THE PRO-LAB® MOLD TEST KIT offers four (4) easy sampling methods. The first two (2) air sampling methods can indicate the presence of a hidden or an elevated mold problem in as little as 48 hours. If mold growth occurs after the air sample is taken, an Optional Lab Analysis ($40) is available which identifies the type (genus name) of mold present. If you see mold growing in your home or office, the third or fourth method allows you to take a sample and send it to our laboratory for analysis to determine the type (genus name) of mold present.
A minimum of two (2) test kits are required for air sampling in order to compare indoor to outdoor air quality. The first sample should be taken indoors in the area of concern. The second sample should be taken outdoors. If the results of the test indicate that the amount of mold growth indoors is significantly greater than the mold growth outdoors or if the type(s) of mold found indoors are significantly different than the mold outdoors, you may have a mold problem. One mold test kit is needed for each indoor area of concern.
WHAT IS MOLD?
Mold are microscopic fungi and their spores are found in the air you breathe both indoors and outdoors. Mold spores are very tiny and lightweight. Mold spores found in indoor air can be produced by mold growing on damp or wet surfaces. Mold can grow indoors when air-conditioning ducts, walls, carpets, clothing, leather products and furniture get wet. In order for mold to grow indoors, it needs a food source (such as wood, wallboard, wallpaper, ceiling tiles, or carpet), a source of moisture and time to grow. Mold can produce and release millions of spores small enough to invade the human respiratory system. Mold growth can ruin and discolor household items. Mold growth can look white to orange and from green to brown and black. Mold can also cause expensive material damage to your home and may indicate you have a hidden water problem.
HOW DO YOU COME IN CONTACT WITH MOLD?
Sources of indoor moisture that may cause mold problems in your home or office include: flooding, leaky roofs, humidifiers, damp basements or crawl spaces, constant plumbing leaks, house plants, steam from cooking, gas heat, shower/bath steam and leaks, wet clothes, and improperly vented clothes dryers. They are easily spread by activities including, vacuuming, walking on carpet, sitting on a couch, opening and closing doors and even your heating and air conditioning system.
WHAT CAN MOLD DO TO YOU?
When inhaled, mold can cause a range of health problems including respiratory problems (wheezing), nasal and sinus congestion, watery and red eyes, nose and throat irritation, skin irritation, aches, pains, and fevers. In large quantities, mold spores can cause allergic symptoms and trigger asthma attacks. Exposure to mold is not healthy for anyone, but the following individuals are at a higher risk for adverse health effects: infants, children, elderly, immune compromised persons, and individuals with existing respiratory conditions.
HOW DO YOU FIND OUT IF YOU HAVE A MOLD PROBLEM?
There are four (4) easy sampling methods to choose from. (See detailed instructions inside). To find out if your home or office has a mold problem you must test. Simply place the prepared petri dish in the location you wish to test. You may also send a piece of bulk material to be tested for mold.
The PRO-LAB® MOLD TEST KIT should be used as your first step in identifying unhealthy types and amounts of mold spores that could be harmful to your health and your home. If you would like to have a professional mold inspection, go to
www.inspectorseek.com and an IAC2 / INTERNACHI home inspector can identify the source of a potential mold problem in your home or office.
THE PRO-LAB®MOLD TEST KIT offers four (4) easy sampling methods. The first two (2) air sampling methods can indicate the presence of a hidden or elevated mold problem in as little as 48 hours. If mold growth occurs on the petri dish after the air sample is taken, an Optional Lab Analysis ($40) is available which identifies the type (genus name) of mold present. The second two (2) sampling methods allows you to take a sample of visible mold growth and send it to our laboratory for analysis ($40) to determine the type (genus name) of mold present. One mold test kit is needed for each indoor area of concern.
PETRI DISH SETUP DIRECTIONS
1. Remove the covered petri dish from the zip-lock bag and place it on a level surface.
2. Remove the top lid of the petri dish and pour the contents of the vial into the bottom of the dish. Replace the top lid and gently swirl until the bottom is completely covered. Allow liquid to harden for one (1) hour with the top lid on.
3. Determine a sampling method you would like to use. The methods are listed below.
4. After sampling is completed, seal the edge of the petri dish with tape to ensure that the sample stays intact during shipping. Place petri dish back in the original zip-lock bag.
Note: You may use only one testing method per petri dish.
* NOTICE CONCERNING THE APPEARANCE OF THE PRO-LAB® PETRI DISH
The petri dish which is supplied with the PRO-LAB® Mold Test Kit contains a special pretreated layer covering the bottom of the dish. Under most circumstances this layer is not noticeable. However, under certain conditions the pretreated layer may appear cloudy. This DOES NOT indicate contamination and WILL NOT interfere with the performance or effectiveness of the test kit.
CHOOSE ONE OF THE FOLLOWING SAMPLING METHODS (After you have completed the petri dish setup):
METHOD 1: SETTLING PLATE METHOD
(To determine the number and type of mold spores in the air)
Place the petri dish on a level surface in the location you want to test. Remove the top lid of the petri dish and leave it open to the air for one (1) hour. Replace the top lid when the one (1) hour test is complete, and allow the dish to incubate for 48 hours. Re-check the dish for any slow growing mold at 72 hours and 96 hours. If any mold growth is present after this incubation period, proceed to the lab results directions.
METHOD 2: HVAC AIR SAMPLING
(Alternative method to determine the number and type of mold spores in the air)
Locate the air vent that is the farthest away from the main HVAC unit. Remove the top lid of the petri dish and tape the open dish containing the agar gel against the open air vent. Close all of the remaining air vents that are on the system. Turn the system fan on for ten (10) minutes to allow the forced air to impact on the surface of the petri dish. Once the ten (10) minute sampling time is completed, remove the petri dish from the air vent, replace the top lid and allow to incubate for 48 hours. Re-check the dish at 72 hours and 96 hours to check for any slow growing mold. If any mold growth is present after the incubation period, proceed to the lab results directions.
METHOD 3: VISUAL SAMPLING
(To determine the type of mold that is visible and growing on a surface)
Locate the visible mold growth. Take the enclosed sterile swab and wipe the tip across the visible mold growth. Mold must adhere to the swab tip. Remove the top lid of the petri dish. Very gently roll the swabbed sample across the top surface of the agar gel in the petri dish, allowing the mold to adhere. Do not leave the swab inside the petri dish. Once sampling is complete, replace the top lid and proceed to the lab results directions. In order to provide the results, you must send both the swab and the petri dish to the lab for analysis.
METHOD 4: BULK SAMPLE
(You may also send in a piece of the material to be tested as a bulk sample.)
Place a small piece of material to be tested inside the zip-lock bag. It is not necessary to use the petri dish with the bulk sample. Proceed to the lab results directions.
STANDARD LAB RESULTS
Place the sealed petri dish or bulk sample in the enclosed postage pre-paid envelope along with the information form, and a check, money order (made payable to PRO-LAB®) or credit card payment for $40 (Visa, Mastercard, Discover, or AMEX only). Mail immediately to PRO-LAB® P.O. Box 267730, Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33326-9914.
Within seven (7) business days after PRO-LAB® has received your mold sample, we will email your results that list the type (genus name) of mold present in your home or office.
You may also print and view your results at www.prolabinc.com/register-kits/.
Express service is available for an additional $15, or a total of $55. In order to use the express service, you must send the test kit, information form, and the proper payment to PRO-LAB® using an overnight shipping company such as Federal Express, Airborne Express, DHL or UPS. Send the test kit to PRO-LAB® 1675 N. Commerce Parkway, Weston, FL 33326. (Express samples can only be received Monday – Friday). Within three (3) business days of our receipt of your sample, you will receive an email of your results. You may also print and view your results at www.prolabresults.com.