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Home Buyer Tips: How To Spot Mold

Posted in Tips on November 11th, 2013 by Hunter Adams

There are a few things shoppers should never take a seller’s word for; not necessarily because the seller is dishonest, but because they might not know about the problem.  Such is the case with mold growth, which goes undetected in many American homes. These spores not only spread rapidly, they also cannot be completely eradicated. In other words, they are a permanent, i.e., expensive problem.

The danger

The difficulty with mold is the is often grows out of sight, such as on the backside of drywall and other concealed areas that are in close to leaking pipes. Fueled by moisture, these spores multiply like gremlins and can be quite costly to remediate.  More importantly, mold can produce irritants and allergens that cause serious health problems for the home’s occupants.

Warning signs

When shopping for a home, keep an eye out for the following signs:

  • Water marks and musty odors are the most common signs, since mold and moisture are always linked
  • Dank areas like basements that have experienced flooding or had standings water in the past
  • Listen for leaks or dripping water in the ceilings or walls.

Testing

Home inspectors don’t test for mold, but most will report evidence of water damage, which is the most common cause of mold growth.  As a prospective buyer, you should always ask the inspector if he noticed any indications of mold infestation. If the inspector mentioned that he does suspect mold infestation, always order an immediate mold test. You may have to pay an outside company to do it for you, but believe us, it’s worth it!