Buying a new home is a really exciting prospect, whether it’s your first home, or your fifth, that feeling of having the keys to something that belongs to you and will house your family and your future is a thoroughly exciting proposition. Unfortunately, with buying a new home comes all of the hassle of mortgage payments, moving and safety inspections by whatever pertinent housing authority, and then you are left to conduct your own inspections — among these inspections should be one for mold and mildew. In fact, you should do this before you put pen to paper and acquire the keys to a new home, as it is critical for your safety that these inspections take place.
What to look for
Mold and mildew need one critical element to begin their growth process: moisture. Before you purchase a home, you should ensure that anywhere that moisture can accumulate (which could be pretty much anywhere) has been inspected by a licensed professional for mold and mildew growth.
If you’re buying a house from a private individual, then they should be able to provide you with the necessary inspection certificates and reports from previous mold inspections. If not, then it is a good idea to ensure that an inspection is conducted thoroughly before you purchase the property. In fact, you should make it a stipulation; after all, unchecked mold growth poses a significant health risk to yourself and others.
If you’re buying a property from a real estate agent, they too should have mold inspection certificates and reports for you to look at and examine. Failure to produce such reports should lead to you asking for an inspection before any purchases are made.
Keeping mold out
Guided tours of houses should be provided by both private individuals and/or real estate agents, this will allow you to perform visual inspections of the property — be sure to, if the owners are comfortable with it — check in every nook and cranny where mold may have taken root. Bear in mind the conditions under which mold grows best, and begin your searches in those places.
If the house you’re looking at purchasing is an older building, that’s even more reason to demand a mold inspection, as older buildings are typically built with wood — which is much more susceptible to things like mold and mildew growth, as it doesn’t allow air passage as easily, and because of its age, decays over time. It also retains moisture for much longer than other building materials, some of the newer materials don’t retain moisture at all. So, bear that in mind when you’re viewing an older property that was built using predominantly wood.
Thorough mold inspections should be carried out by properly licensed individuals with verifiable certifications and proof provided at your request. If great quantities of mold are found, they will likely conduct the removal in a few steps: inspection, testing, remediation and then make preventative suggestions to you, the new homeowner, as to how you can prevent mold growth in the future. It may entail suggestions such as investing in construction of your new home, if you’re dealing with an older property with outdated building materials that have succumb to prolonged moisture and become mold-hotspots. It may simply entail regular checks on certain areas of the home.
Whatever their suggestions, you should always take them seriously and always ensure that your prospective new home is thoroughly inspected prior to purchase.