Is there Mold in my home?

Oct 26, 2022 | Common Home Inspection Findings, Home Buyers, Safety Hazards

There are over 100,000 types of mold and they can be found in all environments. There are things a homeowner can do to reduce the potential buildup of mold.

How do I know if there is mold in my home?

This is one of the most common questions we hear during a home inspection.  Mold is definitely something to be concerned about. Most buyers are concerned about the potential health effects and different types of allergic reactions. There are also concerns for the health of the house itself.  Mold can cause stains, damage drywall, rot wood ,and cause structural damage to your home.

The biggest cause of mold growth is moisture and homeowners should aim to keep the house dry.  If there are water leaks  fix the leak and dry the area immediately. The HVAC system can be another source of unwanted moisture if not performing correctly, which is why we recommend having the system serviced annually. Also, examine how surface water drains around the house and make sure water flows away from or around the house to avoid moisture buildup under and in the crawlspace.

How can Nest Egg help?

Most importantly, we can perform a thorough home inspection and help identify areas of the house that are potential sources of moisture. We use an infrared scanner and a moisture meter to help us inspect for plumbing leaks and points of moisture intrusion. We also use a drone to assist in finding any roof damage and improper gutter installation.  

Identifying mold is a scientific process. We use the term “organic growth,” not mold, when referring to visual findings in our reports since we cannot confirm the type of fungi (mold is one type of fungi) without a scientific test. Specific organic growth identification, at an inspection, is beyond the scope of a normal home inspection, but our inspectors can perform site tests to capture a sample of the growth and send it to lab to determine the type of growth present. Nest Egg inspectors can perform surface sampling – a process where a sample of the observed growth is taken and sent for analysis.  Since many molds are airborne, our inspectors can also perform air sampling – a process where a sample of the air inside a house is captured then sent for analysis. The lab compares it with an air sample taken from outside the house as a control sample to determine what mold is exclusive to the home. 

What are some types of mold you typically find?

While your report may identify many different types of mold, the most common molds found in homes are Penicillium, Aspergillus, and Cladosporium.  Penicillium and Aspergillus are virtually identical under microscopic inspection.  Penicillium is an airborne mold that is present most often in house dust.  It is also found in moisture damaged drywall and other materials.  Aspergillus and Cladosporium are found in damp (high humidity) areas, such as basements,  crawl spaces, bathrooms and A/C systems. 

If you see evidence of organic growth or suspect mold in your home, contact Nest Egg to perform a home inspection and sample the growth. Your inspector can also help you determine the best route to take in remediation.