Q: How do I choose a Home Inspector?
A: Call up and ask about their credentials and experience. If for some reason you don't feel comfortable asking this of the inspector when speaking with them on the phone then how will you feel asking questions at the inspection. You must feel that the inspector is qualified, experienced and attentive of your needs. More
in PDF form
in PDF form
Acrobat Reader is Required to view PDF files, download it free
Copyright: Buyers Home Inspection Service, Inc. 1994 Sitemap
Can mold make me and my family sick?
Mold can affect the health of people who are exposed to it. People are mainly exposed to mold by breathing spores or other tiny fragments. People can also be exposed through skin contact with mold contaminants (for example, by touching moldy surfaces) and by swallowing it.
The type and severity of health effects that mold may produce are usually difficult to predict. The risks can vary greatly from one location to another, over time, and from person to person.
symptoms might I see?
The most common health problems caused by indoor mold are allergy symptoms. Although other and more serious problems can occur, people exposed to mold commonly report problems such as:
Are the risks greater for some people?
There is wide variability in how different people are affected by indoor mold. However, the long term presence of indoor mold growth may eventually become unhealthy for anyone. The following types of people may be affected more severely and sooner than others:
Those with special health concerns should consult a medical professional if they feel their health is affected by indoor mold. Are some molds more hazardous than others?
Some types of mold can produce chemical compounds (called mycotoxins) although they do not always do so. Molds that are able to produce toxins are common. In some circumstances, the toxins produced by indoor mold may cause health problems. However, all indoor mold growth is potentially harmful and should be removed promptly, no matter what types of mold is present or whether it can produce toxins.
How do I tell if I have a mold problem?
Investigate, don't test. The most practical way to find a mold problem is by using your eyes to look for mold growth and by using your nose to locate the source of a suspicious odor. If you see mold or if there is an earthy or musty smell, you should assume a mold problem exists. Other clues are signs of excess moisture or the worsening of allergy-like symptoms.
Should I test for mold?
We do not recommend testing for mold yourself. Instead, you should simply assume there is a problem whenever you see mold or smell mold odors. Testing should never take the place of visual inspection and it should never use up resources that are needed to correct moisture problems and remove all visible growth.
Sometimes, mold growth is hidden and difficult to locate. In such cases, a combination of air (outdoor and indoor air samples) and bulk (material) samples may help determine the extent of contamination and where cleaning is needed. However, mold testing is rarely useful for trying to answer questions about health concerns.
Mold Clean-up and Removal
To clean up and remove indoor mold growth, follow steps 1-6 as they apply to your home.
To keep indoor surfaces as dry as possible, try to maintain the home's relative humidity between 20-40 percent in the winter and less than 60 percent the rest of the year. You can purchase devices to measure relative humidity at some home supply stores. Ventilation, air circulation near cold surfaces, dehumidification, and efforts to minimize the production of moisture in the home are all very important in controlling high humidity that frequently causes mold growth in our cold climate.
Always handle bleach with caution. Never mix bleach with ammonia -- toxic chlorine gas may result. Bleach can irritate the eyes, nose, throat, and skin. Provide fresh air (for example, open a window or door). Protect skin and eyes from contact with bleach. Test solution on a small area before treatment, since bleach is very corrosive and may damage some materials.
When can we rebuild?
Rebuilding and refurnishing must wait until all affected materials have dried completely. Be patient it takes time to dry out wet building materials.
Copyright: Buyers Home Inspection Service, Inc. 1994
Buyers Home Inspection Service, Inc. does not claim to be a specialist in mold or fungal identification. Nor do we engage in any form of mold or fungal testing, remediation or clean up. Remediation specialists are recommended if certain types or significant amounts of mold are present, particularly if the client or occupants have severe allergy problems or compromised immune systems. Mold requires moisture and an organic food source to survive. During the home inspection we attempt to identify the source and level of moisture activity that may be causing fungal growth, with the hopes that repairing the moisture problem will prevent future mold issues.
More info on mold at:
What is Mold?
Molds are fungi. Molds grow throughout the natural and built environment. Tiny particles of mold are present in indoor and outdoor air. In nature, molds help breakdown dead materials and can be found growing on soil, foods, plant matter, andother items. Molds produce microscopic cells called "spores" which are very tinyand spread easily through the air. Live spores act like seeds, forming new mold growths (colonies) when they find the right conditions.
What does mold need to grow?
Mold only needs a few simple things to grow and multiply:
· Suitable place to grow
Of these, controlling excess moisture is the key to preventing and stopping indoor mold growth.
Should I be concerned about mold in my home? Mold should not be permitted to
grow and multiply indoors. When this happens, health problems can occur and
building materials, goods and furnishings may be damaged.