Mold is a serious problem, and spotting mold contamination before it gets out of control can save you thousands of dollars. This makes the cost of a mold inspection worth a few hundred dollars when you buy a new home. However, mold testing is not worth it. If your home has mold problems or you are thinking of buying a moldy home, here are some things to consider before paying for a mold evaluation.
My first house had obvious mold, so I had a professional evaluation of mold. When the inspector finished evaluating my home, they provided me with an extensive report showing the various strains and concentrations of mold. While it was a relief to learn that it didn't have the infamous toxic black mold, Stachybotrys chartarum, the conclusion that the house was full of mold came as no surprise. However, what was valuable was the evaluation of water.
The mold inspector walked through the house from top to bottom with a humidity sensor, and he showed me exactly where the water was infiltrating the frame of the house and causing mold and rot. It turned out that, in addition to a problem with the water in the basement, rainwater seeped around both chimneys and through invisible leaks in the roof. As we inspected the house together, I was also able to determine that it was structurally sound. Knowing that my problem had more to do with cleaning than with carpentry helped me to calm down.
In recent years, advertising about “toxic mold” has turned mold inspection and remediation into a hugely profitable industry. It has also paved the way for many scams designed to scare you into paying big bucks for unnecessary tests or incomplete “remediation plans”. Environmental Protection Agency Recommends Common Sense Approach to Mold: If You Can See Visible Mold Growth, No Mold Inspection Necessary. Since there are no federal standards for mold levels, there is no way to “pass” or “fail” an inspection, although after the project is completed, it may be helpful to test to find out if everything has been cleaned.
If you've already bought a home, you know that almost every home has a certain amount of mold. The truth is that mold inspection and testing are only necessary if you already see visible mold; otherwise it would be unnecessary and a waste of money. On the other hand, you will never be sure if there is mold hidden in the house without remedying the mold. Mold problems go hand in hand with water problems, so when there is a water leak or flood that doesn't resolve quickly, mold usually appears soon.
If a mold test is positive, you can negotiate with the seller to request a mold removal, give you a credit to fix the problem, or lower the selling price. Most mold professionals (not home inspectors) don't usually inspect an entire home like a home inspector does; it will be much shorter. If you suspect mold or want to rule it out as a problem, then it's a good idea to hire a mold inspector and address the issue before closing the house. Fortunately, most mold cases can be cured if you have enough knowledge about when a mold testing specialist is required.
Adding a Molde& indoor air quality inspection to your due diligence package is a very small price to pay right now. You can go deeper if you have reason to suspect mold or simply want to rule it out, as some types of mold can cause serious health problems and structural damage to the home. On its own, testing air samples for mold isn't enough to determine if the home you're buying is moldy or not. Other people don't react to mold in the same way, and they can live with mold and not be really affected.
Mold assessments help identify if mold is in fact present in your environment and help you detect areas closest to the source. Buying a home is a prudent decision; you need to consider all points, such as mold inspection. He argues that when there is visible mold growth, sampling is “unnecessary”; mold should simply be removed. If there is visible mold somewhere in the house, such as on a ventilation grille, the inspector will have to confirm that it is actually mold.