Do-It-Yourself Mold Tests Can Prove Useful

Some do-it-yourself mold test kits are a simple and inexpensive way to uncover a mold problem. But choose carefully, as other are a waste of your money, says mold specialist David C. Straus, a professor of microbiology at Texas Tech University.

The simplest and most effective tests, he says, are those that rely on a piece of adhesive to transfer a mold sample to a Petri dish filled with a nourishing growth medium. After the mold grows, the user sends it to a lab where it is identified and evaluated. The lab also provides advice on removal. Cost is about $50.

Tests that purport to capture mold from the air are not worth the money, Strauss says, because most homes have a significant amount of mold spores that fly in from the outdoors but aren’t growing in the house.

Source: The Wall Street Journal, Laura Johannes (05/22/07)