How to Test for Black Mold

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Testing for mold can help you identify a potential infestation. For that mold in hard-to-see places, a test can take measurements from the air quality in the home and identify whether you might have hidden mold and what type or species of mold you might be dealing with.

It is ALWAYS advisable for one to seek professional and qualified help when testing mold.  A mold professional will help collect and analyze samples from the mold and be able to provide you with more accurate results.  Some people prefer to buy do-it-yourself home test kits for collecting the samples.  You can easily purchase these at your local hardware store, such as Home Depot, or Lowes.  However, mold can be very dangerous. When in doubt, call a professional!


The Three Main Ways To Test For Black Mold

The air testing method is one way to test for black mold.  It involves measuring the amount of mold spores in the air in your home.  The samples are collected from the air and then tested in a laboratory.  The air method can help you determine whether you have a mold problem, especially when signs of mold are present (sniff sniff!) but you can’t actually see the elusive fungus.  Remember to test multiple times in each location to ensure more accurate results.

Similar to the air testing method, surface testing involves calculating the amount of mold spores in the home. Instead of measuring the spores in the air, however, surface testing involves taking your samples from surfaces within your home.  Surface testing can be accomplished by using various methods of collection, such as tape lifting and swabbing.  Samples are then taken to a laboratory for testing.  Just like in air testing, the results vary as mold spores can be distributed disproportionately on surfaces, even in the same room.  So again, it is best to perform several tests to get more accurate results.

The bulk testing method involves the collection of various materials around your home that show signs of mold growth.  Mold particles from the materials are then taken to a laboratory and examined under a microscope.  This scientific testing method can help you identify the type of mold you have in your home.  This is more that just a test for black mold.  Instead, it can identify one of the many kinds of mold.

Culture tests can be performed on the mold samples collected from your home.  The samples are grown into large mold “colonies” in the laboratory.  Culture tests can be very helpful in identifying the type or species of mold in your home.


If your mold contamination is small (less than 2 ft x 2 ft), you can safely clean the area with household products. View our mold cleanup guides and our mold protection guide.

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