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DIY Mold Test vs. Air Quality Test - What's the difference?

Posted by Gabriela Jager on

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You can buy a DIY mold kit at lowes or online these days, so we often get asked the question: what is the difference between a DIY mold test and an air quality test from a professional company? Here is the answer...

It's not surprising that so many people are confused, since both types of tests are used to detect and diagnose mold problems. However, a DIY mold tests and an air quality tests are NOT the same. 

Watch this video from our friends at bustmold.com to learn more:


What is a DIY mold testing kit?

A DIY test kit that you can purchase at a home department store or online, usually involves taking a swab of the suspected material and inserting it into a liquid or pouring some drops of a chemical developer over the sample. After the sample is placed there, the liquid will turn a certain color. Usually, the color change will indicate whether you have a mold problem or not. While instant mold tests will give you a quick yes or no answer to your mold concerns, they will not tell you WHAT KIND of mold you are dealing with or HOW MANY mold spores are present in the sample. It will also not tell you the SOURCE of the problem. 

What is an air quality test?

An air quality test is sent to an independent lab for testing. The person doing the testing has to be trained on how to properly collect the samples, utilize the equipment, handle the samples and interpret the results. Typically there are at least 2 samples collected. The first sample of air is collected from the area in your home or office that you suspect is contaminated by mold and compares it to the second sample, which is an outdoor sample. The result is not immediate, but it takes about 2 to 3 days (since the samples have to be sent to the lab for testing). The lab analyzes the sample of air that has been collected and provides an accurate and detailed snapshot of the indoor air quality. You will receive a written report which will include a breakdown of the types of mold present in the area you have tested and will compare to the outdoor samples. You would be surprised to learn that when there is mold, moisture or ventilation problems, the results can be pretty shocking.

Which is better?

While you can save money with a DIY mold testing kit, we usually recommend hiring a professional company like BioSweep Southeast do the testing for you. Along with the results of the Air Quality Test, a BioSweep professional can tell you with accuracy what the source of the problem is. And that is the KEY to having the problem resolved. In our many years of experience, we have found that people often waste their money on these tests and often still need to have the professional testing done. Calling a professional that can give you an objective perspective and an accurate description of the scope of the work is important. At BioSweep Southeast we are not in the business of using scare tactics or trying to sell you on a product or service you do not need. Give the BioSweep professionals a call today!

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Topics: mold remediation Charleston SC, mold removal Charleston SC, mold allergies, test for mold, air samples, mold test, air quality testing, indoor air allergies