Mold Inspections and Mold Reports

Mold testing during a mold inspection

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More buyers are requesting mold inspections. More of them are nowadays aware of the implications of mold, and its presence can certainly impact sales decisions. Mold in a new home could mean it is not as well-built as it looks, and may also signify damp is enterering the building from an unknown defect. Homebuyers also know that they may have to shoulder the burden of cleaning it up when they move into a home which suffers from the problem.

Some molds have been found to have toxic properties. No one wants to get sick from mold. For that simple reason it is certainly important to have a mold inspection, if a problem is suspected/ rated as a risk.

A general house inspection report, should pick-up dampness, and any problems with poor ventilation, but at times, general home inspection, being a snapshot of the property at the time of inspection, may sometimes miss a mold problem, when, for example, sellers thoroughly clean properties in advance of inspection. Sometimes, it can be almost as invisible as radon gas. On other occoasions it can occur that too much ventilation has been sealed off in the name of saving energy, raising humidity and encouraging the mold to grow in the dampness.

Molds can be adept at hiding in walls and even under carpets in the basement, and the whole subject of detecting them correctly, while not being over-cautious and adding a blanket warning to many inspection reports, has been much discussed recently. That’s why qualified mold professionals include mycologists, industrial hygienists, and indoor air quality specialists.

It’s an issue that many home inspectors across the United States, have been keen to educate themselves about. Real estate deals have been known to have fallen through, because of mold concerns especially after mature property inspections.

Mold Air Testing and When a Mold Test is Recommended

Mold testing methods have been developed to provide a science-based measurement of mold. Air can be tested to determine the type of mold, and whether it is toxic or non-toxic.

Home inspections should include mold testing, if the presence of mold is suspected, but cannot be identified by a visual mold inspection.

Mold inspections may also be necessary if there is evidence from a mold inspection or sampling, that the air is contaminated. (See also Wikipedia on mold issues.)

If mold testing is performed, for comparative purposes, exterior/ open-air samples should be collected as well. It makes no sense at all to take any risks when it comes to the safety and well-being of you and your family.

The Mold Inspector’s Brief

A mold inspector will look for sources of dampness. Mold present in the attic, or on or behind walls in the house proper is most likely to be caused by a leaking roof. But, on occasions walls are damp due to undetected pipes leaking within the spaces between walls. Even faulty vent hoses can let unwanted water into the property, and all causes need to be considered during mold inspections.

If a home inspector finds multiple or major issues with the home you are considering, it may affect your decision to buy, or at least cause you to go to the sellers asking for the price to be lowered in order to cover any repairs needed. If you think that mold may be present in a prospective home, do make sure that the home inspection company you choose, either specializes in finding mold/ mold inspections, or can show a good track record of mold detection and reporting.

The  air quality report will provide you all the mold inspections know-how you need, plus the recommendations, you need, to decide whether to proceed or abandon the purchase.

Mold Inspections – Conclusion

It is best to proceed with caution whenever you are faced with a decision to buy or reject a home with mold. A mold inspector can keep you from moving your family into what might be a toxic environment that will compromise your health and your family’s health.

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