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Mold can grow anywhere it finds moisture and organic nutrients, like wood or paper, to feed on. You may find it in a corner of your bathroom, laundry room, or basement, or any space that doesn't have quality ventilation. If you come across mold, it's imperative to remove it quickly and safely, as mold can be detrimental to your family’s health. However, it can be a little difficult to know if mold exists in your home (especially if it's airborne), which is where at-home mold testing comes in.
Mold testing kits help you detect and even identify growing spores in your home, through samples collected via the air or from the surface in question. Some give you results right away, while others ask you to package the samples and send them back to a lab for professional examination. With the resulting information, you can get the peace-of-mind that you're looking for while making all of the necessary arrangements to remove the harmful fungi, or know your cleaning efforts were effective.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends removing every type of mold as soon as it's spotted, as you don't know how it'll affect you or anyone else in your household. There is no acceptable amount of any type of mold, and you should prioritize cleaning up spores—whether it be with the proper cleaning products or help from a mold remediation company if there's 10 square feet or more of affected area.
Plus, you should consider working with a professional for this task, and check that the testing follows methods from the American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA) and other professional organizations, as noted by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). After the fact, the results of at-home mold testing can help you create a prevention plan and recognize a mold-free area.
Here, the best at-home mold tests, that are both easy to use and effective.
Best Overall: Seeml Labs DIY Mold 3 Test Kit
The Seeml Labs DIY Mold Test Kit lets you take up to three separate surface samples from your home, and ship them to the company’s AIHA-LAP accredited lab. This lab specializes in mold analysis, and will deliver quick results. (Although, the shipping of your samples is not included in the overall price.)
What’s great about this kit, though, 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 answers any questions to help you resolve any leftover mold issues.
Best for Air Testing: My Mold Detective MMD103 Mold Test Kit
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 takes just five minutes to collect a sample from your home. All in all, it's really straightforward to use.
First, use the air sampling pump to collect three indoor air samples and one outdoor “control” sample. Then, mail the cassettes back to the company after paying the cost of shipping, and they’ll analyze each sample, identify what types of mold are present, and let you know whether the concentration levels are normal. My Mold Detective charges a $35 lab fee per sample, but you’ll receive a color-coded report that includes your results and treatment recommendations.
Best for Quick Results: Healthful Home 5-Minute Mold Test
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 technology as 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, that are designated for different types of mold. The test develops one red line if the results are negative, or two red test lines if there are mold spores present. It's a particularly good option for those testing an area that has been remediated for true cleanliness.
Best for Multiple Rooms: Mold Armor FG500 Do It Yourself Mold Test Kit
Most at-home mold tests typically use the swabbing method for analysis, 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,. The testing kit includes all the materials and directions you need for each one.
The DIY testing kit comes 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 an accredited lab analysis to determine what type of mold it is, at an additional fee. This service takes around three weeks, but overall the kit is easy to use and you can’t beat its low price.
At-home mold testing is a good way to detect and identify mold spores in your home, while you're also setting up a cleaning plan. It's also good for testing a remediated area for cleanliness. Our top pick is 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. If you're looking to test the air in your home, the My Mold Detective Mold Test Kit (view at Amazon) is a great option, and takes just five minutes to collect samples.