Mold. It’s a word that does not bring to mind good things. Maybe if you like blue cheese…but even that’s a stretch.
When we talk about mold in the home it can be a legitimate concern. So the question is: to test for mold or not test for mold? Some say that you can’t put a price on peace of mind. We say: if you have breathing or health related issues, checking the quality of the air in your future home is worth every penny.
We recommend mold testing if moisture intrusion has been an issue at the property you’re considering. Musty smells or visual signs of stains that could be mold are other signals that you might want to opt for a mold test. Those who are expecting, or have a new baby, may also want to consider testing for mold.
Elevated mold levels can be a cause for concern regarding the air quality of a home. Air quality concerns in your home mean you literally can’t breathe easy where your rest your head at night. Mold can also be destructive to materials in damp environments, and can grow on fabric, carpeting, walls and grout.
It’s also worth noting that mold spores are literally everywhere, and that’s generally OK. This is exactly why it’s so expensive for NASA to create true “clean rooms.” Every home will have some natural level of mold spores, however as a general rule they should not be 10x greater than the mold levels directly outside the home. Currently, the EPA does not require testing for mold in the home.
Plan Ahead: It Takes Time
The main consideration for air-quality testing regarding mold, is that it takes some time to get results back. This is an important thing to note in relation to how long you have to complete inspections. Most contingency periods are 10 days from when the seller returns the signed seller’s agreement.
We have searched high and low to source the fastest possible turnaround time for samples, from the Nation’s best and most recognized labs. Even with the fastest labs we’ve sourced, mold results can still take 3 business days to receive from the time of sampling.
Elevated Mold Levels: What to Do
Firstly, consider negotiating with the seller. Elevated mold levels generally mean that remediation is needed in the home. While remediation costs can vary, the fact an issue exists gives some leverage to negotiations, as well as providing the information necessary to make an informed decision regarding purchase.
The Take Home
Mold is something we can all do without in our homes. With one simple test, you can realize the dream of feeling at home in your new house, and avoid the nagging feeling that you should have checked one more thing.
Looking to learn more about other home inspection topics? Check out our blogs on https://www.libertyinspectiongroup.com/blog!
By Chris Earley
Chris Earley is the Owner and President of Liberty Inspection Group based in Media, Pennsylvania. Liberty was named one of the Philadelphia 100 in 2017 by the Wharton SBDC, making them one of the fastest growing businesses in the Philadelphia area. Chris’ company is a full-service inspection team providing commercial and residential inspections in Pennsylvania, Delaware and New Jersey.