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Last Updated
03/08/14 07:55 PM

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Should you use a Do It Yourself Home Test Kit
to determine the presence of Toxic Molds?

by Jimmy McDonald - YOUR " Local Hard Working RemodelingGuy"


Reap the Benefits of Knowing.

Benefits and Setbacks.

Test kits, like the ones we offer on this site, are to be used as a First Step in identifying mold and it's type, that could be dangerous to your health and your home environment ONLY.

Home testing WILL NOT quantify exact amounts of mold or give you the detailed results of more expensive professional methods that may be necessary if you discover that you have a problem.

Home test kits work well for people who are unsure about the presence of dangerous molds in their homes or businesses, want to find out more, and need a cost effective means of receiving reliable laboratory analysis if it is needed.

While researching for the best do it yourself home test kit to offer our visitors, here are some of facts that we considered and our thoughts.

Home testing WILL NOT quantify exact amounts of mold or give you the detailed results of more expensive professional methods that may be necessary if you discover that you have a problem.

Home test kits work well for people who are unsure about the presence of dangerous molds in their homes or businesses, want to find out more, and need a cost effective means of receiving reliable laboratory analysis if it is needed.

While researching for the best do it yourself home test kit to offer our visitors, here are some of facts that we considered and our thoughts.

These kits include a medium - a solution which captures and promotes mold growth ( potato dextrose or malt extract agars are most common ). The medium is either on a stick or placed in a petri dish.

Benefits:

** Inexpensive.

** Rapid results.The whole process from ordering the kit to sending and receiving lab results can be done in about 10 - 14 days.

** Peace of mind. We want you to do anything you can to determine whether or not you are exposed to unhealthy molds. This is a great first step.

** These tests can be used in three ways.
 
1) Sample Visual Growth.
If you have visible mold in your home, office etc. and want to have it tested, this allows you take a swab specimen to determine the type of mold and whether or not it is dangerous to you.

2) HVAC Air Sampling.
This allows you to test the HVAC system in your home for possible mold contamination in as little as 48 hours. Can be very effective to determine how safe the air is that you are breathing.

3) Settling Plate Method.
Depends on gravity which in itself can be unreliable. But the information obtained can still be informative. You set the tests around your home, hoping to capture air-borne spores in the dish.

** The laboratories which manufacture these kits will also allow you to include a tape lift from affected areas ( simply lifting mold from a visual source), as well as samples of other mold infected materials for analysis.

Setbacks:

** Directions must be followed exactly or results will be useless.

** The agars will pick up all molds it is exposed to, which do not grow at the same rate. Stachybotrys, for example, does not grow as quickly as say, Aspergillus, which can choke out the Stachybotrys and possibly produce false results in air sampling methods.

** These tests WILL NOT quantify the exact amount of mold in your home. They will only identify them. Many molds, such as the much publicized Stachybotrys chartarum (atra), Penicillium, Aspergillus and others are known to cause serious health problems, even in minute amounts. If you find these molds in your home, we recommend that you contact a physician familiar with treating mold related illnesses immediately.

** These tests are not recommended for persons already in the process of remediation (clean up), or to verify professional results.

If you are sure that you have a dangerous mold in your home, DO NOT hesitate to contact a remediation professional or your insurance company immediately.

We also recommend that you get away from the source in any way you can. The longer you are exposed to these molds, the worse their effects can be.

REMEMBER. Do Not EVER go near or breathe suspected mold without proper protective gear. Do Not Touch it with your bare hands.
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