Sunday, April 14, 2024

How Do Home Inspectors Test For Mold

Is Mold Testing Recommended For Homes With Finished Basements

Home Inspection Mold Testing for Mold in Your Home

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.

What Do Mold Inspectors Do

Now that you have a better idea about what home inspectors do, and what to look for as you seek the unicorn of home inspectors, it’s time to talk about mold inspectors.

The mold industry is not regulated in the same way as the home inspection industry, which means it is even more important to choose wisely when you are looking for a mold inspector.

One major difference between a mold inspector and home inspector is the fact that a home inspector cannot legally fix or repair any of the issues found during a home inspection.

In reality though, most mold remediation or restoration companies typically do not want to perform mold inspections.

They would rather focus their efforts on removing mold and cleaning the home and contents than perform mold inspections. There is simply more money to be made on that end.

This is why mold remediation and restoration companies routinely take indoor air samples rather than perform thorough inspections.

As a point of reference, indoor air quality testing takes about 20-30 minutes, in comparison to the 1.5 to 2 hours it takes to do a mold inspection.

The photo below reveals a snapshot of an indoor air quality test for mold. You can see that it shows a comparison of the air quality outside to inside the home, the types of mold and most importantly the extremely high MoldScore .

Sample Mold Lab Report

One such organization is the IICRC. Inspectors and remediation/restoration contractors who have this certification uphold a high standard.

Whats The Main Purpose Of A Home Mold Inspection

Home inspectors regularly search for problems with the home. They typically uncover everything from burnt out lightbulbs to structural issues and everything in between. However, to properly inspect for mold one needs more training. Home inspections are great, and we recommend that every homebuyer gets one. But if youre concerned about mold either due to signs of previous water damage, or odors that could potentially mean mold growth, or even if you or your family members just suffer from allergies or asthma and you want to play it safe, then you should consider hiring a mold inspector to perform air quality tests and inspections for mold.

Mold inspectors do a visual inspection of the new home or existing home for signs of mold. If left alone, mold can damage surfaces and lead to health conditions for the people who live or work in the building. Mold spreads by way of spores. Mold spores are everywhere. Its virtually impossible to remove all the spores from the air. However, you can make sure to eliminate unintentional water sources around the home. Mold will only grow in areas with a water source. Mold problems occur when moisture is left unchecked. Then, when spores ultimately land on a damp surface, they grow. The mold inspector will look for these mold colonies and recommend a course of action depending on the size of your mold problem.

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How Much Does A Mold Inspection Cost

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.

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

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Does This Mean Every Home Should Be Inspected And Tested By An Expert To Look For Mold

Of course not.


we discuss some criteria that help decide if it is appropriate to bring in a mold expert, such as pre-existing evidence of a problem: large areas of visible mold, evidence of or an historical report of building flooding, significant plumbing leaks, or other leaks, etc.

Educate Yourself About Building Iaq & Indoor Environmental Issues Inspection Tests

The more you can bear reading up on IAQ issues and investigations, the better you can sort out the baloney-sellers from the more dedicated, serious environmental professionals.

Here are some more information sources:

To Look more carefully at the building yourself – this website has articles on how to look for problem mold or other indoor air quality issues, see these online guides:

To Evaluate the leak and moisture history of your building see these instructions:

Overall building risk for mold – MOLD EXPOSURE RISK LEVELS, and if there seem to be particularly high risks it might be appropriate to hire an expert

When to Hire a Professional – MOLD / ENVIRONMENTAL EXPERT, HIRE ? helps decide if its appropriate to bring in an pro.

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Do I Need A Mold Remediation Professional

The answer to this question depends on a lot of factors, such as how big the mold problem is, what surface the mold is growing on, and how handy you are. But, in general, the answer is that the smaller the mold problem, the less likely you are to need a professional.

Mold problems go hand in hand with water problems, so when youve got a water leak or flooding that isnt taken care of quickly, mold is usually soon to follow. But it doesnt just take a catastrophic water event to bring on mold. For example, almost every home I have been to has some mold growing in the bathroom.

Now, Im no doctor, but Id stake my reputation on stating that common bathroom mold in your tub or shower isnt going to kill you. But lets face it its gross, its unattractive, and it doesnt give you a feeling of cleanliness. The reason its so prominent in homes is because the bathroom is a high humidity environment, and most people dont take the time to properly ventilate it and dry it out.

But do you need to spend a lot of money on a mold professional to get rid of bathroom mold in your tub or shower? No! It is completely unnecessary. Any moderately handy person can buy some over the counter mold cleaner and clean their tile and grout and replace their caulking all for the grand total price of under $10! Just make sure to ventilate your bathroom going forward, so all your hard work wont be wasted.

Is Mold Testing Recommended When Moisture Issues Are Already Observed

Mold Testing During a Home Inspection

Depends. When a lot of water penetration is observed at finished basements, for example, the buyer can be certain that more than typical mold spores will be found in a test. If a buyer is already budgeting for repairs/renovations than that buyer may consider NOT doing the mold test until AFTER the renovations. In some cases when a buyer is unsure whether or not renovations/repairs are needed the buyer may opt to do a mold test anyways to verify the extent of the air quality issues.

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Remove The Problem Mold In The Building

Clean-up the Mold: remove or clean up problem mold reservoirs.

Remember that some moldy materials like drywall and wall-to-wall carpet cannot be successfully cleaned and will need to be replaced. Remember too that there may be hidden mold that will increase the size of the job. Example: if mold was caused by leaks into building ceiling, wall, or floor cavities, there is likely to be more mold hidden in those spaces .

Later below you’ll read about stuff that is not mold or is only a cosmetic mold.

Watch out: the key word in mold remediation is “remove” – we need to clean off moldy surfaces that can be cleaned and dispose of moldy materials that cannot be cleaned.

Painting-over mold or spraying “mold killers” like bleach are not effective and ultimately put building occupants at risk and risk still greater costs later.

For detailed advice see:

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.

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What Are The Benefits Of A Pre

As a licensed home inspector, I have seen many properties that had hidden mold issues — where the average person simply wouldn’t see it. I have seen mold growing in corners, under stairs, on windows, inside furnaces, in the air ducts, and a variety of other locations. With some states, a seller may not be required to even disclose that the home has or had mold contamination — check your state disclosure laws!

Some people are also highly sensitive to mold, and may even have an allergic reaction simply by walking into a house. Other people don’t react to mold in the same way, and can just live with mold and not be truly affected.

Read Also:Real Estate Due Diligence

Q: Why Did You Start Focusing On Mold Remediation

How do Home Inspectors Test for Mold?

A: Im a second generation contractor. Right around hurricane Sandy was when I really started to develop this passion specifically for mold, because that was the first time I really started to see people get sick. I decided the industry was missing the boat on how we actually remove mold from the molecular level, so that it doesnt impact peoples health.

I started my seven year journey, researching and developing better techniques in the mold removal space. That then led to the creation of All American Restoration, which is our countrys first remediation company for immunocompromised individuals.

This in turn led to the Mold Medic book because I wanted to really get what was in my research and in my head out on paper so that other people can benefit from it. I also realized Im not going to fix this problem one house at a time. We really need to get new standards and new information out there.

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Portable Models Vs Fixed Units

Whole-home solutions are the best choice for efficiency and convenience. You can control the entire climate inside every room in the home with a touch of a button.

However, HVAC units are expensive, and some people may choose a portable unit that’s within their budget instead. Portable units have their advantages. You can wheel them between rooms in the home, and they have similar functionality to HVAC systems.

Our Home Inspection Found Mold In Basement How Much Does It Cost To Remove George Venice Ca

Basement and crawl space mold is typically due to a past water leak caused by a drain leak, fresh water leak, water intrusion from rain etc. The cost will depend on how far the mold has spread and what the source is.

If it was drain water, then antimicrobial and anti-bacterial will need to be applied. That investment can range from $1,200- $9,800.

If it was fresh water leak, that can range from $950-$7,400, for an estimated area of 800 sq. feet.

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Responsibilities Of The Home Inspector When Mold Is Discovered

During a general home inspection, you will note a wide range of issues in the home. Abiding by the ASHI Code of Ethics and by the rules of nearly all state governing bodies requires you to note any immediate safety hazards to protect your clients.

But mold isnt always visible, and its not always a safety issue. So whats a home inspector to do?

Visible mold should be noted in the home inspection report. If youre not licensed or qualified to determine what type of mold it is or if you have doubts that it is definitely mold, but a nagging gut feeling that it is you can note the possible presence of mold in your report.

Likewise, it may make sense to mention the possible presence of mold in locations where you have found visible signs of water damage throughout the home, or places with a notably musty odor. Its always a good idea to review your states regulations and standards of practice for more information on what your home inspection license allows you to call out in your report.

Its also a good idea to direct your client to the right professional to conduct a thorough mold inspection to get more accurate information about any potential mold problem. A licensed mold assessor can conduct a thorough inspection and mold testing to determine the amount of spores in the air and on surfaces. A mold inspector will typically also be licensed in mold remediation to remove or contain the problem.

Should I Get A Mold Inspection When Buying A House

Mold Inspection And Air Quality Testing

Are you interested in buying a house but concerned about mold? Are you considering hiring someone to test the house for mold?

You are in the right place. In this guide, I will go over the pros and cons of having the home tested for mold — and my top tips for doing it correctly.

In this guide, I will be going over…

  • how to hire the best company for mold testing
  • tips to verify they do a great job during the mold testing
  • my secret tip on how to verify that mold isn’t in the home
  • why hidden water leaks can create mold issues inside the walls

Let’s get started with this guide!

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Why Do People Smoke Weed

There are several reasons why people smoke weed. The primary reason is for recreational use, meaning most users are smoking it on the couch at home to relax. There is significant research shows the benefits of smoking weed of the brain and nervous system, allowing the user to de-stress and unwind from the pressures of life.

It seems that the trend is still picking up steam. Weed stores were labeled essential businesses during the 2020 pandemic.

As a result, they saw record sales in all states that allow recreational use of the drug. Many newcomers to cannabis culture experimented with the plant during the pandemic. These individuals used the drug to manage their anxiety and pass the time at home under lockdown.

Mold Testing Guide For Home Inspectorsshould Home Inspectors Perform Mold Inspections And Testing

  • about including mold inspecting and testing as part of a home inspection

InspectAPedia tolerates no conflicts of interest. We have no relationship with advertisers, products, or services discussed at this website.

Should home inspectors provide mold testing services?

If so what tests are valid & useful? If not, who should be testing fo rmold?

Here we present a compendium of several authors’ presentation notes on the question of whether or not home inspectors should perform mold testing and inspection.

In this article, text shown in indented italics contains comments that we offered in response to an individual who was planning to present a class to home inspectors on the advisability of offering mold test services during home inspections.

We also provide an ARTICLE INDEX for this topic, or you can try the page top or bottom SEARCH BOX as a quick way to find information you need.

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Future Prevention Of Mold Tips

If you buy the home, here are some prevention of future mold tips

  • Check around roofs, windows, and pipes for any leaking.
  • If you have flooding in the home, everything must be dried. Also, you need to check for mold on carpet.
  • Ventilate areas in the home and make sure humidity stays low. If you live in the south, running the AC on auto is recommended.
  • Upgrade air filters in the home to Merv 11 or 13 will keep allergens out.
  • Basement dont put carpet down there. Consider tile or another type of flooring so you can keep it clean.
  • Scenario : There Is An Extensive Mold Problem And A Professional Mold Remediation Company Is Needed To Remove The Mold Beforethe Deal Can Close

    How do Home Inspectors Test for Mold?

    If a mold remediation company is needed, protect yourself from dishonest contractors by remembering one undeniable fact: Mold Remediation Is Not Rocket Science!

    Do not let a mold removal company tell you otherwise in an attempt to justify their outrageous estimate. There are essentially just two basic steps involved in mold remediation: Containment and Contamination Removal

    We are oversimplifying a bit. There are other considerations involved like safety protocols , initial assessment, post remediation assessment, etc.

    But be wary of any company or individual who implies that mold removal is as complex as open heart surgery. Knowledge is power. Once you understand that mold remediation is not complicated, you are an empowered Realtor. If you represent the seller, you can advise him or her to say, Thanks, but no thanks, when someone tries to tell them that a bedroom closet with a little bit of ceiling mold is going to cost $10,000 to be remediated. We have seen such outrageous bids before by other companies!

    There are plenty of honest mold removal companies too. Just do your homework, get multiple bids and educate yourself on the procedures needed to remove mold.

    Close more deals by helping your clients find reputable mold remediation companies that wont rip them off or give them a price for remediation that is so high it kills the deal.

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