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what happens if mold is found during home inspection

What Happens if Mold is Found During Home Inspection?

Table of Contents

What is Mold and Why is it a Problem in Homes?

Mold is a type of fungus that thrives in damp, humid environments. It reproduces by releasing tiny spores that float through the air. When these spores land on moist surfaces, they can grow and spread quickly. In other words, mold can be a serious problem in homes because it can cause structural damage to building materials like wood and drywall.

Responsibilities of Home Inspectors:

Home inspectors fulfill a critical role by conducting comprehensive evaluations of properties. Their primary focus is to only assess the overall condition and safety of a home’s structure and systems.This involves meticulously inspecting:

  • Foundation, walls, roof, and attic for any signs of damage, including cracks or structural issues.
  • Plumbing system to check for leaks, water pressure, and proper drainage.
  • Electrical system to ensure it meets safety standards, including outlets, wiring, and the electrical panel.
  • HVAC systems to confirm efficient and safe operation.

What To Do If a Home Inspector Finds Mold During an Inspection?

You may be wondering what to do if a home inspector finds mold in your home but home inspectors and mold specialists are different. Mold inspection and testing are not included in their standard scope of work, so whenever a home inspector finds mold during an inspection, they usually advise the home and property owner to get a mold specialist involve. Below are several reasons they would advise to get a mold inspector:

Licensing and Scope of Practice:

These inspectors may not be licensed or trained specifically for home mold inspection. Their training and certification focus on broader aspects of home inspection rather than specialized mold detection.

In Texas usually,home inspectors are licensed by the Texas Real Estate Commission (TREC)and to obtain a license, they must complete specific training and meet certification requirements that focus on various aspects of home inspection, such as structural integrity, HVAC systems, plumbing, and electrical systems. This training equips them with a broad understanding of residential properties.

On the other hand, mold inspectors in Texas are typically licensed by the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation (TDLR). To become licensed, mold inspectors must undergo specialized training that focuses specifically on mold detection, sampling methods, mold species identification, moisture assessment, and remediation protocols. 

Expertise and Specialization:

Even if a home inspector holds a mold home inspection license, it’s usually not their daily practice. Conducting a mold home inspection demands specific expertise, specialized equipment, and techniques distinct from those used in general home inspections. Some basic equipments are: 

  • Moisture Meters: These devices measure the moisture content in building materials such as wood, drywall, and concrete. Excessive moisture levels can indicate potential mold growth areas.
  • Thermal Imaging Cameras: Also known as infrared cameras, these tools detect temperature variations in building materials. They can reveal hidden moisture sources behind walls or ceilings, which are conducive to mold growth.
  • Borescopes: These small, flexible cameras can be inserted into tight spaces to inspect areas not easily accessible. Mold inspectors use borescopes to examine wall cavities, ducts, and other confined areas for signs of mold.
 

Liability Concerns:

Home inspectors may be hesitant to officially identify or document mold issues because it can lead to legal implications. If they make a mistake in their assessment or miss something, it could potentially lead to disputes or liabilities.

While home inspectors play a crucial role in evaluating a home’s overall condition, including identifying potential signs of mold, they are not typically trained or equipped to perform comprehensive mold inspection and testing. Homebuyers or homeowners concerned about mold should consult with a qualified mold specialist to ensure thorough assessment and appropriate remediation measures if needed. This approach helps to address mold issues effectively and ensures the home remains safe and habitable.

The Mold Inspection & Testing Process

Given that standard home inspections do not do mold assessments, it’s essential to seek specialized help if mold is suspected. There are crucial basic steps that Reagan Environmental takes during mold inspection:

Initial Assessment

  • Visual Inspection: The inspector conducts a comprehensive visual examination of the property to detect visible signs of mold growth, such as discoloration, stains, or musty odors.
  • Moisture Assessment: Utilizing moisture meters and thermal imaging cameras, the inspector identifies areas with elevated moisture levels that could indicate potential mold growth.

Sampling Strategy

  • Air Sampling: Air samples are collected from various indoor locations to assess mold spore levels. Outdoor samples serve as a baseline for comparison.
  • Surface Sampling: Samples are taken from suspected mold growth areas using methods like swabs or tape lifts to identify mold presence and species.

Detailed Investigation

  • Use of Equipment: Inspectors use specialized tools such as borescopes to inspect inaccessible areas like wall cavities, crawl spaces, and HVAC systems where mold may be concealed.
  • Documentation: Throughout the inspection process, detailed notes, photographs, and measurements are recorded to document findings accurately.

Laboratory Analysis

  • Sample Analysis: Samples collected during the inspection undergo analysis at certified laboratories to determine mold types and quantify their concentrations.

Reporting and Recommendations

  • Findings Report: Based on inspection findings and laboratory results, a detailed report is prepared outlining the extent of mold presence, affected areas, and recommended remediation actions.
  • Remediation Guidance: Recommendations include effective strategies for mold remediation and preventive measures to mitigate moisture and prevent future mold growth.

Are There Steps That Homeowners Can Take to Prevent Mold?

It can be both hassle and costly, but there’s no need to worry. You can take several proactive steps to prevent mold growth in your home, such as:

  • Control Humidity Levels: Keep indoor humidity levels below 60% by using dehumidifiers and air conditioners.
  • Improve Ventilation: Ensure proper ventilation in areas prone to moisture, such as bathrooms, kitchens, and basements. Use exhaust fans and open windows when possible.
  • Fix Leaks Promptly: Repair any leaks in roofs, walls, or plumbing to prevent water accumulation.
  • Clean and Dry Wet Areas: Clean and dry any areas that become wet or damp within 24-48 hours to prevent mold growth.
  • Use Mold-Resistant Products: When building or renovating, consider using mold-resistant drywall, paint, and insulation.
  • Monitor Indoor Air Quality: Regularly check for signs of mold, such as musty odors or visible mold growth, and address any issues promptly.

Get Mold Inspections in Houston, TX

Given the weather in Texas, regular mold inspections are essential for homeowners. These inspections help identify and address potential mold issues before they escalate into larger problems. Moving out to a new house can be a challenging aspect, especially if there’s a suspicion of mold. 

That’s why if there’s suspicion of mold, it’s crucial to take proactive steps by contacting mold experts like Reagan Environmental. They specialize in professional mold assessment and testing services, serving clients as mold experts in Austin and even in Houston. Reagan Environmental is your trusted partner for comprehensive mold inspection needs. Schedule your mold inspection today by visiting Reagan Environmental’s website. 

FAQs

Do home inspectors check for mold?

Home inspectors may check for mold as part of a general inspection, but their focus is primarily on the overall condition and safety of the home. They may identify visible mold or moisture issues that warrant further inspection by a specialized home mold inspector.

What does a home mold inspector do?

They specialize in inspecting a home for mold and perform a thorough evaluation focused on identifying and assessing mold growth within residential properties. This professional utilizes specialized tools and techniques to detect mold presence, examines areas susceptible to moisture buildup or water damage, and provides detailed reports outlining the extent of contamination and recommendations for effective mold remediation strategies. 

Get peace of mind knowing your space is mold free.
Schedule your mold inspection today!
Get peace of mind knowing your space is mold free.

Helpful Articles

When you book an inspection with Reagan Environmental, you’re not just putting your trust in our service; you’re reclaiming peace of mind.

Our highly trained and experienced team of mold experts will conduct a detailed inspection of your property, identifying any potential environmental risks that may be lurking beneath the surface.

Whether it’s mold, lead, asbestos, or any other environmental concerns, Reagan’s got you covered.

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