Mold Frequently Asked Questions

¤ What are the health concerns associated with mold?

Children and the elderly tend to be more sensitive to mold. Mold affects people differently. For people who have a mold allergy or asthma, mold growing in the home can make them feel wheezy and congested. As for ‘black mold’, fortunately it is very rare. It has been used as a scare tactic in this industry and thus the risk has been blown out of proportion.

¤ What’s the difference between a lab mold test and a DIY petri dish mold testing kit you can get at a hardware store?

DIY kits are less expensive than the lab test. But they don’t tell you nearly as much about your air quality. Consumer Reports magazine looked at different DIY kits and gave them a Not Recommended rating. The problem with the Do-It-Yourself petri dish kits is that they don’t give you a specific indication of how much mold you have. All homes have some mold; it is in the air everywhere and impossible to eliminate entirely. A petri dish, like a loaf of bread, will eventually grow mold if you leave it out long enough. But the purpose of testing is to see if you have an elevated level of mold. The lab’s mold results report provides this information. DIY petri dish test kits do not.

Additionally, the EPA recommends that “Sampling for mold should be conducted by professionals who have specific experience in designing mold sampling protocols, sampling methods, and interpreting results. Sample analysis should follow analytical methods recommended by the American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA), the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH), or other professional organizations.”

¤ How can I reduce the chance of mold growth?

First and foremost, if you control water leaks and flooding, you control mold. Make sure to dry surfaces where moisture could sit for a prolonged period (mold growth requires around 72 hours of moisture). Also, if you live in an abnormally humid area, get a de-humidifier. The ideal indoor humidity level is between 30 and 50 percent. Mold can grow at above 60% humidity. The Kansas City area doesn’t have extremely high humidity, so you should be ok here. Other tips, from Pro-Lab: “Adequately vent bathrooms, dryers, and other moisture-generating sources to the outside; use air conditioners and de-humidifiers; increase ventilation, and using exhaust fans whenever cooking, dishwashing and cleaning.”

¤ Why does air sample mold testing give the most complete analysis of air quality?

Three common mold testing methods are swab sampling, collection plates, and air sampling. Mold Test KC uses air sampling testing because it has the highest range of area and the highest accuracy.

The lab’s air sample test detects mold within a range of 1,000 square feet. Once we take the air sample, we seal and ship it overnight to an environmental lab for analysis. The results report comes back in 2-3 business days and shows what type of mold is in the air, how much, and if it poses a health risk.

About Swab Sample Testing: Swab sampling is when you take a swab of an area in question and analyze it for the presence of mold. It is a reliable test but the scope is limited because you must have access to the area in question. Mold Test Kansas City uses swab testing in some situations.

About Collection Plate Testing: Collection plate testing involves exposing a petri dish to the air over a period of time to see if mold grows. Many DIY mold test kits you can find in the Kansas City area use this method. The problem here is that the information you get is limited. When mold grows on a petri dish you still don’t know how much is present in the air and if that amount is cause for concern. Some mold is everywhere. It is impossible for a home to be 100% mold free. A petri dish will grow mold if you leave it out long enough, but there’s no additional information to glean from a petri dish test.

¤ Does home insurance cover mold?

If your insurance plan includes flood protection, then it might cover mold if the mold is a result of the flooding. Some insurance providers also offer a separate mold plan. Contact your provider to verify. If the mold isn’t related to flooding, it usually is not covered by insurance.

¤ I’m a Kansas City-area renter and I think I have mold. What can I do?

Unfortunately, Kansas and Missouri landlords are not legally required to test for mold. If you see the mold, show the landlord and ask it to be removed. If you suspect mold but don’t see it, ask the landlord to hire a Kansas City mold inspector. Responsible landlords will promptly handle the situation.

mold growth under sink Mold Test KC mold testing and inspection in Kansas City
Mold growing under a leaky sink.

¤ What’s the difference between a mold inspector and mold remediator, and when do I need each?

A mold inspector and tester checks your home for the presence of mold. A remediator removes the mold. Some Kansas City remediation companies also do mold testing, but it’s generally a good idea to separate the testing from the removing due to conflicts of interest. Just as a student shouldn’t grade their own test, you don’t want a remediator grading their own performance following removal.

¤ I think I have mold, but I don’t see it.

Does your home or business have a damp, musky smell? Did it recently flood? Before you treat it, you’ve gotta find it! Our thorough mold inspection hits all the areas where mold has the best conditions for growth. Once we find it, we’ll give you a removal plan for a remediation company to follow.

¤ I have visible mold and I need it removed.

If you already see the mold and believe it’s the only area of growth, you need a Kansas City mold remediator to remove your mold. We recommend KC Water Damage.

Once the remediation company finishes, call Mold Test KC for an air sampling mold test to ensure the job’s done and there aren’t elevated levels of mold still in the air.

¤ I had a remediator remove mold, but I’m not sure it’s gone.

A lab-certified mold test is the best way to check if a remediation company has removed everything and your air is clean.

If you have a question that wasn’t answered, Mold Test KC would love to help. Call or text 913-980-8146 for a free phone consultation about your situation.