Mold is a serious issue, but can you be certain that your home inspector will tell you about it if your home has a mold problem?
Many people are under the false impression that mold can only be found in damp areas of the home, like the basement. However, mold can actually grow anywhere that it's able to find oxygen, organic material, and a tad bit of moisture to thrive on. This means your basement isn't the only place you could find it.
Mold can also be a problem in garages, bathrooms, and even in the tile backsplash around your kitchen sink. Basically, if there's any amount of water to be found, mold is a possibility. That's also why it may be in the air of your home or even in the HVAC system. But, it is particularly happy when it can be in a humid and damp area, which is why the basement is such a common culprit.
Usually, mold in the basement is a result of all the moisture that can be found in basements. Since they sit below ground level, it's easy for a basement to have moisture problems due to a mix of water seeping in from outside and generally poor ventilation that allows it to be trapped in there. If you are trying to prevent mold, you need to make sure moisture isn't trapped and try to stop it from entering to begin with. A sump pump and proper drainage/ventilation is important for mold prevention in the basement.
Now, if you are looking to buy a home, you may be wondering if your home inspector will be able to tell you about a mold problem if one is present. The good news? Yes! A home inspector is highly trained to check for signs of mold. Although they won't be able to give a certain answer without conducting a mold test, they can tell you if they see a need for conducting a mold test by looking for signs of moisture and potential mold damage.
If the home you're considering has mold in the basement, you don't need to instantly say no to it. There are many options to remove and control the mold issue. The severity of the problem will determine the cost of the mold removal. Sometimes, you can even work to remove the mold yourself unless it is a severe case of something like toxic black mold. In that case, you'll need to call in a professional.
If your home inspector tells you that the home may have a mold issue, ask them to show you where and then ask them to conduct a mold test. They can test to figure out what type of mold is present and also they can do an air test to figure out if it's air borne. The results of the test will help you determine what to do next.
The Author Adam Clark is the owner and operator of Shield Guard Home Inspections. Adam Clark is a local Home Inspector located in Albany NY that has performed over 6000
Phone: (518) 720-7152