The Home Mold Laboratory Viable Mold Test kit is a good one. It's cheap, even with the cost of lab reports added in, and it allows a wide variety of sampling options too. What we really like about this kit is that it comes with information on mold testing and the effects of mold, along with a user guide that's easy to understand and follow. The low price combined with ease of use and versatility make this one of the best mold test kits (opens in new tab) you can buy right now, along with the Pro-Lab Mold Test Kit (opens in new tab).
This testing kit collects mold and yeast so you can determine if there are dangerous growth colonies, such as black mold, in your home. Of all of the mold test kits we reviewed, this mold detector is one of the easiest to use. Unlike other kits, the Viable Mold Test Kit is factory prepared, meaning all materials are ready to use right out of the box.
The easiest sampling method is the settle test in which you place a prepared petri dish in a room for an hour, then seal it and let it incubate. You can also collect a sample from your HVAC system. This test requires you to tape the dish to the air vent that is furthest away from the central system and close all other vents in the house. This takes more effort than the other tests, but as HVAC systems are common mold-growth areas, the work is worth it. The kit includes a swab that you can use to determine whether visible mold in your house is alive or not. Finally, you can also send samples of fabric - like curtains or carpet - to the lab but this type of testing costs a little more.
Regardless of which test method you choose, the sample needs to incubate for three to seven days, which is one of the longest times among the kits we tested. If you find mold growing on the dishes during this period, you will want to send the kit back to the lab for a full mold analysis. This will cost an additional $30, which is the least expensive of all the lab tests we assessed. It is important to check the dishes regularly during the incubation period and to wait the full seven days, as slow-growing mold and yeast can take this long before appearing. If you need quicker results the Healthful Home 5-Minute kit (opens in new tab) gets fast results, but is less accurate.
In addition to analyzing the standard tests, the company offers lab analysis of mold samples on small pieces of carpet or fabric, but each sample costs an extra fee. Usually, the laboratory needs eight days after receiving a sample to analyze it and mail or fax a report back to you. The lab analysis is easy to read, and if you need help interpreting the report, you can call the laboratory for free consultation.
While this company doesn’t have as wide a range of credentials as our top test kit manufacturer, it has the most critical certification. The American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA) credits the Home Mold Laboratory as fully tested and accredited, so you can trust that your test results are accurate and complete. Also, most mold-removal specialists do not accept a home mold test kit without an AIHA-certified mycology report.
Most mold tests include all the necessary supplies to perform tests the product promises. The kit's petri dish comes with the growth medium inside, rather than requiring you to pour and prepare the agar solution on your own. On the bottom of the petri dish, Home Mold Laboratory lists the expiration date, promising that your test kit will perform at maximum efficiency. If you want to perform a surface sample, each kit comes with a sanitized cotton swab. The Viable Mold Test does not come with extra bags for sealing and shipping bulky samples like carpet or dry wall. When you purchase this kit you can also pay for pre-paid return shipping, which is quite expensive at $7 each.
If you have any questions about your mold test, Home Mold Laboratory offers free telephone consultation during regular business hours. You can also contact customer support by email. The website offers detailed FAQs, and you can purchase a mold guidebook. Each kit has a video tutorial page with excellent step-by-step instructions on how to test for mold. What's more, each kit comes with an educational EPA guide to mold in your home, which is a nice touch.
Should you buy the Home Mold Laboratory kit?
Home Mold Laboratory's Viable Mold Test Kit is one of the top home mold test kits we reviewed because it is easy to use and has a full range of test methods. The mold tests come with all of the supplies you need for most tests, but you have to pay extra for bulk sample analysis. The lab offers detailed reports and provides free telephone consultation for any of your home mold questions. This test kit allows you to use a variety of test methods, and the optional lab report is thorough, making it one of the best kits you can buy today.