Reasons Why You Should Not Use a DIY Mold Testing Kit

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Reasons Why You Should Not Use a DIY Mold Testing Kit


Homeowners may be tempted to try testing for mold themselves with a DIY Mold testing kit, by setting out petri dishes for a period of time, to determine if there is mold present inside their home. This method is misleading and inaccurate for many reasons. The results lack enough credibility that lawyers, doctors, insurance companies, and remediation companies do not accept the results.


Here are some of the problems with DIY Mold Testing Kits:
  • No Expiration Dates – DIY mold test kits sit on hardware shelves or storage areas for undisclosed amounts of time, subjecting the agar (gooey stuff) to contaminants. Because there is no readily identifiable expiration date for these kits, despite the requirement that they be sterile, consumers cannot determine how much potential handling or exposure these kits have had.
  • No Inspection – DIY kits do no provide an overall understanding of your mold contamination. A critical part of a comprehensive mold investigation is the inspection process, which requires specialized instruments such as digital moisture meters, hygrometers, infrared cameras and other tools.
  • No Control Sample – A control sample is necessary to validate the elevation of spores and provide a meaningful reference point, but many DIY kits do not offer a dish to take such a comparison sample from another room or outside.
  • No Air Flow to Measure Mold In Cubic Units- Most standards and guidelines refer to mold spores per cubic meter or coliform forming unit, but obtaining a level of mold per volume of air is impossible without a controlled airflow through the use of a mechanical pump.
  • No Accredited Laboratory Certification, Endorsement or Chain of Custody – The labs associated with DIY kits are rarely certified (those listed with AIHA-LAP LLC Accredited Labs) and are not endorsed by any accredited agency. Often there is no chain of custody (COC) to properly document the transfer of the kit or to note acceptance of the kit by the lab and critical data such as the date, time of analysis, lab location etc. are often omitted.
  • Misleading Marketing/Information – Consumers often think that the DIY kit they purchase will quantify and qualify the types of mold they have, but this is not the case. For an additional cost, the petri dishes must be sent out to the lab for analysis (see point 1, 2, 3 for why this is meaningless).
  • Kits Do Not Account For Dead Spores: Settling plates and other DIY kits are focused on growing mold, but dead spores can also impact your health. Water damage-makers such as Stachybotrys, Chaetomium and Ulocladium may not show up on the DIY kit.
  • Spore Characteristics – Mold spores have unique weight, density and air flow characteristics and do not settle at the same rate. Heavier spores, for example, settle on the petri dishes at a quicker rate and take up more of the sample plate. Sticky molds, especially water damage indicators and Black Mold, might not appear as readily on the DIY kits, but this absence could indicate greater growth elsewhere.

Overall, Mold Testing DIY kits are useless for diagnosing if you have a mold problem and should be handled by a professional, who uses proper sampling collection protocol and a certified lab. Also, a professional can assist with interpreting the results so the customer understands the situation fully. Do not waste your time and money on a DIY Test, instead contact a trusted mold professional.
Visit Comprehensive Mold Management's website for more information at www.compmold.com

How to Clean Mold out of Your Coffee Maker

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How to Clean Mold out of Your Coffee Maker

There is nothing better than a fresh cup of coffee in the morning to start off your day. What if that delicious cup of coffee was full of mold!?! Not so appetizing or appealing. Coffee makers are obviously a very moist environment, which is the perfect conditions for mold and bacteria to grow.

Hot water is not enough to clean out your coffee maker (the classic coffee maker with a basket and carafe). The best way to clean out your coffee maker is with vinegar, which not only sanitizes it but also decalcifies or removes the mineral buildup from tap water.

You should rinse out your coffee maker daily. The carafe, lid and filter basket should be cleaned with warm, sudsy water. If you own a Keurig or a machine that takes K-cups, debris can build up inside of those as well, they should also have a vinegar cleanse every few months. How often you clean your coffee maker depends on how often you use it and how long it remains unused.

Here are the steps for decalcifying a classic coffee maker:

1.       Fill the coffee maker's water chamber with equal parts white vinegar and water. Using a paper filter, allow to brew until half the chamber is empty.
2.       Turn the coffee maker off and let it sit for 30 minutes, then finish brewing.
3.       Rinse the machine by using a new paper filter to brew a pot of clear water. Do this twice.
4.       Fill the carafe with warm, sudsy water and some rice as a gentle abrasive. Swirl the mixture in the pot, then use a scrubber sponge to remove any build up. Rinse and dry. (Magic Sponge Erasers also work well.)
5.       Wipe the outside of the machine with a damp cloth (but remember, this and the previous step should really happen every day).


By following these steps it will not only make for better tasting coffee but also mold & germ free coffee! Overall, a much better and healthier way to start off your morning. 
Visit Comprehensive Mold Management's website for more information at www.compmold.com

Mold in Ductwork

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Mold in Ductwork


When was the last time you checked your HVAC system for mold?

Do not wait to check your ducting for mold, seeing as if you do have mold it will only progressively get worse. Ducting do not get the attention or inspection that they need, due to being hidden and out of plain view. Many unsuspecting homeowners easily overlook proper home upkeep, which further compounds the mold trouble inside unseen ducts.

A large amount of mold spores can pose potential hazards to your health. Some people develop allergies from mere exposure to them. Others, who are more sensitive such as the children, the elderly and those with compromised immune systems get irritated respiratory tracts or skin. They can be potentially toxic when inhaled, too.

Mold damages a property the longer it grows unnoticed. If you have the slightest doubt that your home heating or cooling system is contaminated with mold because of the musty smell on the premises, don’t run it. Doing so would at least slow down the spread of mold throughout the house. If you have a drop ceiling in the basement, make sure it is not too close to the ducting when the air conditioning is running. Otherwise, condensation will build on the drop ceiling, which will cause mold to grow.
Can I prevent mold from growing in my air ducts?
Testing and early detection are key to preventing mold from thriving in your ductwork. However, most people fail to realize the presence of mold until it is too late. Perhaps, it is because of lack of information about the awful effects of mold. It is tough enough to keep molds out of visible surfaces. Mold presence in hidden ductworks would be even more difficult. But you can’t just ignore the issue – or it will never get solved. You must hire an experienced professional to check the air ducts and other potential sites for mold growth.
What do I do to get remove the mold from the air ducts?
Do not attempt to clean up the mold growth inside the ductwork. According to US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), only licensed service providers could check and eliminate growing molds in any property. Professionals have been properly trained and are certified with the skills and experience to carry out the proper clean up.

Professional inspectors would look into the source of moisture. After all, mold is a result of poor moisture or water control. Insulated air ducts, for instance, are prone to mold growth so even after thorough cleaning; the mold problem in air ducts might recur. It should be replaced with an HVAC system that does not get easily wet or moldy.
Visit Comprehensive Mold Management's website for more information at www.compmold.com