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How to Test for Mould at Home

How to Test for Mould at Home

, by Aussie Pharma Direct, 6 min reading time

When health issues become more pronounced, and peculiar odours refuse to be masked by air fresheners, it's time to turn your attention to the possibility of mould growth in your home. Mould spores, often invisible to the naked eye, can trigger respiratory problems, allergies, and other health issues. The musty smell that seems to linger no matter how much you clean could be a subtle warning sign that mould is making itself at home.

Plus, if your house has recently faced flooding or experienced leaks from torrential rain, these events can create the perfect breeding ground for mould. Excess moisture, even if seemingly dried up, can linger in hidden corners and crevices, setting the stage for mould to thrive.

In this blog, we'll equip you with simple yet effective tips to identify and address mould issues before they escalate.

Simple steps to check for mould

1. Visual inspection
Begin with a visual inspection, especially in areas prone to retaining moisture and humidity. Check corners, basements, bathrooms, and around windows for any visible signs of mould, such as discoloured patches on walls, ceilings, or floors.

2. Quick test using diluted bleach
Sometimes, distinguishing between mould and dirt can be tricky. A quick test using diluted bleach can help clarify the situation. Mix 1 part bleach with 16 parts water and swab the suspicious area using a clean Q-tip. If the spot quickly lightens or consistently returns after cleaning, it's likely mould. For confirmation, consider using a mould test kit, which we'll delve into in the next section.

3. Check for leaking plumbing
Plumbing issues can be a hidden catalyst for mould growth. Inspect your plumbing system for any leaks, drips, or water stains. Let the water run as you inspect the pipes and the surrounding area for damp spots. Be aware that water may travel from a source distant from the visible mould patch, so carefully examine the entire plumbing system.

4. Inspect your air ducts
Your home's HVAC system can be a conduit for mould to circulate throughout your living spaces. If you notice mould forming on the ceiling under a duct or register and there's no visible indication of a roof leak, poorly insulated ductwork may be the culprit.

5. Check for leaks outside the house
External factors, such as leaks from heavy rain or flooding, can contribute to mould growth inside your home. Inspect the exterior of your house for any water entry points, damaged siding, or compromised seals.

Mould testing using a mould test kit

In addition to the simple steps we've covered for checking your house for mould, there's another effective way to detect them—mould test kits! So, what exactly is a mould test kit? Well, think of it as your home's health check tool. These kits typically provide you with the ability to collect samples from various surfaces to determine the presence and severity of mould within your living space, allowing for a comprehensive analysis that aids in early detection and appropriate remediation measures.

One of the best mould test kits available in Australia is the SAN-AIR Mould & Bacteria Test Kit. Let's delve into what this test kit entails and how to effectively use it for accurate results.

Using SAN-AIR™ Mould & Bacteria Test Kit

The SAN-AIR™ Mould & Bacteria Test Kit is a user-friendly solution with a  simplicity and efficiency that make it an ideal choice for homeowners looking for a reliable tool to enhance their mould testing efforts. It can be used  to test for mould on surfaces, in the air or even in water. 

How to use the test kit:

  • Carefully extract the tabbed piece from its protective casing, ensuring minimal contact. Keep the casing aside, as it will be essential for the subsequent steps.
  • Gather a sample by pressing the sides of the dip slide onto the desired surface, whether it be within your air-conditioner, on a specific area, or in water. Maintain the dip slide in place for up to 1 minute to effectively capture mould particles.
  • After sampling, place the tabbed piece back into the protective casing.
  • Label or note the casing to specify the location from which the sample was collected. This is crucial for identifying areas that may necessitate mould cleaning or removal based on the test results.
  • Check the test kit daily for the next 5-7 days. If mould or bacteria is present, you will observe the development of red or furry spots on the dip slide. The duration it takes for these spots to appear can indicate the severity of the problem in your home. Longer duration suggests a lower level of mould contamination.
  • Utilise the chart provided with the kit to compare the observed results. The chart allows you to gauge the severity of the mould problem based on the markings and obtain valuable insights for taking appropriate remedial actions.

Mould identified? It’s time to get cleaning

Now that you've identified the presence of mould in your home, it's time to roll up your sleeves and get started with mould cleaning. It's worth noting that traditional mould cleaners, often laden with harsh chemicals or bleach, may not be as effective as we'd like them to be. Why? Well, mould is a crafty adversary—it excretes exoenzymes that neutralise the chemicals around it, essentially growing through and absorbing them.

This is where you should consider using plant-based or bio-enzyme solutions. By harnessing the power of nature, these solutions break down mould at its core, providing a safer and more sustainable approach to mould cleaning. This is where the SAN-AIR™ Mould Removal product range comes in. With its formulation made from 100% natural actives, it offers a comprehensive solution not only to remove existing mould but also for mould prevention.

Check out our handy infographic below for step-by-step guidance on using the SAN-AIR Mould Removal product range for effective mould cleaning and prevention.

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