Mold Inspection Vs. DIY Mold Testing – Why Do You Need A Professional?

Visit any home improvement or big box retail store, and you'll likely find plenty of do-it-yourself home mold test kits. These kits typically allow you to sample surfaces in your home and receive immediate results, sometimes with an option to send your samples off to a lab for further analysis. At first glance, they may seem like a cost-effective alternative to a professional mold inspection. 

While do-it-yourself test kits can help you analyze some visible mold problems, they're far from a panacea. More importantly, they won't help you detect mold problems that you can't see. If you're wondering whether you may have mold lurking in your home, here are three reasons you'll probably need a professional to find out.

1. Moisture Isn't Always Obvious

Excessive moisture is the most likely cause of mold problems in any home. Moisture can come from many sources, including leaks, excessive humidity, and even HVAC issues. While some of these problems are hard to miss, others are much more subtle. Even if you use a hygrometer to measure humidity in your home, you may not notice moisture behind walls or along kitchen counters.

A professional mold inspection typically involves the use of temperature and moisture sensors. These devices allow inspectors to pinpoint areas where moisture may be hiding, such as behind plumbing fixtures or walls. While simply finding moisture doesn't necessarily mean you have mold, it does provide inspectors with a good place to start looking.

2. Not All Mold is Problematic

There are countless different types of mold. For example, leave bread on your counter for long enough, and it will inevitably develop some mold. You may even find mold on old cheese in your refrigerator! This type of mold in your home doesn't indicate a problem. Instead, it's simply due to mold spores being present in most homes and on many surfaces.

White molds are also a common problem in bathrooms, which can often be moister than other parts of the home. These molds are typically easy to remove and prevent. An inspector will be able to recognize these nuisance molds and distinguish them from more threatening molds that may indicate a more severe problem.

3. Air Quality is Key

Sampling visible mold can tell you about what you see, but it won't necessarily tell you about what you're breathing. Thorough mold testing includes air quality inspections, which require professional-grade sampling equipment. Your inspector will collect these samples to send them to a lab for further analysis.

Testing air quality in this way helps to discover potentially hidden problems. Even if the other parts of the inspection don't turn up any problems, elevated mold spores in your home's air point to an issue. This extra data lets you know that you may have a problem requiring further investigation.

Reach out to a company like Buffalo Girl Home Inspection LLC to learn more about mold inspections and testing.