The tape lift method is analyzed by direct microscopy. This means you don’t need to grow the fungus in a culture first. It allows you to detect both the viable (living) and non-viable (dead) spores. These are both important because mold spores can still be allergenic and toxic even after being treated with a disinfectant.

Additionally, some types of mold grow much faster than other types. Slower-growers (like the black mold Stachybotrys) may be overgrown by molds that grow more rapidly. This can make those slow-growers difficult to find using the culture technique. The tape-lift/swab surface method enables all spores in the sample to be observed.