Mold Testing 101
The basics of Mold Testing
Why Should I Test for Mold
How Does Testing Work
Where & What to Test
How Do I Read Results
Why Should I Test for Mold?
You Have Had a Water Event
Leaks, spills, or floods can bring water into our home or office where we don’t want them and they can facilitate mold growth. If you have had a water event, it’s a good idea to test for mold.
You See Symptoms of Mold Exposure
Mold isn’t something that we think about day to day. We are busy living our lives. But when things go awry, mold is something to cosider as it might affect your health. Mold exposure can make you feel misrerable with unexplanable causes refered to as Enviormentally Aquired Illnesses. Some sypmptoms include:
Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Irritable Bowel Syndrome
How do I Test?
There are several testing methods ranging from do-it-yourself to professional inspectors, and the prices run the gamut. We’ve created a complete mold testing method guide that shows you all the ins and outs of the most popular methods:
ImmunoLytics Gravity Plates & Swabs
The ImmunoLytics Laboratory has experience testing all popular mold testing methods, but we exclusively offer gravity plates and swabs as they are the most economical, and easy enough for anyone to use.
Gravity plates work by collecting a sample of mold spores suspended in the air of any room. Over a one hour period, mold spores suspended in the air settle on the plate. The mold captured on the gravity plate will need several days to incubate and grow into colonies. The plates should then be sent to our lab for analysis. Our lab analysis will include genera of mold discovered and the count of colonies identified. The types of mold identified is essential information to provide a mold inspection and remediation professional and your physician.
Where and What to Test
When testing your environment, it’s important that all potential sources be evaluated.
Regardless of smell, any dampness or leak should be investigated for mold. Place one or more mold plates in the crawlspace, basement, and attic to see if they are sources of mold. Test the areas that you spend the most time in. Typical places our clients test include:
Occupied Guest Bedrooms
We love our pets, but their fur can hide mold, and bring it in our home, furniture, and bedroom. Testing pets for mold is easy and inexpensive.
Testing Furniture & Clothing
If you suspect mold on soft surfaces such as furniture, carpets, clothing, bedding, or pets, we recommend a tap test. A settling plate for air may not capture the settled mold that does not become airborne without disruption. Tapping the area with the gravity plate will disrupt the mold and capture the airborne release into the plate for better accuracy and understanding.
Mold on Surfaces
If you see any discoloration – black, brown, or green spots or white, orange, or pink streaks – this can be an indicator visible mold is present. When visual mold is suspected, a settling plate is inadequate to gather the all of the critical information you need. A mold swab is the best choice to test any potential visible mold, as you can directly collect the spores for testing. Mold swabs can test hard to reach places such as air vents, HVAC systems, ductwork, windowsills, door frames, or drywall.
How to Read Results
Self Analysis—Detecting Mold
When you use a gravity plate, after leaving the plate exposed to room air for an hour, or you conduct a tap test, you can read your results after 5-7 days. While this won’t tell you the type of mold, it will give you an idea of the amount of mold that is present.
0 to 4 total fungal colonies per area (room)
Within a normal range for sinus health
5 to 8 total fungal colonies per area (room)
A cause for concern-illness is probable in individuals who are susceptible
9 or greater total fungal colonies per area (room)
Hazardous-illness likely in individuals who are susceptible
Laboratory Analysis—Identifying Mold
If you are using a swab, or want an exact identification of what type of mold you sampled, send it to ImmunoLytics for analysis.
Sending Samples to ImmunoLytics
When sending samples to ImmunoLytics, the lab must receive your samples within 10 days of sample collection to obtain accurate results. ImmunoLytics will then supply a report on the types of mold found in each of your samples. You will also receive a health report indicating the effects of each type of mold. You may take advantage of a phone consultation with an ImmunoLytics mold expert that can provide recommendations based on laboratory results.
If initial air tests show elevated mold levels, perform follow-up testing to determine the source. Mold plate and swab sampling should be a regular practice over time to immediately test visual mold, assure your remediation efforts are sustained, and ensure mold counts are within a healthy range to avoid mold symptoms.
Testing Other Areas Where You Spend Time
If you have mold related symptoms but do not find the mold on the initial testing, consider other places that you may be exposed, that you didn’t test. Places outside of your home that may be responsible for your mold exposure may include:
Family member's home
ImmunoLytics is Here to Help
Take advantage of our environmental consultations, which are free when we analyze your samples. Our specialists can help save both time and money. If you cannot find the source of mold, or would like additional help, discuss having a virtual inspection performed with our consultants.
The Mold Testing Guide
Are you ready to start using your ImmunoLytics Mold Test Kit?