The primary purpose of Mold Evaluations is very similar to Home Inspections in that it searches for the sources of water penetration in the home.
What Causes Mold?
Fungi grow and reproduce in wet or moist environments. When an environment becomes dry, the fungi die or becomes dormant. The number of spores in the air will be higher during hot/humid Seasons (like Summer) or rainy periods. Mold thrives best in persistently wet environments.
What is the Problem with Mold?
When fungi reproduce, they send spores into the air. The spores of most species of fungus do not have allergenic potential. Some species, however, like Aspergillus Penicillium, Stachybotrys ‘black mold’, and others are known to cause allergic reactions in some people.
Is Some Amount of Mold in the Home Considered Normal?
Yes. Mold spores are found everywhere and especially in our forested humid subtropical climate with high rainfall (here in Western North Carolina). Fungi thrive on the decaying matter in our trees/shrubs/plants, and it’s normal for many of these spores to be brought into the home. We haven’t seen a mold test result with zero spores in the home yet, and if I did, I would likely retest because I would suspect an issue with the equipment. Most outdoor mold spores are harmless to people. We suspect a mold or air quality issue when the indoor samples are significantly out of range from the outside and contain many predominantly indoor species with fungi with high allergenic potential.
Should I Order a Mold Test or a Mold Evaluation?
Start with an Inspection: When there are indoor air quality concerns, we recommend starting with a Home Inspection or a Mold Evaluation first. Anything that causes moisture can cause mold, which is why our inspectors look at everything first – grading, gutters/drainage, siding/flashing/decks, plumbing, insulation/ventilation, heating and cooling, appliances, attics, crawl spaces – EVERYTHING! Most of the time, we can identify the causes of moisture, and we can make recommendations without the need for mold testing.
We recommend additional Mold Testing when: we suspect hidden water behind finishes or we believe there may be a possibility of it (finished basements, recently repaired plumbing leaks, recently renovated/painted basements, etc.) or for susceptible individuals or families.
When Should I Order a Mold Evaluation?
Whether or not you should order a Mold Evaluation depends on the circumstances and whether or not you are buying, selling, renting, or maintaining the property.
When Buying A Home or Commercial Property
Suppose you are buying a property concerned about mold or have mold sensitivities. In that case, it is recommended to hire an inspection company that specializes in mold testing and mold evaluations. It is recommended to start with an essential Home Inspection or a basic Commercial Inspection. After the basic Property Inspection, the inspector can make additional recommendations for Mold Testing or Evaluation if needed.
After we perform a basic Property Inspection, it is usually not necessary to perform an additional Mold Evaluation because, typically, we can answer the questions about where the sources of water penetration are coming from. There are some rare cases when further evaluation is needed, and in those cases, we can provide additional references and direction.
When Selling A Home or Commercial Property
Suppose you are selling a home or commercial property and are concerned about possible air quality issues. In that case, it is recommended to hire an inspection company that specializes in mold evaluations and mold testing. It is recommended to start with a basic Pre-Listing Inspection (that helps prepare sellers for a real estate sale). After the basic Pre-Listing Inspection, the Inspector can give guidance about the causes of water penetration and possible repairs to improve air quality.
When Maintaining A Home or Commercial Property
If you own the property in question and are concerned about potential air quality issues, it is recommended to hire an inspection company specializing in Mold Evaluations and Mold Testing. It is generally recommended to start with a basic Annual Maintenance Inspection (this yearly service is designed to help property owners maintain their property and to prevent dangerous and expensive issues). After the basic Annual Maintenance Inspection, the Inspector can give guidance about the causes of water penetration and possible repairs to improve air quality.
When Renting A Home or Commercial Property
Unfortunately, options for renters concerned about the air quality in their leased property are very limited in North Carolina. Our state does not require property owners to disclose air quality issues or mitigate them. Typically renters are not incentivized to pay for expensive repairs or testing out of their pocket. Renters should discuss options with the property owner. If discussions with the property owner are not helpful, the renter may consider relocating or taking on some repairs at their own expense. In some cases, affordable improvements can be made by the renter (for example, minor gutter/downspout/roof/grading repairs and maintenance). A well-placed dehumidifier or two can sometimes improve the air quality significantly- this is an investment that a renter can take with them when they move.
When you need more information about the Air Quality of a Property
We recommend that if you have any questions about the air quality of a building, you should consult an independent professional that does not sell or perform mold remediation services because their opinions and recommendations for repair will be unbiased. If the property is located in Western North Carolina, please give us a call at 828 484 6494.
Additional Mold Testing and Mold Evaluations
Sometimes, we may perform additional Mold Testing to confirm our findings. More information can be found on ordering a Mold Test and Interpreting Mold Test Results and other Mold Pricing and Service information.
In this Video: Reviewing a Mold Evaluation Report
In this video: Home Inspector Jason Bellamy reviews a mold evaluation report of a homeowner concerned about a persistent smell at the rear addition.
What Does A Mold Evaluation Include?
During our mold evaluations, we inspect all the same categories of the home that we would in a Home Inspection, except for the Electrical System. What did Jason inspect, and what did he find? The systems evaluated in this report and the findings:
- We inspected the grading, downspouts, siding, flashing, trees, and more
- Findings: Grading issues, Gutter issues, Mature trees located near the roof and foundation area
- We inspected the roof coverings, flashing, gutters and downspouts. Findings: Inadequate flashing, history of a roof leak.
- Structural Components
- We inspected the attic, crawl space, framing, deck/patio connections to the house, and more.
- Findings: Water penetration at the rear deck and possible decay of the floor framing.
- We inspected the tub/showers, sinks, toilets, and vents at the roof, attic, inside the house, and under the house for evidence of leaks.
- Insulation and Ventilation
- We inspected the insulation and ventilation of the roof, walls, and floors
- Findings: Inadequate ventilation in the crawl space
- Heating and Cooling
- We inspected the heating and cooling equipment and especially the ductwork and its connections and exits.
- Findings: Un-insulated round type duct work and blocked vents that could cause ventilation
- We inspected the interiors for evidence of mold, mildew, moisture damage, roof leaks, etc.
- Findings: History of a leak in the ceiling
- Built-In Appliances
- We inspect for leaks or a history of leaks at the dishwasher, refrigerator, and other appliances that dispense water or produce condensate.
- Pests, Insects, and Fungus
- We inspect for evidence of fungus, wood-destroying fungus, wood-destroying insects, and other pests or mildew that could contribute to air quality issues.
Poor crawl space or basement environments and water penetration from the exterior cause, 99% of the time, air quality issues. The humidity and mold seep into the finished areas from the ground and causes musty smells, water damage, and health concerns.
During this evaluation, the Inspector found several items that could have affected the air quality in this home (13 actually), but the crawl space was dry. In this case, improvements to the roof flashing, gutters, grading, and deck flashing were recommended, as these were areas where water penetration was found.
Whether you are buying, selling, or maintaining a house, if you have concerns about the air quality of a home and want an unbiased, independent, and professional opinion, please call us, and we will determine which service is best for you.
Mold Evaluation Service Areas
Is there a Mold Evaluation Company near me in Asheville and WNC area?
Builder Buddy offers Mold Evaluations in Asheville and the surrounding area, which includes most of Western North Carolina (WNC):
Is there a Mold Evaluation Company near me in Buncombe County?
Builder Buddy offers Mold Evaluations in Buncombe County, including Asheville, Montreat, Biltmore Forest, Alexander, Black Mountain, Woodfin, Weaverville, Candler, and the surrounding areas.
Is there a Mold Evaluation Company near me in Henderson County?
Builder Buddy offers Mold Evaluations in Henderson County, including Hendersonville, Saluda, Fletcher, Laurel Park, Mills River, Flat Rock, and the surrounding areas.
Is there a Mold Evaluation Company near me in Haywood County?
Builder Buddy offers Mold Evaluations in Haywood County, including Canton, Clyde, Maggie Valley, Waynesville, Lake Junaluska, and the surrounding areas.
Is there a Mold Evaluation Company near me in Madison County?
Builder Buddy offers Mold Evaluations in Madison County, Hot Springs, Mars Hill, Marshall, and the surrounding areas.
Is there a Mold Evaluation Company near me in Yancey County?
Builder Buddy offers Mold Evaluations in Yancey County, including Burnsville and the surrounding areas.
Is there a Mold Evaluation Company near me in McDowell County?
Builder Buddy offers Mold Evaluations in McDowell County, including Marion, Old Fort, and the surrounding areas.
Is there a Mold Evaluation Company near me in Polk County?
Builder Buddy offers Mold Evaluations in Polk County, including Saluda, Columbus, Tryon, and the surrounding areas.
Is there a Mold Evaluation Company near me in Transylvania County?
Builder Buddy offers Mold Evaluations in Transylvania County, including Brevard, Rosman, and the surrounding areas.
Western North Carolina Mold Inspectors
Builder Buddy is your resource for Mold Inspections, Mold Evaluations, and Mold Testing in the Western North Carolina area. We also provide Home Inspections, Maintenance Inspections, Commercial Inspections, Water Testing, Well Inspections, Septic Inspections, and more. Schedule online or call with questions.