Edmonton Mold Inspection

The Big Deal with Mold Inspection

Before you buy a home, getting a home inspection is one of the most important things you can do. The second most important thing is to get a mold inspection. Both inspections will ensure that the investment you make in your potential home is safe and sound. However, a home and mold inspections are quite different from each other. They require their own tools and different qualifications to perform them. Even with these differences, a lot of home inspection businesses in Edmonton offer mold inspections for residential and commercial properties. Now before getting a mold inspection, let’s look at what it is and why it’s needed in the first place.

 

What is a Mold Inspection?

Mold inspection is when a qualified mold inspector looks for any mold growth in a building. These qualified individuals will look for mold in the building, within walls, and any place that can cause severe damage to the building (such as wood decay).

What causes mold to grow?

The leading cause of mold growth is moisture. The moisture can come from water problems like a recurring leak or humidity. Whenever mold is found, it is most likely due to a moisture source. If the source of the moisture cannot be found, then the mold will keep coming back.

Should I include a mold inspection with my home inspection?

Getting a mold inspection is important because mold growth can affect your health and quality of life at home.

When the mold is present and continues to grow, it can cause a variety of allergic reactions. This includes a runny nose, sneezing, coughing, itchy eyes, headaches, watery eyes, itchy skins/rashes, dizziness/fatigue, nausea, sensitivity to indoors, difficulty concentrating. In addition to all these allergic reactions, mold produces a foul odor in the home.

These all create difficulties in living in your home. To prevent these difficulties from occurring, you need to hire a mold inspector.

Mold affects much more than just the home

Mold doesn’t only affect your home’s comfortability. Due to all the allergic reactions from the mold growth, you and your family could fall ill more often. In addition, the foul odor in the air could cause distractions and may result in issues like lower grades for your children. Also, you and your children might not get a full rest due to the discomfort of being home. All these issues are just the tip of the iceberg. Mold growth can affect a healthy family in so many ways.

The people that must be the most cautious of mold growth are infants, children, elderly, immune-comprised individuals, pregnant women, and people with respiratory problems. Each of those listed is vulnerable to the health effects of mold. Therefore, they must take extra precautions in ensuring that there is no mold growth in their living and working spaces.

Having a mold inspection is necessary for every homeowner. You can prevent a lot of headache for yourself and family. Anybody who lived with mold in their homes can attest that it is not a pleasant experience. So before buying a home, it is wise to hire a mold inspector. Make sure they inform you that there are no sources of moisture to allow mold growth in the home. As well as, ensuring that there is no pre-existing mold or moisture problem in the building.

By taking the time to have a mold inspection done on your home, you are protecting your home value and help ensure that it won’t be a tough sell. As well as ensuring a high quality of life for your family. 

Edmonton home inspector companies that offer mold inspection:

In Edmonton, there are many home inspectors that offer mold inspection. However, they do not include mold inspection as part of a home inspection since the tools and inspectors needed for a mold inspection are different from a normal home inspection. However, home inspectors can notify you if they find any mold, but that is as far as they go.

What to look for in a mold inspector

Make sure the potential mold inspector has IAC2 Mold certification. This ensures that are properly trained to detect mold in your home. In addition to this, try to find a mold inspector that is experienced and has positive google reviews. If you do your due diligence, then you will find a great mold inspector who will make the process simple for you.

Popular home inspectors that offer mold inspection in Edmonton:

Admirable Inspection Services. They offer $300 for the first mold inspection on residential properties and $450 for first mold inspection on commercial properties. Consult with them for more details for secondary mold inspections.

Other popular choices are Top Quality Inspections Inc. JBR Inspection, InspecUs, Trinuck properties Inc. All provide mold inspections in addition to home inspections. But you must call each of these home inspectors to get a rate or a quote.

 

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Top Tips after Buying a House in Edmonton

There are some good things you can do to make sure that your house remains in good condition. By taking these small steps you help ensure that your house is well maintained. Since you’re already paying an arm and a leg to buy your house, make sure it’s well maintained and protect your investment. A well maintained house will have better resale value, less costs for fixes, and be safer to live in.

 

Must Have Safety Features

One of the first things you should do when you buy any new property is check the smoke detectors. By having good working smoke detectors you’re helping manage the risk of a fire breaking out and damaging your home. Check all the batteries on the smoke detectors and change them as necessary. Also, make sure that there are enough smoke detectors scattered around the house. You should always have one covering the kitchen area, this is necessary.

 

In addition to smoke detectors, you need to have a carbon monoxide detector. Having a carbon monoxide detector will help make sure that dangerous carbon monoxide gases do not harm your family members. Carbon monoxide is very dangerous, especially in enclosed spaces like a basement. It can lead to death in many cases and since this is the case it should be taken extremely seriously.

 

Home Safety Tests

Now that you’ve got the detectors in place you also need to run some tests. Doing these tests will help ensure that the house is safe and well maintained. The first test you need to do is a radon test, radon is an odorless and colorless gas that can lead to health issues. If you want to learn more about radon visit our previous post here. High radon levels can cause serious health problems so make sure you either have it inspected by a professional or use a do-it-yourself kit.

Adding to the Radon test you should also have a mold inspection. Many home inspection companies in Edmonton offer both radon and mold inspection services and if they don’t they can always refer you. Mold can also cause health issues some of which is very serious. Mold can be hard to detect since it could be out of sight within walls. In many cases if it is out of sight you would only notice it by smell, at which point you already have a big mold problem. Since that is the case it is always a good idea to have a mold inspection and have the peace of mind.

Now that you’ve done the radon and mold tests you want to also make sure that the health of the house is in good shape. An important issue to look out for is termites. Termites can also be hard to detect and they can lead to some very serious problems. If termites eat away at the structure of the house the entire house is jeapordized. The structure of the house is a core part that if compromised can be a big problem. The value of a house can drop significantly since structural problems are usually expensive fixes. Some structural problems even lead the house into being uninhabitable. In short, termites are a serious problem and should be dealt with swiftly.

Good Habits Happy Wallets

A few good habits will help you a long way. Things like making sure that you shut off the water when leaving the house for a few days or more. This will help make sure you don’t have any awful surprises when you return. We’ve all had a friend, neighbor, coworker, or family member who got back home and found the water flooded. In fact we probably know more than one, shutting off the water will make sure you won’t get flooded. A simple trick like this could end up saving you thousands of dollars and giving you peace of mind.

Energy Savings

There are many ways of saving on energy costs in Edmonton. These include the bulbs you use, your energy sources, and many other ways. There are companies that will do an energy audit for you and show you actionable ways you can optimize your energy savings. In addition to helping your wallet, by having an energy optimized house you’ll also be helping the environment.

Temperature Monitoring

Another area you should be checking is the furnace and AC. In a city like Edmonton where the temperature goes down to -40 degrees Celsius it is extremely important to have a well heated house. Check that your furnace is running properly and do any repairs as necessary or else you could have a very tough time. In addition to the furnace, temperatures in Edmonton can get quite hot in the summer. You don’t have to have an AC but if you do it will make your life a lot easier. If you do run some tests and make sure that it is working.

Final Touches

Check to see if the windows are properly sealed and that it won’t get cold because of any cracks. If you do find any tracks cover them. Also, check the pipes by turning on all the faucets, flushing every toilet, and running all the showers. Plugged pipes can be a big annoyance, fortunately there are plenty of companies in Edmonton that offer their services to this problem.

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What is Radon and Do you need an Inspection?

Radon is a radioactive gas that is invisible and odorless allowing it to seep into your home undetected. It comes from the breakdown of uranium in the ground and depending on where you live you might be at a higher risk. No matter where your house is located radon can build up in the confined space of your house and become a serious health risk. Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer so we highly recommend having it inspected on a regular basis. The Radon level will fluctuate depending on how well your home in ventilated and how many cracks you have.

Entry Points

Radon can enter your house through any point where your house is in contact with the ground and there is a small crack. This includes floor drains, joints, gaps around pipes, window casements and any other cracks.

Health & Safety

As long as radon is at an acceptable level then there shouldn’t be any health issues. If the radon level gets too high and if you are exposed to it for enough time then there is a cause for concern. The concern multiplies if you or any of your family members are smokers since the combination of radon and smoking leads to 1 out of 3 smokers having lung cancer.

Radon Inspections

The only way to know if you have high levels is to test your home. It is simple and inexpensive. You have two options for testing:

  • Have a professional inspector conduct an inspection. (recommended)
  • Buy a testing kit and do it yourself. Testing kits cost between $30 and $60 and can be purchased from some hardware stores or online. Test kits include a radon detector that you simply place in your home. The detector after some time (3 months is recommended) has been sufficiently exposed to the fluctuating levels in your home. After the recommended 3 months you can send it to a lab for analysis. The best time to have a test is between September and April since your windows are mostly closed during our winter time.

Reducing the Radon Levels

The level in your home should be less than the Canadian guideline of 200 becquerels/metre³. If the level is higher then it needs to be reduced, the higher it is the sooner you should act.

Sub-Slab Depressurization

Sub-Slab Depressurization is one method you can use to reduce the radon level in your home. A professional will install a pipe through your foundation floor. The pipe will have a small fan attached that will blow the radon to the outside before it enters your home. Sub-Slab Depressurization can reduce the level by about 90%.

Ventilation and Sealing

The levels are related to how well your house is ventilated and how many cracks there are in your house. By increasing the ventilation and/or sealing the cracks in the ground the radon levels will reduce accordingly. This method is not as effective as the Sub-Slab Depressurization method mentioned above.

Do I need an inspection for a Condo?

If your condo is not on the ground floor then it is highly likely that you are safe and don’t need an inspection.

What now?

Clearly having your home inspected is of utmost importance. The risks of having high levels can be very serious and need to be addressed immediately.  In addition to Radon make sure you also get thermal imaging with your inspection. Get peace of mind and book an inspection today.

If you have any questions or need any clarifications get intouch with us today at youredmontonhomeinspections@gmail.com

The Your Edmonton Home Inspections Team

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How much does a Home Inspection Cost in Edmonton?

Home inspection costs vary depending on a few factors that include: market, property location, property age, property size, competition, and extras.  In general, the cost usually falls between $400 and $700 but let’s take a closer look at the Edmonton marketplace.

Property Location

For most properties, the price of the home inspection would not be affected by the location of the property. In some cases, however, if the property you are looking to inspect is in a bit of a remote location then there might be a driving fee which shouldn’t be more than $50.

Property Age

Some home inspectors factor in property age when valuing a quotation. The reason some home inspectors do this is that there is a higher chance that an older property would have more issues. The more issues the home inspector finds the more time they will have to spend on the home inspection. This is just the home inspector making sure they are not undercharging when you look at it at an hourly rate.

Property Size

Of course, there is also the size of the property. A bigger property will simply take more time to inspect so the bigger the property the more they’re going to charge. Let’s look at an example below:

Upto 1500 sq.ft. 1501-2000sq.ft 2001-2500sq.ft. 2501-3000sq.ft 3001-3500sq.ft +500sq.ft
$499.00 549.00 599.00 649.00 699.00 +50.00

 

Market

Depending on the economic situation of the city you are in the prices will vary. If there are many people buying property then the prices will go up, otherwise, they will go down. Simple demand and supply. In Edmonton, there are a handful of home inspection companies that take the bulk of the business and then there are dozens more that take many smaller slices. The few companies that have the larger chunk of the business have done more home inspections as a result and probably are more experienced. But remember that all home inspectors should be certified so there is a minimum standard that they all meet.

The bigger companies probably have pretty good customer service to help maintain their reputation. The smaller companies can vary from very good customer service to needs room for improvement. You should also consider looking at the smaller guys since they might have some lower prices to try and get some customers in the door.

The bigger players have a dominating online presence that provides them with the constant stream of customers. On the other hand, the smaller players are heavily depending on referrals. I’ve talked with a few of them and there were cases that had only 2 bookings for the entire week. Alternatively, I talked to some of the larger players as well and many of these guys were fully booked for the weekend.

Extras

The Packages offered by home inspection companies in Edmonton vary. Some inspection companies offer Thermal Imaging included with the standard package while others have it as an extra. Common extras include the following:

  • Mold inspection  $50 and up
  • Radon Inspection   $100 and up
  • Allergen Inspection $50 and up
  • Pool Inspections   $200 and up
  • Air Quality Testing  $150 and up
  • Asbestos Inspection $50 and up
  • Lead Inspection  $50 and up
  • WDO (Wood Destroying Organism) Inspection $100 and up

 

So depending on these factors property age, property size, market, competition, property location, and extras the price of the home inspection will vary from about $300 to more than $1,000 for large properties with a few extras.

What can you do to lower the price of a home inspection?

For most people, lowering the price is not easy. If you are representing an entity that can supply the home inspector with a constant stream of leads you could reach a deal with a home inspector. Some people think that they can negotiate with the home inspector to lower his price while he is at the property since he already went through the trouble to arrive at the property. People also think that if an inspector seems to be light on bookings they can pressure him to lower his price since he needs the booking.

All these people forget one thing. Almost all the home inspectors would have you sign a contract beforehand. In most cases, you will receive the contract via email for you to sign and agree on items relating to conditions, liability, and price. They will only show up at the property if you signed the contract which also means that you can’t really change the price anymore.

So while the cost of getting a home inspection is very small in terms of the total costs involved in buying a house, it is important to have an idea about how much you should be getting charged and make sure that you don’t end up overpaying.

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Buying a House in Edmonton

So, it’s time to upgrade your rental apartment and buy your first house. But, where do you start? Where do you get yourself a good mortgage deal? How do you know the house you’re considering is in as perfect a condition as it appears to be?

If only buying a house was as easy as looking up a few and choosing one.  Like all things good in life, it takes a little more effort than that. But, don’t worry! We have a handy guide to break it all down for you.

The Finances

  1.     Determine your financial position: The first, seemingly obvious, question to ask yourself is can I afford a house? Unlike a rental, owning a house comes with some additional bills. In addition to your mortgage payments, expect yourself to be paying property taxes, property insurance, as well as utilities like heating that were previously paid by your landlord or condo. A good financial situation would be paying 32% or less of your gross household income for monthly housing costs. Now that you’re aware of your financial position, you can start to set up a budget for your purchase.
  2.     Prepare a budget: Paying more than you expected to for something never feels good. You don’t want that feeling to cloud your excitement of purchasing a new home. Buying a house will include additional fees that you need to budget for. Some common expenses incurred during the home buying process are:
    1.  Adjustment costs. ($300 – $500) – Reimbursing the previous owner for any utility payments or property taxes that have been paid beyond the closing date.
    2.  Legal fees. ($500 – $1000) – Paperwork done for the transfer of ownership.
    3.  Title insurance. ($300) – Although not required in Alberta, your mortgage provider might require this.
    4. Property insurance. ($700 – $1000 at closing, and then annually) Your mortgage provider usually requires you to have insurance to cover the replacement value of your home and its contents.
    5. Moving expenses.
    6. Utility service charges. ($35 – $50 per utility) Check with your utility providers to find out what your exact moving fees will be.
    7. Home inspection fee. ($350 – $600)
    8. Mortgage insurance. (Between 1.25 and 3.15 percent of your mortgage amount) If you have a down payment of less than 20 percent of your mortgage amount, you need to insure your mortgage. This cost can be paid up front or added to your mortgage.

The Mortgage

  1.     Get pre-approved for a mortgage: Getting pre-approved for a mortgage will put you in a relatively better position when making an offer on a home. So, how do you get this process started? Mortgage lenders include banks, mortgage companies, insurance companies, loan companies, trust companies, and credit unions. You should talk to several lenders to get what you’re looking for. You can also talk to a mortgage broker. Mortgage brokers find a lender for you and may be able to give you different terms to choose from. You can find a broker on the Mortgage Professionals Canada website. Your mortgage lender will look at your finances to pre-approve you for a mortgage.

With a pre-approval, you can know the maximum amount you may get as well as interest rates you will be charged. A pre-approval does not guarantee that you’ll get a mortgage loan for that amount. The approved mortgage amount will depend on the value of your home and the amount of your down payment.

Psst…by now your wallet might be feeling drained but there is a sliver of relief. First time home buyers get a First-Time Home Buyers’ Tax Credit which reduces your federal tax amount for the purchase year.

The House

  1.     Look up listings online: Now that you have your finances in order, it’s time for the good part. Research houses and neighborhoods within your budget to get a better idea of your likes and dislikes.
  2.     Get yourself a realtor: Getting a realtor will open doors for you. The doors of homes that might not be listed online. A realtor will also know the best places to look to suit your needs. Realtors are generally paid a commission on the sale price by the seller. It is a win-win as you get the expertise without paying for it. You can find one online at realtor.ca or ask family and friends.
  3.     Book a home inspection: You’ve found a house you like. But, is everything as perfect as it looks? The best way to find out is to get a home inspector. A home inspector will make sure everything is in order, so you don’t get any awful surprises after moving in. Your home inspector will check the physical condition of the house which includes roofing, walkways and driveways, retaining walls, patios and decks, structure, electrical, heating, insulation, and plumbing.
  4.     Putting in an offer: When you get the go-ahead from your home inspector, you can make an offer on the house. Your realtor will help with the communication during this step.
  5.     Get your house: You got your dream house. Congratulations! For the possession day, your lawyer will get your mortgage lender to release funds to the sellers for the keys of your new home.

 

Once you’ve bought your new house in our lovely Edmonton make sure you check out these top tips of things to do after you buy your house! As always it’s a pleasure.

 

Your Edmonton Home Inspection Team

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