Mold Testing

 

What exactly is mold and why do we need mold testing?

Mold is a common type of fungus, typically found outdoors. Its main purpose is to break down dead leaves, plants, and trees. Molds reproduce by means of very small, lightweight spores that travel through the air.

We are exposed to mold every day, but typically in small, harmless amounts. Mold becomes a problem when spores travel into a home and land on a damp area. As it begins to grow, it can damage the material it is growing on and the spores can become easily circulated and inhaled.

Where can mold grow?

Mold mainly needs two things to grow: food and water.

Water comes in the form of plumbing leaks, roof leaks, window leaks, high humidity levels and condensation.

Food comes in the form of the surface the mold is growing on. Drywall, wallpaper, wood, cabinetry, carpet, furniture can all support mold growth.

There are several metric TONS of food for mold in a house. It’s not feasible to eliminate the food source, so controlling moisture is essential in preventing mold growth.

What are the effects of indoor mold growth?

Research regarding the health effects of mold is ongoing, however individuals who may be sensitive to mold report allergic symptoms such as sneezing, runny nose, eye irritation, and rashes. More serious reactions can include shortness of breath or asthma attacks for individuals with asthma.

While medical research into mold’s role in our health may be ongoing, mold’s ability to cause aesthetic and even structural damage is well understood. Mold can cause a very unpleasant odor, can stain and damage cabinets and furniture, and can lead to damage and decay of important structural members.

How do we perform mold testing?

Mold testing can be done during a standard home inspection by a specially trained home inspector. There are two ways we test for mold growth in a home: in the air and on surfaces.

The first method is testing the air for mold spores. Air samples are taken indoors and outdoors, and there should be no mold present inside the home that is not present outside. The number of air samples needed for an accurate test is based on the size of the home. Generally, two outdoor samples and a minimum of one indoor sample per 1000 sq/ft is recommended.

The second method is surface sampling. If we can visually see what appears to be mold, we will take a physical sample. Samples can also be taken in areas where mold growth could be occurring but is not visually apparent (yet), such as where a sink might be dripping into a cabinet.

All samples collected are sent to EMSL laboratories in Phoenix AZ for testing. Easy to read test results are typically provided to the client within 48 hours, sooner if needed.

Please let us know if you have any questions about mold testing or would like to add it to your home inspection today! Contact us at 480-290-2225 or email jim@brownandcoinspections.com.

6 Benefits of a Prelisting Inspection

 

 

 

Thinking of selling your home? Gone are the days of homes flying off the market with multiple offers and the waiving of inspections. Where once the list price was the floor, it’s now the ceiling and sellers and listing agents are having to work harder to market homes for sale. Here are 6 ways to improve the selling process with a Prelisting Inspection:

1. Know the true condition of home you’re selling before it hits the market

A prelisting inspection is just like are regular home inspection– a comprehensive review of the home will include the roof, exterior, electrical, plumbing, interior, doors & windows, appliances, and more. An inspector can also look for termites, mold, test air quality, and check out the sewer line. Positive findings can then be used for marketing the home, like ‘New AC in 2021!’ or even just ‘Recently inspected!’

2. Prepare home for the buyer’s inspection

Even if you decide not to get a prelisting inspection, the true condition of the property will come out eventually. The buyer’s inspector will do the same inspection and if issues are uncovered, recommend a licensed contractor perform repairs. Even if that repair is a simple fix, you will pay a premium if it becomes a request from the buyer. Also, these repairs will need to be made as you’re trying to pack and move, instead of more proactively. So have the inspection done, make as many of the repairs as you’re able to make, and sleep better at night during this process.

3. Price home more accurately

If the inspection reveals that the home is in good working order with no major defects or repairs, this can be accounted for when pricing the home for sale. Alternatively, if the home needs (for example) a new roof, that can also be factored into the price. Which leads us to #4…

4. Minimize negotiations

The inspection report can be provided (at the seller’s discretion) with notations about what repairs have been done, or will not be done, and that pricing accounts for this information. This transparency may minimize the amount of negotiations and requests from the buyer’s side.

5. Improve buyer’s confidence

A prelisting inspection attracts more serious buyers who are ready to purchase. If a buyer feels that they know the true condition of a home, they are more willing to bring their highest and best offer to the table. They may even accept the prelisting inspection and opt out of having their own inspection done.

6. Time

This is a big one. Save time on the market by attracting serious buyers with increased confidence in the condition of the home. Save time by minimizing negotiations and repairs once under contract. Minimize the risk of a buyer walking away after their inspection and the home going back on the market- with a red flag to the next potential buyers. You may even save time if the buyer opts out of their own inspection.

 

Having a prelisting inspection done is an honest way of selling your home. Put yourself in the buyer’s shoes- when you are looking to purchase a home you would like to feel as though the homeowner has maintained their home properly and not left a costly issue for you to handle a year or two down the road. Hiding or failing to disclose issues and hoping to fly under the radar is not the right way of going about it. In this market, buyers have a lot of choices. Stand out with transparency, integrity and be proud of the home you’ve called your own all this time. Let us help you along the way.

 

Is your pool ready for summer?! Pool season is almost here, so use these 4 easy DIY pool inspection tips to make sure your pool & pump are ready for action:

1. Check your water chemistry!

Water testing and chemical balancing needs to be performed once or twice a week during the summer and at least every few weeks during the winter. Test with at-home test kits or take water to a pool store/professional for the most accurate levels. The more often water is tested and balanced, the less chemicals you need to use! While you’re at it, be sure to brush and skim your water regularly and clean your pool filters as well. Stay tuned for a printable pool care calendar to help you stay on track with pool water hygiene, as well as reels and videos on HOW to clean the filters.

2. Turn off the pump and look over the interior finish

Look for cracking, flaking (etching), and areas of discoloration on a plaster liner OR for indications of cracking or material loss (lots of loose or missing pebbles) in a pebble liner. Observe for any rust stains not caused by something metallic falling into the pool. This could be an indication the structure is cracked and leaking.

3. Turn the pump on and listen

The pump should have a steady, mechanical sound that is not excessively noisy. You should be able to have a conversation without shouting near the pump. Loud rattling, grinding, and high pitched sounds are often an indication of insufficient water flow or issues with the impeller or bearings. Pumps can often be repaired, however replacement of single speed pumps may be desirable as they are significantly less energy efficient than new 2 speed or variable speed pumps.

4. With the system running, scan each valve and connecting fitting for leaks

Also check out pump connections, strainer basket and motor connection. Observe the filter housing, clamp and pressure gauge. Turn valve handles and check for dripping water, and while you are at it assess for stiffness or ease of turning the handles.

 

A pool is an important part of any standard home inspection. If any of these inspection points cause concern, consult a qualified pool repair contractor. Follow us on Instagram @brownandcohomes for more fun pool-related information during the month of MAY, including drink & snack recipes, a pool maintenance calendar, reels on how to clean your pool filters, and more!

Hello and welcome to Brown & Co Property Inspections!

We strive to share our knowledge in order to help our community choose, purchase and maintain a safe home. In 2022 we will be offering detailed, useful and informative articles including:

  • What a home inspection is, why you need one, and how to pick the best inspector in your area
  • Things to watch out for when previewing homes for sale
  • What the home inspection day & report looks like
  • How to maintain your home for years to come
  • And so much more…!

We are family owned and operated and are truly passionate about all things homeowner-ship! Please visit us on instagram @brownandcohomes and let us know what questions you have and what kind of information you’d like to learn! Please also send us your email address to be added to our monthly newsletter starting January 2022 as well!

Thanks again for visiting and we can’t wait to meet you!

Jim & Amanda Brown