Mold is not within the scope of a typical home inspection. A home inspection will determine risks of moisture which is conducive to mold. Mold thrives in warm, damp, humid conditions. Home inspectors are looking for moisture intrusion. Keeping gutters clean and well-drained are crucial to keeping basements and crawl spaces dry. A home inspector will also look at ventilation in the attic, crawl space, kitchen, bathroom, basement, and heating systems which can also impact mold growth.
Is Mold a Health Hazard?
We recommend the EPA report on Mold Moisture and Your Home. The report states that molds are usually not a problem indoors and clean up should be with soap and water. The dangers of mold have been sensationalized due to the rare instances of toxic black mold (Stachybotrys chartarum). Black mold spores, if ingested or inhaled, can cause a range of unpleasant and even dangerous symptoms in humans. Otherwise, depending on the sensitivity of the individual, molds can produce allergens. Allergic responses include similar symptoms an individual would experience for hay fever; asthma, red eyes, runny nose, and sneezing. Dead mold may still cause allergic reactions in some people, so it is not enough to simply kill the mold, it must also be removed.
How to Prevent Mold in the Home
Preventing moisture intrusion is the key to preventing mold. Again, according to the EPA Moisture and Mold Prevention and Control Tips, here are some recommendations for preventing mold in your home.
- Clean up after water leaks and spills immediately.
- Clean and repair gutters regularly.
- The ground around a house should slope away from the foundation.
- Use bathroom and kitchen ventilation fans and make sure those fans vent to the exterior.
- Make sure the crawl space has a good vapor barrier and good ventilation.
- Run a dehumidifier in the basement, especially in older homes.
Should I Also Hire a Mold Inspector?
According to the EPA and Mold experts, If you see mold, you do not need a mold inspector. You can go straight to remediation. Proper testing for mold requires carefully controlled conditions that can only happen in a lab. Other complications include the difficulty of only testing the indoor air. This means the test will also include mold species that may be primarily outside your home.
Home Inspectors Check for Moisture
While home inspectors do not inspect specifically for mold, they do check for moisture and make recommendations to reduce humidity. In our sample home inspection report we mention moisture 38 times and make several recommendations to reduce humidity. Moisture and humidity are the largest factors that are conducive to mold.
Full-Service Home Inspection Services
At Check It Out Home Inspection Services, we offer all the home inspection services you would expect, for example electrical, plumbing, roof, structure, interior, exterior, garage, and grounds, etc. (Go to the Check it Out Home Inspection homepage for a full list of home inspection services). We also offer One-Stop Shopping Home Inspection Services so you can schedule sewer scoping, radon testing, and oil tank searches 24/7 with a single click or call.
Check It Out Home Inspection provides service to the Greater Portland and Vancouver areas.