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Home Mold Inspection 101

What is a mold inspection? It’s a process to detect, identify, and then remove mold traces from a residential space. Depending on the extent and type of mold infestation in a house, the inspection can take varying durations and cost more than usual.

Black mold

Before you get onto the question of how to get a mold inspection officer, it’s important to figure out what is black mold, why it’s dangerous, and what home mold inspection entails.

What Is a Black Mold and Why Is It Dangerous?

Black mold refers to Stachybotrys chartarum. It’s a greenish-black mold that mainly appears in households and areas with little sun exposure and high humidity.

Mold is a fungus that grows and feeds on materials like cotton, paper products, and wood. It contains mold spores on the surface, which is a source of airborne toxic chemicals. It’s harmful for a lot of reasons, which we will get to shortly.

Although there’s no direct link to different types of diseases/illnesses and mycotoxins of black mold, experts claim that it’s a major risk factor for the increased risk of several health issues. Some of the most common forms of health problems that black mold can cause inside a home include:

  • Asthma
  • Allergies
  • Skin irritation
  • Severe breathing difficulties (for hypersensitive or medically-ill patients)

Furthermore, there’s yet to be any evidence regarding memory loss, fatigue, focus loss, and headaches as a result of black mold. However, mold growth can occur rapidly in an unattended household and can surely become an indirect cause or risk factor for some of the most disturbing illnesses and hypersensitivity issues.

Therefore, homeowners must remove it from their property to preserve the health of their families. Learn more about home mold remediation and inspection in the sections below.

Health Signs That Require an Immediate Home Mold Inspection and Testing

Take a look at the signs that you may notice in your health or the health of your family after coming in contact with black mold or any other type of mild.

  • Postnasal drip
  • Wheezing
  • Sore throats
  • Itchy eyes
  • Dry skin
  • Sneezing
  • Coughing
  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest tightness

While these aren’t absolute indicators of black mold inside the house, the fungus is capable of triggering such health responses.

Therefore, be sure to check for mold yourself or call for a professional home inspection, mold testing, or other such services.

Mold inspection vs. Mold Testing - Know the Difference

When a mold inspection takes place, a professional home mold inspector will guide the process. They will conduct different forms of inspections around the house, and visual inspection will be the most effective. If mold is present in your home, the home inspector will help with mold sample collection to lead the mold testing process.

The mold testing process takes place in a laboratory where experts determine the type of mold growing in your home using the samples. This will help them assume the concentration of molds spores that could be moving around the house at present.

Mold inspectors will make sure that the mold samples go through testing under controlled conditions for accurate results. Also, both mold inspection and testing costs are different.

Although mold inspection is a highly vital and basic part of the mold removal process, mold testing is an immediate follow-up process. It helps the homeowner opt for a suitable model removal method. Here’s more about mold testing:

  • A mold test based on a household sample will contain mold spores from outdoors since they are highly prevalent in the atmosphere outside of the house. Though, outdoor mold spore concentration is harmless to most people.
  • Currently, there are no set criteria or guidelines as to how much mold spore concentration is below average or above as per the EPA.
  • The results of home mold testing inside a home versus in a scientific environment will be different. This will be because of the change in environment, methods, and skills.

What is a Mold Inspection?

You should know that a mold inspector will talk about water damage and mold inspection in correlation because water leakage and similar problems are often the cause of mold infestation in households. Mold (fungus) requires water content or moisture (high humidity) to grow, combined with a lack of sun exposure; mold growth could reach rapid speeds.

Water damage around the house will promote mold growth, so it’s better to call in a home inspector for the inspection process. With the help of mold test kits, mold inspectors collect a variety of samples for mold testing.

The types of samples include:

  • Air sample
  • Swab sample
  • Bulk sample
  • Surface sample

Signs That You May Need a Mold Inspection

At any point in time when you become unsure about the presence of mold in your home, hiring a professional might help. Although you’ll bear mold inspection prices, a professional will utilize their extensive experience and provide the best suggestions and remediation tips.

You may need to get a professional home inspection if these signs persist despite trying the above-mentioned tips to prevent black mold.

  • Non-clarity about mold spore concentration in the house before buying or selling it as a real estate dealer
  • No visible signs but a constant musty smell
  • Visible signs of mold as greenish-black spores or spots on walls, corners, or ceiling (black mold)
  • Mold-specific allergic symptoms, such as sore throats, headaches, runny nose, etc
  • Extensive water damage issues like leakage, seepage, and broken water lines around the house
  • Degrading walls or ceiling portions with extremely damp and soft spots
  • Comparative changes in air quality

Who to Call For Mold Inspection

There are various home mold inspection contractors you can hire to get rid of a black mold infestation in your house. However, your particular goal is to first learn whether or not what you have in your house is mold. Following that, you should opt for mold inspectors with experience in dealing with different types of residential spaces and molds. Mold inspection and testing costs can vary significantly, depending on how well-resourced and preferred your chosen mold services provider is.

You can get the best mold inspection and testing services around your neighborhood first. This is because mold inspectors who are aware of the locality, water conditions, weather, sunlight duration, and more are well-versed in dealing with different types of mold.

How to Get a Mold Inspection?

The best way to get a mold inspection is to contact the health department and/or labor department to connect you with a mold inspection specialist company.

You have to make sure that hired professionals come from a licensed and authorized company. Otherwise, it could become a legal issue, especially when you’re planning to deal the real estate in the local market.

What Happens During a Mold Inspection?

Home mold inspectors will check for different types of signs and symptoms that persist due to mold infestation inside the house. They may inquire about water damage, recent repairs, structural problems, physical damage, and other things to make sure that all factors point towards a possible mold infestation.

In contrast, mold testing will take place inside a scientific laboratory where experts will use precise equipment and more than a testing kit to detect the type of mold and concentration of mold spores.

For a leaky roof or broken water pipeline, the mold inspectors will ask questions and inquire in detail. They must get to the nooks and crannies of the house to ensure the presence of mold and what caused it.

Mold Inspection Equipment That Home Inspectors Use

Here’s what a typical inspection and testing kit of mold inspectors include:

  • Humidity reader
  • Thermometer
  • Moisture meter (for hard to examine places)
  • Flashlight
  • Thermograph camera
  • Normal camera

How Much Does a Mold Inspection Cost?

The standard home mold inspection and testing costs are around $200-$500 on average.

You should know that the cost range is for average-sized houses that are anywhere below 4,000 square feet. Besides, if the house is larger, you must already know that the inspection and testing cost will be higher than average, as much as $1,000 in some cases!

Furthermore, sampling and any additional tests or samples will add to the total home mold inspection cost. You should check out mold inspection packages with the professionals you’re hiring.

What to Do After the Mold Inspection in Your Home

Once home mold inspection finishes, the mold inspectors’ team will offer a recovery plan to make your home comfortable again. You can go for a mold remediation plan that you think falls within your budget and offers the required level of services.

Don’t forget to check your home insurance and whether it covers the home mold inspection costs. As far as EPA is concerned, the authority suggests that hiring the most professionally-educated, experienced, and compassionate contractors is best.

Texas Real Estate Commission Consumer Protection Notice
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