Best Mold Detector and Air Sensor, According to Reviewers

Many people don’t realize that the air in their home is often more dangerous than the air outside. Unfortunately, mold is a big reason for this issue. Mold can cause indoor air quality issues and a number of health problems. Specifically, mold can cause allergies, asthma, breathing problems, and chronic health conditions. There are two ways to prevent and detect mold growth. First, you can use an air quality sensor or moisture detector to test for organic compounds in the air and find sources of moisture in your wood or drywall. Next, you can test for mold using two different types of mold detector test kits (dust and physical sample). We have tested and reviewed several products to find the best mold detector for your home DIY mold remediation.

How to Detect and Prevent Mold Growth

One way to prevent mold in your home is to detect its signs either before growth occurs or during early stages of growth. There are two early signs to be aware of:

  1. Areas of moisture
  2. Mold Spores in the air

Mold thrives in damp environments. Be sure to check your home for areas of moisture. In many cases, these areas will be apparent. However, sometimes moisture can be hard to find. This is where a moisture sensor comes into play. A moisture sensor will help you detect areas of high moisture in your drywall, wood, and other places in your home. Catching this moisture early will not only prevent mold growth, but also prevent large home repair costs.

In order to detect mold spores in the air, you will need an air quality sensor. An air quality sensor has the ability to detect minute organic compounds in the air. Specifically, these sensors can detect mold spores. Mold spores are released from areas of mold growth. These spores are the cause of allergies and asthma and also foster the spread of mold throughout your home.

Signs of Mold Growth – What to look for

There are several signs of mold growth in your home. There are both visual signs of mold and body reaction signals.

  • Mold odor
  • Moisture and water damage
  • Water leaks
  • Visible mold growth
  • Sneezing
  • Asthma or difficulty breathing
  • Itchy throat
  • Coughing
  • Itchy eyes
  • Itchy skin

First, check high-risk areas for signs of water damage, musty odor, or moisture. These areas include your basement, cross base, under the sink, showers, attic, laundry room, and corners of the house. If you don’t see any signs of mold growth, you might be able to smell it. Mold smells musty. Similar to the odor released from wet wood, dirty clothes, and moss.

Other signs of mold include allergy symptoms such as sneezing, asthma, itchy skin or throat, coughing, or itchy eyes. If these symptoms persist while spending time in your home or in certain rooms, then you might have a mold problem.

How to Remediate Mold

Mold remediation is actually a simple process. Finding the mold and preventing the future growth of mold is the most difficult part.

To remove mold from a surface in your home, first purchase a good mold remover. Next, use a bristle brush to scrub the surface with the mold remover. After scrubbing off the mold, ensure that the remover solution soaks into the surface. This will help kill any remaining mold.

Best Mold Detector
1. Healthful Mold Detector - best for detecting mold in the air
2. DIY Mold Detector - best for detecting the type of mold
4. Moisture Mold Detector - best for detecting areas with mold growth
3. Air Quality Mold Detector - best for detecting signs of mold

Frequently Asked Questions

Are home mold test kits reliable?

If you are trying to determine if ther is mold in your home, then a mold test kit is reliable. However, a mold test kit does not tell you what types of mold you have in your home and if the mold is dangerous.

Is there a mold detection meter that can detect mold?

A mold test kit can detect mold in your home, but will not detect mold spores in the air. A mold test kit will tell you whether or not you have mold, but will not tell you why type of mold you have.

How do you test for mold in the air?

The best way to test for mold in the air is to use an indoor air quality sensor. An air quality sensor has the ability to detect minute organic compounds in the air including mold spores. This can be an early sign of mold growth in your home.

How do you know if mold is behind drywall?

If there are no visible signs of moisture, you can use a moisture sensor to detect unusually high levels of moisture in your drywall. High levels of moisture foster mold growth and usually signifies that you could have a mold problem.

Mold Detector Comparison

Best for Quick Home Test

  • 5-minute mold test
  • Don’t have to find the mold first
  • Great price
  • Easy to use, only 3 steps

Best for Detecting the Type of Mold

  • East to use
  • Accurate
  • Detailed results
  • Affordable price

Best for Detecting Areas with Mold

  • Detects levels of moisture
  • Portable
  • Easy to use
  • Affordable

Best for Detecting the Signs of Mold

  • Detects signs of mold in the air
  • Portable
  • Easy to use
  • Detects signs of other pollutants

Mold Detector and Sensor Reviews

Best for Quick Home Test: Healthful Mold Detector

Mold Detector Dust Test Kit

>> Click to See Customer Reviews <<

As the only test that also detects allergy causing mold particulates, the Healthful Home is our favorite home-testing kit. 

This detector features a patented technology that can detect mold spores that have settled on surfaces in your home. If there is any mold in the area, the spores will float throughout the room and eventually land on surfaces along with dust particles. 

The benefit of this detector is that you don’t have to know where the mold is actually located in order to detect it. This test kit tests fore more than 32 different Asp/Pen and mold types commonly found in homes. 

To test for mold, simply swab a dusty surface in the suspected area. Place the swab back into the container and break off the top, which will release a liquid, and shake it for 10 seconds. Apply the liquid onto the test panel and wait 5 minutes for the reaction to take place and a reading to show up, in the form of a line. 

There is also a postage-paid mailer and sterile swabs included for optional lab confirmations. 

Pros:

  • Test results in 5 minutes 
  • Easy to use
  • Settled dust swab used for testing

Cons:

  • Includes two test strips but only one testing tube

Trial Results

 
This was a very easy kit to use. Simply swab a dusty area and then wait for 5-15 minutes for the results to appear. Our home tested negative for mold, which was not surprising. Many users report the same findings as when they hired a mold specialist, which was very reassuring. 
 

Best for Detecting the Type of Mold: DIY Mold Detector

DIY Mold Detector Test Kit

>> Click to See Customer Reviews <<

The DIY mold test is both easy to use and safe. In order to detect mold, simply take a sample from the surface of the suspected mold area. After taking the sample, use the instructions included to mail the sample to the testing center. Scientists will test the mold to determine what type it is and if it is harmful. If you have suspicions that there is a dangerous mold in your home, this mold detector is a great way to get accurate information. 

This testing kit contains 3 tape lift samples, the quick-start guide, and a mold inspection booklet. After you collect the samples you mail them to the lab where they are analyzed, and you will receive a detailed report afterwards. You can also call them to talk to an expert about your results. 

Pros:

  • Determines the mold type
  • Receive accurate results
  • Easy to use
  • Can talk to an expert about your results

Cons:

  • No pre-paid envelope to return samples

Trial Results

This testing kit gives very detailed results and the option to talk to a mold expert to better understand those results. It was easy to use and unlike the other home testing kit, this one is lab tested. While this means you will have to wait to get your results, there is a better chance at receiving high-quality results which isn’t dependent on user-error. 
 

Best for Detecting Areas with Mold: Moisture Mold Detector

Mold Detector Moisture meter

>> Click to See Customer Reviews <<

High levels of moisture can create moldy conditions, so testing any areas that look wet is the first step to mold detection.

This moisture mold detection meter takes care of that first step. Its ability to determine the moisture content of the building materials in your home makes it a useful mold detector. By detecting moisture in suspicious areas of your home, you can determine if there is the potential for mold growth.

To test, stick the stainless steel pins into the surface to get a read-out. With its large, well-lit screen, its easy to read and to use. There are different levels of moisture depending on the building materials, and this detector will let you know if the moisture content is high, medium, or low. For areas where it’s hard to read the screen, it also emits audible alerts to let you know what the reading is. 

Pros:

  • Moisture detector
  • Easy to use
  • Portable and reliable 

Cons:

  • Display is hard to read at certain angles
  • Hard to hold for those with small hands

Trial Results

 
After experiencing some basement flooding we tried out this moisture detector to figure out any weak spots in our drywall. Places that looked dry but might not be. The MMD4E was sensitive enough to measure the moisture content of the drywall and the wood studs, and guide us in the right direction towards replacement. It was easy to use and the screen is very bright. At some points we weren’t able to see the screen while taking the reading because of an odd angle, and the noises to let us know the readout was really helpful. It also has a “hold” button so you can look at the reading after you move it from the wall. 
 

Best for Detecting the Signs of Mold: Air Quality Mold Detector

Mold Detector Air Quality Monitor

>> Click to See Customer Reviews <<

If you want a definitive readout regarding the indoor air quality of your home, this air quality monitor is the way to go.

The air quality sensor is an indoor air quality device that can detect natural organic compounds including mold spores. Not only will the mold detection meter detect mold spores, it will also detect other fine particulate matter. Giving readouts on formaldehyde, VOCs, and dust, which can be harmful to your lungs and cause allergies. 

This monitor will not tell you 100% that mold is in your home, but will provide a great start in the mold detection process. You can spot check indoor air quality as well as leave it on for continuous monitoring for up to 2 days. Since it is so portable, you can test your home, car, and anywhere you travel. 

This device has a built-in fan which will draw in ambient air to allow for real-time measurements. Using a laser sensor, it measures the levels of dust particles and uses an electrochemical semiconductor to check for formaldehyde and VOCs. 

With a bright screen, intuitive function, and only 3 buttons, this device is very easy to use. 

Pros:

  • Portable, great for using at home or while traveling
  • Quick draw fan for real-time measurements
  • Laser sensors to detect dust levels
  • Easy-to-read display format

Cons:

  • Batteries don’t last long, only 2 days on continuous use
  • Takes 5-10 minutes for stabilized reading on VOCs
  • Poor off-axis viewing from the top and bottom

Trial Results

This is a great device if you are concerned about air quality while traveling. It is portable and while the batteries don’t last that long, most users will not have it running continuously. The display is very easy to read as long as it is straight-on, and it has an intuitive control. 

Mold DetectorBenefits
Healthful Mold DetectorTest for mold spores in the air
DIY Mold DetectorTest for type of mold
Air Quality Mold DetectorDetect signs of mold spores
Moisture Mold DetectorFind high-risk areas for mold

Also check out the best sewer gas detector.

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