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Mold Inspection & Air Testing In Maryland

What Buyers Should Know About Mold Inspection When Choosing a House

Black Mold On WallIf you saw any of the horrifying news photos after 2012’s Superstorm Sandy or Hurricane Katrina in 2005, you probably noticed how quickly mold started growing in damaged homes. Fortunately, those types of mold problems are rare, but some houses have mold problems that are not readily apparent. Mold may be hidden under carpet, behind baseboards, or even underneath paint. But mold spores can be identified by trained professionals, even if the visible evidence of mold is absent. Extensive mold problems can make homes dangerous or even uninhabitable, so it is important that mold inspection is a part of the home inspection process.

How Mold Gets Into Homes

The basis for mold infestation is moisture where it doesn’t belong. When water gets into a home through a pipe leak, a hole in the roof, or a cracked foundation, mold can quickly become established and spread. Mold from a drippy shower head can be easily remedied, but mold from a cracked foundation requires special procedures. As long as mold has a supply of moisture, it will continue to thrive, causing mold spores to be released into the air and settle on other surfaces. If there’s enough moisture there, mold will spread further.

Locating Hidden Mold Problems

Mold inspection by a licensed mold inspector is critical to finding hidden mold in a structure. Some dishonest sellers try to hide mold with spackling or paint, or they may put up new sheetrock over moldy framing. However, mold spores cannot hide from the detection devices mold inspectors use, since microscopic mold spores make it into the air even in the absence of visible mold. Mold inspection performed by a licensed professional considers likely sources for mold and evidence that may not be apparent to the untrained eye. Inspectors can also look at things like construction permits indicating the type of construction activities that may be used to cover up mold problems.

The Dangers of Mold

Some types of mold are more unsightly than dangerous. However, certain types of mold are toxic and can cause respiratory problems. Mold toxicity causes a variety of symptoms, some of which people may never associate with mold, like muscle aches. Many types of mold aggravate allergies and asthma, so if you experience allergy or asthma symptoms when you visit a property you’re considering buying, make sure that mold inspection is done, either by a home inspector licensed to test for mold, or a separate specialist. Mold inspection is a smart investment, particularly considering the medical costs that can result from illnesses caused by mold.

Getting Rid of Mold Problems

Various mold abatement processes are used to remove dangerous mold from homes and make them habitable. There are a few circumstances when mold abatement isn’t enough. For example, if black mold is found in a home’s framing (often caused by flood damage), it can’t be removed. The only solution is to remove the moldy structural members and replace them. The cost for these repairs can be quite high if damage is extensive. At MD Mold Testing, we offer home inspections as well as licensed mold testing throughout the Maryland, DC, northern Virginia, and Delaware region.