Should I get a mold inspection?
Mold inspections are commonly performed as part of many residential real estate transactions. Mold inspections are typically driven by the buyer as opposed to a requirement of the mortgage approval process. There are three main factors that are attributable to the increase in Mold inspections. The primary driver is consumers being more educated about mold (thank the internet). The aging housing stock allows for degraded building infrastructure (deferred maintenance) which provides opportunities for mold to grow. the reverse of degraded materials is better building techniques and home improvements that create tighter building envelopes that help retain moisture in the built environment, which in turn fuels mold growth.
The photo below represents deferred maintenance that allowed mold to grow. To know the exact reason, you would have to speak to one of our environmental managers.
There are a few situations that should make you look for a mold problem. Mold inspections should be completed on homes that have been unoccupied for extended periods of time. If a house has been closed up and unoccupied for months or years, humidity most likely has built up inside and caused mold to grow. All bank owned properties should have a mold inspection performed due to the humidity concerns mentioned above. Homes that have been flipped or rehabbed should have a mold inspection performed because these homes have a high probability of growth (Most were bank owned) and we have found that often times the mold has been covered over or ignored by the real estate investor. Flipped homes should have mold inspections with air testing to search for hidden mold.
The piece of furniture in the photo below, has mold growing on it. The mold manifested itself over a period of weeks after moving into an older rehab home. Curren found mold behind the newly finished walls and water entry from the foundation wall that was not properly water proofed prior to sheetrock.
Home inspections typically do not cover mold inspections and most home inspectors are not experienced with mold.
The photo below was flagged for having mold, a part of the photo has mold and apart is not mold. Do you know which is which?
Mold inspections should be performed on homes where water damage has occurred either one time or when chronic water issues are present. Basements and crawlspaces are target rich environments for mold growth.
What affects the cost of a mold inspection?
Two main factors determine the cost of a mold inspection. Mold inspection costs are based on the time it takes to complete the inspections, simply put larger homes take longer to inspect than smaller homes. If mold testing is needed it will add to the inspection cost as you now have laboratory analysis to pay for and time for the mold professional to interpret the data.
The best mold inspections are professionals that have experience in both mold inspection and remediation. Finding mold during a mold inspection and following the project through to remediation provides the firm a 360 degree view of the mold problem. We have completed thousands of mold inspections and remediation and while they all have similarities there are nuisances to each project.
Do I need to inspect a new home for mold?
New homes should have mold inspection because there is actually a term we use called new home mold. Mold can grow during the home construction process, the crews working on a new home don't have the experience with mold and accordingly are not aware that growth has occurred.