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.
How Can I Get Rid Of Black Mold
Bleach is a great home remedy to get rid of black mold. It destroys the fungus quickly you can use a simple solution of 1:10 bleach: water in a spray bottle, and spray it all over the affected areas. Then, simply let it sit for a few minutes, and wipe the remaining mold away.
However, to keep black mold from recurring, you will need to ensure that the area which has been affected is well-ventilated, and gets adequate natural light. If the area remains dark and damp, the mold infestation may recur. This is why it is generally recommend to have a license mold remediation specialist fully inspect and treat the specific area. Any self-remedies should be conducted using proper safety equipment.
Does Your Home Inspection Include Mold Inspection
Generally speaking, it is not under the job description for a home inspector to inspect for mold. But be rest assured, most will notify you or mention if they see signs of water damage or the presence of mold. It is extremely advisable to get the seller to disclose any mold issues, whether it be flooding in the basement, a burst pipe, leaky roof, or have knowledge of any mold growth. You should even add a mold-related contingency to your offer. This will allow you to back out of the deal, negotiate the sale price, or have the seller pay to remedy the mold problem. Unfortunately, Utah does not require sellers to disclose of mold, but requesting it and even adding a contingency clause will alleviate some concerns about it.
If you have concerns about mold, Green Home Air can take a look at your prospective home. Dont get trapped in a home that has mold, give us a call today for a free estimate.
For more information, please contact Green Home Air:
Green Home Air:
Salt Lake City, UT 84109
Don’t Miss: Remove Mold From Canvas
Ideally Your Mold Inspector Needs Be Proficient At:
- Understanding the common health issues associated to mold exposure and the people most at risk
- Inspection techniques for identifying the source of mold
- Preventing mold from growing in different areas of the home.
- Identifying the most common health hazards associated to mold exposure.
- Understanding how to properly contain mold once it has been discovered.
- Knowing the most common mold species that occur inside the home.
- Understanding the different methodologies for removing mold.
- Knowing what machines and equipment are most effective and relevant to solving a given mold issue.
- Using PPE required for mold inspections.
- Testing for mold and interpreting the lab results.
- Knowing when to call in a remediation and/or restoration contractor.
- Using tools such as moisture meters and infrared cameras, hygro-thermometers, air testing equipment, powerful flashlights, ladders, etc.
- Understanding how mold affects different building materials.
- Knowing the risk humidity levels for mold growth, especially in bathrooms, kitchens basements, crawlspaces, and attics
- Advising the client when and how to deal with a DIY mold problem rather than calling in a remediation or restoration company.
However, in reality, most mold inspectors typically do not have the adequate training for some of the proficiencies listed above, including remediation or restoration. The majority of mold inspectors only deal with inspecting and testing for mold.
Leaky Roofs Or Windows
Another possible source of mold-inducing water damage is leaking roofing or windows. Your home inspector will check the roof and windows for clear, basic signs of damage.
Fallen or broken shingles can cause leaking, as well as cracked or damaged flashing. It is also possible that a badly damaged chimney, as well as soffit or fascia damage, can also lead to internal water damage. In some cases, even a gutter that has been long-neglected and is clogged with debris may fail to redirect water away from the home, leading to leaking in the walls.
Inspectors will look for cracked or broken windowpanes throughout the property. Older windows may not have a tight seal, which means that they are not properly protecting the interior from the elements.
You May Like: How To Clean Mold Off Bathroom Ceiling
Based On Square Footage
Another model inspection companies will use is based on square footage. The number I have seen a few times. $150 per 700 sq feet. They will usually round the price up, down or add $75 if the square footage is in the middle of the 700 sq feet.
So if for example, your home is 1800 sq feet it would be $375.
So What Do Home Inspectors Actually Do
Essentially, a home inspector will be hired to check the systems and components of a property according to a scope of work or standards of practice.
Home Inspectors inspect and comment on the following:
- The exterior
Although all systems and components of a home are important, I wanted to highlight a few issues, along with some photos for better clarification
The photo below is an example of a serious settlement issue, that may have an impact on the structure of the home.
The home buyer will need to know about this issue, as it may involve the expertise of an engineer. The engineer will explain any future implications and/or extra costs to consider prior to buying the home.
This second photo shows an older, expired roof, which the potential home buyer will want to know about.
Replacing a roof is a serious and costly investment. Now that the buyer is aware of the adverse roof condition, he/she can negotiate a better price, walk away from the deal or buy it as is
In this case, the roof will need to be replaced in short order, to prevent expensive repair costs linked to water damage and possible mold contamination.
For a more detailed understanding of specifically what you should expect from your home inspector, take a look at this link from HIABC
Read Also: Mold And Skin Rash
The Trouble With Mold In The Home
Mold is a fungus that comes in various colors and shapes. While some molds are visible and even odorous, mold can also grow between walls, under floors and ceilings, or in less accessible spots, such as basements and attics. Mold does best in water-soaked materials , but can survive in almost any damp location. Mold can grow in houses situated in the desert, and it can grow in homes in hot and humid climes.
Here are some common places in a home where mold is likely to take hold:
- around leaking pipes, windows, or roofs
- basements or other places that have flooded and haven’t been thoroughly dried
- tightly sealed buildings , which trap excess moisture inside, and
- homes with poor ventilation, numerous over-watered houseplants, and housekeeping habits that ignore obvious dampness and don’t include airing the place out.
Besides presenting an ugly appearance and, sometimes, an unpleasant odor, mold can cause health problems. In the worst cases, a few types of molds produce mycotoxins, which can cause rashes, seizures, unusual bleeding, respiratory problems, and severe fatigue in some people. Fortunately, most molds are of the non-toxic variety.
For more on the hazards of mold, see the article on this site: Toxic Mold Health Risks and the resources listed below.
Indoor Air Quality Testing
Indoor air quality testing uses a special machine to capture air onto a cassette. Typically, these tests can be performed by a home inspector.
The home inspector should take a sample of the outside air as a control followed by several interior samples of the air for different rooms/areas of concern.
The samples are then shipped to a lab for review under a microscope where a technician can report on the actual amount of mold and type in the air in comparison to the outside air.
If the interior of the home has higher levels of mold or a mold type that is not found outside, then in most cases, you will need mold remediation.
How Much Does Indoor Air Quality Testing Cost?
Indoor air quality testing cost depends on the size of the home, the number of tests, and if a home inspector is completing the test with a home inspection too. On average you can expect to pay anywhere from $150-$350.
Also Check: Black Mold In Shower Ceiling
Pest And Termite Inspection
Pest inspections usually cover the interior and exterior of the home. Termite inspections are common, with buyers asking sellers to provide proof that the home is free from the insects.
I always recommend at least a termite inspection, Bergmann says. If a home is built predominantly with wood beams and trusses and has a deck, a termite inspection would be beneficial for the buyer.
Xyz Home Inspections Is Not Responsible For Discovering Or Reporting On The Presence Or Absence Of Mold Or Mildew Furthermore We Are Not Responsible For Any Damages That Arise From Or Are Related To Mold Even If The Mold Is A Direct Consequence Of A Condition That Xyz Home Inspections Reported
While most home inspectors will report mold they see through the course of their inspection, they arent going to go out of their way to find it. They certainly arent going to take any responsibility for it.
But wait My home inspector took a mold sample. So Im covered. Right? We wish we could say yes, but well, keep reading.
Also Check: Can You Clean Mold Off Of Leather
Nyc Dept Of Health Position On Mold Testing
Environmental sampling is not usually necessary to proceed with remediation of visually identified mold growth or water-damaged materials. Decisions about appropriate remediation strategies can generally be made on the basis of a thorough visual inspection. Environmental sampling may be helpful in some cases, such as, to confirm the presence of visually identified mold or if the source of perceived indoor mold growth cannot be visually identified.
However consumers should beware of launching a costly mold cleanup operation, especially involving “black mold” found on framing lumber, before testing to determine if that mold is simply a cosmetic artifact dating from original construction.
— See BLACK COSMETIC MOLD for details.
NYC Dept. of Health
If environmental samples will be collected, a sampling plan should be developed that includes a clear purpose, sampling strategy, and addresses the interpretation of results. 11,12 Many types of sampling can be performed on a variety of fungal components and metabolites, using diverse sampling methodologies.
Sampling methods for fungi are not well standardized, however, and may yield highly variable results that can be difficult to interpret.11-17
Currently, there are no standards, or clear and widely accepted guidelines with which to compare results for health or environmental assessments.
Article: Mold TestingJoseph Lstiburek, Ph.D, P.Eng.Terry Brennan, MS
Presently no standards exist to determine safe, healthy or clean.
How To Prevent Mold Inside Your Home
Here are ways to keep your property free of mold.
- Check for leaks inside and outside
- Repair leaks quickly
- Keep spaces clear of moisture or water buildup
- Make sure appliances are properly vented
- Replace old or damaged window frames
- Remove wood from the side of the house
- Keep basements and crawl spaces dry
- Locate source of damp or musty smell
Also Check: Cleaning Mold Off Ceiling
Is Mold Inspection Part Of An Initial Home Inspection
ByAntoinette Ayana | Submitted On April 13, 2016
The inspection phase of buying a home can be stressful, often with eager homebuyers feeling left in the dark as to the hidden risks lurking in the walls of their potential new home. Some hidden dangers are more hazardous than others, and may make or break a deal depending on the buyer. A professional mold inspection can ease the minds of health-conscious buyers considering a home in markets where the chance of an infestation may be greatest for example, in humid climates, flood-prone areas, and in homes with preexisting poor ventilation.
If you feel at all uncertain about the safety of the air quality in the home you are considering, a professional mold inspection can be the best way to alleviate your concerns. Some states require sellers to disclose certain conditions over the course of a real estate transaction, but many don’t. You should keep an eye out for areas in the home where the problem is most likely to reveal itself:
– Windows, doors, pipes, and roofs are areas where leaking water can provide a favorable habitat for growth.- Newer homes that have tightly sealed construction can prevent proper ventilation and keep moisture inside.- Homes with obviously poor ventilation and excess water issues on the interior, such as over-watered houseplants, bathroom tiles that show water damage, and areas around pet watering stations where water may sit for days at a time.
The Fallacy Of The Air Sample
If there was one single thing we could change in this industry it would be air sampling. Using an air sample as an add-on to see if mold is present is borderline negligent. Strike that. It is straight up negligent.
It gives incomplete data to an untrained interpreter who makes mis-guided decisions based on mis-understood results.
Okay, it sounds overly dramatic. However, we did just leave the home of a couple in this very situation! Its real, and mold is way too easy to prevent.
Heres the rub with air samples or DIY mold tests. They are only one tool that shows one very specific thing. A mold air sample cant paint a complete picture, and they dont create their own context.
Air sampling is like shining a laser. It can only show a tiny piece of the room. Alone, the sample cannot show if you have a mold problem.
Air samples are like shining a laser beam on a very specific slice of space at a singular moment in time. If mold spores happen to be in the laser beam at just the right time, youve got a positive result. If the mold spores are a few feet to the left, or are in the next room over there is a negative result.
A good mold inspector will utilize air sampling or other mold tests as one method in a comprehensive evaluation. But those results are only supporting details. They dont stand alone. To learn more about air sampling and why its not a good idea as a stand alone metric, see our post: Branch Tells You The Truth About Mold Air Sampling In The Next 60 Seconds.
Also Check: Cleaning Mold In Basement
Mold Testing For Home Inspectors
Mold is a byproduct of the breakdown of organic matter, such as plants, wood, and even food and certain beverages. The problem posed to humans by mold is their spores, which can be released into the air and land on damp surfaces indoors, where they will continue to grow, if the conditions are right. Mold growth left unaddressed can quickly spread and result in damage to the structure of a home. More importantly, mold can compromise the respiratory health of susceptible individuals. Although testing for mold falls outside InterNACHI’s Residential Standards of Practice, home inspectors can benefit from getting trained in mold testing and offering this valuable and sometimes life-changing service to their clients.
Licensing or Certification Requirements for Mold Testing
Before embarking on training in order to offer mold testing services, be sure to check with your state for its requirements for certification or licensing. Some states that require home inspectors to be licensed also require mold inspectors or assessors to be licensed, such as Florida. But there are also states that don’t require home inspectors to be licensed but do require mold testers to be licensed, including Ohio.
Mold Inspections and Home Maintenance
A mold inspection starts as a home inspection, which is a non-invasive, visual examination of the home’s interior and exterior, and its various systems and components.
You Can Start The Mold Removal Process Quickly
It is not fair to say that you should avoid buying a house with mold under all circumstances. In some cases, the presence of mold can be mild and easily fixable. But it is far easier to remove the mold before you move in so scheduling an inspection before the purchase is the best approach.
Non-toxic molds can be removed with a deep cleaning, especially on surfaces like tiles, sinks, or tubs. Bleach and heavy-duty cleaners can be used to scrub away mold. However, you may want to hire a professional cleaning service to take care of this issue.
If mold is growing in the carpets of the home, it is best to have it carefully removed and replaced. The floor beneath should be sprayed and cleaned out before a new carpet is installed to prevent this from growing again. Pieces of moldy drywall, insulation, or wallpaper will also need to be removed and replaced.
You may also want to consider renovating areas of the home where mold has grown to add in better ventilation.
You May Like: Best Way To Clean Mold Off Bathroom Ceiling