Thursday, November 01, 2012

Should you do Mold Testing?

Whether purchasing a resale or brand new construction home, all contracts allow prospective buyers to conduct inspections on the home.  Depending on the size and type of home, the minimum inspection should be a comprehensive inspection, and termite (WDO) inspection.   Many buyers ask, do I need a mold inspection?  That depends.  First all inspectors will screen the home for mold, with site, smell, and thermal imaging.   If there is something significant, they may recommend mold testing.  Mold testing would be done to determine the type of mold is in the house and to what extent mold spore have spread.  It's important to know as certain molds are more toxic than others, and mold clean up or remediation could get expensive.  Some home inspectors are licensed to do mold inspections and others are not.  Mold testing will take air samples or swabs of area and could cost $300-400.  You will receive a laboratory report with interpretations.  What is important to note, that when conducting mold testing its approximately 4 day process, so you need to make sure you have enough inspection days left.  I recently read an article that was comprehensive on mold testing written by Elite Mold Services.  It stated mold will not grow without moisture and three commons causes of mold in a home is humidity levels above 60%, exterior water instrusion, or leak from a water pipe.   From my personal experience, I have seen mold under sinks, mold on everything even furniture, mold in and around AC, and recently a condo building was leaking from exterior walls and windows.   If you know that you have mold sensivity or allergy you may want to do mold testing along with your home inspection anyway otherwise you can discuss with your home inpsector if further testing is needed.