A mold inspection is a must when buying a home. Mold inspection is different from other types of inspections. The cost of mold inspection will depend on the size and condition of the house. What is the cost of a mold inspection for a house? How can you determine if mold testing and inspection are worth the cost?
A mold inspection might be required in a variety of situations. Let’s take a look at the different situations where a mold inspection might be necessary, the cost of mold testing, and how much it costs.
What is mold?
Mold is a fungus and thrives in moist areas. Mold spreads through the emission of spores. These microscopic particles are often as small and tiny as one cell. Spores are suspended in the air and land on a surface. Mold spores can be found outside and inside your home. Without a massive industrial cleanroom filter system, it would be nearly impossible to eliminate all mold spores in a house.
Mold spores can only grow on moist surfaces. Mold spores can only grow on moist surfaces, so it is important to keep your home’s interior dry. Mold prevention is as simple as removing any spills and fixing leaks in your roof, plumbing, or HVAC system. Also, make sure that your bathroom and kitchen vent moisture away from your house.
Two main reasons you should clean up any mold growth in your home are: mold can damage the surface where it is growing and mold can aggravate asthma or allergies.
When should you inspect for mold?
Mold is easy to spot. Mold growing in cracks or corners of walls is a sign that it is spreading more spores. Mold can also grow in areas you aren’t able to see like between walls or in your ducts. Mold can also grow in colonies that are so small they escape the eye. These are just a few of the situations that should prompt you to inspect your home for mold issues.
- Water damage. Mold can be found in a basement that has been flooded, roof leaks, or where a pipe broke and sprayed water everywhere. Mold can be found in any area that was wet or not dried quickly (within 24 to 48 hours).
- The purchase of a new house. It is impossible to determine the extent of any water damage that may have occurred in the house you plan to purchase. A mold inspection is the only way to determine if mold is present.
- If a house is unoccupied for a long time, it can cause mold growth. Mold can grow in houses that have been unoccupied for a long time. This is particularly true in areas that have high humidity.
- After mold remediation. Regular mold inspections are an excellent idea after you’ve gone through the difficult and expensive steps of dealing with mold problems.
- There is mold. Mold inspections are necessary to determine if you see any green, white, or black mold growth in your home. You might not find it in one place.
Mold testing vs. mold inspection
You might find mold inspection and testing costs when you search for mold. Mold inspection is a simple way to identify the presence of mold. It also determines the area of concern, often in square footage.
Mold testing is used to determine the type of mold present in your home. Keep these things in mind:
- It is extremely difficult to perform a scientific mold test in a home. Therefore, results can vary widely from one test to the next, regardless of remediation efforts.
- Second, mold spores can drift into indoor spaces from outside. Mold tests will usually reveal a long list, but most likely, they are not growing in your home.
- Third, The EPA has not set any guidelines regarding acceptable levels of mold or mold spores within a house. The Minnesota Department of Health, the New York State Department of Labor and others agree that mold testing can be ineffective. They recommend hiring professionals to inspect for growth colonies. Some mold inspections may include sampling or testing, especially in states that require it.
What happens during a mold inspection
A mold inspection is a visual inspection of a home. A flashlight is all that’s required, along with tools and other equipment needed to reach restricted areas (e.g. to remove grates for HVAC duct inspection). Cameras are sometimes used by mold inspectors. A moisture meter can also be used to determine if an area is wet after remediation.
The mold inspection is a conversation between the inspector and the property owner about areas that have mold growth or have had water damage or moisture problems in the past. The inspector will inspect the house and look for potential mold growth. To get a better view, an inspector might have to remove or damage some drywall. The inspector will attempt to determine the source of mold in the home and work with the homeowner to create a plan for remediation.
Some municipalities require that mold inspectors have a license. Look for contractors with extensive experience in mold inspection and remediation.
The EPA and experts such as Moldman recommend that you do not need a mold inspection if there is mold. The remediation phase can be done immediately. It doesn’t cost anything to have a professional inspect tell you the truth. The contractor will usually determine the extent of the problem. This is called a mold inspection.
What factors affect the cost of a mold inspection
The cost of a mold inspection is affected by two factors: the size of your house and whether the inspector must remove or destroy any parts of the property to complete the inspection.
A large house will cost more to inspect, simply because it has more square footage. Due to the additional time and effort required, an “invasive” inspection that involves digging through drywall or under a crawlspace will cost more.
What is the cost of a mold inspection?
Although the cost of mold inspections can differ from one region to another, it is usually very small. You are likely to find greater variations between contractors in the same area.
A mold inspection will cost you about the same amount as a regular inspection of your home, which is required when you buy a new house. For houses below 4,000 square feet, mold inspections cost $300-$400 on average. The cost of mold inspections for larger homes (above 4,000 sq. ft.) increases to $700 to $900. These costs are only for inspection and do not include testing. You can save money by skipping unnecessary mold testing.
While some contractors who specialize in mold remediation may offer a free mold inspection, others will charge for it. However, they would love to be paid for the actual remediation.
The right mold inspector
You should look for a contractor who has experience in mold remediation and inspections. Ask them how many mold remediations have they done in the past six months. Get estimates from people in your local area. You might find a wide range of prices, so it is worth shopping around to save a few hundred.
To find out if mold inspectors require a certification or special license, check with your state’s labor department. You will want to only work with properly certified contractors if this is the case.
After the inspection
The next step in a mold inspection is to create a remediation plan. The first step is to remove the moisture source that allows mold growth. You can remove all moisture but it will only grow back if you don’t. You can then scrub and wash hard surfaces. Then, soft surfaces such as carpets and foam tiles must be removed and replaced. It is difficult to remove all mold from porous surfaces.
If the mold is in a small amount of area, this can be done by yourself. The EPA recommends that you call a professional if the mold damage is more than 10 square feet. Mold can be hazardous or even unpleasant to work with, especially for people with asthma. It is best to leave larger contaminations to professionals who have the right safety gear and cleaning equipment.
Mold removal can be difficult and costly if it is widespread. Preventing mold from occurring is the best way to solve your problems. Here are some ways to prevent mold from ever happening:
- It is important to repair any leaks immediately. Repair leaks immediately, regardless of whether they are in your roof or in your water pipes.
- Dry everything quickly. Dry everything within 24 to 48 hours if your basement floods. Mold growth requires moisture, so it is important to dry everything quickly.
- Humidity can be controlled. Humidity can cause mold growth on certain surfaces if it is too humid. Install a dehumidifier in your basement, and turn on air conditioning during summer. You should install vents in the bathroom and kitchen. This will help keep the humidity low and moisture under control.
- Mold can be a serious problem. It is possible to save thousands of dollars by catching it early enough so that it doesn’t grow out of control. A mold inspection is well worth a few hundred dollars if you’re looking to buy a house. However, mold testing is not worth the cost. It is important to remove mold from your home as soon as you notice it.