Suddenly Have Allergies & Wonder If The House You Just Bought Has A Mold Problem? Here's What To Know
If you've recently bought and moved into a house and suddenly have a bad case of allergies, you may have bought a house with a mold problem. While mold inspections aren't required by law in most states, sellers are required to disclose known defects. Unfortunately, many sellers are under the assumption that they don't have to disclose issues that have been addressed and fixed, including a previous mold problem that had been remediated. Here are a few important things to know if the previous owner of your home did not disclose a mold problem.
Use a Certified Mold Inspection Service
Many realtors recommend that buyers have certified mold inspections done before closing so as to protect the buyers. However, if you didn't have a mold inspection done before you bought the house, you can still have an inspection done now. Since you may discover that the previous owner did not disclose a mold problem, it's crucial that you have a certified mold inspection service do the work for you.
Mold Problems Are Sometimes Hidden
Mold problems aren't always obvious. If you see mold within the home, there is no need to test for mold, according to the EPA. But mold growth isn't always out in the open. Sometimes, mold can grow inside walls, particularly near plumbing leaks, as well as in HVAC systems. Since it's usually hidden, the mold would be undetectable to the naked eye... except for red, watery, itchy eyes for those who are sensitive to mold. Because of this, mold inspection services utilize a variety of ways to inspect for mold in addition to a visual inspection, including:
- infrared imaging
- air sample testing
- surface sample testing
- invasive inspection
An invasive inspection may be done if there's reason to believe that there is a mold problem behind material structures, such as behind drywall or underneath the flooring. These areas are typically first identified through infrared testing, which is used to find moisture that can cultivate mold growth.
To help in the inspection, the service may request a CLUE report from a consumer reporting agency. CLUE stands for comprehensive loss underwriting exchange. This report will generate a list of any and all homeowner's insurance claims that had been filed on that property. In addition to determining if the property has any history of mold, the mold inspection service can use the report to help locate areas that were known to be problematic in previous years, such as a previous water line break that may have led to mold growth.