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3 Times To Test Your Home For Mold

BY Steve Rodriguez

Mold is everywhere, but is your home making you sick?

I was in a basement earlier this week that had more toxic mold than I’d seen all year.

The home had been closed up for 12 months, the power turned off, and the previous owner was a bonafide hoarder (each one of these is a red flag).

As soon as I sized up the situation I modified the inspection and cut it short.  I don’t like doing that, but sometimes the problem is bigger than the home inspection. 

Thank goodness the new buyers are getting a great deal and have the finances (and good sense) not to move in until all the work is done (including the pool).  Check it out these photos…

thick black mold on wall
thick fuzzy white mold on wall
large black mold spots on wall
green water swimming pool

This shows what happens when a home made of paper and wood is neglected and why it’s so important to keep it dry and full of sunlight.

Because the healthier the home is, the less likely you’ll be stricken by the deadly consequence of those dank, dark areas.

And despite the severity and aside from individuals with increased sensitivity who need a temperature-controlled environment just to breathe, there are still only 3 situations when it’s pretty much a no-brainer to test your home for black mold.

1. You experience mold-like symptoms but can’t pinpoint the cause.

Mold symptoms can mimic cold and flu symptoms. Things like:

mold-like symptoms
Skin rash
  • Sneezing
  • Bloodshot eyes
  • Skin rashes
  • Runny nose
  • Throat irritation
  • Overall icky feeling

But if you feel fine outside your home, you might want to have your home tested for elevated levels of mold. That’s because long-term mold exposure has been known to cause brain damage and death.

2. After you’ve completed mold remediation and cleanup.

If you’ve had enough water damage to justify Kansas City mold removal and repair (especially in places you can’t see like walls, ductwork, carpet, and above ceilings), it’s important to have your home tested for mold.

Mold cleanup
Mold cleanup

But wait at least 24 hours after all the work is done so you give all the mold spores time to settle.

This way you can go back to living a normal life without kicking them up and prolonging the problem.

And be sure to get all your ductwork professionally and thoroughly cleaned.  There is not a more efficient way to spread mold throughout your home than through your HVAC system.

Because you’re not just concerned with airborne mold.  Mold spores are sticky and can lay dormant inside your ductwork indefinitely (i.e. thousands of years).

3. You’re buying a home that smells damp and musty, but you don’t see any mold.

This is especially true if it’s been:

  1. Closed up
  2. Vacant
  3. A/C system turned off
  4. Electricity disconnected.
damp and musty

Mold is insidious and if you can’t see it, it may still be growing (or lying dormant) above ceilings, behind walls, or under flooring. An air test will capture the mold spores in the air and tell you if you have elevated levels in your home so you can take action before you move in.

So how much does mold testing cost in Kansas City?

It’s usually a flat fee of $300-$900 based on the square footage and # of samples taken.

But on average, expect to invest about $500 for a 2,500 sq.ft. home in Kansas City.

Photo of author


Steve Rodriguez is a Certified Master Inspector® and the owner of Bulldog Professional Inspection Services. He will perform your home inspection and has personally uncovered tens-of-thousands of defects in 14,000+ Kansas City properties since 2003.
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