Complete laboratory mould test: Your reliable mould test
The complete laboratory mould test allows you to test both your indoor air as well as any suspicious or mould-contaminated areas. The test has two components: Firstly, you receive a Petri dish with a culture medium to test your indoor air for mould and, secondly, you can take an tape sample from suspicious areas using an adhesive strip.
This allows you to determine which mould spores are contaminating your indoor air and which species of mould is, for example, on your walls. Once you have taken the samples, you can simply send them back to our specialist laboratory with the material provided for the return shipment to have the mould analysed.
This way you will receive reliable information on the mould species and its concentration. While laypeople can often only see and differentiate black mould, green mould, white mould or red mould, a laboratory analysis can identify the exact species. This is particularly important as mould can have different causes and lead to different effects and illnesses. Therefore, a laboratory mould test is particularly attractive for laypeople as, for example, Aspergillus, Penicillium, Cladosporium and other species can be identified.
Detect mould reliably – with the complete laboratory mould test
Unfortunately, mould is similar to many other risk in the home and environment: People who are already at risk due to other factors are at a higher risk of becoming ill because of mould or suffering from supposed everyday symptoms that are in fact caused by mould.
- People with respiratory illnesses: Mould can severely affect people with respiratory illnesses, aggravating existing symptoms or leading to new complications. Therefore, an indoor air mould test is important for people with respiratory illnesses.
- Asthmatics: If you or one of your relatives suffers from asthma, the indoor air mould test is a useful exercise that should be carried out at regular intervals to ensure that there are no trouble spots that are aggravating the asthma.
- Pregnant women: As the use of antihistamines is generally restricted in pregnant women and mould toxins (mycotoxins) can have an impact on the development of the fetus, mould is a risk for pregnant women that should not be underestimated.
- Small children: As in people with a weakened immune system, in small children and babies the body’s natural defence system is not yet fully developed, so mould represents a significant risk to small children. Therefore, it is worth checking indoor air for mould at an early stage in order to ensure a safe environment for the little ones.
- Immunocompromised people: Regardless of whether your immune system is weakened due to illnesses or immunosuppressants, mould represents a serious risk. Due to the weakening of the immune system, the body can no longer effectively defend itself against spores and mycotoxins, so an indoor air mould test should be carried out as a precaution.
Test mould and avoid long-term effects
If you are looking for areas in your home mould where mould could form, we would like to provide you with a quick overview so you can quickly identify critical areas.
- Walls: Mould can easily form on walls, whether they are wallpapered or not. Mould can form on walls, particularly on exterior walls and thermal bridges or if there is inadequate or faulty insulation.
- Wallpaper: Due to its material properties and organic substances, wallpaper often provides an excellent breeding ground for mould once it has absorbed moisture.
- Tiles: Whether in the bathroom, kitchen or cellar: tiles provide an excellent substrate for mould, especially if they are damaged. As condensation often forms on tiles in the kitchen and bathroom, mould finds more than enough moisture here to grow.
- Window frames: Mould can easily form here, especially if you have wood window frames. Condensation forms quickly on windows when humidity is high, so the phenomenon can be seen in the kitchen and bathroom in particular.
- Grouting: Whether it’s grouting in the bath, silicone sealants or sealants on the kitchen worktop, mould can form relatively easily here as it finds the material a fertile breeding ground.
- Plant pots: If plants are watered too much and moisture residues build up, mould can also form very easily on plant pots. Therefore, particularly for plants, you should find out how often they need to be watered to ensure you avoid a mould infestation.
- Organic waste: Organic waste is a relatively self-explanatory source of mould. Firstly, organic waste, particularly food waste, is usually very moist and, secondly, the organic material offers the best conditions for a nutrient-rich mould substrate.
The most common mould species and genuses
Before a possible health hazard can be identified, the species or genus of a mould infestation in your apartment or house has to be identified first. This can only be done with a laboratory mould test – only then can appropriate measures be taken. Furthermore, the identification of the mould species or genus provides a reliable basis for consultation with your doctor. The identification of the species and genus also often helps experts narrow down and eliminate potential causes.
The most common species and genuses of mould:
- Wallemia sebi: This species of mould is one of the typical indicators of moisture and experience shows it is common where there is condensation damage, in thermal bridges for example. Wallemia sebi grows particularly well on foods with high osmotic pressure, i.e. products containing a lot of salt or sugar. A high incidence of spores in indoor air/inhaled air can lead to allergic reactions or sensitizing effects.
- Penicillium spp.: This species of mould is one of the most common types of mould in the world. Mould species of this genus of this species often grow on wallpaper, textiles and various other building materials after water damage, but are also commonly found on food.
- Cladosporium spp.: This genus of mould is mainly found in the outside air but can also form in moist environments indoors, and leads to olive-brown to brown-black discolouration. If there is a severe infestation indoors, allergic reactions, such a runny nose or coughing, may occur (mould allergy). Therefore, particularly sensitive people should not garden.
- Aspergillus spp.: This genus of mould often affects food, but is also typically found in damp rooms. Moulds in the Aspergillus versicolor species complex, in particular, are known for producing various mycotoxins that can cause mycotoxicosis. In addition to damage to the immune system, the effects described in humans include organ damage and even increased cancer development.
- Aspergillus versicolor complex: This group of mould species is mainly found indoors in conjunction with high levels of damp and can lead to allergies.
- Acremonium spp.: Species of this genus are considered indicators of moisture damage and are particularly common after water damage. They can be found primarily in floor areas or in masonry. Skin reactions may occur on contact, and allergic inflammation of the lungs or mould infections may also occur.
- Chaetomium spp.: This genus of mould is often found after moisture damage. These species of mould can lead to infections that are generally referred to as phaeohyphomycosis. The genus Chaetomium forms comparatively large and heavy spores in fruiting bodies (known as perithecia). Detection of Chaetomium spp. in indoor air is quite rare, as the spores generally do not remain airborne for long. Therefore, surfaces with dark brown to black-brown spots should be specifically sampled with the mould test for walls and surfaces and analysed by the laboratory.
- Stachybotrys chartarum: This species of mould is generally only found if there is water damage and is therefore a clear indicator of dampness. Furthermore, Stachybotrys chartarum is not able to tolerate draughts and, therefore, prefers to grow in dark protected areas. Stachybotrys mould species are usually slimy and have a black or dark grey colour. High concentrations of spores from this species are allergenic. Common symptoms include headache, dizziness, nausea, tiredness and skin irritation.
- Parengyodontium album: Parengyodontium album – previously also known as Engyodontium album – has a comparatively high water requirement. Therefore, this species prefers to grow on damp to wet substrates and is considered one of the typical indicators of moisture damage indoors. A high concentration can also be associated with organic deposits, since Parengyodontium album is suspected of parasitising insects and then decomposing the dead insects.
Mould analyses in accredited specialist laboratories
Just like our other laboratory analyses, the complete laboratory mould test is carried out in specialist GBA Group laboratories. The GBA Group is one of the leading accredited laboratory service providers in Europe, meaning you will have a reliable analysis in your hands at the end of the process. You will also be given expert advice on the results of the analysis so you are not left alone with the findings and can take concrete steps based on the information. As you would expect from IVARIO, the results will be made available to you quickly and easily online and, therefore, are only a few clicks away.