Did You Know...
- Musty odors - Mold is typically accompanied by an unpleasant odor. If your home persistently smells musty, there is a good possibility there is mold somewhere. Follow the odor to where it is strongest, find the mold and remove it. If the mold is in an unreachable area, like inside walls, you will need to call in a professional to help you remove it.
- Growth - There are many varieties of mold which can make it difficult to identify the type solely on a visual inspection. The growth can be fuzzy and dark looking more like a stain or it can be several colors including black, white, orange, green or brown. Take some time to identify areas of your home that are prone to moisture and inspect them for possible signs of mold growth. The fungus thrives in cool, damp areas so it will be easier to find it by limiting your search to places that are affected by excess moisture.
- Symptoms - Poor health can be a sign of excess mold in a home. Symptoms of mold include a constantly runny nose, watery eyes, sneezing, dizziness, headaches and even memory loss. While these symptoms are the sign of other health issues such as the common cold, if you are only symptomatic within your home, mold could be the culprit.
- Condensation- Excess moisture on your windows or condensation dripping from your pipes can mean excess moisture in your home. Dehumidifiers are a good solution to reduce excess moisture.
- Water Problems -If your home ever had standing water problems, whether a toilet overflowed or a sewer backed up, it is at risk for mold. The best places to look are areas where water remained for a long time. If your home has ever flooded, mold could grow underneath the flooring and behind walls.
- Upholstered furniture
- Gutters and roof – Keep your roof in good repair to avoid pooling water up that can cause damage inside your attic or other areas of your home. In addition, be sure the keep your gutters free of leaves and other debris so that water does not collect inside.
- Inspect foundation areas – Be sure that the ground next to your foundation slopes away from your home. This will ensure that as water drains it will roll away from the foundation.
- Fix leaks – If you have leaking pipes, roofing, appliances or other areas in your home, repair them immediately eliminate standing water.
- Condensation – Wipe up any condensation that forms on walls, windows or pipes to avoid drips and excess water.
- Visible mold – If you see mold growth in any area of your home, clean it up immediately with a bleach and water mixture.
- Clean air conditioner – clean the drip pans, drain lines and even your HVAC system to ensure that mold not is blowing around your home.
- Reduce humidity levels – When possible, run and air conditioner during humid weather. Keeping the relative humidity levels in your home between 30 and 50 percent offers an ideal climate in your home.
- Are you certified - Reputable home inspectors will be members of the American Society of Home Inspectors or the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors .
- Background, please - The best home inspectors are typically those who have experience in the real estate or building industry. This is especially important if you’re planning to purchase an older home, as inspectors may need to look for problems in older homes that are uncommon in newer properties.
- Years of Experience – There is nothing quite like working with someone who has a proven track record. Training and years in the field allow qualified inspectors to know exactly what to look for during the inspection process.
- How long – An average home inspection should take two or three hours to complete. Someone who says they will be in and out in under an hour is probably not going to do a very good job.
- What is included – It is not a home inspector’s job to inspect things that can’t be seen. Your inspection will not reveal wiring problems hidden behind drywall or any mold problems under the shower tiles, unless the inspector is trained to spot these issues.
- Can I attend the inspection – A refusal to this simple request should be a huge red flag. A home inspection is a great way to learn about your home and find out what repairs might be required. A forthright inspector should be happy to let you be a part of the process and give you this important insight.
- Inspection report - Most inspectors will provide a report within 24 hours. It is crucial that the inspector’s reporting style meet the requirements of your mortgage lender as well as your own personal requirements. If you are concerned about this, request samples of previous home inspection reports.
- Irritation of the mucous membranes
- Internal organ damage
- Mental impairment
- Immune system suppression
Mold—it’s one of every homeowner’s worst nightmares. What makes it so dangerous is how easy it is easy for homeowners to underestimate it. Mold can quickly infest a home when there is a constant source of excessive moisture. The more mold that is present, the worse for your health, especially if that mold is airborne. It can also grow at a rate that is alarmingly quick. In worst case scenarios, mold can grow to the point where it is impossible to remove.
Before Bona Fide Home and Mold Inspections can visit your home to properly detect mold , it may be helpful to determine what kind of mold you are dealing with. Cladosporium, aspergillus, penicillium, acremonium, stachybotrys and alternaria are among the most common types in residential homes. The best way to detect the mold often depends on the type of mold it is. Of these variances of mold, be especially cautions regarding aspergillius, acremonium, and stachybotrys. If you suspect that the mold is dangerous or potentially harmful to your health, stop what you are doing and call us immediately to safely eliminate it.
You should also keep in mind that mold often forms in damp environments. Take a tour of your home’s basement and really examine it. If your home has leaking pipes or cracked foundations, for example, additional moisture is forming in your house. This often allows excess water to enter your home and remain there—an ideal breeding ground for many types of mold.
While watching for the signs of mold can be done unsupervised at your convenience, we highly recommend that a professional business like Bona Fide Home and Mold Inspections takes the required steps to properly inspect your home.
If you are noticing one or more signs of mold in your home, Bona Fide Home and Mold Inspections is just a phone call away. We are committed to keeping your home as clean and safe as possible. If you live in the state of Rhode Island, give us a call at 401-644-3930 to schedule an expert inspection. Reach us at 617-360-1590 to schedule an inspection in Massachusetts.
Stairways and Handrails
Whenever you have more than 3 stairs either outside or inside, it’s always recommended that there be adequate hand rails / railings that you can grab on to both for support and in the event that you or someone trips and starts tumbling / falling down. The important thing with railings is to have handrails / railings that you or a child can grab onto by wrapping your hands easily around the railing(s). 2x4 wood studs do not qualify as adequate railings because you can’t grab on to them.
Additionally, for child safety reasons, no vertical or horizontal railings should have more than 4 inch spacings between them at any area if the stairs are above 30 inches in height ( these height levels vary from community to community…so please consult your local building and safety department for height requirements ).
So, always be sure to have approved wood or metal railings installed at the appropriate heights so that they can be easily grabbed on to in the event of a fall or just for support while going up or down stairs.
If you have a free standing water heater ( they usually come in 30, 40 and 50 gallon sizes ) and you’re ever in need of some additional water for whatever reason…you can drain whatever water is in your water heater by opening the bottom valve that looks exactly like a valve that you would connect a hose to.
In fact it’s recommended that you connect a hose to this bottom valve at least once a year and let the water drain out in order to clean the interior of the water heater of sediment that can build up on the inside of the heater over a period of time. Additionally, doing so can extend the life of the water heater in most cases.