PRO-LAB Do it yourself Mold Test Kit

I am not sure how long this product has been marketed by PRO-LAB but I found it at Home Depot for $13.98 cdn. “Do it yourself test kit for Mold” They indicate if you want an air quality test then you have to buy two kits because you have to put one outside as a control to compare indoor to outdoor air quality (Hmm I thought I wanted two samples taken outside). No mention of snow or temperature concern. You receive a petri dish, a Q tip and a small bottle of solution to pour on the petri dish. It’s so simple a monkey could do it. You simply let the solution harden, which shouldn’t be to tough for the control sample because it was 15 degrees below Celsius last night. The one you use in the building after it hardens sits on top of a supply duct for 10 minutes, then you put the lid on and let it incubate for 48 hours. They go on to say that if you see different mold on an indoor sample that you don’t see outside send it to the lab with $30 and they will let you know what you have. I have to wonder how IAC2 would feel about this products effectiveness and value.

The kit is designed to cause the homeowner to read the directions and then call an InterNACHI/IAC2 member to come do it professionally. The kit purchase is merely the screening process to target consumers who are worried about mold enough to buy the kit. The kit then leads those warm prospects right to InterNACHI members. The product is as much an InterNACHI marketing piece as it is a mold kit. We’re in 50,000 retail outlets.


The kit is a waste of money for the consumer.

I don’t remember which MB I read it on about six months ago, but someone was discussing an inspector that showed up with these kits in hand to perform their testing! I seem to remember it was claimed the inspector was an InterNACHI member to boot. :shock:


I see your new, welcome.

A few words of advice, don’t worry about what IAC2 would think, worry about what Les thinks.

I don’t test for mold because I don’t believe in scamming the public. The bottom line is if you have a moisture problem, your going to have a mold problem. fix the moisture problem, clean up the mold & have a nice day.

If you see an organic growth consistent with mold durring an inspection or if you get a client with a sick child & they want the home tested, do yourself a huge favor & recommend an Industrial Hygienist to do the testing & mitigation if needed.

What test do you offer that alerts your client to mold when none is visible?

I stated I don’t test for mold. You aren’t suggesting that as Home Inspectors we should be recommending tests for mold for every home we inspect, just because it might be there, are you?

Like I said, If I see (or sometimes smell) “an organic substance consistent with mold” I recommend an IE to test & mitigate if needed. Same goes for asbestos.

If the home has EFIS I recommend the system be checked by an EFIS Qualified Inspector.

I prefer to educate the public, not scam them out of money.

Yes. I also recommend radon testing for every home just because it might be there.

So in your opinion what type of equipement “specifically” should a home inspector utilize to perform a mold test?

Now you’re comparing apples & oranges. You can’t see or smell Radon.

Should we be recommending treatment for Termites, even though we don’t see them?

How about recommending replacing the wall studs, because they might be moisture damaged?

Maybe we should also recommend checking for the possibility of sink holes.

I report on the visible condition of the home the day of the inspection, not to test for things that might there or that could be there someday in the future. (Radon being the exception)

Nor mold in many cases.

Nor sink holes. :wink:

I bet Kevin’s competition chuckles every time they deposit mold inspection checks at the bank!

At who, me, or their client they just scammed?

Kevin why do you feel if a home inspector conducts the test they are scamming a client?

Because the tests tell the one who paid for it so very little.

We use a lab here in Oak ridge Lots of information is given . they even offer a DNA mold Test. Not a waste or scam

I went to an inspection seminar in Columbus last month where an IE (The one I recommend if asked) gave a class about mold & other organic compounds that may be present in a home.

To keep it simple, she is a PHD on the subject & has the proper equipment to perform such tests. Just one of the tools she owns to test for compounds cost over $50,000.00. A person need to be trained to understand not only how to properly use the equiptment, but also how to interpret the data, and make a determination of what may or may not be a problem.

Every home has mold, all of them, yours, mine, Nicks, all of them have mold, so the question is what is acceptable & what’s not? To determine how many parts per million of any paticular organic compound is safe is way above my pay grade.

Taking a couple air samples, carpet samples or tape samples is in no way the proper way to test for compounds. for it to be done properly takes hours & sometimes day’s of testing. So anyone who is doing anything else, is IMO not doing right by their client.

Did I mention liability? If you do perform these tests, be sure you check with your E&O carrier first.

In NY State, labs need to be ELAP certified. If one is offering service in NY, ensure that the lab you utilize has the ELAP certification from the Ny DOH.

As to the ProLab kit, and the notion it pushes homeowners to hire an InterNACHI/IAC2 consultant, where does it say this on the package or does it say this on the ProLabs website?