A comprehensive mold inspection when buying a home can save you thousands of dollars—not to mention spare you countless headaches.
Mold, spore, and fungus might call to mind scenes from The Last of Us or a similar creepy zombie series. Mold doesn’t have to be an apocalyptic scenario, but in some senses, it’s accurate. Once mold takes root in a house, it spreads quickly and easily and is difficult to remove completely. It wreaks havoc everywhere it goes, damaging the surfaces it grows on. It also circulates in the air your family breathes, causing potential health hazards and other problems.
There’s no reason to panic! If you’re reading this, you’re probably on your way to buying a house. The good news is that a thorough mold inspection can rule out a mold infestation in a home you plan to buy. It can also ensure that you take the proper methods to rid the home of mold prior to purchase, and mold inspection results can be used as leverage when negotiating price.
While a thorough mold inspection is not required when purchasing a home, it’s always a good idea. Read on to find out why you’ll want to conduct a thorough mold inspection prior to purchasing a new home.
What is mold?
Mold is a type of fungus, plain and simple. There are many different types of mold—all destructive, though some are more threatening to human health than others. Mold thrives in damp or decaying space and spreads easily through spores that travel through the air and spread on surfaces.
Mold begins growing indoors when a spore lands on a damp or rotting spot in the house and takes root. Once it begins to grow, it can grow quickly and spread throughout the house.
Mold can sometimes be seen with the naked eye, but it can also be hard to spot. Tiny spores are invisible to the naked eye, and mold can thrive in crevices, behind walls, and in nooks and crannies, where it may go unnoticed for long periods of time. Mold can sometimes be detected through smell, but sometimes it’s difficult to detect at all. That’s why a professional mold inspection is so important. Experts know where to look and what to look for to detect even hard- to-find mold and can recommend methods to stop it in its tracks.
If you see any kind of water damage in a house, that’s a key indicator that you need a mold inspection. If you smell a damp, rotting, or unpleasant smell anywhere in the house, that’s another sign. But making a mold inspection a routine part of the home-buying process is just good sense, regardless of if there are any signs. Mold can go undetected, but that doesn’t mean it’s not doing damage to both the structure of the home and the health of those living in it.
What does mold do to a home?
Mold causes destruction everywhere it spreads. It causes ugly stains and strange odors in the
home. It damages the surface where it’s growing.
Although mold grows on surfaces rather than deep in the house’s structure, the presence of mold usually indicates that conditions are right for other fungi to grow. The spread of mold suggests water damage and damp conditions in a home, which are the same conditions needed for other, more pernicious forms of decay to take hold. Doing a mold inspection can help you determine if there are likely to be more serious structural problems going forward.
The worst aspect of mold is its health consequences. Exposure to mold can cause allergic
reactions, and mold exposure may provoke the following symptoms:
Sensitivity to mold can be cumulative, meaning that the more often you are exposed to mold, the more sensitive you may become. If you are experiencing any of the above unexplained symptoms, contact a healthcare professional to rule out other causes and schedule a mold inspection right away.
Where does mold grow in the home?
Mold can grow on any damp, moist, or rotting surface in the home. Common places where mold grows can include:
- Inside the walls
- Under the sink
- Under the floorboards
- In basements and attics
- In HVAC systems, chimneys, or windowsills
As you can see, many of the places mold likes to grow are the same places you don’t necessarily regularly access or see upon first inspection. That’s why hiring a professional mold inspector is so important. They know where to look for mold—and what to look for—so that you can make an informed decision about the home you want to purchase.
Why you should get a mold inspection prior to buying a home
- It can save you thousands of dollars over the long run.
Catching a mold problem early can save you thousands of dollars. Not only can you use the results of a mold test to negotiate a price when purchasing a home, but taking care of a mold problem before it spreads can save you thousands of dollars. Once mold is pervasive throughout the home, repair, removal, and remediation can cost in the thousands. A simple mold inspection will help you catch the problem early and prevent these unnecessary expenditures.
- It can protect your family’s health.
As previously mentioned, mold can wreak havoc on your family’s health. Undetected mold exposure can cause allergic reactions, leading to uncomfortable symptoms like sneezing, wheezing, coughing, and difficulty breathing. Getting a comprehensive mold inspection before purchasing a home is a wise decision to protect your family’s health before exposure begins.
- Mold can cause structural damage.
Mold feeds on organic matter like wood, which probably makes up the structure of your house.Over time, even minor mold infestations can cause major structural damage to a house that will require extensive repairs. Getting a professional mold inspection before purchasing the house is the best way to avoid future structural damage that will impact the resale value of your investment.
- Mold testing is painless
Mold inspections from a professional service like IndoorDoctor are quick, painless, and non- invasive. Mold inspection professionals usually only take a few hours to thoroughly inspect your future home. They use cutting-edge technology like infrared cameras, digital moisture meters, biopumps, and IAQ meters to do a thorough assessment for mold without compromising the structure of the property.
In just a few hours, a certified mold inspection professional can confirm or rule out the presence of mold in a home and deliver thorough results and recommendations for next steps. The result of the test can then be used in considerations and future negotiations about purchasing the home.
- Testing for mold is the buyer’s responsibility
Most states require that sellers disclose any known mold issues to potential buyers. They don’t, however, require mold inspections, and because mold and water damage can so easily go undetected, the only way to ensure you are protected is by hiring mold inspection professionals to do an inspection on your behalf.
The peace of mind and potential savings of early detection of mold infestation are priceless. A mold inspection should be part of any potential homebuyer’s routine prior to committing to the purchase of a home.
What to look for in a thorough mold inspection
A mold inspection goes beyond simply walking through the home and looking for mold. Finding certified, qualified, and experienced environmental testing professionals like the experts at IndoorDoctor is essential to feeling confident in the results of your mold inspection.
Qualified environmental testing professionals make use of the latest expertise and technology to not only confirm or deny the presence of mold in a home, but also to identify potential high-risk areas for future mold growth. They use fully calibrated air-sampling devices, infrared cameras, and digital hygrometers to inspect and measure the moisture levels in a home.
The experts at IndoorDoctor will also be with you after the test. They have access to accredited laboratories for expedited results and will have a follow-up consultation to explain the results and recommend the best course of action following the inspection.
There’s no substitute for experience and expertise when it comes to mold detection. Booking a certified mold inspection from IndoorDoctor when considering a new home purchase should be an essential step in the home-buying process.