What Should You Do Now?
Here at Inspections Plus we receive many calls where a home buyer may suspect a property to be infected with a fungal like growth and a complete evaluation by a licensed and qualified mold inspection company is recommended. Sometimes the home inspector adds the following “Mold is due to high moisture levels” or “a Mold inspection is recommended due to a possible allergic reaction”. In the states of MN and WI Home Inspectors are not licensed to inspect for Mold however they may be certified thru national organizations such a InterNachi, they can state “fungal like growth” “Mold like substance” and recommend further evaluation.
When a Home Inspector finds Mold and recommends a further evaluation what should the realtor and buyer/seller do? First, if suspected mold is found in an unfinished attic, basement or crawl space, understand these are the most common areas for growth as these spaces are unconditioned. By unconditioned we mean not heated or cooled by a HVAC system. Mold likes to grow at temperatures and moisture (humidity) levels that are often not regulated efficiently.
On further evaluation of any “Mold like substance” your Home Inspector may send a detailed report to the buyer/seller with photos that document a problem. Better inspectors photo document and detail where the mold issue is at its worst. Inspections Plus typically will visit the property in question, do a thorough inspection, check for any ways of water entry and report on the presence of mold.
It is safest to get the mold inspection performed before you buy, in the event that additional mold is found, say behind a wall or above a sheetrock ceiling. After any mold is located, we can provide a some ideas with how to remain moisture free (ex. adding gutters, leading water away from the dwelling, closing cracks in the foundation. etc.)
In most cases Mold takes years to grow, especially in older homes. If a qualified Home Inspector provides a detailed report there typically is no need to test the Mold unless the seller wants to contest that what was found is actually mold. Again EPA does not recommend testing when obvious Mold growth is present. The only reason to test for Mold is if the buyer really wants to know what type of spore it is such as Cladosporium or Stachybotrys or one of the 100’s of thousands of spores.
Now, in the case that there is no visible sign of Mold but the home inspector feels as if there might be a moisture problem and a Mold Inspection should be performed than there should be Mold Testing. Mold inspections are a safe bet when you are dealing with a house that had undergone rehab, a flipper is involved or in general the house has been improved specifically for sale. From years of experience it is these homes where we find mold. Since the cosmetic work performed is meant to give the home inside curb appeal, people take short cuts, as we have found the following.
A seller is always recommended to hire a professional mold remediation specialist however they may remove mold themselves. We have also found that they may not address the water issue that caused the mold.
- Mold gets painted over.
- Moldy basements get finished with sheetrock, covering over the mold.
- Insulation is placed on moldy ceilings in basements and crawl spaces.
- Crawl space openings get sealed over to avoid access for inspection.
In the Twin Cities contact Inspections Plus. With over 25 years of inspection and construction experience Inspections Plus has the tools to do a complete mold inspection on your home or commercial building.
Home Inspections for Mold, Radon and many other dwelling issues.