5 Common Areas to Look for Mold Before You Purchase Your Dream Home
Spring and early summer are lovely seasons that can bring dirty problems.
Mold in homes, especially as it warms outside, starts to grow when you
least expect it. Not only is it unsightly, it’s potentially dangerous, and
simply cleaning it up without remedying the source will only result in the
Mold in homes has many causes, including undetected water leaks in your
walls, leaks from your roof, plumbing problems, and even from outside
environmental sources, such as bringing in plants with mold issues, or
tracking in spores on shoes. Unsurprisingly, mold is more likely to grow
in homes after floods or severe water damage, and in humid climates. In
Montana, however, home mold is most often caused by leaks in plumbing,
leaky foundations, and roof leaks.
As you might guess, exposure to molds can result in respiratory
irritation, coughing, and itchy eyes. In extreme cases, some people can
get seriously ill, which is why remedying the problem is of utmost
importance. In addion to causing sickness, mold can impact the value or
sale of your home, sometimes even for the long-term. Depending on the
extent of mold damage, the value of your home can be significantly lost.
Just as you would not want to buy a home with mold damage, understandably
buyers on the market are also weary.
If you’re buying a house or inspecting your own, know what to look for. As
you inspect, take note of areas where the accumulation of moisture is
probable. Pay special attention to signs of water damage in areas where
water intrusion is likely. In our experience, these are the top 5 of the
most common areas to find mold in a home:
Near gutter downspouts that are not properly diverted
away from the foundation or damaged gutters that are not carrying water
and snow melt to a downspout and away from the foundation.
Behind insulation along rim joists insulation along rim
joists in crawl spaces. These spots are prone to mold as moist air can
get behind the insulation and then condensate on the cool joist surface.
The insulation should be discarded and replaced with a spray foam
product to prevent future mold growth.
In attics near improperly vented exhaust fans. Don’t
look only at bathroom fans, kitchen exhaust hoods can be culprits as
well. Also, another common attic issue is related to insulation being
blown into the eaves without installation of baffles, a home inspector
can check for this.
Under sinksinside vanities and cabinets. Because these
areas are often out-of-sight, out-of-mind, they are often neglected.
Leaking shut-off valves and drain lines that have bad gaskets or seals
can result in slow leaks that cause long-term problems.
Behind washing machines and dryer appliances where
either pipes have leaked, or are not properly connected. Again, this
area is often out of sight and can be neglected, but the moisture
sources, if leaking, can ultimately result in mold growth.
If you have concerns about one of these areas as you inspect, be sure to
bring it to the attention of the company that you hire for your home
inspection prior to purchasing the home. A qualified and experienced home
inspector is a very important decision when it comes to your home
purchase. A good home inspector will have the experience to identify other
problems beyond these common issues that you may need to be aware of.
If you suspect more serious problems, feel free to call one of our experts
who can help you with further identification and clean-up solutions. If a
home has mold issues, they can typically be resolved and cleaned prior to
taking possession of the home.
As you start your spring cleaning this season, even if you aren’t on the
market or looking to sell, keep an eye out for mold issues as they arise
so you can keep yourself and your family healthy. If you need assistance,
call us, we’re here to help.