Should You Get Mold Inspection When Buying A House? What You Need To Know!

Helen Skeates
Helen Skeates
24 min read

Having a mold inspection done before you buy a house can help you detect hidden mold development that may not be seen during a standard home inspection. It’s a good idea to look for signs of mold before you buy a house, so that you can negotiate with the seller and avoid a pricey repair. To establish if a mold check is warranted before purchasing a home, here are the steps to follow.

What is a pre-purchase mold inspection?

You can order a pre-purchase mold inspection before making a purchase. A mold inspection contingency is typically included in your purchase agreement, allowing you to walk away if the results of your home mold inspection come back negative.

Should You Get A Mold Inspection When Buying A House? - Waypoint Inspection

If there are any of these issues, the inspection will be a success. Normal home inspections look at the structure and condition of the house, but this is a distinct kind of inspection.

As the founder of InterNACHI, Nick Gromicko, the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors, explains, “a good mold inspector will check every hard-to-reach area for roof leaks, plumbing leaks, damp foundations,” “downspouts that don’t drain far enough from the house, negative grading that brings water near the house and also condensation issues.”

Why you might need a mold inspection

A pre-purchase mold inspection can help you determine if mold is already present in a home you’re considering purchasing.

Even if you don’t think there’s mold there, you should check it out since some varieties of mold can cause health problems and structural damage to your property. There are numerous health issues associated with the presence of black mold, including chronic coughing and sneezing, eye irritation and exhaustion. The longer you’re exposed to the problem, the worse it gets, therefore it’s crucial to deal with it soon.

Depending on the results of the mold test, you may be able to negotiate with the seller to have the mold removed, offer you a credit for the repairs, or cut the selling price…………………………………… As part of the acquisition agreement, a mold examination can be performed.

According to Gromicko, the major problem is that mold grows quickly. Consider the possibility of finding a speck of mold in a dark recess of your cellar. Then, three days later, you discover that your basement’s walls and ceiling are completely coated with mold. If the conditions are favorable, it will grow quickly.”

How much does a mold inspection cost?

An average residential mold inspection costs between $294 to $1,011 and can take up to six hours. Professionals, on the other hand, advise against utilizing do-it-yourself testing kits, which can cost as little as $40. You won’t know what to look for or how to find the problem’s root cause if you don’t have any prior expertise.

Gromicko, though, believes that the cost of the examination should not deter homeowners. “When you consider that mold not only affects a valuable asset—your home—but also an even more valuable asset—your health—I can’t imagine it ever being not worth it,” he said.

A mold removal job might run from $1,100 to $3,400 or perhaps more if the inspector discovers problems, but the seller should cover this cost if you haggle well.

Do you need an air sample testing for mold?

An inspector may take air samples to acquire more information about mold because it isn’t usually evident to the human eye. Pumps that filter air through collection devices are commonly used, and then the sample is sent to a laboratory for examination. In addition, you can get a greater sense of the problem’s magnitude using this approach.

Between $300 and $550, this test can be purchased. When it comes to mold, “if you truly see visible mold, you might not require a mold air test,” Gromicko explained.

Your inspector may also collect a surface sample, which is a faster, less expensive, and less complicated test than a core sample.

The difference between a mold inspection and mold testing

A house mold inspection and a mold test are two distinct processes, despite the fact that they are sometimes used interchangeably.

According to Gromicko, a mold inspection is a search for mold and the conditions that lead to mold growth. An air or surface sample is all that is required for a mold test.

Depending on the extent of the problem, a mold inspector may request a test or proceed directly to remediation, which usually entails cleaning up and determining where the problem came from in the first place. Most of the time, moisture is to blame. Gromicko stated, “If you remove the water source, mold will not grow.”

7 Reasons Why a Mold Inspection Is Crucial Before Buying a House

It’s a joyous occasion when you seal the deal on a new residence. When you see a seemingly great house and decide to buy it right away, it’s tempting to get ahead of yourself. It’s unfortunate, but buying a mold-infested house might be an easy mistake in some situations.

In today’s world, mold may be found in practically every home. Several varieties of mold can be innocuous in tiny numbers, but an overgrowth of mold or a harmful type might result in serious consequences. The expense of mold removal can run into the hundreds of dollars, and major renovations may be necessary. For example, a mold inspection can look for air quality issues, hidden dampness, and microscopic mold on the surface.

How Do You Know if You are Buying a House with Mold?

Mold can be difficult to detect with the naked eye, which is a real problem. Dark, damp environments are ideal for mold growth, and it is well-known to hide in places that are difficult to access and may not be obvious at first glance. Mold can also grow in air conditioning systems, attics, behind walls, and even under the floorboards.

There are a few things you may look for if you suspect that a home has mold on your own.

During your tour of the property, you should look for any visible symptoms of mold. Depending on the type, mold can have a wide range of colors and textures. Molds commonly found in the home include the following:

  • There are several shades of white, pink, grey, and orange when it comes to a cremonium.
  • Dark green or brown blotches with a velvety feel are indicative of Alternaria.
  • Thick layers of Aspergillus: This mold may be white, yellow, or green, depending on the strain.
  • When water damage occurs, the mold known as Chaetomium grows, and it can be brown, grey, or black. There is a pronounced musty odor and a stain on the walls.
  • A frequent type of mold discovered in carpets and upholstery is Cladosporium. A suede-like texture and olive green or brown color options make it easy to conceal.
  • Mucor: Be on the lookout for anything resembling dense tufts of white or gray hair. Under wet carpeting, this mold frequently flourishes.
  • An attractive blue or green patch with a velvety texture is created by Penicillium, a mold that grows on the skin.
  • Stachybotrys: Often referred to as “black mold,” this exceedingly toxic mold develops in patches that are either black or very dark green, depending on the strain.
  • Known as trichoderma, this type of mold grows in woolly clumps in green, white, or yellow hues.
  • Ulocladium: This mold commonly grows in the crevices between the floors and the tile. It’s a dark brown or black color.

It is best to have a mold and air quality assessment performed by a professional agency to avoid this very costly (and dangerous) problem.

Prior to signing the contract, here are a few reasons why a professional mold inspection should be on your list.

1. It Protects Your Family’s Health

Long-term exposure to certain types of mold can cause serious health problems. More than a quarter of the population is allergic to mold in some form. In addition, mold can affect air quality and create a number of health issues, such as:

  • Headaches
  • Rashes
  • Problems with the respiratory system and difficulty inhaling
  • Seizures
  • Fatigue
  • Eyes that itch
  • Coughing
  • Sneezing

Mold can have a devastating effect on young children and the elderly. Additionally, persons with weakened immune systems are more likely to develop health problems caused by exposure to mold.

How Much Does a Mold Inspection Cost on Average?

All of the most common molds found in the average home have been related to serious health problems. Mold that is toxic and hazardous to human health can possibly lead to long-term health problems. It’s called “mycotoxigenic exposure” because of what it can do.

  • fibrosis of the lungs (scarring in the lung tissue)
  • Damage to the liver and kidneys
  • Myofascial pain syndrome
  • Complications of pregnancy
  • Heart and digestive issues
  • Cancer

Mold testing before purchasing a property ensures that the surroundings and air quality are suitable for raising a family in.

2. It Protects Your Investment

There are few investments as significant as buying a home. Buying a house that has mold in it could be a huge financial risk, as it can be very expensive to get rid of it completely. However, a thorough indoor air quality inspection can minimize your investment risk.

Any mold infestation can compromise the structural integrity of a building. If left uncontrolled, mold will eat away at the structure of a house, eventually causing serious structural damage.

This is due to the fact that moisture is the primary cause of mold formation. Before you buy a house, it’s lot easier to address a little moisture problem than it is to fix a major mold problem a few months later. Your family’s long-term health and financial well-being will benefit greatly from this decision.

3. Mold Inspections are Quick and Easy

You can schedule a mold inspection quickly, and the process only takes a few hours to complete. Arrive on time for the appointment, and a mold inspector will be there. You (or the present homeowner) may be asked if there are any evidence of water damage or places that should be investigated.

Before they go, they’ll stroll around the house and look for places where mold is prone to form. There are a number of places to look for leaks around HVAC systems, basements, and attics, as well as around pipes.

Unless explicitly approved, mold inspections are also non-invasive and do not jeopardize the home’s structural integrity. Inspectors utilize infrared cameras to investigate areas behind drywall and under rugs. Through the use of thermal imaging technology, anomalous temperature variations on walls, floors, and ceilings can be detected. Hidden water damage can be discovered using this method.

Humidity readers may also be used to check the moisture levels in different parts of the house. They’ll film or photograph any mold or mold-like growth they find so that they have something to refer to later. Besides that, certain samples of air or fiber may be taken for additional testing in the lab to determine whether kinds of mold are present.

In addition to a mold inspection, you may wish to have an air quality inspection done before purchasing a home. Toxins are likely to be present in the home if mold is present. Aerosols, dust, and other potentially dangerous chemicals are all part of an air quality check. These include asbestos, carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, radon, and the aforementioned volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Before undergoing any kind of such testing, be sure to inquire ahead of time.

4. Mold Inspections Identify Potential Future Issues

Mold thrives in moist conditions, and condensation is a common cause of this. Condensation happens when the inside and outdoor temperatures are vastly different. There are many places where mold develops, such as near windows and doors, or on walls that have poor insulation.

There may be structural issues that must be addressed if mold is found during the inspection. Re-sealing the access locations may suffice, but it may potentially necessitate more extensive improvements.

Before putting any money down, you have the opportunity to ask the current owners to fix the problem before you buy the house.

5. You Can Start the Mold Removal Process Quickly

It’s not fair to say that you should stay away from mold-infested properties at all costs. There are several instances where modest mold infestations can be remedied. Since it is far easier to get rid of mold before you move in, the ideal strategy is to plan an inspection before you buy.

A deep cleaning, especially on surfaces like tiles, sinks, and tubs, can eradicate non-toxic molds. Mold can be removed with the help of bleach and other strong chemicals. However, if this problem persists, you might consider hiring a cleaning company.

The best course of action if mold is found in the carpets of a home is to have them replaced. Before a new carpet is put down, the floor beneath it should be sprayed and cleaned to keep the fungus from returning. This includes the removal and replacement of mold-infested materials like drywall, insulation, and wallpaper.

In addition, you may want to think about remodeling the portions of your home where mold has taken hold in order to improve airflow.

6. It is Your Buyer’s Due Diligence

In order to safeguard your interests as a buyer, you must carry out due diligence. A real estate agent or prior owners are not required to observe any specific mold obligations.

It is now common practice for prospective buyers to schedule a house inspection. You’ll get a lot of useful information from a regular house inspection. There are several times when a house inspection will indicate an issue with the plumbing, foundation, or roof. This is the best time to get a mold inspection done in your home.

Inspecting a building’s general structural soundness, an inspector may overlook a minor issue (such mold or moisture) at the time of the inspection. The cost of a mold inspection is higher than the cost of a house inspection, but the knowledge and reassurance it provides are well worth the additional expense.

7. You can Leverage Test Results in Negotiations

It is possible to utilize the results of a professional mold inspection as a bargaining tool when purchasing a home that has an unusually high level of mold contamination.

Because mold has a substantial impact on a home’s value, you may want to lower its asking price. The value of a mold-infested home might plummet as much as 23% in most circumstances. Because of this, you may buy the house for hundreds of dollars less than the original asking price. Another alternative is to ask the present owners to rectify the problem before going any further.

When in Doubt, Trust the Experts

Close the deal with a bang by guaranteeing that you won’t face any unpleasant surprises when you move in. Starting with a mold examination is a great idea.

You have nothing to lose by having a professional mold check performed on any home you are contemplating purchasing. To ensure that you’re making the right decision, the process is straightforward and easy to follow.

At Air Labs in Montreal, we have inspectors who specialize in inspecting the indoor environment of houses. As a result, if we discover any issues, we’ll provide you with remedies and advice. Please entrust your future property purchase to our professionals so that you can be assured and at ease.

You can get a free consultation by contacting us today.

5 Reasons to Have a House Inspected for Mold Before Purchasing

1. Mold Can Have Detrimental Health Effects

Despite being exposed to varying levels of mold spores on a daily basis, most people experience no ill consequences from this. Exposure to high levels of mold is the only way it can cause health problems. Mold growth is a common cause of this problem. Symptoms usually only develop at exceptionally high levels of exposure in the majority of persons. Some people, on the other hand, begin experiencing symptoms after only a small amount of exposure. It’s well known that mold can cause symptoms of an allergic reaction like sneezing, watery eyes, and coughs. Asthma attacks and even death have been reported as side effects.

2. Mold Leads to Structural Damage

Organic matter is what mold feeds on, and it has been known to cause major structural damage to homes. Mold can infect insulation, carpeting, paper backing, and walls because of this. Mold can also cause damage to your home’s personal belongings. You may find it tough to clean up an item that has been infested by mold spores. The spores can’t be completely eliminated from such a property, thus it may have to be demolished. This is the last thing you want to happen to your new house because you neglected to have the property examined for the presence of mold before buying it.

3. Mold Inspections Save You Money

Save your money now for future removal and remediation by getting a mold inspection instead of waiting until a problem worsens. Because sellers aren’t required to disclose mold issues in the home they’re selling, inspections are a must. In other words, a vendor can decide whether or not to inform you of the problem. Additionally, sellers may proceed to spackle or paint up any proof they find. Ignoring a mold inspection would be a risk you’d rather avoid.

Mold Inspection And Testing

4. Mold Inspection Helps Identify Other Problems

A skilled mold inspection can not only detect the existence of mold but also other conditions that are driving it to grow. That’s why it’s a good idea to check for mold in the house you’re interested in purchasing before making a final decision. This is due to the fact that mold thrives in wet, warm, and organic environments. When mold is found in a home, it is a sign that there is a problem with moisture. Flooding, leaking pipes and roofs, and wet basements all contribute to the growth of mold in a home. If you’re still interested in purchasing the house, understanding these difficulties will help you secure a better price.

5. You Cannot Know the Presence of Mold Just by Looking

Because not all mold is visible, having a mold inspection performed prior to closing will be extremely advantageous to you as a home buyer. Mold spores are invisible to the human eye because they are so little. There are several reasons to have a professional inspect the house you’re interested in purchasing.

Finding the “ideal house” can bring up a lot of feelings, especially if you’ve been on the market for a while and haven’t found anything yet. Because of this, you may be unable to see things that might be preventing the house from working as it should. Mold is one of the most common problems that homeowners face. As a result, the majority of sellers fail to mention the presence of mold while listing their property for sale. Because of this, you should think about having a mold inspection done before you buy a house. This is crucial because it not only protects you and your family, but it also saves you money in the long run by preventing the mold from spreading.


Is it OK to buy a house with mold?

Mold can lower the value of a home’s resale value. This is a beneficial thing for some buyers because it lowers the cost of a home. If you want a mold-free house, wait to make an offer until you’ve gotten an independent evaluation before making an offer.

How many homes have mold problems?

Over half of American households have mold problems, and 28 percent of the population has genes that increase their risk of mold-related illness. Environmental mold, according to scientists interviewed for the 2015 documentary “Moldy,” poses a greater threat to human health than lead or asbestos paint.

Can a house full of mold be saved?

Almost all real estate transactions can be preserved when mold is identified, which is vital information for anyone looking to purchase or sell a home. Even if you have mold in your home, you may still buy or sell it, and it’s typically much easier and less expensive than you think.

Does mold affect home appraisal?

Mold is just a health and safety hazard that must be repaired as a condition of the appraisal for an appraiser. It reminds me of a shaky handrail on a third-story balcony. As long as it’s addressed before the appraiser shows there, it won’t be a problem.

Can you negotiate an offer on a house after inspection?

In order to convince a seller to agree to your terms following a house inspection, all you need is an inspection report. There is a good chance that the seller is uninformed of the problem, therefore you’ll need photographic documentation and repair estimates.

Is it normal to have second thoughts about buying a house?

If you checked all of the boxes on your new home’s wish list, you’re not alone in having second thoughts.

What does a mold inspection consist of?

Inspections include visual checks for mold, moisture mapping to find leaks and air and surface sampling to check for mold in the HVAC system. Every inspection is unique, because some may only cover a small portion of the property.

How do you know if mold is in the walls?

Mold is usually easy to spot, although minor or mostly undetectable growths might just make a surface appear unclean. The quickest way to test for mold is by dipping a swab in diluted bleach (1 part bleach, 16 parts water) and dabbing it on a wall. Mold should be suspected if the spot becomes lighter quickly (or if it returns despite cleaning).

What can I expect from a mold inspection?

A typical mold inspection begins with the inspector asking the owner of the property about any areas where they have noticed mold or where there has been moisture damage or water problems in the past. When the inspector arrives, they’ll do a comprehensive inspection of the house, paying particular attention to areas known to harbor mold growth.


Purchase a home that does not have water or air conditioning system issues. Mold growth is more likely in homes like these.

However, if you did, you should conduct a broad mold examination very away. Do not hesitate to use a mold swab or an air quality test.

Make sure you remember that your home is the safest location in your entire life. Buying a home is stressful enough without worrying about whether or not you need to have a mold inspection performed.

Helen Skeates

Helen Skeates

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