Tuesday, September 13, 2022

How Do Home Inspectors Check For Mold

Why You Should Get A Mold Inspection Before Buying A House

Home Inspection Mold Testing for Mold in Your Home

A pre-purchase mold inspection involves having a licensed mold professional do a comprehensive investigation for any possible areas of mold, as well as any conditions that can lead to mold growth in the future.

As a diligent home buyer, you may already be getting a general home inspection to check for any obvious defects. However, a home inspection is not a mold inspection a common misconception that might cost you thousands, or even tens of thousands, of dollars in repair and mold removal costs later on.

It is not a home inspectors job to check for mold. Most will mention signs of water damage or potential mold issues if they come across it, but they wont go out of their way to look for it.

This is a problem because water damage and mold growth often starts in places that are hidden from sight: behind walls, under floorboards, in dark corners of basements and crawlspaces, etc.

Given the right conditions, mold can grow quickly and pose significant risks to the structural integrity of your home as well as your health and your familys health.

That said, mold inspections arent cheap. Youll need to find a local company thats licensed to perform mold assessments, which can cost anywhere from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars, depending on the size of the house. But if you think about it as a way to protect the value of your new home, as well as your familys health, its well worth the investment.

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Crawlspace And Attic Issues

Crawlspace the crawl space is a high humidity area and can have mold growth. However, this can often be taken care of easily.

Mold in the attic mold can grow in the attic due to moisture because of leaks in the ceiling. Humid air in the home going into a low humid attic can cause moisture. Just like the crawl space, this is common and can be fixed.

How To Prevent Mold In The Home

Preventing moisture intrusion is the key to preventing mold. Again, according to the EPA Moisture and Mold Prevention and Control Tips, here are some recommendations for preventing mold in your home.

  • Clean up after water leaks and spills immediately.
  • Clean and repair gutters regularly.
  • The ground around a house should slope away from the foundation.
  • Use bathroom and kitchen ventilation fans and make sure those fans vent to the exterior.
  • Make sure the crawl space has a good vapor barrier and good ventilation.
  • Run a dehumidifier in the basement, especially in older homes.
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    From Roof To Foundation

    The inspector will definitely check for deterioration of the roof shingles and the chimney, including excess moisture and rotting. If theres a fireplace, the inspector will want to make sure its fully functional. Last, but not least, the homes structure and foundation must also undergo inspection, as they are the key aspects of any house.

    Limiting Liability Against Mold

    Signs to Look for to Know If You Need a Mold Inspection

    Mold claims are common and costly, inspiring the adage mold is gold to become commonplace in the insurance industry. According to the International Risk Management Institute , the number of mold claims in general, including those against home inspectors, increased by more than 1,000 percent in some areas in 2004. Mold claims continue to be one of the most frequent claims we receive, and that doesnt look to be changing.

    Carrying a mold endorsement is one of the most important things you can do to protect against mold-related claims. However, there are additional risk management techniques you can employ to safeguard your business. Here are some suggestions.

    Set expectations.

    Its important that your clients understand both mold and home inspections. In most states, home inspectors dont have to do more than report when they do or do not observe mold. Mold inspectors, however, should be able to provide more information.

    Giving your clients a report from the mold lab isnt going to mean anything to the client because they dont know anything about the types of mold and what mean, Graham said. You have to understand what the lab is doing, how to analyze its results, and how to give that information to the client in a meaningful manner.

    Making sure clients receive and understand the inspections limitations will help them look at its results realistically.

    Have an advisement.

    Recommended Reading: How To Take Care Of Black Mold

    Mold Inspection Expert Reveals All You Need To Know Prior To Hire

    Not a day goes by where I dont hear the question, What is a mold inspection and what does it consist of?

    Well listen:

    I have great news for you, after reading this article, you will be able to determine if it is worth it to get a mold inspection in your home or business or if you should save your hard earned money.

    You will hear terms in this guide such as Mold Inspection, Mold Assessment, Mold Evaluation, Mold Testing etc.

    They are all used interchangeably and mean essentially the same thing.

    Allergic Responses To Inhaled Mold Antigens Are A Recognized Factor In Lower Airway Disease

    Currently available studies do not conclusively prove that exposure to outdoor airborne molds plays a role in allergic rhinitis, and studies on the contribution of indoor molds to upper airway allergy are even less compelling.

    Current studies do not conclusively demonstrate a causal relationship of airborne mold exposure and clinical manifestations of allergic rhinitis

    Recommended Reading: Will An Air Purifier Help With Mold

    When Should You Test For Mold

    If you notice any evidence of mold growth in your home, say, in the corners of walls or cracks in the ceiling, then you definitely have mold growing and spreading. But just because you dont see any doesnt mean youre mold-free. Mold can often grow in places that you cant see, like between your walls or in your air ducts. It can also grow in insulation, drywall and carpet.

    You should have a professional test for mold any time youre planning on purchasing a home, but also if youve ever experienced water damage of any kind. If youve had a leaky roof, a broken pipe or had any standing water in your home for an extended period of time, you should definitely consider testing for mold in the house.

    When To Inspect For Mold

    Mold Testing During a Home Inspection

    One good thing about mold- if you can see it, you have mold in your house. Seeing mold in the cracks and corners of your walls definitely means it is growing and spreading more spores. Keep in mind that mold may also grow in places you cannot see, such as in your ducts or between your walls. It may also form colonies so tiny they escape the eye. A few situations should make you look for any mold problems in your house.

    • Water damage. If your basement flooded, roof leaked, or a broken pipe sprayed water all over the kitchen, you need to inspect for mold. Any place that got wet and was not quickly dried could become contaminated by mold.
    • Purchasing a new home. There is no way to know what kind of water damage may have happened in the house you are planning to buy. The only way to find out if mold is present is to do a mold inspection.
    • After a house has been unoccupied. If a house has been closed up and unoccupied for months or years, humidity could have built up inside and caused mold to grow. This is especially a problem in warmer areas with high humidity.
    • After mold remediation. If you have gone through the often expensive and difficult steps to deal with a mold problem, regular mold inspections are a good idea to make sure you really got rid of it all.
    • You see some mold. If you notice some green, blue, black or white stuff growing in your house, do a mold inspection to make sure you find it all. It might not be restricted to one location.

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    What Does Finding Mold Mean To The Home Inspection

    Mold is a hot topic among home buyers, homeowners, and realtors. While some may see it as a minor issue, potential buyers may be scared away by the presence of mold in a home. Homebuyers should understand what finding mold during a home inspection means for them and their purchase. In this blog post, well explore what mold is, why its important to find during a home inspection, what home inspectors look for, and what buyers can do if they find evidence of mold at the property.

    Do You Need A Mold Test

    Mold testing is designed to detect mold that isnt visible to the naked eye and identify the type of mold in your home. The reality is that if you or your home inspector can see mold growth, you really dont need a mold test. Keep in mind that mold tests do come with a price tag, so dont bother asking for one if you already know that mold is present.

    According to the EPA, determining the type of mold in your home isnt beneficial. No matter the variety, mold should always be eradicated as quickly as possible. There are no species-specific cleaning methods you need to worry aboutyou can tackle every type of mold with the same cleaning supplies and methods.

    When might a mold test benefit you?

    If youre purchasing an older property that appears to have a great deal of water damage but no visible mold, you may want to get a mold test. This will help you determine how much work the home will need after youve moved in.

    If you notice a mildewy smell in your home but cant seem to find mold anywhere, you may want to get a mold test. Any mold that is trapped in the walls or floors requires removal, but you dont want to start demolishing your property without just cause.

    Read Also: How To Clean Mold Off Canvas

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    How Do Molds Get In The Indoor Environment And How Do They Grow

    Mold is found both indoors and outdoors. Mold can enter your home through open doorways, windows, vents, and heating and air conditioning systems. Mold in the air outside can also attach itself to clothing, shoes, and pets can and be carried indoors. When mold spores drop on places where there is excessive moisture, such as where leakage may have occurred in roofs, pipes, walls, plant pots, or where there has been flooding, they will grow. Many building materials provide suitable nutrients that encourage mold to grow. Wet cellulose materials, including paper and paper products, cardboard, ceiling tiles, wood, and wood products, are particularly conducive for the growth of some molds. Other materials such as dust, paints, wallpaper, insulation materials, drywall, carpet, fabric, and upholstery, commonly support mold growth.

    How Much Does A Mold Inspection Cost

    The Importance of a Florida Mold Inspection

    A standard mold inspection costs around $200-$500 for an average size house . Larger houses might cost a bit more, and extra charges may be applied if the inspector needs to perform more sampling. These costs normally include the inspection and pre-determined sampling. Additional sampling would incur additional fees.

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    Mold Causes Structural Damage

    Mold is one of the most destructive and menacing entities a homeowner can face. Left unchecked, mold can cause structural damage to your home as it spreads and grows. Mold often forms in dark and moist places, making attics, basements, crawl spaces, and bathrooms prime targets. Its important to keep an eye out for any water damage or leaks that could provide the perfect growing environment for mold. Once it takes hold, it can be very difficult to remove without professional help.

    What Happens If Mold Is Found During A Home Inspection

    But even if they do, it isnt the end of the world, and it doesnt mean that any potential real estate deal has to fall through or be scuppered by the presence of mold.

    If an inspection does uncover the presence of mold in a home, the inspector will inform the realtor who will then pass on the information to their client and recommend that they have the mold treated before proceeding with the sale.

    This ensures that the property in question is then certified to be mold-free, and the sale can continue. If questioned by the prospective buyer, the realtor also has to inform the potential buyer that mold was present, but has been treated and that the house is safe. If youre doing the inspection yourself and you find evidence of mold, you should always inform the realtor.

    As well as making sure that the owner treats the mold, it presents a perfect opportunity for you to make any additional suggestions to the realtor that you think the owner should take into consideration or be made aware of.

    Read Also: How Do You Test For Mold Toxicity In Your Body

    Why Should I Worry About Mold

    Mold reproduces using spores. They can only grow when there’s a high level of moisture in the environment. Different types of mold exist and some could lead to long-term health effects. Toxic molds produce mycotoxins. These toxins are responsible for many neurological symptoms, including:

    • Concentration problems
    • Memory issues

    The mold that doesn’t produce mycotoxins can still provoke allergic symptoms. In addition to health hazards, mold can lead to serious aesthetic problems.

    Selling a home with mold can be very challenging and can result in the value to drop significantly.

    Is Mold Testing Recommended For Homes With Finished Basements

    How to Check For Mold

    Maybe. Mold testing can help confirm air quality issues for older basements, musty basements, or basements with active water penetration. Seen or unseen moisture can become trapped between the foundation walls and finishes which can cause air quality issues over the long-term. Renovating finished basements with moisture or air quality issues can be very expensive and sometimes mold testing can provide helpful information especially if the buyer is unsure if renovations are needed.

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    Will A Home Inspection Include Testing For Mold

    Most likely, no. Most home inspectors do not test for mold. If mold is visible a home inspector will probably suggest hiring a mold testing service. If no mold is detected either by sight or smell, then no mold testing will be recommended. Mold is usually hidden and undetectable. If water damage has recently occurred, mold will probably grow. Is mold testing included in a home inspection? Probably not. In addition to a home inspector, it might be a good idea to also hire a mold tester. Mold Testing NJ-NY is a certified NJ Mold Testing Service working in Bergen and Passaic Counties and nearby NY areas.

    Professional Mold Removal Services

    This is where we come in. Mold remediation is our thing. We have a team of certified mold removal specialists who can help devise a plan that works on your timeline and budget to help you get the mold out of your house. Dont let mold put a damper on your house sale! Contact us today!

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    How To Detect Mold In Your Basement Or Home

    You won’t always know if there is mold in a house you’re considering buying, but you can take a few easy steps to try and find out.

    Be on the lookout for mold. When you’re thinking about buying a home, look for the elements above to figure out if there are any obvious signs of mold or the potential for mold. Keep your eyes peeled for standing water in the basement, water marks on walls , or musty smells .

    If you’re looking at a newer home, find out whether it is built with “synthetic stucco,” also called the Exterior Insulation and Finish System . This airtight barrier is supposed to improve insulation but, if improperly installed, may allow water penetration and mold growth on the inside of walls.

    Ask your home inspector. If you have the home professionally inspected before you buy it, your home inspector may see obvious signs of mold or water damage. While it’s not the inspector’s job to look for mold, most home inspectors will mention obvious signs of water damage and the possible presence of mold. And, because the inspector will poke around in spaces you might not, he or she may see things you wouldn’t. For more information, see the Nolo article, “Getting a Home Inspection.”

    In states where mold disclosure is not required, you can still ask for such disclosure. In addition, ask questions about things that could lead to mold growth, such as “Have any pipes ever burst?” or “Have any of the windows ever leaked?”

    How Do You Write A Counter Offer After A Home Inspection

    Should You Have Mold Testing Done in Your Home Before You Move in?

    After a home inspection, you can ask your broker to negotiate any necessary repairs with the sellers or ask the sellers to lower the price so you can fix the problems yourself. Getting quotes from local contractors will help you write out a counter offer based on estimates, but a buyer should be aware that a seller is not obligated to fix anything.

    Read Also: Is Mold Damage Covered By Renters Insurance

    What Makes A Great Home Inspector

    1) Your home inspector will allow you to accompany him/her during the inspection.

    This is important because you want to be able to learn from the inspector and ask relevant questions as they come up. You will benefit greatly from quietly shadowing the inspector.

    Regardless, as the client you must be respectful allow the home inspector to do his/her job without too much distraction and follow the lead. Inspecting homes is not easy, as there are a host of different systems and components to inspect and report on.

    2) They communicate clearly.

    Great inspectors will be concise with their explanations, yet use simple everyday language without too much jargon.

    They need to make sure that you understand all of the details presented during the inspection, along with the impact that each issue may have on your buying decision.

    3) Your super star home inspector will be open and available to taking phone calls after the inspection.

    Everyone processes information differently, so you may need guidance, especially if you are not clear on something the inspector has written in the report.

    Even better, yet rare, it is nice when your home inspector takes the time to follow up with you after completing the inspection to ensure that all of questions are answered to your satisfaction, so that you feel good about the whole experience.

    4) Your home inspector will provide a detailed written report including a number of supportive photos.

    5) Your home inspector will be licensed and insured.

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