Mold spores are everywhere from in the air we breath to the food we eat. Natural moisture in and out of your home can lead to damaging wood rot and decay leading to structural damage. Hire an inspector that can identify and test mold to see if your house is at risk for costly repairs.
When Should I Get a Mold Test?
This is a common question that has a pretty simple answer. If you see mold, just remove it! The mold test is only going to confirm that mold is there and determine the type. There is no sense paying us for a mold test and then paying a contractor to remove it. Once you’ve seen it, knowing what type can be pointless if it’s severe, since it all has to be removed. However, if it’s minor, the mold test can let you as the homeowner know if it is a job worth tackling yourself or will require a professional. Toxic or not, it is still an allergen, a health concern and damaging. If this is the case, you will benefit from a moisture intrusion inspection to determine the cause of the mold and ensure it doesn’t come back.
However, when you need to get a mold test is a slightly more complicated answer:
- If you smell mold, you have it but a test should be performed to see what kind and where it’s coming from. This is to see if it’s abnormal or if the basement just needs a dehumidifier.
- Water damage to the interior, either through a roof leak or plumbing accident, get it tested. Your insurance may even pay for it!
- After mold remediation work has been performed, we need to make sure everything has been removed and nothing is left hiding.
- When health issues arise. Does your son or daughter have a mold allergy and they are suddenly having reactions? What about your stuffy nose that won’t clear up? Chronic sinus infections? Does your spouse have watery eyes that are always red? See a doctor about health concerns and call us to identify if it’s from your home.
- With your home inspection before you purchase. Nothing could be scarier then purchasing a house only to find that it has $10,000 worth of mold remediation work needed. Stay safe and get it tested before closing/escrow.
- Tenant disputes. Your landlord says “thats not mold.” Get it tested and take the fight to them!
- Lots of substances look like mold that aren’t; efflorescence on masonry, dirt and grime, even blown-in insulation can stick to areas and look like mold. Don’t take the chance with your health, just get it tested.
- Air quality testing of your environment. When you have sick, elderly or young at the house, it’s always safest to get a test done to make sure their compromised immune systems aren’t exposed to something that could be dangerous.
If any of these situations is the case with you, then you need a mold test at your home.
How Much is a Mold Test?
Mold tests can vary slightly in price but the basic fundamentals for pricing are below:
- $115 per sample with 3 or less samples and a minimum of 2 samples. 1 sample is not allowed because it rarely does any good.
- The 4th test and any subsequent test are $75 each.
- Performed at the same time during a home inspection, the mold test will be $75 per test.
- A moisture intrusion test is performed along with your mold test.
Can’t I Just Buy a Mold Test Kit?
The short the answer here is definitely NO! Home mold tests are extremely disadvantageous and potentially dangerous:
- Home tests are misleading and simply wrong! A professional inspector can interpret the testing data and ensure the most accurate test is performed. Ask yourself if you know what kind of samples to collect? What method do you need to collect them with? How much mold should be in the air samples taken? These questions need an inspector that has studied mold testing; paying $100 for a lab test without knowing how to collect a sample or interpret the results is negligent at best and potentially dangerous.
- Does the hardware store test kit come with an inspector trained in moisture intrusion, building science and mold remediation? Ours does! Knowing where to look for more mold is every bit as important as collecting the mold you’ve seen.
- You may not see it or even smell it, identifying and removing the mold is only half the battle, we will find the source of the mold so it doesn’t come back.
- Every home has some mold! Your mold test will come back positive and you may be paying for repairs you don’t need.
Mold tests aren’t cheap! Lab fees alone are a turn-off to a lot of people. However, the benefit you will gain is worth every penny; early warning can save tens of thousands on structural damage and health issues.