For many people when considering the purchase of a new home, mold is the last thing they are thinking about. As potential buyers walk through a possible new home, they may be thinking about where their furniture will fit, how much work the yard will take to maintain, the amount of storage the home has, and other things of that nature. It is very important, however, to never overlook the possibility of the presence of mold. This can result in a very unwelcome and expensive surprise down the road. There are a few main reasons why it is so important to inspect for mold when buying a new home, the most significant is that mold can pose a serious health risk to the inhabitants of the home. It can also be expensive and stressful to remove the mold and repair damaged areas.
Can Mold in a Home be Dangerous?
The most important reason to check a new home for the presence of mold is that mold can carry some serious health and safety concerns. Mold is not only unpleasant to look at, it can also be very dangerous and can affect the structural integrity of the home.
There are some strains of mold, most notably toxic black mold known as Stachybotrys chartarum, that can result in serious health concerns, ranging from respiratory issues (such as coughing, wheezing, and a runny or congested nose), to skin rashes, chronic fatigue, and recurring headaches.
In addition to possible health risks, if mold is left untreated, it can cause significant structural damage to the home. By nature, mold consumes organic material, such as fabric, wood, and drywall which are in essence the materials that make up the structure of a house.
What Happens if a Home Inspection Finds Mold? What Happens if you Buy a House and Find Mold?
If the presence of mold is discovered before the purchase of the home is finalized, the buyer can often negotiate a credit or reduction in the home price for having the work and mold remediation done, or ask the seller to eliminate the mold themselves. If the mold is not discovered until after the purchase of the home is final, the cost to clean the mold and repair the damage is completely the responsibility of the new owner.
Is Treating for Mold After Purchasing Your Home Expensive?
In the situation that mold is found after the purchase of the home, the cost to remediate the issue can range anywhere from $700 to $7000 or more depending on how widely and severely the home is affected.
This financial cost comes in addition to the stress and effort involved with clearing out the space that is affected by mold, and ensuring that all materials in the space are effectively treated, and eventually getting everything back in place once the remediation of the mold is finished.
How is a Home Treated for Mold?
During the mold treatment, a specialist starts by cleaning the affected area including a large area around it. The specialist will then spray a chemical that works by trapping any spores that may still be in the air. Then they will use a special HEPA vacuum to clean the carpet and remove any other mold that may be present in the fibers of the carpet.
How Do You Know if a Home Should be Inspected for Mold? What are The Signs of Mold to Look For?
The most obvious sign that a home should be inspected for mold is the presence of any visible signs of mold – regardless of how minor or insignificant, they may seem. In the case where mold growth is visible, there are likely larger areas of mold growth that aren’t visible, and that area should be checked thoroughly by a mold inspector as soon as possible.
In some cases, where there is no visible mold, a home inspector may find signs of potential mold such as standing water around an HVAC system or in a basement, high levels of humidity in certain spaces, signs of water damage in the walls, floors or ceilings, and/or the presence of earthy or musty smells.
If any of these signs are present in the home, or your home inspector finds any areas of concern related to mold, it’s important to schedule a mold inspection with a specialist. It is also important to note that mold can be present even when there are no obvious signs or visible areas of concern within the home.
Always remember, mold isn’t only unsightly, it is also a significant health and safety hazard. Inspecting for mold is very important any time it may be suspected to be present, so you can move into your new home worry-free. A thorough and reputable home inspector will always take the care and time required to identify any areas of concern related to mold. If you want to learn more about how a home inspector inspects for mold and what you should do if mold is found, or to schedule a home inspection, contact us at Building Insights today!