is, you might be creating a health hazard inside. This is because when you disturb the mold, they release mycotoxins, which are harmful to humans.

Make note of where the mold is and then call a professional to have them come test it for you.

Hiring Professionals for a Home Test for Toxic Mold

Professional companies will be able to test your home to see if there is toxic mold present. There are a few types of tests available; read more about them below.

Swab Tests

You might be tempted to grab swab tests from your local hardware store. However, these aren’t very accurate, which means whatever money you save on a DIY test will be negated when you have lots of medical bills to pay.

Always have a professional perform a swab test. This can tell you what type of mold you have. However, it won’t tell you if other spores are present, so more tests may need to be done.

Air Tests

A professional will take samples of air both outdoors and indoors. This may tell you what other mold species are present. However, this test can’t usually detect the presence of toxic mold since some of these spores are too heavy to float in the air.

Environmental Relative Moldiness Index (ERMI) Tests

This test is performed by collecting dust around your property. This test can detect 36 different types of mold.

American Relative Moldiness Index (ARMI) Tests

The ARMI test is similar to the ERMI test, but not as detailed. Instead of 36 fungi, this one can only detect 13.

Mold Specific Quantitative Polymerase Chain Reaction (MSQPCR) Tests

This is one of the fastest and most accurate tests around. Not only can it identify what molds you have, but it can also tell you how much you have.

Take the Necessary Steps to Stop Mold Growth

Since mold loves to grow in moist and warm spots, you need to identify what the sources are and stop them. For example, if they’re growing where there’s a leaky pipe, you’ll need to get that fixed ASAP. You may need to get a mold inspector to help you pinpoint those trickier spaces, such as behind walls.

For smaller mold problems, you can handle cleanup on your own. Make sure you wear protective gear, such as a mask, gloves, and even a suit so you don’t get spores on yourself.

Clean problem areas with a solution that’s half water and half ammonia. Open windows and doors to get good ventilation. Fans can help too.

If the issue is serious enough, you may need mold remediation done. Professionals will employ the right tactics and use proper equipment to get your mold levels down.

Do you need help with understanding mold remediation? Then Mold Medics Global can help.

Test for Toxic Mold ASAP

If you suspect that you have mold in your house, or you’ve seen it with your own eyes, you need to take immediate action. Test for toxic mold and take the proper steps to eliminate it.

While not all mold is toxic, they all have the potential to cause health issues, especially if you have children and the elderly in your home. It can also exacerbate allergies and conditions like asthma, so the longer you wait, the more issues you’ll run into.

So keep your loved ones happy and healthy. At the first sign of trouble, get testing for toxic mold in your home to get peace of mind.

Did you like this article on how to test your home for toxic mold? Then browse the rest of our blog for more helpful tips!