home inspection mold inspection

A Home Inspection vs. A Mold Inspection

In the process of closing a sale on a home, a buyer hires a home inspector to look for damages that could affect its value. Too often, however, hopeful homeowners go through this process and say “My home inspector didn’t find anything!”, only to find dangerous mold growing in their new home months down the line. While home inspectors have an invaluable part to play when you are in the process of purchasing the home of your dreams, a mold inspection looks for things that could otherwise be overlooked. 

A mold inspection is a very different inspection. As mold inspectors, we are not looking at your light switches and doorknobs, or to see if the furnace is working. We are looking specifically for mold and water damage, as well as ventilation and humidity issues. Even the slightest sign of a water stain could indicate previous or active water damage. We inspect inside wall cavities, under carpets, behind baseboard heaters and base moldings, and inside your AC unit. Home inspectors don’t inspect the furniture for mildew, but we do. These are areas that often go overlooked when diagnosing a home for mold. It’s not always about what’s obvious to anyone, but that’s only obvious to a trained eye of an experienced mold inspector.

 

Contact HNST Mold Inspections today to discuss our process.

Water Damage Assessment

Is poor drainage to blame for your mold?

There are many different ways that structures such as homes and offices can be affected by moisture. One of the prime ways that moisture gets into your home could be rainwater. Think about the amount of water that sometimes falls at once! When water comes down quickly and in quantity, it can lead to a lot of moisture where there are leaks!

Even if your home has never had a previous issue, when a lot of water comes down in a short amount of time, the system put in place to aim the water away from your home or to drain it can become overwhelmed! If a small problem is already happening, don’t wait until the next storm to do something about it, it may be too late.

Water damage to the house is the first step to mold growth, mold requires moisture to develop! This is why it’s important not to ignore poor drainage around the home, which aims rainwater away, as well as any small roof, window, or door leaks you may see.

To protect your home from rainwater there are a few things you can do. Of course, all of these options aren’t always necessary for everyone.

  1. Check for the ground to slope away from the foundation of your home. You don’t want the ground close to the outside of the home to slope down toward your house, or you will have to cut into a trench to drain it
  2. Add extensions to the gutter downspouts, this way you can direct the water further away from the foundation.
  3. Create openings on the border of flowerbeds to help the soil drain away from the house. This also keeps your flowers from rotting too!
  4. Keep roofs and gutters clear of debris to allow for proper drainage
  5. Dig a Trench that extends to the lowest point of your property. Line the high end of this trench with some filter fabric and then fill with gravel or rock. This way the water will get filtered before clogging the drain.
  6. Build a Dry Well in the ground and fill with gravel or crushed stone. If you have a home that puddles or has a big pool of water after a rainfall, this is a great idea to act as a makeshift drain to return the water to the ground without flooding or pooling.

These are some beginner tips to prevent moisture from getting into the home. If you already have a small leak or a problem that has been on your list to fix, make it your priority. Dealing with mold due to moisture in your home is a much larger and more hazardous problem in the long run. Call us today for a water damage assessment.

Mold Vacation Home

Does Your Vacation House Have Mold?

Like many in the NY/NJ area, people are starting to pack up and head to the beach as summer begins. Whether you’ve driven down the shore, or you’re headed to the Hamptons, be on the lookout for Mold. If you’re greeted by mildew or musty odor upon entry into your vacation home, there’s a good chance you’re dealing with some excess moisture, high humidity, or some sort of leak in the home. If you find yourself in this situation, here’s what you do. Read more

Summer Mold Prevention

Summer Mold Prevention Tips

Summer weather came in like a bang with its heat, humidity and inevitably thunderstorms will come rolling in. When heat and moisture come together this time of year, it’s important to be on the lookout in your home for potential mold issues.  Mold loves this type of weather so it’s smart to prepare yourself now in order to prevent damage to your home and health.

If you’ve read our previous blogs about asthma, you know that toxic or not, mold can cause some serious health issues. If you haven’t read up about Molds relation to asthma, check out our blog section, or the EPA’s website for more information.

Here are the quick points, mold can infiltrate carpet, furniture, drywall, and flooring. There is no limit to where it can grow. In some cases, the mold is behind the walls or under the floorboards, and homeowners may not see the problem initially. Controlling moisture levels in your home is the key to prevention in these cases.

Here’s what to do:
Step 1. Set humidifier to below 50% to prevent moisture.
Step 2. After a flooding event, take action immediately to prevent mold. Rain and severe thunderstorms can also be a worry, this time of year. It is important that if any flooding does happen that you take steps to remove it IMMEDIATELY! Anything that is wet, carpets, flooring, furniture, etc. can be a breeding ground and needs to be dried within 24 hours.
Step 3. Get your home tested for mold after a water event
Step 4. Check the perimeter to make sure water isn’t being funneled towards your home. Ensure all gutters and downspouts are free and clear of debris. Check to make sure connections to downspouts are intact and that they are aimed away from the house and foundation.

Use these four steps and keep your summer mold-free! Unfortunately, we know not all of your summers will be mold-free, but fear not! HNST Mold Inspection is here for you whether you’re in New York or New Jersey.

questions about mold

Quick Answers to Questions About Mold

Answering people’s questions is just part of the job when it comes to Mold Inspection. Once we’re in someone’s home, they open up and start to wonder about Mold. Maybe they’ve never had to deal with mold in their lives, it can be quite unnerving finding it in your home. With that in mind, here are some of the questions we’ve been getting lately on the job and some quick answers to those questions about mold.

What is Mold?

Mold is a fungus whose growth is propelled by moist warm conditions, especially on organic matter.

Where can mold grow in my home?

Mold can grow anywhere moisture or humidity is present. Places like bathrooms, basements, and the attic. Or on organic surfaces such as drywall, wallpaper, furniture, and damp clothing.

Can Mold make me sick?

There are some types of mold that are toxic. However, the usual exposure to mold in the home results in allergy-like symptoms such as watery/itchy eyes, coughing or sneezing, and runny nose. If you feel symptoms in your home that you do not feel anywhere else it can clue you into a probable issue.

What warning signs can I look for?

Most mold is easy to spot, it usually found as spots on the walls of damp rooms,  or by the smell of musk or mildew in a basement or attic. Pay attention to any areas with moisture and try to fix any leaks you can see.

HNST Mold Inspections provides services to New York and New Jersey. Contact us a call today for your Mold Inspection, Allergen Testing, Water Damage Assessment, or VOC Sampling.

Springtime Mold Prevention Tips

Spring is upon us and now the long winter has passed. This is a time that homeowners use for cleaning, organizing and getting their home and yards together to enjoy the summer. As part of your Spring Cleaning this year,  pay attention to the presence of mold and preventing its growth. Taking the right precautions now can save you down the line. Here are our spring tips for preventing mold. Read more

What does black mold look like?

What Does Black Mold Look Like?

Most people know what mold looks like, we’ve seen it growing on food long expired in our fridge. However, for the average person, determining if mold is in fact Black Mold (stachybotrys chartarum) by your eyes alone is not easy. For a professional mold expert, it is easier to identify a mold as stachybotrys because of its distinguishable MOLD appearance in its mature state. A slow-growing mold, Black Mold can be thick in context and black in color. Yet, if you do not know the various types of mold, it may not necessarily look much different from other mold species, which are black in nature. The only way for us to say with certainty that a specific mold is, in fact, black mold, is for us to take a swab sample for confirmation. Read more