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Mold spores are present in most outdoor environments.  Through the normal exchange of air, the same proportion of spores is likely to exist inside buildings as outside.  If the air is filtered or altered before entering the building, the numbers of indoor spores may be less, but the proportion of spore types should mimic those outdoors unless there is some other factor contributing additional mold spores to the indoor environment. 

Mold testing is used to:

  • Determine if the distribution of indoor spores mimics the outdoor levels at the time of the sampling
  • Identify indoor mold spores that exceed outdoor or otherwise expected levels
  • Assist in determining the source of elevated indoor mold spores

KELLCO recommends concurrent testing using the following methods:

Non-Culturable Sampling for Airborne Mold Spores

Non-culturable spore trap samplers draw measured volumes of air through the sampling device for a specified length of time. The collection surface is a coated glass slide.  Particles in the air (spores, dust, etc.) impact onto the sticky surface and are “trapped” for later analysis.

Spore trap sampler can capture all spores and in particular matter in the air, making it possible to accurately characterize problem environments where spores are present. 

Surface Sampling (Tape Lift) by Microscopic Examination for Mold Spores

This method determines whether or not mold is growing on a surface, and can be used to identify the kinds of molds found.  Since molds may grown on a surface before becoming airborne, surface testing can give forewarning of potential problems before they exist.  It is also helpful to identify the source of a specific mold type that has been found in the air.

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