There is a much more comprehensive version of this post available on my other website, Mold Help For You. Please visit The 7 Best Mold Test Kits here.
By now you all know my toxic mold story. Wait, stories. Sadly there is more than one. You also know how I much I trust and respect the specific type of mold and mycotoxin testing we used. I have never hidden the fact the mold testing is expensive. Although it was worth every penny in my case, I know a lot of people are on the fence about expensive testing.
In my situation, I really had no option other than an ERMI test. We had no visible mold. Therefore, I could not test actual mold. I had to rely on mold that became trapped in dust around on home. While I wouldn’t change a thing about the testing we did, I may have considered another option if we had visible mold.
What option is this?
It is DIY Mold Testing.
There are two types of DIY Mold Testing although both work in the same way. The first test is a simple screening kit. These are test plates that you can take air samples with, swab and smear, or tap test with. The method you choose basically depends on what is going on in your environment. You allow the samples to culture and after a few days you look at the colony growth and decide whether or not you have an issue that warrants further investigation. $34.99 gets you a six pack of test plates.
The second DIY Mold Testing allows you to send samples in for lab analysis. This ImmunoLytics Diagnostic Mold Test Kit will serve to identify the type and size of the fungal problem you have in your living environment. The test requires you to place mold plates throughout your living space(s) for one hour, after which you send them to the ImmunoLytics testing facility to determine the type and level of your mold exposure. Once you know the nature of your mold issue, you can take the appropriate steps. The prices range from $45 for one test to $158 for a five pack.
Luckily (or not luckily) I had a couple of places from which to lift some actual visible mold so I used two test plates in this manner. I used the other plates to take air samples. The process was easy. The instructions are straightforward so you can’t goof this up. I labeled them, packaged them up, and sent them in.
I received the results very quickly and was quite impressed with the quality of information provided about the various types of mold spores tested for. I even learned a couple of things! I was particularly impressed with the images presented. You get to see what actual mold spores look like for various strains. Pretty cool stuff.
Unlike an ERMI, the DIY Mold Testing results will NOT give you spore counts for specific molds, nor are there as many mold types tested for. However, all the big guns are listed – 50 genera (genuses) of mold to be exact. The results are presented in a range from very low to very high. You get a clear picture of whether or not you have a problem in your home/office/vehicle and whether you should move forward with additional testing and/or inspecting.
Basically, the DIY Mold Test is perfect for:
- Folks on a budget who need confirmation that there is a specific strain present;
- People on the fence about conducting more extensive and expensive testing;
- Individuals who are not sure if what they are seeing is mold;
- Anyone who possibly has mold growing on items in storage and want to make a decision about what to do with them.
The DIY Mold Test is not a fit for anyone experiencing health issues that might be related to mold but who have no visible mold present. You need to go straight to the ERMI. It is also not very useful if you want specific spore counts and not just a ranking of “low” or “high.”
Overall, I am very pleased with this option. I think it opens the doors for people on a budget to test the visible mold in their home who might otherwise not be able to. The owner of the company is wonderful, very supportive, and truly wants to help those who need to get this sort of testing done.
If you are looking for a reliable, yet inexpensive option to test visible mold, check out the DIY Mold Test available from Microbalance. And if you need more information on all things toxic mold, please visit my toxic mold resources page.