When buying a new home, you should consider getting a mold inspection. Mold inspection is a different process from typical housing inspections. The cost will vary depending on the size of the house. How much does mold inspection cost on a home? How do you know if it is it worth it to conduct mold inspection and testing?
There are a few different situations in which you might want a mold inspection. Let us look at when a mold inspection is needed.
When to Inspect for Mold:
A few situations should make you look for any mold problems in your house.
- Water damage. If your basement flooded, roof leaked, or a broken pipe sprayed water all over the kitchen, you need to inspect for mold. Any place that got wet and was not quickly dried (within 24 to 48 hours) could become contaminated by mold.
- Purchasing a new home. There is no way to know what kind of water damage may have happened in the house you are planning to buy. The only way to find out if mold is present is to do a mold inspection.
- After a house has been unoccupied. If a house has been closed up and unoccupied for months or years, humidity could have built up inside and caused mold to grow. This is especially a problem in warmer areas with high humidity.
- After mold remediation. If you have gone through the often expensive and difficult steps to deal with a mold problem, regular mold inspections are a good idea to make sure you really got rid of it all.
- You see some mold. If you notice some green, blue, black or white stuff growing in your house, do a mold inspection to make sure you find it all. It might not be restricted to one location.
- If you or your family members have asthma, allergies or been experiencing any of the following symptoms:
Head aches, fatigue, cough, shortness of breath, allergic reactions, respiratory diseases, fungal infections, watery eyes, flue like symptoms, allergic rhinitis, hyper sensitivity pneumonitis and viral respiratory infections.
What happens during a mold inspection?
Mold inspection is a visual inspection of a house, data collection, a sampling and testing plan, interpretation of the samples taken, a remediation plan and recommendations.
A typical mold inspection involves the inspector talking to the property owner about any areas where they have seen mold, or where there have been moisture problems or water damage in the past, and a consultation as to why they need a mold inspection. The inspector will go over the house thoroughly, looking in places known to be prone to mold growth. If there is a chance mold is growing in an inaccessible space, the inspector may have to damage a section of drywall or remove paneling to get a better look. If mold is detected, the inspector will try to find the source of the moisture that is causing the mold and talk to the homeowner to develop a remediation plan.
Always look for a contractor with experience in mold inspection and mold remediation.
The EPA suggest that a mold inspection is unnecessary if you can see mold, while that is true, if there is evidence that there is a mold problem and remediation is required with out proper sampling and testing prior to remediation and after how do you know the mold has been removed to acceptable standards?
The are many contractors who claim that they do mold remediation, but we’ve seen it happen often where they are inexperienced or do not follow the appropriate protocols and mold returns shortly after their remediation efforts. The biggest problem is after the remediation has been completed and reconstruction begins when the mold becomes active again it grows inside the walls or hidden places. This is the importance of mold sampling after remediation but prior to reconstruction.
What affects the cost of a mold inspection?
There are two main factors that affect the cost of a mold inspection: the size of the house being inspected and whether or not the inspector has to remove or destroy parts of the property, such as drywall or paneling, to complete the inspection.
Quite simply, a large house with a lot of square footage is going to cost more to inspect because the inspection is going to take longer. An “invasive” inspection involving digging through drywall or digging under a crawlspace is also going to cost extra because of the extra time and work involved.
After the inspection
If the mold inspection finds mold in your home, the next step is to make a remediation plan. This always begins with removing the source of the moisture that’s allowing the mold to grow. If you fail to remove the moisture, you can clean up all the mold and it will just grow back. Then, hard surfaces can be scrubbed and washed. Soft surfaces like carpets or foam tiles have to be cut out and replaced. It is impossible to clean all the mold off of porous surfaces.
This can be a do-it-yourself job if the mold is only in a small area. If the mold contamination exceeds 10 square feet, the EPA recommends calling in a contractor experienced in mold remediation. Mold is dangerous, to work with. That’s why larger contaminations are better left to professionals with the correct safety gear and cleaning equipment.
Getting rid of mold in your house can be a major task, and remediation can be expensive if the mold is widespread. The best solution to mold problems is to prevent them from ever happening.
Here are some tips on preventing mold:
- Repair leaks promptly. Whether it is a leak in your roof or a rusted out water pipe, fix leaks and keep moisture out of your house.
- Clean and dry things promptly.
- If your basement floods or condensation from your air-conditioner drips onto a carpet, dry everything out within 24 to 48 hours.
- Mold needs moisture to grow, so prompt drying is vital.
- Control humidity. Extremely humid air can provide enough moisture for mold to form on some surfaces.
- Use a dehumidifier in your basement and run air-conditioning when possible during the summer.
- Install vents in your kitchen and bathroom. This will keep humidity down and keep moisture under control.
Mold is a serious problem, and spotting mold contamination before it grows out of control can save you thousands of dollars. This makes the cost of a mold inspection well worth a few hundred dollars when you are buying a new house. The important thing is, if you see mold in your house, you need to get rid of it as soon as possible.