You suspect your home has mold, but what kind is it? Are you safe? Deep breath. There is no need to panic. Read on to arm yourself with the information you need to fight back.
What are signs of mold in a house?
Mold does not always leave telltale signs in your home. Sometimes mold has a musty or mildew-y smell, but other times it has no scent. Sometimes you can see black mold on your home's drywall, but other times it's between the walls and invisible to the naked eye. You can try climbing into your attic to look for signs of mold there. If you've just survived a heavy rainstorm, look for standing water or damp insulation that could develop in to mold. The EPA states that mold can grow in as little as 48 hours in these situations.
How do you test for mold?
If you suspect mold, you can have a professional mold remediation company come out to perform a mold inspection for a few hundred dollars. While there are DIY mold kits on the market, Consumer Reports has tested them and advises against purchasing any due to unreliability.
What is mold remediation?
If your home shows the presence of mold after a mold inspection, the inspection company will recommend mold remediation. Mold remediation is the process of not only removing visible mold on the surface, but also mold spores that you cannot see. It generally includes removing any porous material, like drywall and batt insulation as well as deep cleaning non-porous materials, like cinder block basement walls.
Will insurance pay for mold removal?
Whether or not your homeowner's insurance policy will cover mold removal depends on the circumstances. If mold developed due to a heavy storm that caused flooding in your town, it is likely that insurance will cover the damage from the storm, including any mold that develops. If, however, the mold was caused by poor insulation or poor construction techniques, you may not be covered. Talk to your insurance agent and find out what your policy will and will not cover in terms of mold remediation.
Is it legal to sell a house with mold?
It's not illegal to sell a house with mold 'as-is', however, it's required by law that you disclose anything wrong with the property to potential buyers. Your best option is to have a professional mold remediation company clean up the mold and re-test. The new mold testing paperwork should state that the house is now mold-free.
Mold is not a reason to panic, but it must be dealt with swiftly and properly.