There are several different mold test kit types that you can purchase for mold testing purposes. Some are designed to obtain a sample of airborne mold spores;others are designed to take samples off of a surface. Samples from a mold test kit typically must be sent to a lab for analysis. Both types have some benefits; however, it may be best to use both types to really get a full picture of the types of mold that are present. Air collection kits may collect other things besides mold spores, which may complicate results; surface samples, collected by swab, may not get all types of mold that are present, or they may destroy the structure of the mold (which makes it harder to identify).
If you are collecting air samples, the cultures should be allowed to grow for a couple of days to fully allow the mold to be identified. With surface samples, it’s a good idea to collect from multiple places (on multiple swabs) for best identification.
When you buy a mold test kit be sure that you follow the directions very carefully. Read the directions thoroughly, and obey the instructions, especially regarding how to collect the mold sample and the time frame within which you should send it back. Consider using more than one type of mold test kit so that you can obtain maximum accuracy in your results. If you obtain inaccurate results, you may get information that says that you have a harmless variety of mold, which is not, in fact, the case.
However, a mold test kit can give you information that you can use to decide what kinds of mold remediation action you need to take, or what kind of precautions you should take. If you identify a harmful type of mold, you may want to vacate your home until the mold is removed, as some types of mold cause serious health problems.