Mold is a word most buyers don't want to hear. If you are afraid that your future home might be facing mold problems, it's better to be safe than sorry. Long-term mold growth damages both the house's structure and the health of people living in the home.

In this article by Markham Services, we'll see why, when, and how to get a mold inspection when you are buying a house.

Why is mold a big deal?

Mold comes in many shapes and colors, but whatever its appearance, it always spells trouble. Being the buyer means that you’re unfamiliar with all the nooks and crannies of your potential home.

The seller might know about some trouble with the mold, and choose to keep things quiet rather than speak up about the problems. Basements, poorly ventilated areas, tightly sealed spaces, leaking pipes, roofs, and windows are all the usual suspects when it comes to finding places suitable for mold contamination. Structures that are built in flood-prone areas are also candidates for mold growth.

Even if the mold is hidden, it doesn't mean that you shouldn't worry about the consequences. While most people are upset about the ugly damage resulting from mold growth, you should also think about potential health problems.

What are the common health issues?

All residents living in damp or moldy buildings can experience health issues resulting from mold. Mold can affect those already suffering from allergies, asthma, and a compromised immune system.

These people are at a higher risk of acquiring additional health problems when they live in buildings with mold contamination. Some of the typical signs you should look out for include:

  • Cough
  • Constant sneezing at home
  • Nasal congestion
  • Prolonged throat soreness
  • Runny nose
  • Wheezing and chest tightness

Some types of mold produce mycotoxins that have more serious health implications: bleeding, strong respiratory problems, seizures, strange rashes, and unexplained fatigue. There is a wide variety of different molds that can inhabit peoples' houses. Getting rid of mold, in any case, is a step towards a healthier life at home.

How to get the most out of your mold inspection?

Mold is a serious problem that all home buyers should be wary of. One of the best ways to make sure you'll live in a healthy home environment is to order a mold inspection. While a general home inspector is looking for obvious signs of mold and decay, mold inspection is all about discovering hidden sources and types of mold that can inhabit the house.

But there are many things you need to keep in mind before paying for an inspection.

Always check should check the company background, previous clients and work, and other useful information to make sure that you are getting the services a professional. Some mold companies use strong chemicals to remove mold, but sometimes this does not often always address the cause of the mold.

Did you see an advertisement for a free mold inspection? That might not be a good idea. It does sound good, but the people behind these offers may have your best interests in mind.

At best, they will start aggressively pushing their own products and services after the inspection, and, worse, they might give you false information about the house's current state regarding mold growth and damage.

Many companies out there offer two services under one roof: inspection and remediation. Try to steer clear of these companies as they have a big incentive to tell you about problems that don't even exist. This is so that you can contract their services for both. This is not only unethical but also tags their company and disreputable.

Keeping these services separate is a way to protect yourself from potential scams. Even seemingly independent inspectors might have dirty tricks under their sleeves because they're affiliated with a remediation company. Do your research first before hiring them.

Always be present during the inspection. Some inspectors with very questionable ethics might even give your pillows a pounding to release more spores into the air.

Should you get a mold inspection when you're buying a house?

Yes, absolutely! Buying a house with visible or hidden mold problems puts you at a higher risk of health issues and complications. Even if you believe that you have an exceptionally strong immune system, sooner or later, the mold will create visible damage to the property and your health. Book a mold inspection from a reputable company that doesn't provide a fishy "2 in 1" scheme. Look for companies that offer only either of those services.