How much does it cost to get a mold inspection?
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Mold Inspection Cost Guide
Updated: August 18, 2022
A mold inspection is essential for your family’s health and well-being. Mold is a fungus and requires moisture to grow and flourish. Even in small quantities, the mold spores can quickly become airborne in the home and lead to health problems (especially of the respiratory tract) for the inhabitants. The mold can spread and cause extensive structural damage. This situation requires repairs and mold remediation.
The national average cost of a mold inspection ranges from $450 to $800, with most people paying around $500 to inspect a 2,500 square foot home, obtain two samples, and conduct laboratory testing. Typically, the price depends on the home’s square footage and how many mold samples are obtained. At the low end of the spectrum, you pay $300 for a 1,000 sq.ft. home, one sample, and laboratory testing. At the high end, you can expect to pay $1,000 for a larger home, two samples, laboratory testing, and drywall removal for testing purposes.
Mold Inspection Price
|Mold Inspection Cost|
|National average cost||$500|
Mold Inspection Cost by Type of Mold
The average mold inspection cost by type of mold ranges from $450 to $800 for labor and testing of a 2,500 square foot home. Various types of mold are found within the home. Some may cause mild allergic reactions, while others can be toxic to those exposed, such as black mold. Most mold inspections have a standard price. Toxic forms may have a premium assessed due to the increased safety equipment and need for caution. In the table below, we’ll look at the various types of mold and how much an inspection for each costs. The costs vary based on the variety of mold because different tests are needed to correctly identify the mold, which is factored into the average prices seen below.
|Mold Type||Cost (Labor Included)|
|Alternaria||$450 - $550|
|Aspergillus||$450 - $550|
|Aureobasidium||$450 - $550|
|Chaetomium||$450 - $550|
|Cladosporium||$450 - $550|
|Penicillium||$500 - $600|
|Trichoderma||$500 - $600|
|Ulocladium||$500 - $600|
|Serpula Lacrymans||$500 - $600|
|Fusarium||$600 - $800|
|Stachybotrys Chartarum||$600 - $800|
The cost of Alternaria mold inspection averages from $450 to $550. There are 40 varieties of Alternaria mold. Typically, it occurs outdoors during the spring and summer months and accounts for major plant damage on trees and bushes. These mold spores can become airborne and spread quickly. They can even spread into the home, leaving spores on furniture, clothing, plants, and other items in the home. It can invade carpets, basements, attics, showers, and behind the walls of the home. In homes with high humidity, these spores turn into mold growth, leading to allergies, asthma, cold-like symptoms, skin rashes, itches, and other complications. In severe cases, it could lead to serious medical conditions.
An Aspergillus mold inspection averages from $450 to $550. This mold includes more than 250 species and is known to grow well even in low humidity. This mold starts white and then changes to brown, green, black, or yellow, depending on the species. Aspergillus mold is known for invading walls, windows, doors, and even carpets and bedding. Exposure could lead to a condition known as Aspergillosis, a respiratory infection caused by the mold fungus getting into the lungs. The resulting symptoms include coughing, shortness of breath, chest pains, fever, and other issues. Treatment involves using antifungal medications, but mold remediation will also need to be performed.
Aureobasidium mold detection averages from $450 to $550. Aureobasidium is a mold known to grow on painted surfaces, hard surfaces, and even behind wallpaper. This mold can cause nail, skin, and eye infections with exposure. As it matures, the mold can become brown, black, or pink and will continue to color as it ages. Remediation helps alleviate any issues with this type of mold, which tends to be less harmful but still not safe. Some people with more severe allergies may experience other symptoms due to direct exposure to this mold.
Mold inspection averages from $450 to $550 for this type of mold. Chaetomium mold forms white, fuzzy growth and then becomes blue/green over time. The spores themselves are a dark brown color and slightly football-shaped and can spread through the air while trapped in drywall, ceiling tiles, or other wood in the home. There are several species of this mold, including some that are carcinogens. While most issues relate to skin and nail infections, this mold has been known to lead to a brain infection if left untreated or severe enough.
The cost of mold detection for Cladosporium averages from $450 to $550. Cladosporium mold is one of the more common forms found in damp basements, attics, bathrooms, and in and around your HVAC system where moisture is common. Exposure may cause no symptoms for some, while others could experience sinus/cold-related symptoms like itchy eyes and throat, sneezing and coughing, dry skin, watery eyes, and more. Those who have a severe allergic reaction could experience wheezing, difficulty breathing, and tightness in the chest.
The cost of mold detection averages from $500 to $600 for penicillium mold. Penicillium mold is a velvety-looking mold that is blue and green. It is the mold that is found in water-damaged homes and spreads easily. It grows on ducts, wallpaper, and under carpet or in mattresses. It can lead to chronic sinusitis or an allergic reaction, leading to asthma-like symptoms, pulmonary inflammation, and other health issues. Penicillium mold is the one that is used to create the antibiotic Penicillin, to which many people are allergic.
This type of mold detection and lab testing averages from $500 to $600. Trichoderma mold, a filamentous fungus, grows naturally on wood, plants, and soil. Once it has taken up residence, it grows and spreads rapidly, focusing on anything with a high cellulose content. Fabric, paper, and wood are common areas affected by this mold. It can be found in the home’s HVAC system in many cases. The mold is often white or cream and can cause allergy-like symptoms in those who are exposed.
Ulocladium mold detection and lab testing average from $500 to $600. This mold appears dark. It is usually found in homes that have suffered excessive water damage and lives on wood, paper, paint, and textiles. This mold is found around the windows and doors with excessive condensation, in kitchens and basements where it is excessively damp, and often alongside other mold varieties like fusarium, chaetomium, and Stachybotrys mold. Exposure may lead to allergy-like symptoms in many people.
The cost of mold detection and laboratory testing averages from $500 to $600. Serpula lacrymans is a type of mold known to lead to dry rot in wood because of its excessively destructive nature. This mold spreads quickly and can lead to serious damage if not addressed because it degrades the cellulose in the wood. This mold is unique because it gathers its moisture from other locations and then lives on dry wood. It can also be found growing through plaster, dry mortar, and masonry.
Fusarium detection and lab testing cost around $600 to $800. Fusarium mold is extremely dangerous to even healthy individuals. It can cause onychomycosis, a nail infection, and keratomycosis, an infection of the cornea. Left untreated, it can lead to scarring and blindness. Some individuals may develop a systemic infection when the spores enter the bloodstream. This form of mold usually occurs in areas around a water leak.
Stachybotrys Chartarum Mold
Detection and mold testing by a black mold specialist averages $600 to $800. Stachybotrys chartarum mold is one of the most dangerous types and is the one that people know as “black mold.” This mold grows on fiberboard, paper, gypsum board, drywall, and other areas where there is water damage from floods or leaks. It may also grow in areas of high condensation, but this mold requires a constant moisture supply to stay alive. This type of mold is particularly toxic to infants and those with compromised health. It may require you to leave the home until it has been remediated.
Mold Inspector Cost
Hiring a professional mold inspector typically costs between $450 and $800, with about 60% of the cost incurred attributed to the labor involved in the inspection process. The other 40% covers materials like tools and testing supplies. A larger home will typically cost more since there is more area to cover. If mold is suspected in the home, the inspector will perform a full and thorough inspection and take at least two samples. The inspector will focus on the entire home and not just the potentially affected area. If they require additional samples, that could incur an additional charge of $60 to $80 per sample, but the costs can vary. It is important to hire a reputable, certified mold inspector who meets industry standards, despite the cost.
Before the inspector arrives, you need to take some steps to ensure that the space is accessible and answer questions to guarantee that the inspector has the appropriate access and tools to perform the necessary inspection throughout all areas of the home, including the basement, attic, and any crawl spaces. An inspector will generally check out the entire home and test rooms for moisture. However, there are some cases where only a basement or attic will be inspected because of suspected moisture. Appliances and furniture should be removed from the space, along with any soft floor coverings and furnishings that could be hiding mold. If there is flood or water damage, wet carpeting needs to be removed before the inspection. Make sure any areas where mold is suspected are cleared of debris and easily accessible.
Several different factors impact the final cost of a mold inspector, including the size of the home or area being inspected and the type of mold that is suspected in the building. The services needed to complete the job and the accessibility of the area also impact the cost. The size of the home is the largest factor. However, potential demolition or construction work could add to the cost of an inspection. For example, homeowners can expect to spend as much as $16 to $20 per square foot of drywall removed as part of the inspection and testing process.
Black Mold Inspection
The average cost of black mold testing and inspection costs between $600 and $800, depending on the size of the home or area that needs to be inspected and the level of safety equipment required for the inspection. Basements, crawlspaces, bathrooms, and kitchens are common areas that may need to be inspected for black mold. Due to black mold’s toxic nature, professionals may charge slightly more to inspect and test for these types of spores than for other mold testing.
Black mold testing is very important to schedule if you suspect this toxic mold could be found in your residence. Black mold tends to form on structural surfaces such as drywall, carpets, insulation, and concrete. Any porous surface that was exposed to long-term moisture could form a toxic black mold. Toxic black mold’s scientific name is Stachybotrys chartarum. It particularly impacts the respiratory system. Chronic coughing, sneezing, fatigue, rashes, and headaches could indicate toxic mold exposure. Quick remediation is important to protect the health of any family members adversely affected by the mold.
What Does a Mold Inspector Do?
An inspection by a service professional involves confirming that mold is present in the home. During the inspection, a complete walkthrough of the basement, living floors, and the attic are done to note any problematic areas. The inspector searches for visible mold spores and evaluates high humidity areas, such as the basement, kitchen, and bathrooms. The inspector may rearrange furnishings to check for hidden spots where mold is thriving.
Attics, crawlspaces, HVAC vents, and even behind drywall may be examined during a mold inspection appointment. The inspector notes visible mold growth and any areas with the mildewy scent of mold. Mold damages wood and other building materials it grows on, so the inspector reports any construction problems found related to the mold. In some cases, the inspector may damage a small area of drywall to inspect for mold. In addition to checking for mold, inspectors evaluate the areas for potential water sources contributing to mold growth.
For professional mold testing purposes, an inspector takes a sample of mold spores found within the air or surface areas. The spores are sent to a laboratory to analyze both the type of mold and its potential for growth. The mold counts are calculated, which are very important in determining if spore levels are elevated inside the home when compared to outdoor levels. This will also narrow down exactly where the mold spores may be elevated so that the areas can be remediated properly.
Mold Inspection and Testing Cost
While the average mold inspection and testing cost ranges from $450 to $800 to have both services performed at the same time, you may find yourself in a situation where you pay for these services separately because you only need one or the other. Testing can be done as a separate service if you have already discovered areas where mold may be present and feel the inspection is unnecessary. In this instance, mold testing alone will cost between $50 and $700, depending on the type of testing that needs to be done and the accessibility of the area being tested. On the other hand, inspections are generally not performed without mold testing unless there is no suspected mold found in the home. In this instance, the mold inspection itself might only cost $300 to $600since you aren’t paying for the cost of testing.
Professional Mold Testing Cost by Type of Test
The average mold testing cost by type of test ranges from $50 to $700, depending on the exact type of testing being performed. Typically, most homeowners opt to have a full house mold inspection. Following the inspection, the inspector performs more specialized testing. Several different types of mold testing are conducted. Sometimes, the expense of each must be factored into the average cost of mold testing. When considering professional mold testing costs, you should look at the various test options. Additional mold testing is usually performed post-remediation. It is useful in determining if the mold spore count has increased or decreased. Below is a table that outlines the different types of professional mold testing available.
|Test Type||Average Cost (Testing Only)|
|HVAC Mold Testing||$50 - $75|
|Mold Cultures||$50 - $75|
|Stain Testing||$150 - $200|
|Mold Air Testing||$500 - $700|
HVAC Mold Testing
The average cost of HVAC mold testing is $50 to $75 per test, including lab fees and materials. HVAC mold testing is a specialized test done to look for mold in an HVAC system. Mold often occurs in the home’s ductwork and causes the inhabitants to develop allergy symptoms such as wheezing, itchy eyes, sore throat, headaches, runny nose, and sneezing. The mold inspector collects air samples. Additional samples are obtained using tape. The tape samples are taken from the home’s HVAC system filter and ductwork. The particles are then measured using a specialized laboratory test to determine if mold is present.
The average cost of mold culture testing is $50 to $75. Mold samples are taken throughout the home during the mold inspection. At the lab, mold samples are grown in cultures to determine how rapidly the mold spores develop. Especially aggressive mold grows at a rapid rate and quickly forms a colony. If the mold does not grow in the culture, it means that the spores are dead. No active mold colony is present in the home. However, inhabitants can still suffer from health problems even from dead mold spore dust.
The average cost of stain testing is $150 to $200. Staining is a common mold test. The mold spores are trapped in the air and also taken from various surfaces throughout the home. The air samples are placed in plastic cassettes. The mold spore samples from various surfaces are obtained using tape lifts and swabs. The laboratory uses staining to determine the type of mold, its spore counts, and growth patterns. Staining is a valuable mold test that determines what kind of mold is in the home.
Mold Air Test
The average cost of mold air testing ranges from $500 to $700, depending on the type of air test and equipment used. Mold air testing involves sampling air particles to determine if mold spores are present, not visible to the naked eye. Inspectors use different devices for mold air testing. Mold air sampling devices include cassette sampling, air pump sampling, and particle collector sampling. Cassette sampling traps spores in a plastic cassette to send out for lab analysis, while air pump sampling uses a calibrated air pump to force mold spores onto slides. Particle collectors are used in some cases. They trap spores directly on a petri dish for analysis and are usually the most expensive option.
Mold Inspection and Removal Cost
After the home has been inspected, the average mold removal cost could range from $1,500 to $3,000 for remediation, in addition to the average $450 to $800 inspection cost. This could result in a total of $1,950 to $3,800 for a complete inspection with testing and removal. The exact cost of removing the mold depends on where the mold is located, how difficult it is to access, and how much mold needs to be removed. Usually, this job will be charged by the square foot according to the type of mold being removed. Suppose there is black mold or there are other concerns of a safety hazard. In that case, the removal process could cost exponentially more to cover the cost of the safety equipment and processes necessary for remediation.
Mold thrives in areas of the home that have been damaged by flooding or a chronic water leak. Depending on the mold variety, it can thrive due to high humidity within the home or condensation in places like a bathroom or basement. You can hire a mold inspector to perform a whole house mold inspection or only inspect a certain area of the home if you suspect it might be a problem area. The inspection price will be adjusted according to the rooms and the size of the home.
Some areas of the home are easier to inspect because they are more readily accessible. A basement and attic mold inspection involves looking closely at the walls, ceiling, and flooring. However, an inspection of a kitchen or bathroom is more detailed due to the plumbing throughout the rooms. The inspector must check under the sink and around the toilet, shower, or bath. They pay close attention to the walls, floors, and ceilings where an undetected leak can quickly lead to mold growth. Also, bathrooms are prone to condensation problems due to an improper exhaust system. The inspector must pay close attention to the room for hidden mold growth. In the table below, you will see a list of the most common places mold is spotted and how difficult it is to find in each area, which could impact the price you pay for your inspection.
Signs You May Have Mold in Your Home
There are several different things to look for when it comes to determining whether mold may be present. In fact, there are plenty of pre-warning signs that you can start to look for before obvious mold appears that can help stop the problem before it gets worse. Some people experience physical symptoms that are cold-like or allergy-like in nature, but those may not always indicate mold growth. It is better to look for signs around the home, such as wood rot, leaks, or areas that are prone to moisture collection, as well as trouble spots where mold has been found before (if those exist). The home itself may also have a mildewy, woody, or rotten smell that indicates mold growth or feel excessively damp and humid. Any excessive condensation buildup could lead to mold if left unattended.
When to Get a Mold Inspection?
Mold inspections are required any time that the homeowners suspect that mold may be impacting various areas of the home. Some people may do inspections periodically for their own peace of mind if they have a damp home, or before they buy or sell a home. These inspections are also a critical part of water damage restoration services. Aside from obviously seeing mold, there are several different reasons to consider getting a mold inspection in the home.
Older homes should be inspected due to sheer age, and especially in low-lying or damp areas where they may be more prone to hidden moisture buildup. Another reason to get a mold inspection would be if you have experienced any leaks in the home. Wood structures with visible dry rot could result in mold growth over time. Plus, you may have mold that is growing behind the walls or in the floors that you won’t be able to see visibly, and it will require an inspection for the area to be found. Dark, hidden spots are what mold likes best, after all.
If you have had a flood in the home, it is going to be important to get a mold inspection. Flood cleanup should include inspections and remediation to make sure that your home is safe to be occupied again. And, of course, mold that is visible needs to be addressed immediately. Any time you see mold growth on the walls, ceilings, and floors of the home, arrange a mold inspection. Often, mold has a slimy or fuzzy appearance with different coloring. Common colors associated with mold growth are white, green, blue, black, and gray. Remember, mold grows in extremely damp areas. If you have any condensation within the home, on your windows, flooring, or doors, then mold could become a problem.
Every home has mold to a certain extent, but some a little bit more than others. For example, a coastal property with higher humidity/moisture in the air may have higher mold levels, but a mold inspection would determine if the mold conditions are atypical or not.
Should I Get a Mold Inspection When Buying a House?
Many people decide to inspect for mold before buying a home for their own safety and financial protection. While new construction rarely has issues with mold, older homes could have plenty of potential risks that would require a good inspection. If you are buying or selling an older home, you will want to make sure that you hire a professional mold inspector, or if you are the buyer, make sure that the seller has had the home inspected and signed off on before listing it for sale.
How to Prevent Mold in a House?
Prevention is obviously the best option with something like mold. There are several different ways that you can work to prevent mold growth and buildup in your home. First, you will want to install a dehumidifier and a thermostat that measures humidity in the home. That will allow you to keep it at an ideal level, which is typically under 60%. Make sure that you clean up any wet messes or materials as quickly as possible and repair leaks as soon as they are discovered. Dry and disinfect surfaces that are prone to growing mold, such as exposed concrete in the basement. Improve the airflow and ventilation in the home, as well, as a final way to reduce the risk of mold growth and infestation.
Enhancement and Improvement Costs
Mold Damage Repair
Mold damages wood flooring, drywall, paint, flooring, and other building materials in a structure, with drywall repair costing around $240 and fixing a water main break averaging $1,000. Once the cause of the mold is corrected, such as a water leak, and the mold is removed, it is time to repair the damage. The damaged building materials are completely removed and replaced. You’ll want to contact a local contractor to determine the repair cost.
A whole-house dehumidifier averages $900 and reduces the humidity in the air, which lessens mold growth. It pulls moisture from the air in the home. The air goes through a filtration and cooling process, which effectively converts the humidity into condensation. The condensation goes into a tank that is drained or piped out of the house via the waterline.
Any type of soft furnishings typically required replacement due to mold exposure, with carpet installation jobs usually starting at around $980. It’s extremely difficult to completely remove mold spores from any fabric with a porous surface. Remove any carpet, area rugs, soft bedding materials, cushions, pillows, and more if you suspect mold exposure. Replace the items after mold remediation efforts are completed.
If you have a beloved couch that becomes infested with mold, you need to remove the upholstery and stuffing. The cost of couch reupholstering work is a minimum of $750. Take the couch down to the frame and add new stuffing and upholstery. The process is often far cheaper than purchasing a new couch.
Additional Considerations and Costs
- Visible mold. Mold removal professionals may advise against an inspection alone if mold is visible. In these cases, the professional could recommend immediate removal and cleaning of the affected areas in the home.
- DIY. DIY inspections are never recommended. Homeowners may not check all the required areas to confirm if mold is present in the residence. Also, DIY kits have questionable reliability.
- Humidity levels. Prevent future mold outbreaks by monitoring humidity levels in the home. The ideal relative humidity level should fall between 40 and 50 percent based on readings from a hygrometer. If your area experienced a major flood, arrange for cleanup services from a professional agency. Keep humidity levels stable by having all rooms properly ventilated and using a dehumidifier as needed.
- Water diversion. Remember to take steps to avoid water seeping into the home from the foundation. Divert rainwater away from your home to avoid water accumulation by sloping the yard. Rain gutters help control how dry your home remains. Remember to maintain the gutters and have them cleaned regularly. Repair any leaks promptly and replace rotted wood immediately to decrease the chances of mold growth.
- Accessibility upcharges. Extra fees may be added for tests in hard-to-reach areas. For instance, while a single test on an easily accessible HVAC system might only cost $50 to $75 when you add labor costs, it usually is closer to the average of $450 to $800. If the HVAC system is hard to access, the labor costs could increase and result in a bill for as much as $1,500 for mold inspection and testing.
- Home insurance. House mold inspections and remediation may be included in some homeowner insurance plans. However, the mold must have occurred due to a covered peril on the policy, such as floods or storms, though flood insurance is almost always a separate policy from standard homeowners’ insurance.
- Remediation and re-testing. Review your detailed report to see the recommended remediation strategies. After removal, there is likely to be a recommendation for re-testing.
- Causes and solutions. Seek out assistance from plumbers, repair service companies, or builders if leaks cause the mold to form. Humidity levels may also contribute to the mold problem in your home. Dehumidifiers and other devices may be needed to reduce the humidity level in areas like the basement.
- Health and safety. Certified mold remediation specialists do cleanup operations. Removing mold is dangerous to your health and can trigger allergic reactions and asthma attacks. Specialists use biohazard masks and gloves to protect them during remediation of your mold problem.
- Is mold removal expensive?
Mold removal is a bit costly, with an average cost of $2,500, but it is far more expensive to leave the mold unattended and risk potential health and safety hazards for you and your family.
- How do inspectors test for mold?
The testing process for mold varies depending on the type of mold and equipment used, but essentially, samples are collected and sent to a lab for analysis to determine if mold is present and which type it is.
- Is mold testing expensive?
Mold testing typically costs about $50 to $700, depending on the type of testing being performed. This is not cheap, but it’s not as expensive as the risks of leaving mold unaddressed.
- Are home mold test kits accurate?
In some cases, you may find that home mold test kits can provide a rough estimate of moisture levels or indicate the possible presence of mold in the home. However, it’s best to have results verified by (and remediated by) professionals.
- How much does a mold inspection cost?
A mold inspection averages from $450 to $800.
- Is mold inspection necessary?
A mold inspection is necessary if you suspect that your home has mold, if it has sustained water damage, or if you can visually see mold.
- How much does it cost to get mold removed?
Mold removal averages $1,500 to $3,500.
- How long does it take for mold to affect you?
Mold impacts your health within a day or two of exposure, according to studies published in the Environmental Health Perspectives.
- Does bleach kill black mold?
Yes, bleach kills black mold.
- Can mold dry out and die?
Mold does not dry out and die but instead becomes inactive and can easily reactivate when exposed to moisture.
- How can you tell the difference between mold and black mold?
It is hard to identify mold. You should have laboratory tests performed to determine the exact type of mold.