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5 Reasons Why You Need a Home Mold Inspection: An Interview with Steve Martin of Pillar to Post

By Steve Martin

Tell us a little bit about your company and the services you offer.

Pillar to Post is the leader in home inspections in the USA and Canada. All Pillar To Post home inspectors are members of regional, national, state and provincial associations, and are fully trained, certified and E&O insured. As a franchise organization, each office is independently owned and operated and may provide a variety of services. My company, like all other Pillar to Post offices, offers three different Home Inspection Packages that allow you to select the range of services you prefer, so you can have peace of mind about buying the home you love. In addition to home inspections, we also offer clients additional services such as radon testing, water quality testing, allergen testing and mold testing.

What are the best and worst case scenarios when there is mold growth in a home and it goes undetected (and untreated)?

Molds or fungi exist everywhere in our world. Some are used for medication, others used for food but others can be allergens or even worse, toxic. Many clients have a heightened concern about possible mold in their home and look for testing to determine its presence. If mold goes undetected, best case scenario is whatever particular strand that may be growing is simply and allergen and the occupants of the house do not have any reactions associated with the growth. Worst case scenario could be the existence of a toxic growth, which many refer to as black mold, and occupants of the house begin to suffer sickness and respiratory issues.

What are the most common causes of mold and affected areas in North Carolina homes?

The most common cause of mold growth in a home is moisture. This can be moisture from some type of leak or water penetration or elevated humidity levels in a home.

When should a homeowner or home buyer get a mold inspection?

It's one thing to get a test when you can see visible growth. In this case, it is an easy decision. Where it becomes difficult is if there is no visible growth. In cases where there is no visible growth but there are known allergens or respiratory issues, testing a good idea. It's also a good idea to get a home tested if there has been a past water event. For homeowners, they know of the issue but for buyers, this information is not always available. We have had some past buyers obtain insurance claim information for a house when they are securing home owners insurance which has listed water claims. Bottom line is piece of mind, if you have a concern about mold, satisfy that concern and have the home tested.

What are the basic steps that an inspector is involved in from start to finish of a mold inspection to the final clearance of affected areas?

As home inspectors, we are the first line of testing. If we perform an air mold test and the house shows levels indicating active spore growth, we refer the client to a professional mold remediation company. As the experts, the remediation company can determine the source of this growth and take necessary steps to correct the issue and "clean" the house. Since we are an unbiased third party, companies and clients will often bring us back when the work is completed to perform a final test to ensure the area is now clear.

What advice would you give to someone who thinks they might have a mold problem but has a limited budget?

For someone with concerns but a limited budget, call your local home inspector and discuss testing. They can provide you an unbiased report on the house. Bottom line though, if there is mold present; steps should be taken to correct the issue. Many molds can be harmless but unless you test and know what you are dealing with, you may be putting yourself at risk.

What's the best way for people to reach you and your company?

Pillar to Post has home inspectors around the state that can often help or direct clients to someone who can. They can call our main corporate line at 1-800-294-5591 and they will be directed to the inspector in their area. For clients in the Winston Salem, High Point and Greensboro areas, they can reach our office directly at 336-441-0257 and someone will help them with questions and scheduling.

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About The Author

Steve Martin is the President and Owner of Forsyth County Pillar to Post.

Phone: 336-441-0257

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