How Much Does A Mold Inspection Cost?
The last thing that any builder-owner wants to discover is mold, but it happens every day. Mold is quite common, and it grows due to dark and damp conditions. When you suspect that those weird looking spots are mold, it’s time for an inspection, but at what cost?
Mold inspection prices average $350 for most homeowners. It can cost $550 to detect mold if it is hidden behind vents and walls. Mold air tests cost $110, and inspections can cost $250 if they use a mold swab test.
Those costs do not include the cost of remediation after discovering mold. Mold remediation costs between $550 and $6,000. However, structural damage repairs caused by mold cost between $10,000 and $20,000.
Follow along as we take a deep dive into the cost of mold inspection.
How Much Does a Mold Inspection Cost?
Mold inspection can cost between $300 and $500 for small houses, and up to $1,000 for large houses. The average cost of mold inspection is roughly $600, and the cost is worth it if you suspect mold.
A mold inspection test is as official as it can get, and home testing kits are not as effective. Any homeowner can buy a home mold testing kit, but the results are not considered concrete. The results of a DIY mold test do not hold up when it comes to insurance and hiring out for removal.
Industrial hygienists are able to professionally inspect and remove mold from your home.
Mold Inspection Price
There are several factors that affect the price of mold inspection. After a mold inspection, there are also a few other costs that could come up depending on the results.
Hard To Reach Mold
Some mold is harder to reach than others, and that affects the cost. Let’s use small and medium houses as an example. If your house is being inspected, and the air tests positive for mold but it’s not visible, it is hiding somewhere.
For a small or medium-sized house, it would cost between $500 and $600, and it would take up to 6 hours. That hike in cost is simply because of how long it can take to find mold that’s hidden behind walls and in vents.
However, if the mold is accessible and on the windows or walls, it would cost closer to $300-$400. The same applies to large houses, and hard to reach mold inspections come in closer to $1,000.
Testing Air For Mold
Industrial hygienists can test the air for mold spores, and it can save you time and trouble. A mold air test costs $110 on average, and it helps with the mold inspection process. For example, if the inspector cannot find mold but the air tests positive, they know to look somewhere more elusive.
Mold spores travel through the air easily, and it makes the air in your home harmful. One common mistake many homeowners make when they discover mold is scrubbing it and breaking it up. However, that does not eradicate or kill the mold, and can make it worse if you use a wet rag.
If you wipe mold away, it will likely grow back and stay a problem. Ask an industrial hygienist about testing your air for mold spores.
Mold Swab Test Cost
A swab test is quite common and one of the simpler methods of identifying mold. Mold swab tests cost $250 on average, and it takes no time at all. The industrial hygienist takes a swab and carefully runs it along what appears to be mold.
If their suspicions are correct and it is mold, you can proceed with remediation. If the swab test comes back negative, they may wind up conducting a mold air test and inspect your home.
Mold Remediation Cost
If your mold inspection and mold air test shows that you have mold, it must be removed. Mold removal is referred to as mold remediation, and it comes at a cost.
You can expect to pay between $550 and $6,000 at least for remediation. Remediation only costs as low as $550 if the mold is easy to access and in a crawlspace. Otherwise, mold removal costs much more and increases in price based on the volume of mold and accessibility.
If the mold is around the foundation or somewhere that removing it causes structural damage, it costs $10,000 or more. Serious structural damage caused by decay fungi and mold or a large infestation can cause upwards of $20,000 in costs.
|Mold Inspection Services||Cost|
|Mold Air Test||$110|
|Mold Swab Test||$250|
|Structural Mold Damage Repair||$10,000-$20,000|
Is Mold Testing Necessary?
Mold testing is necessary if you see signs of mold in the house and suspect that you have it. There are several signs of mold that any homeowner can detect, such as:
- Visible dark spots/patterns
- Itchy and red skin
- Sore throat and flu-like symptoms
- Cough and respiratory difficulties
- Distinct musty odor
If you detect any of those signs and you have conditions that breed mold, you probably have it. In that case, mold inspection is necessary to confirm and diagnose the problem and hopefully fix it. You are free to get mold inspection even if you do not pick up on signs of mold, and many homeowners do.
Sometimes, a routine mold inspection can reveal mold that you didn’t know existed, and that is a great thing. The earlier that you catch mold, the easier it is to deal with and eradicate.
What Causes Mold To Grow?
Mold is the result of many perfect environmental and home conditions lining up to create an expensive problem. There are several common causes of mold, and they are at the root of most infestations, including.
1. Moist Conditions
If there is a buildup of moisture and wetness, mold has a chance to grow. Tight areas where there are water leaks often breed mold if they are confined and stay wet. Walls behind water lines or spots in the wall with water leaking from the roof often contain mold or spores.
2. Dark Space
Dark spaces also breed mold, and it is exacerbated by moisture. And conversely, bright spaces with sun exposure rarely get mold and can in fact destroy it. Dark closets with a leak or a moist, dark attic with little to no sunlight are prime examples of mold breeding grounds.
3. Mold Spores In Air
Mold doesn’t grow without mold spores, and they travel by air. They are problematic because spores are hard to detect, and they reproduce quickly. Just like mold itself, mold spores thrive on damp and dark spaces to reproduce and grow.
How To Prevent Mold
Mold is destructive, hazardous, and unnerving. Every homeowner wants to do whatever they can to prevent mold and the costs that it brings. Mold can strike for just about anyone, but there are still things you can do to prevent it.
Prevent Mold With Vinegar
Believe it or not, vinegar can kill mold, and it is worth the bad odor. Mold can actually destroy over 80% of mold species, and most of them are common household molds. Not only can you kill most existing molds with vinegar, but you can also prevent mold from growing.
It may seem counterintuitive since mold thrives on moisture, but vinegar can ward off mold. You may have a dark and damp space that mold keeps coming back to. If that is the case, apply vinegar to the problem area.
The vinegar may not work, and that likely means your mold is one of the 20% of species it cannot kill. In that case, you’ll need another preventative method.
Fixing Leaks Prevents Mold
Leaks are a nuisance and cause problems with water pressure and even frozen pipes. Unfortunately, leaky pipes can also cause mold, and it is quite common. Pipes are often deprived of sunlight and are in tight spaces.
The mixture of the constant drip of moisture from the pipe and the darkness around it breeds mold. If you notice a leaking pipe, get it fixed before mold grows. It only costs between $150 and $400 to have a leaking pipe fixed.
Dehumidifiers Prevent Mold
Dehumidifiers are not able to kill mold, but they can keep it from growing. Humidity is like a superfood for mold and leaving the air moist is a recipe for disaster.
You can find dehumidifiers for between $60 and $700 or more. They work by removing humidity from the air, and that reduces the risk of mold. Dehumidifiers significantly remove conditions favorable to mold, and ultimately keep it away.
Prevent Mold In Ventilation
Mold pops up in vents and air ducts frequently due to moisture and darkness. If you have improper insulation, it can cause mold, and you can have it installed for $750-$1,500. Insulation helps prevent condensation, and you can do it yourself for between $35 and $50.
The cheapest and easiest way to prevent mold in ventilation is by changing filters. A single filter only costs $5-10, and you can find 12 packs for $70. Changing the filter in your HVAC system not only prevents mold, but it also makes your air that much cleaner.
Finally, never forget to dump out your HVAC system’s drip pans. Excess moisture from your ventilation system comes out and lands in the drip pan. It may not seem like a lot of water, but that small amount can turn into mold quickly and easily.
How long does a mold inspection take?
A mold inspection can take as long as 6 hours if it is well concealed and hard to reach. Otherwise, a mold inspection can take between 1 and 3 hours, and it is much easier for small homes.
Does mold cause structural damage?
Yes, mold can cause structural damage, but only if it produces decay fungi. If you let mold go long enough, it can turn into decay fungi and eventually rot away wood. Decay fungi are quite destructive and can reproduce just like mold, so it is best to catch early on.
How long does it take for mold to grow?
It takes between 1 and 2 days for mold to grow. The presence of moisture and a dark space can encourage the mold to grow, and eventually reproduce. After roughly 20 days, you can expect to see more mold spores, and even more after that if it isn’t removed.
Summing It Up
It costs between $300 and $1,000 to get your house inspected for mold. Small houses are easier to inspect and take less time unless the mold is concealed and hard to reach. Identifying the mold itself can cost $500-$1,000 in many cases, but if it is found, more costs come up.
Your industrial hygienist may suggest a mold air test, and that generally costs roughly $110. Another test that is often done at the same time is a mold swab test, and that costs up to $250. You can spend up to $6,000 for mold remediation if it is determined you have mold and need it removed.
However, mold is known to sometimes create decay fungi, and it can rot wood causing structural damage. If you have structural damage due to decay fungi, you may spend up to $20,000 or more in heavy-duty structural repairs. Your best bet is to minimize moisture, use great insulation, and call a professional if you suspect mold!
Nick Durante is a professional writer with a primary focus on home improvement. When he is not writing about home improvement or taking on projects around the house, he likes to read and create art. He is always looking towards the newest trends in home improvement.
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