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Mold

In addition to a general home inspection, having a mold assessment performed by a certified professional before buying a home is becoming more common.

Mold is Everywhere…    

Molds are microscopic organisms present everywhere, indoors and outdoors. Molds are fungi which are needed to break down dead material and to recycle nutrients in the environment. To grow and develop, molds need moisture and an organic food source (e.g., wood, paper). Molds grow by digesting organic material, gradually destroying whatever surface they grow on. Visible mold growth is typically discolored green, gray, brown, or black.    

    

…Including the Air    

The problem isn’t just that molds grow on surfaces, it’s that molds release countless tiny, lightweight spores, which travel through the air.  If indoor mold contamination is extensive, it can cause high and persistent airborne spore exposures. Persons exposed to high spore levels can become sensitized and develop allergies to the mold or other health problems.  For some people, a relatively small number of mold spores can trigger respiratory issues; for other persons, symptoms may occur if exposure levels are higher. Whatever the effect, indoor mold growth is undesirable and potentially dangerous.    

    

Molds Can Cause Health Problems    

Molds may cause health effects via inflammation, allergy or infection. Allergic reactions (e.g., hay fever) are common threats of mold exposure. Typical symptoms that mold-exposed persons report (alone or in combination) include respiratory problems (e.g., wheezing, difficulty breathing, shortness of breath), nasal and sinus congestion, eye irritation (burning, watery, or reddened eyes), cough, nose or throat irritation, or skin rashes/irritation.    Research is still being conducted about the health affects of mold.  For concerns regarding potential health affects, you should consult your physician.

    

Why You Should Test for Mold    

Mold testing, combined with visual inspection methods, is the best non-invasive method to assess the extent and types of mold in your home.    

Most people test for mold when they smell a musty odor, see discolored stains/material or become sick for no apparent reason.  Because mold growth often is caused by moisture, many people also test for mold after a significant water-related property issue, e.g., roof leaks, water intrusion in the basement or crawlspace, leaking appliances and plumbing fixtures.  Testing before remediation helps to establish baseline conditions and the scope of any possible remediation; testing after remediation ensures that the mold has been properly mitigated.    

    

Our Mold Inspection    

Our Mold Inspection gives you a comprehensive understanding of the types and extent of mold in your home.  We employ a multi-faceted approach to mold testing, including visual examination, air sampling and surface sampling when necessary; we ship samples to a qualified lab for results and analysis, which we include in our Mold Inspection report.  


Mold Testing

This option for a Mold Inspection is typically conducted in conjunction with a full home inspection and generally takes 30-60 minutes to perform. These can be done when there is already a known or suspected mold issue or they can be performed as a precaution. Mold Inspection pricing with a home inspection starts at $395 and includes the following: 

  • Four total samples – two outdoor air samples as a control test, one indoor air sample, and one additional swab or air sample at the inspector or client’s discretion

  • Indoor and outdoor temperature/humidity readings at the time of the inspection

  • A written report that includes test conditions, test sample location(s), sample results, and recommendations for further action (if necessary)

  • Additional samples, air or swab, can be done for an additional $125 per sample

  • Swab samples should be obtained from surfaces or materials where mold-like material is visible.  

Mold Inspection/Moisture Assessment

Mold Inspections without a full home inspection are conducted as a stand-alone service and generally take 1.5-3.0 hours to perform. While Mold Inspections with a home inspection utilize information found during the home inspection to help determine the cause of the mold issue, a Mold Inspection without a home inspection requires more investigation while the technician is on-site. This pricing starts at $645 and includes the following: 

  • Four total samples – two outdoor air samples as a control test, one indoor air sample, and one additional swab or air sample at the inspector or client’s discretion

  • Indoor and outdoor temperature/humidity readings at the time of the inspection

  • A written report that includes test conditions, test sample locations, sample results, and recommendations for further action (if necessary)

  • Additional samples, air or swab, can be done for an additional $125 per sample

  • Swab samples are recommended in addition to the standard air sample when a known or suspected mold issue is found

  • Areas and systems included in the inspection/assessment are as follows: 

   

Roof

  • The inspector shall inspect from ground level or eaves:

    • The roof covering.

    • The roof drainage system, including gutters and downspouts.

    • The vents, flashings, skylights, chimneys, and any other roof penetrations.

  • The inspector is not required to:

    • Walk on any roof surface.

    • Predict the service life expectancy.

    • Perform a water test.

Exterior and Grounds

  • The inspector shall inspect from the ground level:

    • The cladding, flashing and trim.

    • Exterior doors, windows, decks, stoops, steps, stairs, porches, railings, eaves, soffits and fascias.

    • The exterior grading surrounding the building perimeter.

    • Items that penetrate the exterior siding or covering materials.


  • The inspector is not required to:

    • Inspect underground drainage systems.

    • Window well drainage

    • Inspect defects not related to mold growth or moisture intrusion.

Basement, Foundation, Crawlspace, and Structure

  • The foundation, basement, or crawlspace including ventilation and any indications of moisture

  • The inspector is not required to:

    • Operate sump pumps with inaccessible floats.
    • Inspect for structural defects not related to mold growth or moisture intrusion.

Heating, Cooling and Ventilation

  • The air handler circulating fan and air filer.

  • The condensate pump.

  • Readily visible ductwork.

  • Representative number of supply and return air registers.

  • The central humidifier.

  • The central air conditioning unit.

  • The inspector is not required to:

    • Inspect the air conditioning coil if not readily accessible.

    • Inspect the condensate pan if not readily accessible.

    • Test the performance or efficiency of the HVAC system.

    • Inspect the interior of ductwork system.

Plumbing

  • The readily visible main water line.
  • The readily visible water supply lines.

  • The readily visible drain, waste, and vent pipes.

  • Hot water source.

  • Fixtures such as toilets, faucets, showers and tubs.

  • The inspector is not required to:

    • Test the showers and tubs by filling them with water

    • Test whirlpool tubs, saunas, steam rooms, or hot tubs.

    • Inspect for plumbing defects that are not related to mold growth or moisture intrusion.

Attic, Ventilation & Insulation

  • Insulation.

  • Ventilation of attic spaces.

  • Framing and sheathing.

  • The inspector is not required to:

    • To move, touch, or disturb insulation.
    • Inspect for vapor retarders.

    • Break or otherwise damage the surface finish or weather seal on or around access panels and covers.

Interior

  • ​The walls, ceilings, floors, doors and windows.

  • The ventilation in the kitchen, bathrooms and laundry.

  • Whole-house ventilation fans

  • The inspector is not required to:

    • Inspect for interior defects that are not related to mold growth or moisture intrusion.

Moisture, Humidity, and Temperature

The inspector shall measure:

  • Moisture of any room or area of the building that has moisture intrusion, water damage, moldy odors, apparent mold growth, or conditions conducive to mold growth.
  • Humidity of any room or area of the building (at the inspector’s discretion).

  • Temperature of any room or area of the building (at the inspector’s discretion).

Mold: About
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