Air Quality Test vs Mold Test
It’s not surprising that so many people are confused—after all, both types of tests are used to detect and diagnose mold problems. However, mold tests and air quality tests are not the same. One test is more telling than the other.
What is a mold test?
Generally, a mold test is a quick procedure that involves taking a swab of the suspected material, inserting it into a liquid and waiting for a colour change.
If the liquid turns green, no mold is present in the sample. If the liquid turns purple, then the material tested is contaminated with mold.
While these instant mold tests will give you a clear, yes-or-no answer, they will not identify the species of mold you’re dealing with and how much of it is present in your living environment. They’re also not a good indicator of what’s in your air.
For this reason, we only use mold swab tests when clients need immediate answers. Otherwise, we suggest other testing methods.
What is an air quality test?
Air quality test analyzes a sample of air that has been collected from the room in question. It can recognize various particles floating around in your air, including mold spores, asbestos fibres, volatile organic compounds, pollen, dust and other allergens.
Typically, each air sample contains 75 L of compressed air, so the results provide a very accurate snapshot of the health of your indoor environment. Air sampling can reveal major mold, moisture and ventilation problems in seemingly normal spaces…much to the surprise of homeowners.
Should I do air quality or mold test?
We usually recommend air quality testing for mold because it provides more accurate and detailed information about your indoor environment.
Mold tests are great if you want a quick answer (for example, if you want to find out if mold is growing on your drywall). However, if you’re looking for the big picture, an air quality test is the way to go.
In our experience, we have noticed that people request a mold test when they are actually referring to an air quality test for mold. We hope that the difference between the two is clear now.