Mold Testing- How to Find It
Updated: Jan 25
What to Look for:
OPTION 1: Do It Yourself
1. Mold Plates:
Mold plates can be used as a basic screening guide to help identify locations of hidden mold growth and estimate the severity of the mold growth.
Advantages- Quick, simple and inexpensive ($3-5/plate)
Disadvantages- Lower testing accuracy, less precise mold growth evaluation
MOLD PLATE TESTING: The mold plate tests can be used as a screen to see if your home has significant mold issues that may be causing mycotoxin illness.
1. Choose the room or space that you'll be putting the plate in prior to opening it, mark the room in a permanent marker on the clear side the plate.
2. Carefully remove the clear lid and place the lid facedown next to the plate with the growing substance
3. Keep the plate open for two hours
4. After two hours, put the lid back on, tape the lids closed with scotch tape, and stack finished plates together.
5. Cover plates with aluminum foil, let's sit in a warm area for about 4 days.
6. Inspect the plates and take a picture of each one. If there is a significant growth have your doctor review, and/or have ERMI done in the rooms or rooms that were positive.
7. Mold plates can be sent for laboratory analysis if additional testing is required.
Can order the mold plates from:
- Immunolytics- https://immunolytics.com/
2. ERMI/HERTSMI Test
The US Environmental Protection Authority developed ERMI to provide a straightforward, objective, sensitive and standardized way to assess mold and indoor air quality investigations. The USEPA developed the ERMI as a ranking system based on dust samples collected from homes, the ERMI will help predict the moldiness of homes.
HERTSMI-2 is a mold test that analyses the dust sample provided for 5 molds. These molds are known as the “Big 5”.
HERTSMI-2 differs from ERMI Testing in a few ways;
· HERTSMI-2 Testing looks at 5 molds, ERMI looks at 36 mold species.
· The ERMI gives the result as an easy to understand the comparison to an established database of water-damaged buildings and nonwater damaged buildings.
· As HERTSMI-2 Analyses for 5 molds, it is cheaper to do the analysis compared to 36 for the ERMI.
Advantages- Simple, higher testing accuracy, more precise mold growth evaluation
Disadvantages- Costly ($150-250), more work to collect sample
Can order ERMI HETSMI from:
OPTION 2: Hire an Inspector
- Advantages of hiring a professional inspector:
Inspectors are professions, they have experience on what to look for and the equipment to aid in the testing process. It is less work for the patient who may already be struggling with health issues due to the mold. An inspector should be able to tell you where the mold is located, how to remediate it and how to keep it from regrowing again.
- Disadvantages of hiring a professional inspector:
Due to the lack of standardization in the field of mold inspections results are often inconsistent. Finding a comprehensive and thorough mold inspector can be challenging and expensive. The current standard testing is air sampling which yields inconsistent results and is largely impacted by air movement, ventilation, and humidity. In addition, not all molds are testing through air sampling, only the most common, and the volume of mold must be high enough to yield any results. Finding a comprehensive investigator is rare.