Homedit is supported by our readers. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

How Does A Mold Test Kit Work And Which One Should You Buy?

A DIY mold test kit is something every home should have. And after you buy a home mold test kit, the next step is learning how to use it. Mold exposure should be taken seriously as it can lead to serious health issues.

mold test kit

If you don’t remove mold from your surface areas as soon as it’s detected, it could also lead to structural damage in your home and office building. When you’ve experienced water damage or found mold in your home, it can cause you to panic.

Naturally, you’ll want expert consultation as self-analysis often isn’t enough. However, compared to a professional lab, you’d be surprised what you can learn with a home mold test kit in 5 minutes.

A mold detection kit allows you to take a proactive approach to remove mold from your home. After you test your home for mold the lab testing is complete, if you want expert consultation, that can be expensive. If you detect the presence of mold and need remediation for various types of mold, that too could be expensive. 

With a mold kit, you can run tests and get accurate results after you send samples to a lab for analysis. When the lab receives them, sometimes they might want additional samples, but at an extra cost. You’ll want detailed sample results that only a professional lab can provide. Overall, it’s important to choose the best mold test kit, and that’s why we’re here.

What To Look For In A Mold Test Kit

You’ll want to make sure that you buy the best mold test kit for your needs. A DIY mold test kit is great to have at home as mold testing is serious business.

DIY mold test kit

The best mold test kits are those that perform multiple tasks and not only detect mold. You don’t want to make a mistake that could taint the results. Also, you’ll want to assure that lab fees and extra reports are covered in the total cost of your mold detection kit.

Make sure every tool to collect samples, like an air pump, petri dish, adhesive strips, and swabs are included. The best mold kits don’t require additional purchases or make you pay for extra test materials.

Petri Dish

A mold kit uses petri dishes to test various types of mold and mold growth. A petri dish is a small container that has a lid and contains a substance conducive to mold growth. After you remove the lid, if you have a mold in the air it will settle on the growth plate.

Among DIY mold kits, a petri dish offers the most accurate results. 

Swab Mold Test Kit

A swab mold is the best mold test kit to check for potential mold and mold growth. Mold swabs test for mold by placing a swab in a test tube, which is later sent to a lab or can be checked at home. Adhesive strips are applied to the surface you’re testing. Then, the strip is removed and is applied to the test board. 

When you’re done, you can send the test tube in and wait for lab results.

Best Mold Test Kits

Best Mold Test Kits

Here are the best mold test kits on the market today.

DIY Mold Detector And Lab Analysis (3 Tests)

DIY Mold Detector And Lab AnalysisView in gallery

The DIY Mold Test provides a testing method where you can test your home for all types of mold growth. Full lab analysis and consultation with an expert will explain what the reports mean are included in the kit’s price. 

The kit comes with a booklet on how to operate, as well as a quick start guide that covers the basics, in case you’re familiar with the process and needs a reminder to help you begin the process. 

This DIY mold test kit looks for all kinds of mold, not just the three most common types. It can also detect mycotoxins, so you can combine the results and take care of potential threats. This is one of the best mold tests on the market today.

Pros:

  • Easy, safe, and simple to use.
  • Lab report fees and detailed reports included
  • Expert consultation to explain results and discuss inspection

Cons:

  • Tests for visible mold growth, not for air testing
  • Texas excluded from lab fee price

Mold Armor: FG500 Do It Yourself Mold Test Kit

Formaldehyde DetectorView in gallery

The Mold Armor Do It Yourself mold detection kit that’s safe and offers a quick way to test your home for several mold types. Not only will it test indoor samples for mold, but also test indoor air quality. It can detect mold spores and will tell you if mold is on the outside of your home.

The kit is safe and easy to use. You can take physical samples from your affected areas. You can take air samples from your HVAC to determine if mold spores are present in your airflow system.

The mold kit includes petri dishes, swabs, and an agent to make the mold grow for each sample. This allows you to see results within 48 hours of taking the samples. If you find mold growth, the next step is to figure out if it’s toxic or harmless.

You’ll need to mail in the mold sample for lab analysis and expert consultation.

Pros:

  • Fast results
  • Tests indoor air quality for unseen mold 
  • Tests for the presence of mold within 48 hours

Cons:

  • Results have to be sent to a lab, which costs an extra $40
  • Not very accurate

Healthful Home 5 Minute Swab Mold Test Kit

Formaldehyde DetectorView in gallery

The Healthful Home Swab Mold Test Kit offers a safe and accurate method of getting samples and results that will allow you to decide what you need to do next regarding possible further inspections and remediation efforts. The mold kit is easy to use, with a simple three-step process for collection and testing. It’s a great way to assure an indoor space is free of toxic mold and spores.

Unlike some mold kits, this one tests for both hard samples and spores, as well as some of the most common toxic allergens that could be proliferating in your space. You’ll have initial results in just minutes, with this particular test using patented technology from the US PHS.

It searches for the worst types of mold, detecting those that are hardest to see and most difficult to measure from air quality samples.

The kit includes three sterile paper wrapped applicator swabs, as well as a laboratory report request. If you find mold, you can send it to a lab for analysis to determine the level of danger it poses.

It also includes a certificate for a free professional consultation. The mold kit comes with a 60 day warranty after the purchase date. 

Pros:

  • 60 day warranty
  • Easy to use
  • Detects the worst mold types

Cons:

  • Hard to read
  • Users have complained that the test results can’t be trusted

DIY Mold Test Kit (3 Tests)

DIY Mold Test Kit (3 Tests)View in gallery

The Mold Inspector In a Box DIY mold test kit includes easy to follow instructions. This home mold test kit is a top pick and safe to use. Professional consultation is included in the purchase price. 

You also get the cost of the lab fees and the return of the detailed report included in the purchase price of the kit. Once the samples reach the lab, you’ll get the same day turnaround. 

The kit includes two adhesive strips and you can take three surface samples, including the test strips, swabs for collecting samples, and petri dishes. You can add additional materials for an extra fee if you have multiple samples to collect for analysis as well.

Note that this kit is not equipped for air sample testing and only works with surface samples. You can send your sample collection to a lab for a full report. After, you can discuss the results with a professional. Test results are extremely reliable, as long as you follow instructions for gathering the samples and sending them to the lab.

Pros:

  • Quick results
  • Same day turnaround lab results 
  • Lab fees included

Cons:

  • Over-priced 
  • Only provides general test results

PRO-LAB DIY Mold Test Kit For Home, Air, Surface Testing

Formaldehyde DetectorView in gallery

The Pro-Lab DIY mold test kit makes use simple with instructions that are clear and precise so you can make sure you get proper samples without concern that you’ve compromised the results. When you buy the sample kit, you have several options for collection and analysis. 

The home mold test kit will detect harmful pollen, allergens, and spores that affect breathing and have the potential to cause illness.

The materials in the kit have multiple sampling methods samples. You can take air or surface samples of moldy environments. Bulk samples can also be sent off for lab analysis and accurate results.

The kit comes with a prepaid return mailer to you can send the samples collected to a laboratory. Once the analysis is complete, you’ll receive an email with the standard detailed lab report on the results, which takes about seven business days.

Then, you have the option of engaging in a free consultation with a professional mold expert regarding those results so you understand the report’s contents and can make informed decisions on the next steps to take.

Pros:

  • Safe and easy to use
  • The kit test for mold in the air
  • Pre-paid first class return envelope for test results

Cons:

  • $40 lab analysis fee
  • Not as thorough as advertised

My Mold Detective MMD103 Mold Test Kit, 3-Room Kit

Formaldehyde DetectorView in gallery

The My Mold Detective mold test kit is a comprehensive kit that allows you to test multiple spaces so that, if there is extensive water damage or questionable visible substances that seem suspicious, you can easily cover everything with a single kit.

The test is quick and simple to complete, taking only five minutes, and a timer so you don’t mistakenly cut the sample off too soon or waste extra time waiting. You also have options regarding how many samples you want. There are three indoor cartridges and one outdoor cartridge for collecting samples.

Rather than collecting samples in a petri dish, the 15-liter air sampling pump draws in air to test the quality and capture any mold spores or other allergens that are potentially harmful to your family. Once you’ve completed the sampling, the cartridges can be shipped to the lab technicians for standard analysis.

These require additional fees at the time you go online to register your samples for review. Because the device is reusable, you’ll never have to rent other expensive equipment to test your space or have a professional come in to take samples for high fees.

When the lab finishes its analysis, they will provide you with results that let you know if you have any problems you need to address, detailing for you what types, if any, of harmful mold and toxins are found in the air samples. 

Pros:

  • Fast and easy to use
  • The kit offers additional accessory packs
  • Detects mold concentration

Cons:

  • Difficult to use
  • $35 per sample test

Air Quality Monitor, Formaldehyde Detector, Pollution Meter, Sensor Tester

Formaldehyde DetectorView in gallery

The Air Quality Monitor and Pollution Meter is a special mold kit. It allows you to test for more than toxic mold spores. The device is rated to determine if there is anything floating around your home that could cause illness or grow within your walls that’s hard to find.

Lab tested and easy to use, more so than other kits. You’ll understand the need for remediation or other cleaning. You can spot check moisture levels in any home with the portability of the testing unit. The built-in fan means you don’t have to work at anything. It draws air into the unit for sampling.

The unit is rated to determine the presence of a number of substances, not just the most common types of mold. You can test for formaldehyde concentration. The tester will detect volatile organic compounds coming from natural and synthetic sources that might be the source of odors.

Tiny dust particles and other molecules can travel through your breathing tract, entering your lungs and affecting asthma conditions.

The tester has a 2.8 inch color LED display that makes it easy to read results so you can analyze your home or office space and decide if you need to take action. Customer service line is available where you can speak to a professional about the results.  

Pros:

  • Fast results
  • Easy to read

Cons:

  • Inconsistent numbers
  • Inaccurate
  • Overpriced

Types Of Mold

Here’s a quick rundown of the types of mold that test kits look for:

Penicillium Mold

This is the type of food that’s usually found in food. As frequent agents of food spoilage, this mold is a health hazard. This is because some species of produce toxic compounds known as mycotoxin.

Mold Spores

Mold reproduces by means of tiny spores. The spores are invisible to the naked eye and float through the air. There are many types of mold, and all of them need water or moisture to grow

Indoor Home Mold

Home mold is any type of fungus that grows inside your home. It can cause health problems and structural damage if it’s not treated properly.

Mold Testing Kit Concerns

As helpful as mold testing kits can be, sometimes they are not the best choice. Surprisingly, there isn’t a standard for what is acceptable regarding indoor mold.

Naturally, mold is everywhere. When you perform a mold test sampling, you’ll find that mold is ubiquitous. The mere presence of mold does not automatically indicate a problem or a potential health risk.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)FAQ

Are Home Mold Test Kits Accurate?

DIY mold test kits are not always the best option when testing for mold inside your home, but the ones featured in this article will get the job done. Keep in mind that home mold should always be taken seriously. 

With some DIY mold test kits, one problem is that spore levels analyzed by a lab are not accurate nor can some of them detect hidden mold. 

What Is A Good DIY Method To Test Mold?

A quick test for mold can be done by dipping a swab in diluted bleach. Mix one part bleach with 16 parts water and use a clean cloth and dab it on the surface you are testing. If the spot changes to a light color or keeps coming back after it’s cleaned, you can assume you have mold. With surface testing, it will depend on the surface.

What Are Some Symptoms Of Mold Exposure?

The most common health symptoms of mold exposure include coughing, postnasal drip, sneezing, dry skin, itchy eyes, and nasal congestion.

Can You Test For Mold In The Air?

Mold grows in humid areas. When testing indoor air for mold, use an air pump that can collect samples that can be evaluated in a lab. However, some mold test kits use collection film or petri dishes exposed to the air as a method for testing mold.

Do Air Purifiers Help With Mold?

An air purifier works best in places where mold grows like in a basement. After you complete an air test, you’ll know where to put your air purifier. Though an air purifier can help with mold spores in the air, physically removing mold and moisture will solve visible mold growing areas.

Mold Test Kit Conclusion

Keep in mind that you can never be too safe when testing building materials for black mold. Occupational safety should always be a priority. When indoor air isn’t clean, health issues will arise. 

According to the American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA), mold spores are a serious health risk.  With mold test kits, you can send your mold tests to a lab for mold analysis by a professional. You may not realize it, but your home is a petri dish for mold and bacteria growth. 

Surface testing usually takes 5 minutes. Each kit tests for black mold and other types of mold. With advanced lab testing, you may have to wait seven days for lab analysis to receive results. Regardless, after you receive your results, a free consultation is usually provided. However, mold testing is something every homeowner should know how to do.

Air testing is necessary because mold spores are dangerous and can lead to major health problems. Mold is more prevalent in humid climates, where a dehumidifier is needed. The thing about mold is that if left untreated, it will spread. If you want to keep your family and home protected, remove mold from your living spaces as soon as you see it.