What Are The Signs Of Mold In Your House?

What Are The Signs Of Mold In Your House?

What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of Having Mold In Your House?

 

Whether you’re selling a home, preparing to buy one for the first time, or just performing regular maintenance, the issue of mold may worry you – particularly if your home is in a damp environment.

In most cases, a typical home inspection won’t include mold inspections and testing. You will need to hire a professional mold inspector to check your home for issues like black mold.

So, to help you understand whether or not you may need a home inspection for mold, we’ve put together this comprehensive guide that will help you understand the signs and symptoms of mold, know what next steps to take if you think you have mold issues, and provide you with other helpful information and tips that will help you deal with a potential mold problem.

What Is Mold?


Mold is, simply, a kind of simple microorganism. It is a fungus, which grows in filaments and usually has a “fuzzy” appearance. There are thousands of types of mold – and most of them are completely harmless to humans. Mold spores are common, and present in the air we breathe.

However, when mold spores find an ideal environment – a damp, dark place where they can reproduce and feed – they can take root, and become what we know as “mold.”

Mold feeds on organic matter, such as starch, cellulose and lignin – which is why they can become present on things like drywall and wood. The mold uses these materials as a food source.

In most cases, mold is not harmful unless it’s ingested. However, there are some types of mold – “black mold” being the most well-known – which may have harmful effects on humans and animals. We will discuss that in-depth later in this guide.

To sum up, a mold is a type of fungus which tends to grow in large colonies, in areas where moisture and a food source are present. They also tend to avoid light.

Why Does Mold Form In Homes?


Mold forms in homes because, in many cases, a home is the ideal place for mold to grow – particularly in basements and other areas which may be dark and moist, and have a similar temperature all-year-round, due to furnaces and water heaters.

Essentially, there are mold spores in the air at all times – and once they find a place that’s hospitable to them, they’ll start reproducing, causing a visible mold problem.

Common Types Of House Mold


Wondering what types of mold are the most common in houses – and which ones you should be concerned about? Let’s discuss a few of the most common types of household mold now.

 

  • Cladosporium – Cladosporium is one of the most common household molds. It usually grows in a greenish-brown colony, but can also be nearly black in color. It is rarely harmful unless you have a mold allergy, but may cause minor issues like toenail or fingernail infections.

 

  • Penicillium – Penicillium is sometimes called “green mold”, as it is usually dark green in color. It tends to grow in large, consistent “patches” on the walls. As the name suggests, penicillin is derived from some kinds of this mold. However, some kinds of penicillium mold may be toxic to humans and animals.

 

  • Aspergillus – This type of mold is usually greenish-white in color, and may be more “raised” with a more cloudy appearance than other types of mold. It is not harmful, unless you have a weakened immune system, in which case it could infect the lungs or sinuses.

 

  • Alternaria – Alternaria mold is usually greenish-white, but can also appear in black patches, so it’s sometimes confused with “black mold.” Alternaria can be a factor in exacerbating asthma, particularly for those who may have mold allergies.

 

  • Stachybotrys chartarum/Stachybotrys atra (Black Mold) – Black mold is one of the most dangerous types of mold. Typically, this is the only type of mold you should be seriously concerned about. It produces harmful mycotoxins that can compromise indoor air quality, and cause stachybotryotoxicosis, a serious infection caused by spore inhalation.

    It is a deep black in color, and usually appears in circular “patches”, which can range widely in diameter. It is common on gypsum drywall, particularly in water-damaged homes.

 

Tips For Mold Prevention


Wondering how you can prevent mold from affecting your home? Here are a few tips that may help you prevent mold from forming altogether.

  • Keep things clean – Dirty surfaces can provide mold with the organic food materials they need to take hold, and start growing throughout your home. Be particularly careful in areas which may be damp, such as kitchens, bathrooms, and attics.

 

  • Address dampness – Dampness may be an issue if you live in an area which receives a lot of rain, or your basement floods. Make sure to ventilate your home as much as possible in humid climates, and soak up any visible moisture as soon as possible.

 

  • Keep the air dry – Air conditioners and dehumidifiers can help reduce the moisture content of the air. Keep your air at 40-50% relative humidity for the best comfort, and to prevent the growth of mold.

 

  • Heat damp areas to dry them out – You may consider using space heaters or even a hair dryer to heat damp areas of your home where mold may form. This is a short-term fix, though. It’s best to address the source of the dampness, not the dampness itself.

 

  • Keep the air circulating – Proper ventilation from attics, bathrooms, kitchens, laundry rooms, basements and any other place where moisture is common is essential. Make sure that your home is properly insulated and ventilated, so that air can circulate properly

 

How To Tell If You Have Mold In Your House


It can be hard to tell if you have mold in your house. Obviously, if you see mold somewhere, you’ve got a mold problem in your house, but mold can hide in walls, ventilation ducts, crawl spaces, and in other hard-to-see areas.

A common way to check for mold is to smell for it. A “musty” smell in an area of your home is often an indicator that there is some kind of mold present. Symptoms like a persistent runny nose, watery eyes, sneezing and throat irritation could also be indicative of mold.

In addition, anywhere that has been exposed to a significant amount of moisture – such as water damage from flooding – is a potential area where mold may be growing. Look for water where it shouldn’t be, and check areas which may have flooded in the past.

Using A Mold Exposure Test


A mold exposure test is often the best way for you to check for mold on your own. You can pick one up at any home improvement or home supply store.

Simply follow the instructions on the box. Usually, you’ll just brush the surface where you think mold may be present, and send the test strip or brush in for a laboratory analysis. If mold is present, you’ll be notified.

How To Detect Mold In Walls


If there is an area of your home where you think mold may be present in the walls – due to smell, a strange appearance of the wall, or any other factor – there are a few ways you can test this.

The simplest way is to probe the area with a screwdriver. If the area is soft or the screwdriver easily pierces the drywall, mold likely has “rotted” the surface away, and you’ll be able to see it once a hole has been opened up in the surface. Be careful when doing this – and do not do it near any wiring or electrical outlets.

You could also use a fiber optic camera to look around inside after opening a hole in the wall, but at this point, you may as well hire a professional inspector. A professional inspector has the tools required to examine the wall thoroughly, and ensure that it’s mold free – or detect any potential issues.

Can You Get Sick From Mold In Your House?


Yes. Those with allergies, compromised immune systems, asthma, or other such issues are at a higher risk – as even minor, non-toxic molds could cause a variety of uncomfortable symptoms. Mold in your house is rarely life-threatening. However, prolonged exposure is far from ideal – for a number of reasons.

Mold Poisoning Symptoms In Humans


Mold poisoning can cause a number of different symptoms, depending on the age of the affected individual, the strength of their immune system, and whether or not they have a pre-existing mold allergy. Here are a few of the most common signs and symptoms of mold poisoning in humans.

  • A stuffy or runny nose
  • Sinus issues or infections
  • Worsening or development of asthma
  • Wheezing or difficulty breathing
  • Red, itchy eyes
  • Skin itchiness, redness, or discomfort
  • Fever and shortness of breath (in severe cases only)
  • Rashes
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Persistent headaches or migraines

Most of these symptoms will only be present in homes with extremely significant levels of a harmful mold, such as black mold, or in individuals who have a compromised immune system, or other systemic health problems.

Can I Stay In My House With Black Mold?


We don’t recommend it. If you have found a small, isolated patch of black mold – and you are quite certain that there is no other mold in your house – you may be able to stay, and simply remove the mold yourself.

However, in most cases, one patch of black mold is just the “tip of the iceberg” so to speak. If black mold is present in your home, chances are that it has spread throughout many different parts of your home – and simply removing the visible mold may not be enough.

If you are young, healthy, have a strong immune system and no health difficulties, or do not have children or pets, you may consider staying in your house. Still, it’s better to be safe than sorry – so if a mold inspection reveals high levels of black mold, we do not recommend staying, until it has been treated.

How To Get Rid Of Mold In Your House


If you only have a minor, isolated mold problem, and the mold is not a dangerous type of black mold, you may be able to get rid of it yourself. By simply using a bleach/water solution, you can kill the mold on the surface of the wall or other area, and wipe it away.

If you have a small patch of mold, and you are relatively certain that there is no more mold in your home, this may be a viable option for you. However, mold removal can be quite difficult.

In addition, removing mold alone does not mean you’ll be free of the issue in the future. You’ll need to address the cause of the mold – such as water damage, excessive condensation, poor ventilation, and so on.

The best way to make sure you get rid of mold in your house is to hire a professional mold inspector. They will conduct a thorough examination of your home, and assess the molds that are present. Then, they will be able to recommend a mold remediation specialist who can help you get rid of the mold – and its root cause – in your home.

Know How To Recognize Mold In Your Home!


With this guide, you should be able to recognize common types of mold in your home, the severity of your mold infestation, and be able to take the proper next steps to get help.

If you have noticed a mold problem – or believe that there is mold hidden somewhere in your home – we recommend that you contact L&H Home Inspections right away and request an inspection. We can help you identify and isolate your mold issue, and get the mold remediation services you need to restore your home.

What Does a Home Inspector Look For?

What Does a Home Inspector Look For?

What Do Home Inspectors Look For? 

 

Even if you find an unbeatable deal on your dream house and you’re ready to sign the deal, it’s a good idea to hire a home inspector to take a second look.

A home inspector is your best friend during the home buying process. They catch common issues that may escape the attention of even the most detail-oriented home buyer.

A home inspector’s job is to be thorough and comprehensive, and issue a report that only states the facts about the condition of the home. In fact, there are more than 1,600 elements taken into consideration in a comprehensive home inspection report – though many of these are quite minor.

Here are the top things that home inspectors look for, and the most common issues found during the home inspection process.

 

1.  Garage Operation & Safety

 

The garage is an important part of the home inspectors process. The garage door operator itself is tested for proper operation and safety. The photo-eye sensors at the bottom of the garage are checked to ensure that the garage door reverses when an object crosses it’s path when closing. In addition, the mechanical reverse function is checked in case there is an object in the way that the photo-eye sensors don’t pick up. The weather stripping located on the bottom of the door plays a vital role as well as it helps keep water and pest from entering the garage.

 

2.  Faulty Plumbing or Pipes

 

Faulty plumbing is another issue that can be extremely costly, if it’s not identified before you buy the home. Replacing old pipes is very expensive, and if a pipe fails or breaks without you knowing it, it can cause significant and severe water damage to your home, which may be extremely costly to fix.

Your home inspector will take a look at the basic functioning of the plumbing system, by testing all water-based appliances such as water heaters, toilets, sinks, tubs, and even dishwashers and washing machines. They will also examine the pipes to see if they are in good condition, or if they’re made of an outdated material like polybutylene, and may need to be replaced.

If an issue is found, it will be brought to your attention – it may be minor, and simply require the replacement of a toilet or another fixture – or be more severe, requiring a more expensive course of action, such as replacing old piping.

3.  Outdated electrical wiring

 

Outdated electrical wiring is one of the biggest things that home inspectors look for. If you were buying a house that was built before the 1950s, for example, it could use “knob and tube” wiring – a system that is unsafe for use with most modern appliances, and presents a serious fire risk.

There could be other issues, too – DIY wiring in the attic or crawlspace, or in other areas, or electrical repairs that were improperly done.
Home inspectors will look for all of these wiring issues – and they are extremely thorough, because faulty wiring can prevent your home from being insured properly. For example, many home insurance companies refuse to underwrite a home that has “knob and tube” wiring – because it’s a fire risk.

Electrical issues can be quite expensive to repair, so it’s best to negotiate a lower price with the homeowner, should you find that the wiring has serious faults and deficiencies.

4.  Window, door, and opening trim

 

While it may seem like a small thing, examining the trim and function of the windows, doors, and other openings in a home is a good way to assess the overall quality of the home, and to ensure that it is free of drafts and other insulation issues which may raise your power bills.

Examining these areas also provides the home inspector with a better idea of the craftsmanship of the home. If the doors and windows are crooked or warped, this may be a sign that the house is settling excessively or was built using sub-par materials.

 

5.  Roof condition and quality

 

The condition and quality of the roof is another major aspect of the home inspection process. The home inspector will take a look at the roof shingles or other roofing material to ensure that the roof has been properly installed and maintained.

They will also check the gutters and the flashing of the roof systems, and other major structural elements of the roof.

The attic and topmost floors will also be inspected for signs of major water damage, moisture, and any other symptoms of a leaky or improperly-installed roof.

As roof repairs and installations can cost thousands of dollars, this is a critical step in the home inspection process.

 

6. Functioning and adequate appliances

 

Beyond the HVAC system and other major appliances, the home inspector will check all the other large appliances in the home for safety and quality, such as the oven and range, refrigerator and freezer,) and other such systems. If a washing and drying machine is included with the sale of the home, inspectors will often to make sure they power up.

7. Proper ventilation and insulation

 

Home maintenance is a serious cost of home ownership – but the cost of utilities can also be a serious consideration when you are thinking about buying a home. As a rule, older homes are not ventilated or insulated as well as newer homes, which means you’ll be paying quite a bit more for heating and cooling.

Air leaks in attics, around windows and doors, crawlspaces, and around vents and other systems that reach through the ceilings and the exterior structure of your home can cost you a lot of money in the long run – it’s estimated by the ENERGY STAR program that you can save up to 12% or more in heating/cooling costs by adding more insulation and sealing these leaks.

Your home inspector will give you an overall assessment of the home’s energy-efficiency and ventilation/insulation to help you understand what improvements can be made.

 

8. Properly functioning HVAC systems

 

Ventilation and insulation are only part of the puzzle when it comes to reducing your power usage and utility bills. Your home inspector will also conduct a basic inspection of the HVAC system in the home, including:

  • The thermostat
  • Ventilation ductwork
  • Gas lines (if applicable)
  • Air filtration system
  • Central air conditioner
  • Vents and registers in each room

Your inspector will take a look at each of these systems, and assess their quality and integrity. They may also inform you if there are issues with the air conditioning system or the furnace – and if it may need to be replaced soon.
Air conditioning systems often last anywhere from 8-14 years, and can be quite costly to replace, so this is another factor to consider when you are thinking about purchasing a home.

General maintenance and upkeep

During the entire home inspection process, the home inspector will be looking at the integrity of major home systems that are expensive to replace – but they will also be looking at the general state of the home, so that they can give you an adequate assessment of its general condition, and how well it has been maintained.

While many smaller home maintenance projects, such as repainting, replacing toilets and bathtubs, replacing baseboard, and other such repairs are quite inexpensive, the costs can mount up over time. If the owner has deferred maintenance on many parts of the home, and it’s not in the best condition, you may have to spend quite a bit of money restoring it over the next few years, as it continues to deteriorate.

It boils down to this – if the owner did not take proper care of the home, and is not doing so now, someone is going to have to take care of it later. And if you buy the home, that’s going to be you.

9. Exterior condition

 

The exterior condition of the home is also an important aspect of the assessment process. Your inspector will check for things such as:

  • Broken seals or damage around windows
  • Settling of decking and patios
  • Walkway and driveway quality and condition
  • Design of landscaping and grounds maintenance
  • Cracking or damage to siding

10. Improper grading or drainage

 

If the home you are interested in is not graded properly, and water cannot drain away from the foundation or the crawlspace, this is a huge red flag for a property inspector. As water collects, it can seep into the foundation, and into the basement of the home, if present.

This is an especially serious problem in areas of the country where the ground freezes during the winter, as the water that surrounds the foundation can freeze, causing cracks and structural damage to the foundation itself.

In some cases, the foundation may be intact – but regrading of the home must be done in order to ensure that no damage occurs in the future.

 

Know What Home Inspectors Look For!

 

Home inspectors look for anything that may be wrong with your potential new home! Buying a home is one of the biggest investments you are going to make in your lifetime.

Your home inspector will give you an honest, objective assessment of the quality of the home you’re interested in, alert you to potential issues that may be costly in the long run, and give you a report that can help you renegotiate the terms of your sale – or even back out entirely, if significant structural issues are found with the property.

 

 

5 Fall Home Maintenance Tips

5 Fall Home Maintenance Tips

5 Fall Home Maintenance Tips – Get Ready For The Cooler Weather!

Seasonal home maintenance is something home owners know needs to be done, especially for cooler weather. Just by doing these easy little things can potential issues.

What are the best ways to prepare your home for the fall? Here are our top 5 fall home maintenance tips!

1.  Flush Your Hot Water Heater

 

 

Flushing your water heater can help remove sediment from the tank, and prolong its lifespan, and fall is the perfect time to do this.

If you’re not handy and don’t like working with tools, you may want to hire a professional to do this. It’s not expensive, and the cost of a maintenance call is small, compared to the benefits of a longer water heater lifespan.

If you want to try to do it yourself, though, this guide from Family Handyman is a good place to start. You’ll save a little money, and learn more about how your water heater works!

 

2.  Winterize A/C System

 

Your air conditioner can be damaged by the ice, snow, debris, and other weather-related conditions of the fall and winter. That means you should winterize it before it gets too cold outside.

Winterizing your A/C is simple to do.

  1. Simply begin by removing grass, leaves, twigs, and other debris from the unit itself. Then, use a garden hose to rinse it, and remove more debris, dirt, and dust.
  1. Allow the unit to dry, then cut off the electrical power at the electrical circuit, to keep it from switching on if a day is unexpectedly warm. After this, install rubber pipe insulation around the pipes to protect against freezing.
  1. Then, cover your unit with an A/C cover, to keep ice, snow, and other debris from building up on it.

3.  Weatherproof Your Doors

 

Weatherproofing a door is the process of examining the weather stripping and gaps in your doors, in order to determine if they may cause leaks or a draft, and then replacing weather stripping and other elements, as necessary. 

First, inspect the door. If you can see light coming through, chances are its drafty – and needs to be weatherproofed. Then, you can use caulk to fill up minor gaps, or use backer rod to fill in larger gaps. You also may want to replace damaged weather stripping on the interior or exterior of the door.

Want to weatherproof your doors yourself? Here’s a comprehensive guide on what you’ll need to do!

Weatherproofing helps prevent water from getting into your home, and also eliminates drafts which can reduce the effectiveness of your heating systems, and raise your utility bills.

Weatherproofing also can help prevent damage to the subfloor below your exterior doors. If moisture and dampness get inside, it can eat away at the floor material, and cause issues like mold and mildew.

 A properly weatherproofed door won’t need to be redone for several years, but if you live in a harsh climate, you may need to replace weatherproofing more often.

It’s best to simply examine your doors every year. If you notice gaps or drafts, you may need to weatherproof your doors again. If you don’t notice any issues, you’re good to go for another year!

With these simple tips, you can make sure that your weatherproofing lasts longer – and that you won’t have to keep redoing your doors every year.

4.  Clean Your Gutters

 

Your home needs regular maintenance to keep it safe and in good condition, and gutter cleaning is one of the most important steps. Clogged gutters can damage your roof and cause leaks, cause ice damming in the winter, or even lead to foundation issues.

So grab a ladder, a plastic bag or a bucket, and get up to the roof! Make sure to stay safe on the ladder, and place it safely and securely. You may be able to walk on your roof if it’s not steeply pitched, but it’s usually better to stay on the ladder.

Grab all the debris from your gutters and dump it in your bucket or bag, and flush the gutter by using a hose. Repeat until all your gutters are clean. Once you get used to it, it should only take you an hour or so.

It’s usually recommended to do it twice a year – once in the late spring, and once in the early fall. However, if you live in an area without too many trees, you may be able to do it just once a year. Conversely, if you live underneath pine trees, or in a heavily forested area, you may want to clean your gutters every 3 months to ensure they don’t get clogged.

 

5.  Shut Off Exterior Faucets

 

If you don’t shut off the water supply to your exterior faucets from inside your house, the pipes leading to it may crack and freeze, which can cause leaks, and cost a lot of money to replace.

If you have a “frost-free” faucet, you may not need to do this. A good rule of thumb is that, if a faucet knob is perpendicular to the house, it’s frost-free, and uses what’s called a “frost-free sillcock” to prevent freezing – but make sure you double-check.

If your sillcock is not frost-free, there should be a shut-off valve for the exterior faucet, somewhere on the pipe that leads to it. Locate this, and shut it off. Then, open up the outside faucet, and then open the adjacent bleeder valve to let any remaining water drain out.

 

Get Ready For The Cold Weather!

 

Regular home maintenance is key for simplifying home ownership, and avoiding major repairs and unexpected costs. So follow these tips, and keep your home safe this fall and winter.

This article originally appeared on Spectora

 

Home Inspection Checklist

Home Inspection Checklist

If you’re buying a home, getting an inspection is an important step as a potential home buyer. A certified home inspector will give you objective opinion of the value of your soon-to-be investment.

Many first-time home buyers do not fully comprehend what home is involved in a home inspection. Here we’ll go over the entire process starting with a handy home inspection checklist.

Exterior:

Roof/Attic:

• Roof coverings
• Gutters
• Downspouts
• Flashing and trim
• Any signs of leaks
• Roof condition
• Structure

Foundation:

• Any visible cracks
• Trees near the foundation
• Crawlspace
• Basement
• Floor structure

Yard:

• Drainage
• Any soggy areas
• Walkways
• Driveways
• Eaves
• Soffits
• Fascia

Interior:

Structural Elements:

• Windows
• Flooring
• Doors

Built-in Appliances:

• Refrigerator
• Oven
• Dishwasher
• Washer
• Dryer

Electrical:

• Switches
• Outlets
• Electrical panel
• Service drop
• Ceiling fans
• Mast
• Meter & base
• Grounding

Plumbing:

Heating/Cooling:

• H/VAC
• Other heating/cooling systems
• Any unusual noises?
• Water pressure
• Sinks
• Tubs
• Faucets
• Shut-off valves

Garage:

• Slab
• Walls
• Ceiling
• Vents
• Garage Door
• Lights
• Openers
• Windows
• Roof

Depending on the type of home you’re in and where you live, your inspection may differ from the generic checklist above. You may also choose to opt for additional services like mold and radon testing.

Why do I need a home inspection?

A home inspector is hired to do a total overview of a house. Home inspections are done to validate the value of a home and bring to light any potential issues prior to purchase. It’s important to hire a certified home inspector because the real condition of a home is not always apparent to the untrained eye. Even if a home looks like it’s in perfect condition, there very well could be some serious structural issues.

Because buying a home is probably the biggest investment that you will make, getting a home inspection gives you the chance to avoid problems down the road. Buying a home is stressful enough, you don’t want to have to worry about problems with the house. Getting a home inspection will ease your mind knowing that you’re making a good investment.

After the home inspection, you will know just about everything you need to know about the condition of the house. This allows you to make a buying decision with confidence – and could even allow you to negotiate a lower price for the home, should any major issues be found.

In addition, a home inspection clause is usually part of the closing process in any home sale. If any serious flaws or oversights are found by a home oversight, the buyer is typically able to “back out” of the sale without having to pay any fees or penalties – so if serious problems are found, you usually do not have to commit to the purchase of the home.

When Do I Need To Call A Home Inspector?

Usually, home inspectors are hired immediately after you have signed a contract or a purchase agreement for the home that you’re buying. However, you need to make sure that there is a home inspection clause as part of the contract. As mentioned above, this clause ensures that your final purchase of the home is contingent on the findings of the professional home inspection – so you can choose to renegotiate the price or back out of the sale, should serious issues be found.

What Should I Do If An Inspection Reveals Problems?

First, don’t panic! Unless the home you’re buying has been built within the last couple of years, it’s almost certainly going to have a few problems. These are typically minor – an aging HVAC system, a roof that may need replacing in the near future, or minor problems with exterior elements like windows, shutters, or other things that tend to wear out over time.

If your home inspection reveals problems with the house, this doesn’t mean that you should – or shouldn’t – buy the house. It only means that you’ll know in advance what to expect from the house.

For example, you may reconsider buying a home if it has some more serious issues, and you have a very tight budget. But, on the other hand, you may be able to get the current owner to make those repairs before you buy the house, or they could agree to lower the price, based on the home inspector’s findings.

Take a deep breath, and talk to your home inspector. How serious are the issues? How much do they typically cost to repair? What should your next step be? A good home inspector can help you answer these questions, and make the proper decision.

Can A House “Fail” Inspection?

A house can’t “fail” an inspection. There’s no such thing as a “pass” or “fail”. A home inspection is an objective view of the home’s overall condition from a professional. A home inspection is not the same thing as an appraisal, which is usually done by a bank to determine the market value of a home. It is also not a municipal inspection, which ensures compliance with local municipal building codes.

Because of this, there is no such thing as a “fail” for home inspections. Your home inspector can’t give you an appraisal for the overall value of the home but can give you an estimate of how serious the problems are and how much the repairs may cost to fix.

Should I Be Present For A Home Inspection?

You aren’t required to be present for a home inspection but this should only be the case if you are very short on time, and cannot make it to the inspection. It’s a good idea to be present for the inspection. You might learn a lot about your home!A home inspection can be a very educational process for a new homeowner, and it will allow you to familiarize yourself with the major systems in the home that you’re interested in buying. In most cases, home inspectors will allow you to follow them along during the process, and they can answer any questions you have about their findings.

This lets you get an inside look at the condition of the home, its condition, and the maintenance that you will likely have to do in the near-future.

How Much Does A Home Inspection Cost?

According to HomeAdvisor, the cost of a home inspection at the average American home is about $315. However, you will pay more or less, depending on the size of your home.

For example, a smaller condo, or a ranch-style home that’s under 1,000 square feet may cost less than a few hundred for an inspection. In contrast, a larger home that is over 2,000 square feet could cost a lot more.

Age is also sometimes a factor, as older homes usually require a more thorough and comprehensive inspection. Another factor to consider is additions and modifications, which can be difficult to assess and inspect.

It’s important to note that there is no standard way by which home inspection costs are calculated. Some inspectors charge by the hour, while others may charge based on square footage – and some use a hybrid method.

However, if you give a home inspector a call and give them some of the details about the size of your home, they should be able to give you a fairly accurate quote for your home inspection.

What Extra Services Aren’t Included With A Home Inspection?

Some home inspectors may offer additional services, which exceed the scope of a typical home inspection, for an extra charge. Others may not offer these services at all, and refer you to a specialized third-party company.

In most cases, the following services are not included with a home inspection.

● Mold – If you or the home inspector notices black mold during the inspection, a full-scale mold test may be required. These typically require specialized equipment, and can cost around $800.
● Radon – Radon is a naturally-occurring radioactive gas which can cause lung cancer. Radon testing is usually an extra $100-$200 with a home inspector. However, there are a number of DIY test kits that you can use, if you do not want to hire a professional.
● Termites – It usually costs somewhere between $65-$100 to test for termites, which may be recommended if your home inspector sees tell-tale signs of a termite infestation.
● Asbestos – Asbestos examinations are usually only required for homes built before 1989. They cost between $400-$800, depending on the scope of testing.
● Lead – Lead was commonly used in both paint and pipes in homes built before 1978. Typically, a lead examination is recommended for these older homes, unless there is documentation proving that lead was not used in the home, or was already removed previously. This costs around $300.
● Septic/sewer – Home inspectors do not conduct sewer and septic tank examinations. It’s recommended that you have these systems checked by a plumbing professional, as replacing pipes and septic tanks can be extremely expensive. The cost of this is $85-$300, depending on the particulars of the home.
In general, your home inspector should be able to help you understand which of these additional services you require. You may not need all of them – but in most cases, it’s better to be safe than sorry.

Can I Do A Home Inspection Myself?

No. Even if you are an experienced homeowner, you simply do not have the professional expertise or training of a home inspector. Home inspectors are familiar with all aspects of:

● Home construction
● Proper installation
● Maintenance
● Home safety
● Local code compliance

Also, it may be very hard for you to stay objective when examining a home you really want to purchase. You may ignore warning signs or minor problems – which can result in serious problems later on.

Because of these reasons, a professional home inspector is much more suited to inspecting a home than you are.

It may seem tempting to not hire an inspector to save some money – but if it turns out your home has serious structural issues after you have already finalized the purchase, the few hundred dollars on a home inspection will seems like a pretty good deal.

Hire A Home Inspector to Protect Your Investment!

By now you should understand that a home inspector has a very important job. Your home inspector is on your side – and their job is to make sure that you understand every aspect of the condition of the home you’re interested in buying.

This helps you avoid making a bad investment – and ensures that you know everything there is to know about the condition of the house before you buy it. So make sure to hire a professional home inspector. You’ll have peace of mind, knowing that there are no nasty, hidden surprises lurking within your home!