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My husband and I are buying a house, we have the home inspector coming in Monday. The inspector will do a visual mold check, but our realtor suggests we have a mold-only inspector come in to do testing. As far as we know, there have been no mold problems.
Is this normal? Do we really need the mold inspection done? Any advice would be appreciated.
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It depends on your area. In some more temperate climates (chicago is NOT one of them) like Miami, mold is a common problem and a mold-inspection may be more common.
IMHO Mold is such a serious issue that it's worth every dollar for the inspection. Good on your realtor for suggesting it.
It depends on if you are concerned about it. If it was me, I would wait and see what the home inspector says - unless there were any water issues that were disclosed. If he/she says further investigation needed or something like that, then I would.
I'm in Chester County, PA.
We're on the fence but if you know of any reliable mold inspectors in the Philadlephia area, please let us know. Thanks.
You're in South Jersey? I'm in CT and it does cause problems in our area.
I bow to Marci and ELV!S' greater knowledge....they know their stuff :*)
Mold is no longer the "hot-button" issue it used to be... most homes have some form of mold in them, typical innocuous house-hold molds. It's rare that they're truly dangerous or a health hazard. But some areas have more of a problem than others. (ie: coastal area and areas that are traditionally humid).
Here in the Chicagoland area, we're not seeing many mold inspections unless the first house inspector identifies a "concern" or if the buyer is highly allergic.
Buyers and sellers do go back and forth over the presence of mold in the house. For someone, like myself, who has a severe allergy to mold, living in a house with mold can be a nightmare. To be on the safe side, a smart homeseller should put a disclaimer specifying the mold in the purchase contract and recommend that the homebuyer hire a certified home inspector. The homeseller is smart if any problems arise if you are affected by the mold.
Great information on mold inspection. Thanks!
In terms of cost, it's generally around $100 per sample. Several samples are taken dependent upon the area of concern. If any damage is created by the inspector (invasive samples taken behind drywall, etc) it would be repaired at your cost.
Some Home Inspectors are mold certfied and will provide testing if required. Average fee should be $100-125 per sample. You will need a minimum of two air sampling tests, maybe 3 or 4. If mold is visually identified, a swab test may also be required.
Both the CDC and the EPA recommned that in most cases homeonwers NOT perform routine mold testing as it provided no useful information, for example:
“Generally, it is not necessary to identify the species of mold growing in a residence, and CDC does not recommend routine sampling for molds. Current evidence indicates that allergies are the type of diseases most often associated with molds. Since the susceptibility of individuals can vary greatly either because of the amount or type of mold, sampling and culturing are not reliable in determining your health risk.”
"The results of samples taken in your unique situation cannot be interpreted without physical inspection of the contaminated area or without considering the building’s characteristics and the factors that led to the present condition.”
Part II - Zillow only allows short posts:
“For the majority of persons, undisturbed mold is not a substantial health hazard”
According to the CDC and the EPA, if there is visible mold it should be removed, but unless you are immunocompromised, allergic, or in of the other elevated risk categories outlined in the links above, it it not a substantial health hazard in most circumstances.
It is important to understand that where you a have a mild problem it is always secondary to a water problem, and unless the underlying problem is identified and corrected, the "mold" problem will likely to continue - IMO for the majority of homeowners "mold" is probably most important as a "red flag" that a water problem is likely causing significant damage to building materials and interior contents.
Thanks everyone for all the resources, very helpful.
Our inspector is going to do the visual check, if he finds anything then we'll get the tests done. Fingers crossed the inspection goes well, it's this morning.
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