The average cost of a complete house mold inspection is between $300 and $1,000. Usually, an inspection includes one or more mold tests that can add from $30 to $500 to the overall cost.
Mold is a fungus that grows in moist places and spreads by emitting spores that float around in the air until they land on a surface. This fungus damages the surface it is growing on, most commonly in walls and HVAC systems, and aggravates allergies or asthma.
If you’re looking to prevent mold or suspect its presence on your walls, here’s all you need to know for budgeting a mold inspection.
Factors That Affect the Cost of a Mold Inspection
Although mold inspectors don’t use any special equipment besides a good flashlight, tools to access restricted areas and sometimes cameras, many factors can affect the final cost of a mold inspection.
Size of the Home
Mold inspection in small houses can cost from $300 to $400 on average. For houses larger than 4,000 square feet, the price goes up to $700 and $1,000. During inspections, specialists take samples of the fungus. The larger the space, the more the samples that need to be tested individually.
Complexity of the Inspection
Local working fees and the complexity of the inspection will influence labor costs. If the inspector needs to access hard-to-reach areas such as ceilings or HVAC ductwork, it may require additional work, increasing the overall cost.
Location of the Inspection
The cost of mold inspection is different in each city. Generally, areas with high humidity levels or frequent heavy rainfall may experience higher demand for mold inspections. This increased demand can contribute to higher costs due to factors like the availability of qualified inspectors and the expertise required to address the specific mold challenges associated with such environments.
Here’s a list of average prices for some US cities:
- Chicago, IL: $150―$2,660
- Denver, CO: $155―$2,230
- Portland, OR: $160―$1,400
- San Antonio, TX: $200―$625
- Asheville, NC: $250―$900
Type of Mold Sampling and Testing
The level of detail and complexity involved in each type of inspection and the specialized equipment and testing methods required can affect the overall cost. Here’s a list of the primary types of sampling and testing made in a mold inspection and their average prices:
- Swab Sampling. The average cost for this type of sampling ranges between $200 and $300. Here, a technician collects a surface sample from an area with mold growth. This is used to determine the type of mold and needs to be used in conjunction with air cell testing to confirm its growth and the need for remediation.
- Air Cell Sampling. The average cost for this type of sampling ranges between $250 to $700. Here, a technician sets up sampling equipment in areas of the house and allows them to absorb air and spores. These samples are later analyzed to determine what kind (or kinds) of mold is present and develop a more comprehensive remediation plan.
- HVAC Mold Sampling. This extra sampling adds around $50 to $75 to the cost of the air cell one. Here, a technician uses special tape to collect samples from the HVAC filters and inside the ducts.
- Mold Cultures. This type of testing adds around $50 to the sample collection cost. Here, the collected samples are placed in a medium that encourages the spores to grow. This determines the mold’s activity and determines if it must be dealt with immediately.
- Stain Testing. This type of testing adds around $150 to the sample collection cost. Here, the samples are placed in plastic cassettes and treated with specialized stains that allow technicians to identify the type of mold, the number of spores in the sample, and the growth patterns.
License and insurance
When a homeowner’s insurance plan covers mold inspections, it can result in lower costs for the homeowner. In such cases, the insurance company may have pre-approved licensed inspectors with whom they have negotiated pricing agreements. This can lead to reduced costs for the homeowner since the insurance company will cover some or all of the inspection expenses.
DIY Mold Inspection vs. Hiring a Professional
A mold inspection can be a delicate task because it involves working with invisible spores that need to be sampled and tested in a laboratory by professionals. Although you can purchase an at-home mold inspection kit, it may not give you the exact results you need for a proper remediation.
Hiring a professional for an inspection may be the best call. As said earlier, some companies offer a free inspection when remediation is needed. Considering that mold can cause long-term issues with your house’s structure and systems, it’s a small cost that will help you avoid repairs or replacements.
How To Save Money on Mold Inspection Costs
To make the mold inspection an even more cost-effective process, here are some tips on how to save money on mold inspection:
- Check Your Insurance. You can save money if your home insurance covers or partially pays for the mold inspection. You can also check if they can assign you a specialized inspector.
- Do Targeted Sampling. Instead of opting for a comprehensive mold inspection of your entire property, consider identifying areas where mold growth is suspected and focus the inspection and sampling efforts on those areas.
- Keep Regular Maintenance. By addressing water leaks promptly, maintaining proper ventilation, and controlling humidity levels, you can reduce the risk of mold issues and the need for frequent inspections.
Tips For Choosing a Mold Inspector
Like hiring any other professional for any technical job, hiring a reputable mold inspector is essential to ensure good sampling and testing. When choosing a mold inspector, consider the following:
- Qualifications and Certifications. Common certifications include Certified Mold Inspector (CMI) and Certified Mold Remediation Contractor (CMRC).
- Experience and Expertise. Look for an inspector who has been in the industry for a substantial period and has dealt with various mold issues.
- Reputation and Reviews. Research the reputation of the mold inspector or inspection company. Look for online reviews, testimonials, and ratings from previous clients. Check if any complaints are filed against them with local consumer protection agencies.
- Insurance and Liability Coverage. Request proof of insurance coverage that protects the inspector and the homeowner in case of any damages or errors during the inspection process.
If you’ve suffered water damage like floods, are purchasing a new home or leaving an old one or seeing green, blue, black or white stuff growing in your current house, doing a mold inspection is an advisable choice. Check your insurance to see if it covers or partially pays for the inspection and research for professional mold inspectors and companies.
Remember, mold inspection is a technical and important process that safeguards the integrity of your home’s structure and systems, making it a worthwhile investment for your property’s well-being.