PROS / The Pro-Lab Mold Test Kit offers three distinct testing methods.
CONS / The kit does not include dedicated sample bags to ship the petri dishes and swab back to the company for analysis.
VERDICT / The Pro-Lab Mold Test Kit has a long list of certifications, including the American Industrial Hygiene Association, meaning tested lab samples are thorough and reliable.
The Pro-Lab Mold Test Kit offers a wide variety of test methods you can use to discover whether there are potentially hazardous mold outbreaks, such as the infamous black mold, in your home. This mold test kit offers a full mycology lab analysis, which is a thorough examination of mold by biologists who specialize in the study of fungi. However, in order to get your mold analyzed, you have to pay an extra lab fee. Fortunately, the lab's credentials are impressive, so you know you'll get quality results. Because of the mold test kit's capabilities and the professionalism of the mycology laboratory, Pro-Lab Mold Test Kit earns our Top Ten Reviews Gold Award.
The Pro-Lab Mold Test Kit is one of the most complete mold detecting kits we used. Each test in the Pro-Lab kit requires you to prepare a petri dish by pouring a mold medium, or a growth hormone, into the dish. After the growth hormone hardens, you can use the petri dish in one of three methods to collect a sample. We found that the settling plate method was the easiest test, in which you place the prepared petri dish on flat service and leave it for one hour. After the test is finished, you seal the dish with a lid and allow the sample to incubate for at least two days.
The next method is called the visual sampling method in which you wipe visual mold with a sterile swab, included in the kit. Making sure that mold has adhered to the swab, you transfer the mold to the petri dish. Once the mold has been transferred to the dish, you seal the petri dish and send both the dish and the swab for analysis.
The last method, called the HVAC method, is the technique Pro-Lab recommends to test your air, since most mold problems occur in air conditioning and heating vents. However, this test is a little more complicated than the other methods. First, you attach the petri dish to the furthest vent and shut every other vent. Then, you run the system fan for ten minutes. Much like the settle test, the air settles onto the growth hormone in the petri dish. After the test, you seal and incubate the test plate for at least two days.
The settle and HVAC method tests allow you to identify mold samples growing in your home. If you find mold growing in the petri dish for either of these tests, or if you use the visual method, you'll want to pay the lab fee to have the mold analyzed by the company.
Although Pro-Lab charges extra for its laboratory analysis, you can expect accurate results. Their mycology lab is among the most qualified, with a long list of certifications that includes the American Industrial Hygiene Association.
Once the lab gets your sample, you receive a report within two weeks. The report, which is sent to you, includes mold identification and information. With this, you can get a mold-removal crew to help you isolate and remove the threat. Pro-Lab backs every report with a lifetime guarantee.
The Pro-Lab Mold Test Kit comes with most of the equipment you need to perform every test. Each kit comes with a petri dish, growth medium, sterilized swab, return envelope and detailed test instructions. Test preparation takes about an hour, but once you're ready to take a sample, the step-by-step instructions are easy to follow.
One kit is good for one test, but the instructions state that you should run a parallel test outdoors to help determine if mold is entering your home from your local environment or not. If you follow the kit's advice, you'll have to buy a second mold detector for your yard before you test your room.
Unfortunately, the kit is missing dedicated sample bags for safe shipping. If you want to send a bulk sample, you have to reuse the bag holding the packaging supplies. The prepaid paper envelope feels flimsy, and you may feel some level of concern regarding the integrity of the package. Lastly, the mold detector that we used did not have an expiration date on it. Old growth gels can lose their effectiveness over time, and an expiration date would have been reassuring.
Help & Support
Pro-Lab offers a full range of support options, from personalized help to do-it-yourself instructions. The website offers a small FAQs section and detailed video tutorials. You can also download a new instruction manual if you lose the one that comes with your kit.
If you have any questions on how to test for mold, support representatives are available by email and telephone. After your report is finished, you can contact the lab staff with any questions you still have. Pro-Lab offers help during all phases of the testing.
The Pro-Lab Mold Test Kit is the best mold test kit we used. It is simple and offers a full range of test methods. Although the laboratory costs extra to use, it has a long list of qualifications and a helpful staff of professionals. The test kit is missing a few components, such as a dedicated sample bag or expiration date, but we are impressed by Pro-Lab's Mold Test Kit.