When is the right time to call for a mold inspection?

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Many home buyers question whether they need a mold inspection when preparing to purchase a home. In the San Francisco Bay Area, the average price of a home (even in a modest neighborhood), has now surpassed one million dollars. At Bay Area Mold Pros, we have fixed pricing for our mold inspections. Our $395 fee covers our inspection of the home (we are both Licensed General Contractors and Certified Mold Inspectors), the collection of an interior and exterior air sample, lab analysis of the air samples, a full lab report which identifies the mold detected by both mold type and mold amount, and a comprehensive inspection report. Most prospective home buyers believe that this is a small price to pay for such a thorough inspection. If it turns out that no mold growth is present in the home, the piece of mind that comes from this knowledge goes a long way to assuring the home buyers that the home is sound. On the other hand, if mold growth is detected, this informs the home buyers that they should probably factor in the amount of money (in their purchase offer) that will be required to address and rectify the mold issues.

Issues that may warrant a mold inspection

There are numerous issues which might lead a prospective home buyer to seek the services of a professional mold inspection company. They include the following:

  • Sellers have disclosed that there have been prior water leaks in the home.
  • Sellers have disclosed that mold growth has previously been found in the home.
  • Home is situated on a hillside (these homes often have ground water issues, which can lead to mold growth).
  • Sellers disclose that French drains are present on the property (this likely indicates ground water issues, which can lead to mold growth).
  • A sump pump is present in the crawl space (this indicates that ground water issues are present, which can lead to mold growth).
  • Efflorescence is visible in the crawl space on the perimeter foundation (this is an indication of ground water issues, which can lead to mold growth).
  • Water-staining is visible on the plaster or drywall below windows. This indicates prior water intrusions, which lead to mold growth.
  • Water staining is visible in sink cabinets, which indicates prior plumbing leaks, which can lead to mold growth.
  • Water staining is visible on ceiling plaster or drywall, which indicates prior roof leaks, which can lead to mold growth.
  • Humidity is elevated (over fifty percent), which can lead to excessive condensation and mold growth.

If any of these conditions are present, you should strongly consider a professional mold inspection.

Important things to know about mold inspections

  • Ensure that any mold inspector that you hire is certified. Bay Area Mold Pros is a family-owned and operated business, and both Rick and Tyson are Certified Mold Inspectors.
  • Many companies perform both mold inspections and mold remediation. This is a clear conflict of interest. Mold inspections in the San Francisco Bay Area average about $500 to $600, while mold remediation’s can easily cost several thousand dollars. You do not want to entrust your mold inspection to a company which stands to make several thousand dollars if mold is found. At Bay Area Mold Pros, we always explain to prospective clients that we have no dog in this fight. We tell you up-front what we charge, and whether you have no mold, or major mold, our fee remains the same. Rick is certified as a Mold Remediation Contractor, but he refuses to engage in any mold remediation work.
  • Most mold inspection companies are franchise operations, and you have no idea of the level of experience and expertise of the inspector conducting your inspection. At Bay Area Mold Pros, both Rick and Tyson are Licensed General Contractors. They will provide insightful information about any home you are considering purchasing, even for issues not directly related to mold growth.

Is a mold inspection worth paying for?

If you are familiar with residential construction, and you feel confident that you can identify not only mold growth, but the conditions that are conducive to mold growth, then you may opt to forego a professional mold inspection. But if you have any reservations about the home you are about to spend over a million dollars for, then it might be worth it to have a professional mold inspection completed. At Bay Area Mold Pros, we work with prospective home buyers every week, and many have told us that our inspection reports have ended up saving them thousands of dollars on the eventual purchase price. Many have also told us that they opted to not complete a home purchase based on our inspection report. In any case, the cost of a mold inspection is a small price to pay when considering the average price of real estate in the San Francisco Bay Area. If you suspect mold issues in a home that you are considering buying, give us a call at Bay Area Mold Pros, we can provide some insightful information about not only what looks to have already occurred in a home (as regards mold growth), but what is likely to occur in the years to come!

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