Is Air Testing for Mold Reliable? A Comprehensive Guide

Learn about air testing for mold and how reliable it really is with this comprehensive guide from an expert's perspective.

Is Air Testing for Mold Reliable? A Comprehensive Guide

We do not recommend taking routine air samples for mold in building air quality assessments. This is because mold concentrations in the air cannot be interpreted in relation to health risks. In many cases, mold spore sampling is performed on a very short-term basis. However, the results may not represent actual exposures.

Air molding tests offer the expert a starting point. However, if the tests end there and the expert tells the landlord that there is no mold, then this is a disservice. This is because air sampling for mold is accurate, but it doesn't tell the whole story. More comprehensive mold testing is needed.

Simply put, spore trap testing, or “air testing” as it's commonly known, is not an inherently flawed test. Instead, the problem lies in how this information is analyzed and presented to the customer. If the inspector did not perform any tests beyond the analysis of the spore traps and told the customer that the test showed no mold and that there was no mold problem, he hadn't done any favors. While there are some tests designed to identify exposure to mold, they are not 100 percent reliable. Your primary care doctor may be able to evaluate your symptoms and perform blood tests or skin puncture tests to learn more about your sensitivity to mold.

The moment you discover mold in your home, call your mold removal team immediately. In that case, it is generally concluded that there is no serious mold problem that presents a problem in terms of air quality. I was referring to situations in which a renovation was done and the demonstration discovered water damage and mold growth. The first thing to remember is that an air test, like any other way of analyzing the presence of mold in an indoor environment (dust and adhesive tape and TAP tests), is a step in time. In addition, unless you live in a sealed bubble, it's impossible to prevent mold spores from outside from entering your indoor environment.

You can prevent mold in the closet by keeping this area dry, limiting the use of plastics, and it's important to use wire shelves instead of wood. The inside of the Petri dish has been treated with a substance known as a “microbial culture” that promotes the growth of mold spores. Nearly all mold inspection companies use spore trap analysis as their primary form of analysis when analyzing indoor mold levels. This should make airborne mold test results something that is always viewed with skepticism when analyzed on their own. Not only was the chimney effect at play here, but every time the basement door was opened, the kitchen was flooded with mold spores.

While you might hear the terms mold and mildew used interchangeably, there are some key differences between these two organisms. In short, dangerous levels of mold were present in the house during both inspections, but they didn't show up in ANY of the air samples. Luckily for you, testing is as simple as buying a viable mold test kit and collecting samples at strategic locations following the instructions below. Also known as “spore trap analysis”, this is often the first test performed to assess indoor mold levels.

Lydia Bouley
Lydia Bouley

Amateur bacon trailblazer. Award-winning music junkie. Subtly charming pop culture fanatic. Hardcore travel evangelist. Amateur pop culture enthusiast.

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