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Mold can grow anywhere it finds moisture and moderate temperatures, and if it begins to grow in your home, the spores can be detrimental to your family’s health, as well as to the structure of the building. There are several types of mold you may encounter in your home, ranging from allergenic molds that will irritate your senses to toxic molds that can do serious harm.
If you’re concerned that there’s mold in your house, you may benefit from using an at-home mold test. These kits are more affordable than calling in a professional, and they can help you get an idea of whether you need to seek help from a mold remediation company. Some at-home kits simply have you take swaps to be sent out for lab analysis, while others provide you with the means to run the test yourself using a petri dish—just like in high school science class.
Here, the best at-home mold tests you can buy.
One of the top-rated options you can buy is the Mold Inspection Network DIY Mold Test, which allows you to collect up to three samples for analysis. This kit includes three tape lift samples, a quick-start guide, and a mold inspection booklet.
To use this test, you collect samples from surfaces that you suspect may be growing mold—the booklet provides instructions on where to look and how to get the best sample. From there, you mail the samples to the company’s lab (shipping isn’t included), and they’ll analyze the swabs and email you an illustrated data report that details whether there is any fungal growth and what type of mold was found. The company’s turnaround time is extremely fast and the results are comprehensive and useful. However, keep in mind that this kit only works on surfaces, so it won't be able to detect airborne mold spores.
If you’ll feel better knowing a professional has analyzed your home for mold, then you’ll want a product like the Seeml Labs DIY Mold Test Kit. This kit allows you to take up to three separate surface samples from your home, and you ship them to the company’s AIHA-LAP accredited lab, which specializes in mold analysis. (Shipping isn’t included.)
What’s great about this kit is that there are no additional lab fees, and they deliver your results on the same day your samples are received. The lab tests for all types of mold, and you’ll be emailed a detailed report with expert consultations available. Overall, this kit is extremely easy to use, and the company delivers results quickly and answers any questions. Plus, you really can’t beat the affordable price for lab-tested results.
The ImmunoLytics DIY Mold Test Kit is a great choice if you’re looking to test for mold in several rooms in your house, as it includes five test plates. The kit also includes stickers and labels for each of the plates, UV-proof storage pouches, and a return shipping box. Each of the plates is sufficient for testing a 200-square-foot space, and what’s unique about this kit is that you can either do the analysis yourself or send it to the company’s lab for testing.
If you choose to self-analyze with the ImmunoLytics Test Kit, it will take around four or five days to get results. Alternatively, you can ship the samples to the lab, which costs $33 per plate. You can collect samples from all types of surfaces, including clothing, carpeting, and even vehicles, and if you opt to go the lab-analysis route, you should receive your results in around 10 days.
Stachybotrys chartarum, commonly known as black mold, can occur where there’s moisture from water damage, water leaks, or condensation, and it can cause a variety of health issues, including coughing, rashes, and more. If you think there may be black mold in your home, the Pro Lab Professional Mold Test can help you determine whether you need to call in a professional for remediation.
This kit instructs you to collect a sample from the problem area in your home, then you mail your analysis to the company’s lab (postage is included). There’s a $40 lab fee, and the company will send you a report that details whether mold spores were present and what type of mold was found.
Mold spores can be airborne in your home, and to test your air quality, you’ll need a product like the My Mold Detective Mold Test Kit. This kit comes with an air sampling pump, four air sample cassettes, and one surface sample, and it takes just five minutes to collect a sample from your home.
This mold testing kit is straightforward to use—first, use the air sampling pump to collect three indoor air samples and one outdoor “control” sample. You then mail the cassettes back to the company (shipping not included), and they’ll analyze each sample, identifying what types of mold are present and whether the concentration levels are normal. My Mold Detective charges a $35 lab fee per sample, and you’ll receive an easy-to-read, color-coded report that includes your results, as well as treatment recommendations. While this at-home testing kit is on the more expensive side—tallying up the initial cost and lab fees, you’ll probably spend around $200—the peace of mind is worth the price.
Don’t want to wait for days to see your results? The Healthful Home 5-Minute Mold Test provides analysis in a matter of minutes, not weeks. Its unique design can detect more than 32 common mold types and uses the same lateral flow assay technology employed in medical labs. Plus, it’s been validated in an EPA-licensed lab to be the most sensitive and accurate rapid mold test.
To use this kit, you simply swab the area of concern, then bend the swab to release its inner testing medium. All that’s left to do is add the sample to the two test plates—one for Aspergillus and Penicillium and one for Stachybotrys. The test will develop one red line if the results are negative or two red test lines if there are mold spores present. It’s that easy!
Most at-home mold tests typically use one method for analysis—often swabbing—but the Mold Armor Test Kit can be used in three different ways. You can choose to do an indoor air quality test, an air conditioning and heating test, or a surface sample test, and the kit includes all the materials and directions you need for each one.
These DIY Test Kits come with a petri dish, swab, and mold growth medium, and it produces at-home results in around 48 hours. There’s also an option to send your results in for lab analysis to determine what type of mold it is (for an additional fee), and this service takes around three weeks. This kit is easy to use, and you can’t beat its low price.
The best overall at-home mold test is the Mold Inspection Network DIY Mold Test (view at Amazon), which is easy to use and gives you a thorough lab analysis at a reasonable price. If you’ll feel better knowing that a professional has analyzed your home for mold, go with the Seeml Labs DIY Mold 3 Test Kit (view at Amazon). After you send in surface samples, you’ll be emailed a detailed report from the company’s AIHA-LAP accredited lab. Expert consultations are available, too.