Buying a home? Don’t Skip the Mold Inspection

Buying a home is one of the biggest investments you’ll ever make. That’s why it’s important to do your research and due diligence before you make an offer. Below is a list of a variety of inspections one could opt for before purchase. However, one important one in the home buying process is getting a mold inspection.

Mold InspectionAsbestos Inspection
HVAC InspectionFoundation and Structure Inspection
Roof InspectionRadon Inspection
Chimney InspectionSoil Inspection
Lead Based Paint InspectionPool Inspection
Plumbing and Sewer InspectionPest and Termite Inspection
Electrical Inspection

Mold is a type of fungus that can grow in damp, dark places. It can be found in homes, businesses, and other buildings. Mold can cause a variety of health problems, including respiratory problems, allergies, and skin irritations.

There are a number of reasons why a mold inspection is important when buying a home. First, mold can be hidden from view. It can grow in walls, ceilings, and other places that are difficult to see. A professional mold inspector can use special tools and equipment to detect mold that you might not be able to see yourself.

Second, mold can cause serious health problems. If you’re allergic to mold, exposure can cause a variety of symptoms, including sneezing, coughing, and runny nose. Mold exposure can also trigger asthma attacks. In severe cases, mold exposure can lead to pneumonia and other respiratory infections.

Third, mold can damage your home. If mold is left untreated, it can spread and damage the structure of your home. This can lead to expensive repairs.

Things to look for yourself

While a mold inspection for your soon to be home is something you may decide to do before closing the deal, you can rule out many problems and even a few homes yourself by using the following tips. 

  • Avoid homes with musty odors. Mold produces VOCs (volatile organic compounds) that your nose interprets as a “musty” smell. If a home smells musty or “mildewy” there’s likely a mold source somewhere causing the odor. The stronger the musty smell, the more likely that the mold problem is either large or active. 
  • Look for evidence of poor cleaning habits. Mold needs three things to really thrive: moisture, a food source, and warmth. All of these ingredients are often present in homes, even if things are kept reasonably dry. When dust and grime are allowed to  build up on interior surfaces and contents mold is more likely to become a widespread problem throughout the home. Observe window casings, under the refrigerator and behind heavy furniture. If there is a lot of accumulated debris or dust, it’s more likely that mold and other allergens will be present. 
  • Check for evidence of past water problems. Run the faucet and open the cabinet where the facet runs to see what you find. Don’t be shy this may be your home one day. Look for swollen baseboards, water spots and stains, or bowed and buckling floors. Water damage rarely happens without evidence. Past water problems are not always an indication of a mold problem, but they could be a clue. 
  • Review the title report. The title report is a legal document that shows the ownership history of a property. It also shows any liens or encumbrances on the property. Also have underwriters pull A PLUS or CLUE report to see previous insurance claims were filed. 
  • Be suspicious of homes that smell too clean or have heavy fragrances present. Sometimes homeowners will make simple and quick touch-up changes to increase the value of their home. If a basement smells strongly of bleach or there is a strong floral scent in the air, it could be that the seller is simply putting their best foot forward or it could mean that they are trying to hide an odor problem.
  • Look past the new finishes.  Prepping a home for sale often involves renovations. If every wall is freshly painted and there is new flooring throughout, look deeper and see if there are underlying problems or if the workmanship is questionable. Look in corners, inside closets, under cabinets or any other hard to reach areas. Legitimate renovators won’t leave problems unfixed knowingly, but it’s often easy to spot a home where corners were cut and the chances of a hidden problem are higher. 

When should you get a mold inspection

You should get a mold inspection if you’re buying a home, especially if the home is older or if it has been water damaged in the past. You should also get a mold inspection if you’re experiencing any health problems that could be caused by mold exposure.

A home inspector can identify areas of mold, but they may not be able to identify the specific type of mold or determine the extent of the mold growth. A home inspector’s primary job is to identify potential problems with the home, and mold is one of those things they will look for.

If a home inspector finds mold or high moisture areas, they will likely recommend that you have a mold inspection done by a certified mold inspector. A certified mold inspector has the training and experience to identify the specific type of mold, determine the extent of the mold growth, and recommend the best course of action for remediation.

What to expect during a mold inspection

A professional mold inspector will inspect your home for signs of mold growth. They will look for water damage, musty odors, and other potential mold hazards. The inspector may also take samples of the air and surfaces in your home to test for mold.

What to do if the mold inspector finds mold

If the mold inspector finds mold in your home, they will recommend a course of action. The best course of action will depend on the type of mold, the extent of the mold growth, and the condition of your home.

If the mold growth is severe, the mold inspector may recommend hiring a professional mold remediation company. Mold remediation companies have the experience and equipment to safely and effectively remove mold from your home.

A mold inspection is an important step in the home buying process considering buying a home is not the largest purchase one can make in a lifetime. By getting a mold inspection, you can protect your health and your investment. If you’re buying a home, be sure to schedule a mold inspection with Bio Pro.

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