Q:

How reliable is a professional mold test kit that can be used by consumers?

A:

Quick Answer

Mold test kits available to consumers are generally not considered reliable, according to mold control information website MoldReport. Mold test kits alone are usually not sufficient to determine either the type or amount of mold in a home, and have been shown to have inconsistent results in use.

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Full Answer

Mold test kits sold for consumer use commonly use plate designs that are left out to collect mold spores to grow and test. However, mold spores are present to some degree in almost any home, so there is a high probability that a test kit may detect mold in a home without dangerous or excessive mold growth simply due to the presence of these spores. In addition, mold test kits have poor reliability when distinguishing strains of mold thought to be potentially toxic from less dangerous strains, so they provide little information about the potential health threats posed by mold in a house.

Mold kits also do not provide good information about where mold growth is located in a home. Merely detecting the presence of spores does not indicate whether the mold growth is occurring throughout the walls of a home or in a specific, isolated portion of the structure. Only a specific mold inspection is capable of isolating the areas of a home affected by mold growth.

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