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 Why Most Other Kits Don't Work

Not all mold test kits are created equal.

In May of 2006, the most prominent  publisher of consumer product reviews examined several mold self-test kits and found them all to be ineffective:  "all of the kits we tested have major flaws, serious enough to earn a Not Recommended rating."   The Got Mold? Test Kit was designed by indoor air quality experts to avoid the limitations of these other kits.

Here's Why We Say
'Real Science, Real Simple'


First, three cardinal truths about mold:

  1. Mold spores are everywhere, except perhaps in so-called "clean rooms" where they make computer chips.
  2. Mold growth indoors is the problem, not just the presence of mold spores, unless it's extreme.
  3. Microscopic analysis of volumetric air samples or standard surface samples by qualified lab technicians is the only reliable way to perform a mold assessment.

About the Petri Dish Self-Test Kits

Many self-test mold kits feature the placement of of a petri dish in an area of concern.  But if you place a dish of mold food on a table in any home, mold will grow very quickly, usually within 24 hours.  Some of these home mold test kits have you swab a surface with unsterilized utensils.  These mold detection kits don't capture airborne mold where there is a problem and they don't test your environment for the slow growing mold health professionals are concerned about.

Some molds produce wet, heavy spores that are not easily airborne.  It is very unlikely these spores will fall into a 4-inch dish in an hour or two. To capture such scattered, heavy spores you need a calibrated volume of air passing through an industry-standard Air-O-CellTM cassette.  A petri dish does not perform volumetric air sampling is therefore inadequate to the task of testing for mold.  The Got Mold? Test Kit, on the other hand, excels at this task.

Most of the petri dish mold kits tell you to judge for yourself whether the stuff growing in the gunk is mold. This won't tell you whether you have mold growth in your house. And here's a big irony: "black mold" is a nickname for Stachybotris Charturum, but Stachybotris will not grow in petri dish media because a) it's very slow growing, and b) the culture medium is wrong. 

And think about this: Do you really want to grow more mold in your house?

About the Vacuum Self-Test Kits

Another variety of self-test kits have you attach a sampling kit to your vacuum cleaner. But vacuuming your whole house into a filter is unscientific and doesn't give you worthwhile information about specific locations to be concerned about.  This is why the disclaimer that accompanies this type of mold detection kit tells not to expect any useful information from the lab report.

Mold is everywhere. The most important question is: What are you breathing?  You need to know whether your indoor air has more mold parts and mold spores, or less, than there is outdoors, and whether you have different concentrations of certain types of mold than you find outdoors.   The Got Mold? Test Kit is designed to reliably provide this information.

Swabs and Borrowed Pumps

Taking swabs, growing mold in a dish, or vacuuming the carpet won't tell you what you're breathing. The problem created by the combination of mold growth and a poorly ventilated space is buildup. The longer mold grows indoors, the more spores it produces, the more microscopic parts break off and float away, the more microbial volatile organic chemicals (MVOCs) it produces, and the more likely it is to produce mycotoxins, chemicals that are said to make people ill. A properly taken, professionally analyzed volumetric air sample, along with a comparison sample from outdoors, can tell you what you need to know.

There are other self-test mold kits that use real science, but they are more expensive than The Got Mold? Test Kit, and most require that you "rent" or "borrow" an expensive air sampling pump, which has to be returned with the samples. The  Got Mold? Test Kit avoids this inconvenience and the risk that the borrowed pump might get lost of damaged.

Conflicts of interest are common in the mold business. Many companies offer home mold test kits, mold inspection services and remediation (mold removal) services. This is a clear conflict of interest. If the company finding mold can also make money removing it, they will find mold every time. Mold assessment and remediation should be kept separate.

About Professional Mold Assessment Services

Some people who use the Got Mold? Test Kit may find they need further consultation with a professional mold assessment company to better understand and fix a mold problem.  When you buy the Got Mold? Test Kit you get a credit equal to the $99 purchase price toward a professional inspection through the 1-800-GOT-MOLD? network of professional mold assessors (where available).  We don't, and never will, participate in the mold remediation business but we do provide comprehensive information to help you find the right one, and our partners in the 1-800-GOT-MOLD? network may also provide consulting services in the remediation process. This means they would work for you, not for the remediation contractor. 

The Got Mold? Test Kit was created and developed by recognized experts in indoor air quality, mycology (the study of mold), and indoor mold assessment to make sure that you get real science, real simple.  No scare tactics, no need to return a pump, no conflicts of interest, and no junk science.

You can get the answers you need.

Got Mold? Test Kit
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