Whether you are planning to buy or sell a home, one important decision is to have a mold inspection. Why? Because they are extremely sneaky. Imagine not seeing them while touring the home, next time you know there are black and gray patches on your walls as soon as you moved in. Impossible? Of course, not! You see, the presence of mold is not an overnight buildup. It’s a combination of damp and moisture with no immediate action taken.
Most home inspection companies conducted a separate mold inspection to thoroughly investigate the possible existence of moisture or breeding grounds of mold. Aside from the unwanted effect, it has on the structural integrity of your home, it has an adverse health impact.
While some types of mold are actually harmless, mold spores are released into the air you breathe and can cause severe health issues especially in highly sensitive people. Ailments can include throat irritation, nasal congestion, sneezing, asthma attacks, and even skin rashes.
Below are some areas in the home that are prone to mold buildup:
– leaking pipes (constant flow accumulates water and is a great breeding ground of mold to start with)
– tightly sealed spaces which trap excess moisture
– floors, walls, basements and other places that were previously exposed in flood and wasn’t thoroughly dried up
– areas with poor ventilation, overly watered houseplants and many other habits that can dampen any space and prevent a good flow of air
Detecting Mold at Home
One of the best things to do is to make sure that anything that comes in contact with water is either constantly being cleaned or is thoroughly dried up. A simple damp shirt on a wooden floor can cause mold to buildup. Sometimes, the presence of mold will not be visible right away but here are simple steps to try.
1. If you are still planning to buy a home, look for obvious signs such as peeled off paints, watermarks on walls, musty smells particularly in the bathroom, kitchens, laundry rooms, basements, cabinets, and other areas with plumbing. It’s also a good idea to find whether the home is built with synthetic stucco or Exterior Installation and Finish System since it is an airtight barrier that improves insulation.
2. Make sure to ask the seller to disclose mold or water-related problems. It’s important to know if the home has already undergone a mold inspection or was previously treated for mold and mildew.
3. Ask your home inspector. Wise home buyers or sellers ask questions. Do not hesitate to ask if the inspector saw signs of mold and water damage.
4. Ask your agent or appraiser. Some states oblige agents and appraisers to disclose any issue they know about. Signs of a mold problem can affect the value of your property so ask them too.
To Buy or Not To Buy?
As a buyer, you can ask the seller to reduce the asking price, fix the problem or choose to walk away from the deal if signs of mold are found. Take into consideration who will be living in the house especially if you have a baby, an elderly, or someone with respiratory and allergic issues.
You can find helpful information about mold and moisture in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) website. More helpful resources to look for state rules on mold are as follows:
Protect your investment. Make sure to have a mold inspection conducted by a licensed professional.
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