Is mold testing necessary when buying a home?
So you are looking at homes, and one of them is moldy. You ask the realtor what the test results were for mold before deciding whether or not to make an offer. The realtor tells you there aren’t any test results because no testing was done. What now?
If you’ve already found a home that seems perfect except for the fact that it has some visible mold in or near it, then this article is for you! Moldy homes can be fixed significantly if they’re visibly affected by just a tiny patch of tiny black dots (the telltale sign of Stachybotrys). And if your home isn’t visibly affected by black mold, but tests show there might be hidden behind drywall or hidden somewhere else, then you can get rid of it yourself without hiring a professional. Don’t panic! A moldy home doesn’t mean you have to back out of purchasing it, even if the realtor or seller claims that there is no way to fix the issue.
If your realtor has been honest with you and tells you there are no test results for black mold because they didn’t test for it, then more than likely, your home does NOT have a high enough level of mold growth to require professional removal. However, sometimes people don’t want to spend the money on a private company’s testing lab fees, while some homeowners’ insurance will cover these costs. Either way, there are alternatives to paying hundreds of dollars to find out if there is any mold in your home.
Here are some alternatives to professional testing labs:
1) The first alternative is to use a DIY black mold test kit that you can purchase online or at any hardware store for around $20-40 depending on the lab’s brand, but keep in mind this method won’t provide you with an accurate result – it only gives an estimate of what kind of mold might be present based on color alone. You should take more than one sample from various areas in the suspected room. This way, if there is indeed mold growing somewhere, it will give you a general idea of where it may be coming from. But remember, there could be hidden spots not visible to the naked eye by just looking around, so always check under and behind things that can only be seen by taking them apart.
2) The second alternative is to contact your local health department and ask if they offer mold testing services for home buyers, but keep in mind some larger cities won’t because there are already so many people trying to get tested. So it may help you to do some research beforehand on smaller towns or counties where housing values aren’t as high as major metropolitan areas like Reno etc.