What Microbes and Fungi are Growing in Your Home?

By
Home Inspector with Master Home & Building Inspections, LLC MD Lic 32336-VA Lic 1044

     We commonly get the question, do you test or inspect for mold? For these buyers or homeowners, there are typically four questions we ask that determine if testing is appropriate:

     1) Is mold visble?
     2) Is there a mold or musty smell in the home?
     3) Is there or has there been a long-term or major water leak in the home? And has it been fully eliminated?
     4) And most importantly, is there or will there be someone living in the home who has a weakened immune system or has sensitivity to one or more airborne components?

     In most cases, none of these questions apply. And the issue is much broader than just mold. But the issue still remains important as our newer homes are much tighter with regard to fresh air flow and exchanges of air from the outdoors. With these tight homes, moisture, microbes, and fungi tend to build up more and faster. All they need is moisture, heat, oxygen, and something they like to eat.

     In his recently published book, Never Home Alone, author Rob Dunn goes to great lengths to discuss what "things" are lurking in our homes, both good and bad. If you are not inclined to purchase, or borrow the book from your local library, there is a great listen to Rob Dunn discussing some of the issues confronting us in our homes, hosted by Terry Gross on her show Fresh Air. You can hear it here: https://www.npr.org/programs/fresh-air/2018/11/12/666981392/fresh-air-for-nov-12-2018-counting-the-bugs-and-bacteria-youre-never-home-alone?showDate=2018-11-12

     Some of us have noses that are much more sensitive to the things floating around in the air of a home, and can sense them as soon or soon after we walk into a home. Bottom line...It's much more complicated than we ever thought. 

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