Testing for whether your house has mold requires professional sampling and laboratory analysis if the mold is not easily visible. If you smell mold or experience mold exposure symptoms, have a professional collect samples and test your house for mold. Do not attempt to find the mold yourself, as this can release mold spores, potentially causing negative health effects.
Professionals test for mold by taking air and surface samples from several locations throughout the home. In some cases, these professionals may take entire items or large pieces of material from inside the home away for testing. After collecting samples, professionals either analyze them personally, or they send them to a lab for analysis.
Many companies offer at-home testing kits that allow homeowners to collect samples without hiring a professional. While this may seem like an economical solution, most homeowners do not know how to test for mold properly, and they may collect poor samples that produce inaccurate results. Also, while an at-home testing kit is cheaper than hiring a professional, the samples still require expensive lab testing.
During analysis, professionals test the samples for mold spores. Spores are structures that mold uses for reproduction. While a few mold spores are normal even in places without mold problems, a large number of spores indicates a house with a serious mold problem.