Before buying any home, you need to do a professional mold inspection, regardless of whether you see visible signs or not. This will let you know how much mold is in a house, if any, and if it is easily removable. You want to know that the house is worth the investment in advance. A pre-purchase mold inspection is an evaluation you can request before committing to a purchase.
You'll typically add a mold inspection contingency to your purchase offer, making sure you can withdraw from the deal if the home mold inspection doesn't come back clean. It is important to test the indoor air of the house and the outdoor air. This allows a comparison of apples to blocks of indoor air. For example, if indoor air is 3 times higher than outdoor air in terms of the amount of mold spores, then you can safely say that there is a mold problem in the home.
But if the indoor air is approximately the same as the outside air, then it would be considered normal. If you suspect mold may be present in the house, it is a wise decision to thoroughly inspect it for mold before buying it. In addition to looking for water leaks or basements with high humidity, I also recommend checking the air for mold. Does UV Light Kill Mold? (3 reasons why it works).
If you have the home professionally inspected before you buy it, your home inspector may see obvious signs of mold or water damage. While it's not the inspector's job to look for mold, most home inspectors will mention obvious signs of water damage and possible mold. And, because the inspector will rummage through spaces you couldn't see, you might see things you wouldn't see. For more information, see Nolo's article, How to Get a Home Inspection.
You may also want to have an air quality inspection before buying a home, in addition to a mold inspection. If mold grows in the home, there is a high probability that other toxins are present. Air quality inspections test for asbestos, dust, gases, carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, radon, volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and other chemicals that could be harmful to health. Ask in advance about any of these types of tests.
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. The cost of mold inspection may vary slightly from region to region, but the difference is generally quite small.
Adding a Molde%26 indoor air quality inspection to your due diligence package is a very small price to pay right now. If mold contamination exceeds 10 square feet, EPA recommends calling a contractor experienced in mold remediation. If any mold or suspicious mold spots are found, they will take videos or photographs to obtain recorded evidence. To give you peace of mind, it's a good idea to consider doing a mold inspection on a home you're considering buying.
There is no risk in scheduling a professional mold inspection on any home you are seriously considering buying. Remember, there will always be a certain amount of mold spores in the air; mold spores are naturally present everywhere. Mold is often caused by flooding or leaking because anywhere there is water, there is a chance of mold forming. On its own, testing air samples for mold isn't enough to determine if the home you're buying is moldy or not.
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. Some types of mold can be harmless in small amounts, while an overgrowth of mold or dangerous types can cause a disaster. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) provides extensive information in the Molds and Moisture section of the EPA website, including tips for cleaning mold after a flood in your basement. Fortunately, most mold cases can be cured if you have enough knowledge about when a mold testing specialist is required.