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Swabs – The best kept secret in mold testing
March 28, 2022

Testing the Mold You Can See

In the ImmunoLytics DIY Mold testing arsenal, gravity plates are the easiest and most economical way to test the air in your environment. However, when there is potential visible mold, surface sampling these areas by collecting mold samples with a simple swab test combined with lab analysis can determine if mold is present at amplified levels and exactly what type of mold you are dealing with.

Looks Can Be Deceiving

It is nearly impossible to determine the type of mold visible on a surface with the naked eye. People often think that they can recognize mold when they see it. However, in dark or enclosed areas, mold and dirt can look very similar. Even trained professionals rely on a variety of testing methods when determining the types of mold present. When there is suspected visible mold, it’s a good idea to use a mold swab test to sample surfaces in addition to gravity plates to sample air. The lab analysis from the swab can pinpoint the type of molds present, many of which are not easily detected in air samples such as Stachybotrys and Chaetomium.

Mold doesn’t always look like mold, but swab sampling with lab analysis can tell you if it is. 

Swab sampling can help to identify sources of mold so that they can be addressed via basic clean-up or full-blown remediation. Swab sampling can reach deep into corners, carpets, window sills, and many other areas. One area where swab testing is particularly enlightening is heating and cooling system air handlers. Determining if visible discoloration, dust, or debris seen on condensers and on registers is mold growth will provide a clear path forward for the proper cleaning of the HVAC system.

Collecting Mold Samples Using ImmunoLytics Swabs

ImmunoLytics swabs are a polyester bicomponent fiber specifically designed for the collection of micro-organisms. They are sterile, easy to use, and come in a transport tube to protect the sample and make it easy to mail back to our lab for analysis. These swabs can be used to test any building materials that are discolored from water damage and could be growing mold. They are the perfect tool for collecting mold samples and testing dust samples in order to determine if they contain high levels of mold, especially important for HVAC registers.

Visible Mold

Swab any potential visible mold.

Swab the area to be sampled until the end of the swab is discolored. Cover as much of the swab as possible with the potential mold.

Once you’re finished sampling, carefully place the cover back on the swab.

Tap the image above for complete instructions on using Immunolytics DIY Mold Test Kits. 

It is important to note that swab samples on their own only identify the presence and type of mold sampled, while our gravity mold plates can identify the severity, and possible health effects of the mold found. If mold is identified, we recommend using mold plates together with swab samples as part of the ImmunoLytics Mold Check-Up. To clean and restore your environment from Mold, visit: Citrisafe.