Archive for the ‘Miami mold inspection’ Category

Home Buying Perils

Thursday, April 10th, 2014

Home Buying Perils

 
 

My parents bought their first house in 2005. Unfortunately, they didn’t know much about home buying or home inspections. They fell in love with their beautiful three bedroom and two bathrooms home and bought it without checking the property or getting a second opinion.

Later that year, I began having trouble breathing at night while I was sleeping. We had no idea what was causing the problem. I went to see various doctors to try and determine the cause. It resulted that I was suffering from asthma due to mold.

We quickly had a mold inspector come and check out the problem. He moved furnishings away from the walls and even checked the vents. He discovered dark spots throughout the house and in the garage. Cracks on the exterior walls were damp and moldy.

The mold inspector sent out the samples and determined it was Penicillium/Aspergillus mold. The CDC references the World Health Organization’s Guidelines for Indoor Air Quality: Dampness and Mould when discussing health-related issues linked to mold. In their guidelines, they state, “Many fungal species produce type I allergens, and immunoglobulin (Ig)E sensitization to the commonest outdoor and indoor fungal species, like Alternaria, Penicillium, Aspergillus and Cladosporium spp., is strongly associated with allergic respiratory disease, especially asthma.”

The mold inspector identified numerous locations where the mold was growing and gave us different suggestions on how to control the problem (i.e. controlling humidity levels by fixing any cracks or leaky roofs, sealing windows and pipes, ventilating the laundry, shower and cooking areas, etc.).

In the end, there was over $10,000 worth of damages and my health was suffering. Although my parents tried to clear up the mold, the costs and health concerns associated with the mold condition became too much and they ended up selling the house and moving.

This is why it is so important to have a home inspection prior to investing in a home. A mold inspection performed prior to investing in the home would have saved time, money and avoided any mold-related health issues. Make the unknown known. Save yourself a lot of money in the long run and make a healthy decision for your family by hiring a home inspector.

By: Darline Rojas

Why You Need A Comprehensive Mold Inspection

Monday, January 13th, 2014

If you live in Florida, then chances are, you know that mold is a common concern among homeowners and buyers.  Even new construction that has been vacant for some time is not immune to this unwelcome guest.  And as much we enjoy the enviable Florida lifestyle, the combination of moisture and warm temperatures provide excellent conditions for mold growth.  So it’s understandable why our state has persistent problems with mold.

 

Unfortunately, mold is a significant threat to property and buildings. If not caught early, it can spread quickly, providing damage and significant health issues.  Simply touching mold or breathing air that has mold spores can cause a variety of reactions.  For some, it may include coughing, runny nose or skin and eye issues.  For others, the effects can be more dangerous.

 

A brief rundown:  Mold occurs when you have moisture, nutrients and warmer temperatures.  Once mold spores find their way into a home or property, mold can settle and grow quickly.  The question is not how to get rid of mold spores from entering a home as they are not visible to the naked eye and exist virtually everywhere, both indoors and outdoors.  Rather, the issue is how to discover and remove mold once it has been discovered.

 

1.  Maintain moisture control in air: 

 

Moisture can come into our homes or commercial property in a variety of ways.  Whether it be through damp air or water, it can arrive through windows, doors, cracks, as well as through dishwashing, showering, laundry or cooking.  Leaks and plumbing problems are also popular ways for water to get inside.  In fact, likely culprits are washing machine hoses and water heaters as being the top two sources of expensive water damage, which can then result in mold issues.

 

2.  Eliminating Nutrients:

 

Mold will quickly settle and spread when it has a food source.  Natural fibers, found in furnishings, clothing, paper products, books and other materials are popular feeding grounds.  Mold also grows on walls, closets, clothing and showers.  In fact, soap scum found in shower stalls provides nutrients for mold growth.  The best way to eliminate this pest is to keep a clean home, which will discourage mold from spreading.

 

3.  Temperature Control:

 

Again, with warm summer months just ahead, its good to remember that hot weather encourage mold growth.  Mold makes itself right at home in temperatures between 75 – 87 degrees.  While air conditioning certainly helps, if the air is more humid, then it is unable to prevent mold from growing.  Pay particular attention to areas where the air doesn’t flow, such as inside cabinets, closets and under kitchen or bathroom sinks, as these areas are usually the warmest in a home.

 

So again, the best way to eliminate mold growth is to do the following:

 

  • Regularly clean and sanitize your home.

 

  • Clean shower stalls to remove soap scum as well as moisture.

 

  • Keep fans on, as it will circulate the air.

 

  • Keep an eye out for any wet areas, standing water or condensation.

 

  • Don’t ignore any leaky faucets or plumbing problems.

 

  • Don’t allow foundations to stay wet.  Make sure there is drainage and the area is properly sloped away from foundation.

 

  • Make sure air conditioning is properly maintained and HVAC drip pans are thoroughly cleaned, flowing correctly and unobstructed.

 

Despite all best preventions, it is not surprising when owners are unaware they have a mold problem with their home or commercial property.  In fact, most are genuinely shocked to hear that their home is infested with mold.  Often, mold is hidden, may be covered or the leak is behind walls, or other locations that are not clearly visible. That is why it is necessary to inspect any property for mold, especially if:

 

  • Owners or tenants have allergic reactions, such as itch eyes, sneezing, runny nose with being in a certain area or room of house or building.

 

  • To determine that source of moisture has been stopped with no mold growth.

 

  • To verify there is not a mold issue or moisture that is often associated with new construction, building or property that will be rented or purchased.

 

 

Finally, there are some important things everyone should know in regards to mold inspections.  The most important facts are:

 

  • It is necessary to hire a professional, qualified and experienced mold inspector.

 

  • A mold inspection should include looking for current and past mold problems.

 

  • Mold is not often known or visible, so good inspectors utilize specialized equipment such as moisture meters and infrared cameras.  This equipment can often detect moisture which is not visible to the naked eye.

 

  • Mold inspections should always be on the look out for moisture.

 

It is recommended that anyone who suspects a mold problem, to have a complete and comprehensive inspection.  Mold related illness, particularly in our area of Florida, is not uncommon and should be treated immediately.

 

Why South Florida Homes Need A Home Inspection

Tuesday, March 12th, 2013

Ask any professional real estate agent in south Florida and they will tell you: Never waive a home inspection when buying a home. Why is this? It could end up costing you a fortune.

Unfortunately, some buyers will ignore a proper home inspection for a variety of reasons:

• “It doesn’t matter what’s wrong with it, I’m going to buy it anyway.”

• “This house looks terrific! I can’t see anything wrong with it.”

• “I know the owner! They would never sell me a house that needs repairs!”

Many buyers believe that if an inspection isn’t mandatory, then why should they pay for a service that may not necessary? The answer to that is, a home inspection is not only necessary it helps ensure the home you are buying is a quality investment. Consider this: If you were going to invest a significant amount of your own money in the stock market, wouldn’t you do some research prior to writing a check?

The good news is that in South Florida, the real estate market is on the road to recovery. We are once again seeing homes receive multiple offers, with many going above the asking price. Anything in a highly desirable area that is priced correctly is moving quickly. As we see with multiple offers, buyers will concede many things, and often this may be a home inspection despite a real estate agent’s warning. This is because a home inspection may be the best money you ever spend.

In Florida, some of our biggest inspection issues revolve around our weather. While people move from all over the world to enjoy our sunshine, the truth is that our climate plays a large role in water damage to our homes. Properties need to be checked to determine if a seller has properly maintained their homes from water issues, particularly with windows and doors.

Electrical issues are also problems Florida homeowners encounter. Older and damaged wiring are not only dangerous but often installed improperly. An inspection can clearly give you peace of mind to ensure that your home’s electrical system is safe for you and your family.

How would you like to live in your new home with a sub par air conditioning system. With the hot temperatures we experience here in South Florida, it’s no surprise then that this is a feature that most of us use daily so it’s necessary that a buyer wants a home where the AC unit has been properly maintained. But maybe a unit is on its last legs or hasn’t been checked in some time. A good inspector can determine the condition of the air conditioner to determine if it is in good working order.

Another prevalent home issue common in south Florida is mold. Once inside a home, mold spreads quickly and is difficult to get rid of unless it is properly remediated. Professional home inspectors can detect mold where it’s most likely to occur, under sinks and ceilings or where moisture can be a problem.

Of course, inspecting those hard to reach places, such as attics and crawlspaces often find overlooked and potential problems. Here, you may find water damages, poor plumbing, bad insulation and structural damage among other things.

All of these problems, including others, are why it’s necessary to hire a home inspector. Imagine moving into a home that has been infested with mold that hasn’t been detected by you or the previous owner? Or maybe an air conditioner that doesn’t work properly and suddenly breaks down? These can be expensive repairs that may very well rest on the buyer to pay.

New construction should also have a professional home inspection since subcontractors handle the majority of construction. While a buyer may well be familiar with the homebuilder, chances are, they won’t know who is pouring their foundation, handling the plumbing and electrical issues as well as the framing and other required jobs. Mistakes are often made and not discovered until it’s too late.

A proper home inspection can be viewed as a check-up for your future home. Here, you will have the opportunity to know if the condition of the physical structure of your home is safe and where repairs could be necessary. It’s knowledge that you understand exactly what condition the home is that you are buying. But it also provides peace of mind that you are making a good and educated decision when buying your property.

Major Roof Leak?– Or Something Less Serious?

Tuesday, August 24th, 2010

You’re a real estate professional and a new couple has contacted you regarding one of your listings. These prospective buyers are absolutely in love with this house. So you set up an appointment and take them in, showing them all the wonderful features of the house. It almost seems like this house was built for this couple. It’s absolutely perfect. As the couple looks around for a bit, the wife lmiami roof inspectionooks up and notices some paint peeling on the bedroom ceiling near the air conditioning vent. The husband reaches up and touches the peeling paint and it’s wet. There was a rainstorm last night so the husband immediately believes it’s a roof leak. The couple informs you that they don’t have money for a new roof, and they would rather just keep looking then to waste time and money on continuing with this house.
I’m sure many real estate agents have seen similar situations to this more than once. But a bit of knowledge could mean the difference between this couple walking away immediately, or at least waiting until Miami home inspectors can fully evaluate the situation.
Finding moisture around air conditioning vents is extremely common in South Florida, especially in older homes. While the cause of the moisture could be anything from a roof leak, plumbing leak, or some other deficiency; it is more commonly caused by condensation of the vent or the ceiling box (also known as the boot, or ductwork boot).
commercial building inspectionCondensation occurs on a surface that is below the dew point of the air. The temperature of the cold air in the ductwork could range from 50 to 65 degrees (depending on many different factors). During our summer months the temperatures can reach upwards of 100+ degrees which dramatically raises the dew point of the air. The temperature is even higher in your attic which raises the dew point of the air even more. When the cold metal on the ceiling box or the vent register gets below that dew point, condensation will occur.

Repairing this is often very easy. All that needs to be done is to prevent the hot air of the attic fromroof inspection touching the cold metal surfaces of the ceiling box or vent register. There is a wide variety of insulation or ductwork sealants that can be used for this. The problem is usually an inadequate seal between the ceiling box and the vent register due to improperly cut drywall. Hiring a contractor for this repair could cost anywhere from $75 to $150 per location. This is a huge difference from a roof repair that could cost $500 or worse, a roof replacement which could cost tens of thousands of dollars! If you need someone to check out your roof, use our Miami roof inspection services.

Recession Creates Opportunities

Monday, May 11th, 2009

The National Bureau of Economic Research has officially declared what most of knew a year ago — we’re in a recession. But what hasn’t been said and what many money-savvy individuals are finding is that there are a huge number of opportunities for individuals and investors alike.

With the large number of houses currently available on the market and more being listed every week, it has become a true buyer’s market. Many sellers and banks are highly motivated to off-load properties. They’ve been offering huge incentives and price reductions that have never been seen before! With the vast number of foreclosures on the market, it has become more important than ever to retain a qualified Miami home inspector. Many of these homes are rough diamonds, but can just as easily turn into nothing more than a lump of coal. Frequently, there is no contact with the previous homeowner in a foreclosure. You’re just dealing with the bank and are not even given the ability to review a seller’s disclosure statement. Many of these homes have been neglected for some time and Building Inspection Services can identify many of the key problems and offer cost solutions to help make your dream home a reality.