Buying a home often brings both excitement and anxiety, especially for first-time buyers. One of the final stages of the process, the home inspection, goes over every corner of the home looking for potential problems that need repairing. But while most home inspectors do a thorough job, some home issues are all but invisible. Mold exists in nearly all houses, and high enough concentrations of specific types can be dangerous. Before signing the final papers, follow these steps to ensure you aren't buying a mold-infested home.
Making a Visual Inspection
Mold can lurk out of sight, such as beneath floorboards or above a ceiling, but sometimes the signs are obvious. As you walk through a potential home, look for evidence of water damage on the walls or ceiling. Pay close attention to the bathrooms and kitchen where leaks are most likely to occur. You may, for example, notice mold around the edges of a window or bathtub. Whenever you find mold growing in the open, more is likely hiding below the surface.
Running a Mold Test
Even if you can't see signs of mold or water damage, running a mold test can give you peace of mind as you continue the home-buying process. A professional mold removal company will perform quick and comprehensive tests to measure mold levels throughout the home. If those tests come back within a safe range, you can move forward with confidence. If not, however, you'll need to decide whether the house is worth going through extra negotiations and mold removal.
Finding the Source of the Mold
To make this decision, your first step will be to identify where the mold is growing and why. Your mold testing company should be able to tell you the species involved and whether or not it's dangerous to inhale. In some cases, the mold may be easily removed and the leak or humidity problem dealt with without much trouble. At other times, mold reveals deeper issues with the home requiring major renovations.
Negotiating with the Home Sellers
Armed with this knowledge, you can return to the home sellers and start negotiating. You might ask for a lower price to account for future mold removal expenses or for the sellers to deal with the mold themselves before closing. With the right precautions and the help of your local mold testing service, you can buy your new home with the assurance that its air is clean and safe for your family to breathe.
Reach out to a local service, such as Advanced Mold Professionals, to learn more.