Top 4 Mold Testing Facts For Home Buyers (Mold Real Estate Guide)
When buying a new home in Kansas City there are lots to consider, including whether or not to purchase a mold test from your trusted Kansas City home inspector, which is why we are here to provide mold testing facts. Mold tests and inspections are different than standard home inspections, and the cost can vary based on how detailed of a report the mold test will render. In this article, we will be answering the 4 most important mold testing facts for home buyers, as well as how to schedule a mold test for your next purchase.
What Is Mold?
Mold is a fungus, and like other related fungi, mold thrives in moist environments. Mold spreads through the process of emitting spores, which are microscopic particles often as small as a single cell. Spores float through the air until they land on a surface, where, if conditions are right, they can grow and negatively affect the living conditions of a home. It’s important to know that mold spores exist everywhere, both inside and outside your home, so it’s our job as homeowners to keep the inside of our homes a low moisture environment to keep these mold spores from growing.
Mold spores only form mold when they land on a moist surface. If you keep your home dry, you will be able to avoid having any issues with mold. Mold spores cannot grow into a mold in a dry environment. Some of the best ways to prevent mold growth in your home are to clean up any spills, repair leaks in your roof, plumbing, or HVAC system, and make sure your kitchen and bathrooms are properly venting moisture out of your home.
What are the two most important reasons to avoid mold growth in your home? Firstly, mold damages the surface it grows on, and secondly, it can aggravate allergies and asthma for the residents of the home.
When To Test For Mold?
One advantage mold has over other invasive home dangers, like radon gas, is that mold is visible. Seeing mold in cracks and corners throughout your house means that your home is a healthy environment for mold spores to attach and grow, meaning there are most likely other areas of mold growth you can’t see, like inside ductwork or in-between your walls.
- Water Damage: If the basement of your home has flooded, the roof has leaked, or pipes have broken in the past, you need to schedule a mold test.
- Purchasing A New Home: When studying the seller’s disclosure when buying a home in Kansas City, make sure to look out for basement floods, roof leaks, broken pipes, or other moisture-based incidents the house went through in the past. Even if properly repaired, mold spores could have easily surfaced due to these past events, so it’s a good time to schedule a mold test during your standard home inspection.
- After A House Has Been Occupied: If the house you’re interested in purchasing has been unoccupied or closed up for months or years, we would highly encourage you to schedule a mold test. Due to any moisture remaining stagnant in the home, it would be very likely that mold spores could surface.
- You See Mold: As we said before if you see mold, it’s time to test for mold. Visually seeing mold is the perfect indicator for whether or not your home could have a larger mold problem. It’s likely and common for mold spores to travel throughout the home and continue to grow, especially if the home is a moisture-filled, healthy environment for mold spores.
Mold Inspection vs. Mold Testing
When researching mold, you’ll see the terms “mold inspection” and “mold test” used frequently. Although it might seem they are used interchangeably, they mean very different things. This is one of the most important mold testing facts to understand, so you know exactly what kind of mold report you’ll be receiving.
Mold Inspection: A mold inspection essentially means a certified home inspector is searching your home for signs of mold growth, identifying mold growth, and defining the size of the mold problem.
Mold Testing: Mold testing in Kansas City attempts to identify what specific type of mold is in the home, and how many mold spores are in the air. Mold testing is scientific. Our certified home inspectors capture samples of air outside your home, and at various locations inside your home, and then send them off for detailed lab analysis.
Something important to keep in mind is that the EPA has no set guidelines for an acceptable amount of mold or mold spores in a home that is considered safe. As stated, mold spores exist everywhere, but whether or not they grow in a moisture-filled environment and negatively affect the residents is determined by the environment of the home, as well as how sensitive the residents are to mold. Learn more about mold from the EPA today.
How To Prevent Mold Growth
Preventing mold growth in your home is an important part of homeowner maintenance, and is much easier than mold removal and mitigation. The best solution for mold growth is to prevent it from happening. Here are some helpful tips to prevent mold growth in your Kansas City home.
- Clean leaks promptly. Whether it’s a small leak from a cup of water spilled, or a major leak from a burst pipe, removing the moisture from your home as quickly as possible is vital when preventing mold growth.
- Repair leaks promptly. Whether it’s a home’s roof, plumbing, or HVAC system, repairing any leaks is important when preventing mold growth. Always inspect these major systems of your home to make sure they are operating properly, and not introducing moisture into your home.
- Control your home’s humidity. Humid air can often provide enough moisture mold spores need to surface and grow, so controlling the levels of humidity in your home is important. The best ways to do this are to keep your air conditioner optimized and working efficiently, installing a dehumidifier in your basement, and finally use the vents in your kitchen and bathrooms.
Mold is a serious problem and can lead to an unhealthy living environment for many Kansas City residents. The good news is, scheduling a mold test from your certified home inspector is easy. Here at Metro Property Inspection, we provide more than just mold testing facts, our mold tests cost $250, which will provide your household with everything you need to understand your mold levels and how to best remove the mold from your home. Schedule a mold test from Metro Property Inspection today by visiting us here, or calling 913-390-9001.