Understanding Air and Surface Mold Testing

The Mold Consultant offers a wide variety of mold testing solutions for any situation, both residential and commercial. The information these tests provide allows you to make informed decisions. So which test is right for you? It depends on what you want and need to know.

Available Mold Testing Samples

Here is a list of the different kinds of samples that The Mold Consultant offers.

Air Quality Samples

collecting air sample for mold testing


Using Air-O-Cell cassettes, this method is the most common air quality test. It yields fast results, generally in about 24 hours.


Using a high-quality impaction style tool, mold spore samples collect in a petri-dish with a varied growing medium. It generally provides more detailed information, however, results take 7-10 days.

Surface Specific Samples

collecting a mold wall cavity sample
  • Swab (24 hours, limited but specific test information)
  • Tape (24 hours, limited but specific test information)
  • Bulk (carpet, sheetrock, wood, other)
  • Wall Check (wall cavity air sample)
  • Carpet Check (bulk dust, dirt, & debris collector)

Which Mold Testing Option is Right For You?

Here’s a brief overview of the differences to help you start down the path of choosing a test.

  1. "I already know I have a mold issue but I want to know if it's dangerous."

    If this best describes your situation, a simple swab test will provide you with the limited information you seek. A swab test will tell you what kind of mold(s) you’re dealing with. Then, a plan of action are formed accordingly.

  2. "I'm not sure if I have a mold problem, but my allergies are terrible and I can't seem to get over them."

    Woman blowing her nose because allergies that may be related to mold exposure in the home

    If you’re in this group, you’re most likely frustrated because you know something is going on but can’t put your finger on it. A Non Viable air sample is best for you. It's the most common sample taken and usually referred to as an ‘air-o-cell test’ (common name brand of collection cassette). The sample provides a snap shot of the air you’re breathing. The results are available quickly ─ reporting the mold type and quantity in your air. The Mold Consultant can explain why this is always the most important factor.

  3. "I know I've got a mold problem and want to know specifically what's in my walls or ventilation system."

    Petri dish sample of mold grown in a laboratory to determine the types of microorganisms in the air

    You not only want to know what kind of mold(s) are present but you also dig knowing what kingdom, phylum, class, order, family, genus, & species your mold hails from. You were a straight-A student and will not be intimidated by this mold. You even call it fungi, the proper name instead of mold or mildew! It’s not that you’re trying to be a know-it-all…you just really are smarter than most of your friends and you’ve found that more knowledge is the solution to all problems.

    So for those in this category, The Mold Consultant provides a Viable air sample using the A6 impactor. This sampling method draws air through the impactor and directs the air into 400 precision-drilled holes that force the air evenly onto an agar plate. Making the rubbery surface look like the dimples on a golf ball. This causes colony forming units (CFU’s) to start to grow!

    Now wait 7 to 10 days and this agar plate will be full of disgusting, growing, living molds. The molds will provide not only quantitative but qualitative results that would make every valedictorian proud and any salutatorian green with envy. (Notice how this is the only test that we’ve explained ‘how’ it works? People in this category would demand nothing less!)

    All kidding aside, this is a good sample to request if you require the maximum amount of information available. Knowing detailed mold information can be useful in some situations. Usually this kind of information is standard operating procedure for health issues and court cases. It does have its limitations so make sure that The Mold Consultant gets a chance to explain them.