Mold…one of the last things you want to see in your home and something you don’t want to see when you move into a new place. Unfortunately, mold grows in homes that have high humidity or damp areas and can be visible or not. When you have a home inspection, do home inspectors check for mold? Yes, they do a visual inspection and will hopefully see it but if they don’t have a mold testing service then they will miss the mold that might be hiding.
Let’s take a look.
What Is Mold
Mold is a fungus that can be seen in many colors and shapes. These include green, gray, black, and white. There are many molds that can be seen and even have a smell, while there are others that may be more hidden. The hiding places may be in the ceilings, under floors, basements, attic, and between walls.
Mold’s most favorite places to grow are materials that are soaked with water such as ceiling tiles, paint, wallboard, paneling, and carpet to name a few. However, mold can also grow in areas where there is high humidity and it is hot.
Where Does Mold Grow
There are many places where mold can grow. It is a good idea to take a look around the following areas in a home:
- Pipes, windows, or roofs- check to see if they are leaking as the water helps start the mold spores.
- Flooded areas – basements or other areas that have seen water and did not dry
- Buildings that are tightly sealed – can trap moisture inside the home
- Poor ventilation – homes that have this or plants that have too much water or dampness throughout the home can be a good place for mold to grow.
Water intrusion can cause black mold and it can be found on furniture, drywall, carpets, or dust. This type of mold is called Stachybotrys chartarum.
Order a Home Inspection
Home inspections are not included in the sale of a home so ordering one is important. Some people skip the home inspection and this is not wise at all. When you are looking for a home inspection company, look for one that does mold inspections as well. This is because if mold is found during the inspection, the same company can test for mold. Not every company offers this service so choosing a company that does is essential.
Also, don’t choose a cheap home inspector. There are reasons why they are cheap and you want to make sure the company you choose has certification and experience, they write a well-detailed report, make sure they have insurance, and ask a realtor for recommendations.
During the Home Inspection
The home inspector will look for mold or water damage if it is obvious. If the inspector finds water damage, there will be more of a reason to inspect more for mold. You will want to ask the inspector if there were any signs of mold or possible mold and have it added to the report.
In some states, mold disclosure from the seller is required but in other states, it is not. You can also ask if there has been any flooding or any pipes that have burst in the home. If there are things that are found and you don’t want to negotiate with the seller or vice versa, you can walk away.
Testing for Mold
If the inspection shows that there is mold, the inspector, or mold tester, will have a few types of equipment to use. This will include:
- A machine that is like a small vacuum – It sucks in the air and then there is a part that will capture the mold spores that are in the air.
- Moisture meter – to look at the moisture levels in the home.
- Humidity reader – In order to know the amount of water in the air
- A thermometer – to check the temperature in the home.
- Thermography camera – if the company has this service, they will look at the different temperatures in the home.
- A camera and a flashlight
Black mold is a common area of concern when it comes to mold. This type of spore is caused by a water intrusion and can grow on drywall, dust, carpets, and all types of furniture. The technical name of Black Mold is Stachybotrys chartarum.
If mold is found in the home, the home inspection company will do mold remediation. The amount of remediation will depend on the extent of the mold growth, the color, and also the size of the area. This process can take 48 hours up to a few weeks.
Now that you know that the home inspector will look for visible mold, you can see if the same company does mold testing. Here are some other areas to pay attention to.
One of those is black mold. If black mold is found in your home, you cannot stay there. This type of spore is caused by a water intrusion and can grow on drywall, dust, carpets, and all types of furniture. The technical name of Black Mold is Stachybotrys chartarum.. You will want to remove it right away.
Another area is the humidifier in your home. While these are great for adding moisture to a home that is very dry, it is important to make sure you keep the basin clean. The basin of the humidifier can grow mold because of the dampness so keeping this area clean is important.
Lastly, the basement is an area you may find radon levels higher. This is because there can be cracks in the foundation, or in the basement walls or slab. Also, there may be holes in the sump pump or unsealed plumbing areas.
When to Contact a Professional
As mentioned above, hiring a home inspection company that also checks for mold in not only visible places, but hidden places is a good idea. You don’t want to move into a home that has a lot of issues or mold issues. A licensed and insured company can help make sure the home you want to buy is safe for you and your family.
After you move into a home, keeping an eye out for mold is a good idea. Protecting your family’s health and safety should be a priority. Hire a home inspection company that also does mold testing so if mold is found, they can take care of it for you. Reach out to Warren Inspections in Eastern and Central Massachusetts for a home inspection along with mold testing, and other needs you may have.