5 Ways to Spot Mold Infestation During a House Inspection

Nobody wants to buy a moldy house. While house hunting, learn how to spot mold in properties, convince sellers to reveal mold concerns, and bargain around them.

Mold is a fungus that thrives in damp conditions. Mold exposure can cause health concerns such as breathing difficulty, coughing, and asthma aggravation. 

These symptoms are more common in those with weaker immune systems, allergies, or asthma. Although short-term mold exposure is unlikely to cause serious problems, you should have it removed as soon as possible.

Mold grows in moist settings, so it’s common in basements, behind open windows, and behind air conditioners. Mold in an obviously damp region usually indicates that the area hasn’t been adequately cared for. 

Determining what caused a large-scale mold overgrowth is essential. That’s because mold may be a symptom of a more significant problem in your home.

In addition to causing serious health issues, molds can significantly diminish the home value and are considered a public health hazard when found at large levels. That’s why sellers must alert buyers of mold risks. Failure to do so may result in code penalties. 

You won’t always know whether a house has mold, but you can take a few simple measures to find out:

1. Consult with Your Home Inspector

Prior to buying, examine for mold or water damage. Not every inspector will spot water damage and probable mold symptoms, but most will. Unlike you, the inspector may notice stuff you won’t. Do not hesitate to ask the inspector whether they found any signs of mold or potential mold concerns, and ask for a report.

2. Watch Out for Mold Indicators

Before buying a house, look for apparent mold indicators. Keep an eye out for wet walls and musty odors, particularly in bathrooms, kitchens, basements, laundry rooms, or other areas with plumbing.

Find out whether a contemporary home has “synthetic stucco,” often called EIFS (EIFS). When constructed poorly, this airtight barrier can allow water intrusion and mold growth on the interior of walls.

3. Heed the Advice of Realtors and Appraisers

The disclosure of any issues that a real estate agent or broker is aware of is mandatory in several states. Similarly, an appraiser should alert you of any visible signs of mold if it threatens the property’s value.

4. Ask That the Seller Disclose Any Mold or Water Concerns

This disclosure requirement only covers issues that the seller knows or should know about. This means the seller is not required to look for mold in the walls.

Even if mold disclosure is optional in your state, ask the seller if any pipes have ever burst or if any windows have leaked. If the owner does not disclose information they could have easily known, the home inspection will give you leverage to renegotiate the sale.

5. Include a Mold Contingency in Your Bid

When making an offer on a house, you should condition the sale on the results of certain mold examinations. It lets you back out if the examination finds mold. Mold testing is complex and pricey. When mold is evident on surfaces, utilize the above-mentioned testing procedures to find mold in the home you want to buy.


Should you buy a house with mold issues? If you have a baby or an older person in your household or if a family member has asthma, you should be especially cautious. You must decide whether the time and money spent removing mold and fixing the cause are worth the cost.

You have a negotiating chip if you have an inspection contingency and the mold is discovered during the inspection. You may either negotiate a lower price, fix the problem, or refuse to buy. You may be entitled to compensation if the previous owner of the property you acquired neglected to disclose the presence of mold before you purchased it.

If you need a home inspector in Birmingham, AL, Ally Property Inspections is here for you. We provide thorough house inspection services performed by a highly trained team of professionals. You can relax knowing your investment is protected and you are moving into a quality property. We are your ally in purchasing your next home. Contact us today!

Scroll to Top