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Do you have trouble with mould, damp walls and mason work? This blog may help you!

Take samples of mould yourself

Geposted am | Februar 20, 2010

There’s no problem in taking samples of mould yourself. Analyzing and assessing the samples is a separate matter.
But let’s take a look at how to take samples of mould first:

Mould is known to have three different developmental stages:
1.) Mobile, invisible spores, which spread through the air
2.) Visible mould on walls or items
3.) Mycelia, consists of a mass of fungus branching, which grow and spread into the mason work (also not visible).

So you notice only 1/3 of the whole thing and the ways of sampling are different.

Taking samples of the invisible spores in the air is very difficult for you as a private person. Proceedings of this type should be done by a specialist, who brings along knowledge and necessary equipment. These include air sampler also called impaction sampler, which are able to filter mould spores from the indoor air. They are also spread on culture media, which will be analyzed in a laboratory later.
Experts also work with particle collectors which operate similar like air samplers. Samples of dust and material have to be analyzed by experts, too.

In case that you want to qualify the damaged spot immediately you can take a sample by using adhesive tape.
Now take a wide tape strip with a length of approx. 10 to 15 cm and press it on the infested spot. After removing the tape trip from the wall it needs to be sent to a laboratory, where it will be evaluated.
After that process you’ll get a concrete statement about the kind of mould spores spreading in your house.
In contrast to the air sampler which would collect every spores from the air the tape sample shows only mould spores growing on the infested wall.

Another simple method of taking samples can be done by using a Petri dish. By the way the name “petri dish” doesn’t stem from Saint Peter but bacteriologist Julius Petri, who already used this procedure in the end of the 19th century!
You may have seen pictures of this procedure of mould samples:
A gelled culture media is filled into transparent plastic dishes. (You can order those dishes from biological laboratories, some superior drugstores or pharmacies.)
Put two dishes into an mould infested room, remove the lids and leave them in the room for ten minutes. After that close up the dishes, put some tape around it so that no air can get it anymore. Don’t forget to label the dishes with time, duration and place of sampling.
Take minimum one sample outside the room to get an idea of the contamination by spores of rooms next door and corridor of your house.
Now you can send the samples to a laboratory to have them analyzed.
Those evaluations are not very expensive and giving your a good overview of mould infestation in your flat.

Samples taken by yourself will also help you to find out if you need to go more into the subject of mould and fighting it.
Our body is able to get along with most sorts of mould, but sadly there are a few kinds which can turn out very dangerous and harmful or may have fatal consequences.

Werner Büsch ECODRY