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Home Buying & What You Should Know About Mold

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Published on Oct 16, 2014

While some home buyers and investors may look for a property that is in need of major repairs, most people do not want to deal with anything more than minor cosmetic fixes when purchasing a home. Few things can cause a bigger headache or drain on the wallet for a new homeowner than discovering water damage and mold growth in their home after the sale is complete.

In some states, sellers are required to disclose any information they are aware of about mold in a property. However, they may not know about its presence - particularly if it is growing out of sight.

To prevent any unexpected surprises due to existing water damage and mold, anyone buying a home should schedule a home inspection. While some home inspectors are well versed in mold inspections and indoor air quality issues, others may not offer this service or have been trained in this field. Also, depending on the region, home inspectors may not be required to look for mold at all. However, there are consultants who specialize in mold and indoor air quality inspections and testing. As is always the case, when hiring an inspector, consultant or contractor, ask for references and their qualifications.

Indoor mold growth can be obvious at times, but that is not always the case. Since mold needs moisture or elevated humidity levels to grow, signs of water damage are often indicators of a mold problem. These may be due to structural problems and leaks, faulty plumbing, poor ventilation, drainage issues and past flooding events. Be on the lookout for indicators such as stains on flooring, ceilings and around windows. Also remember that problems may have occurred in attics, wall cavities and behind cabinets and showers or under sinks where damage is not always visible.

Another sign that there may be issues is the presence of a musty odor. A musty odor is often a red flag for both moisture and mold problems.

Homebuyers should know that insurance policies rarely cover mold, except in special circumstances. Although it can be expensive, homeowners can purchase mold insurance riders that do provide additional mold coverage for their new home.

These are just a few things to know about mold before buying a home or any type of property. To learn more about this or other indoor air quality, environmental, health and safety issues, please visits the websites shown in the video.

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