When it comes to a real estate transaction, a home inspection can help prospective buyers identify potential issues with a property and determine whether or not those issues are a deal breaker.

What exactly is a home inspection?

A ‘home inspection’ can be defined as a visual assessment of property to determine its structural and mechanical health. During the inspection, the home inspector will walk-through and note any defects.

After completing the inspection, the home inspector will generally prepare a written report covering the property’s major features, as well as any items that may require additional evaluation or testing.

Environmental home inspections for real estate transactions

Many homes throughout California, especially homes in San Diego, were built before 1975. And since older homes may contain potentially hazardous materials, like asbestos and lead paint, home buyers may choose to have additional environmental inspections performed. Some common examples of environmental inspections that may be performed during a real estate transaction include:

Mold testing home inspection

Mold sampling is typically performed using two main methods, air sampling and surface sampling. Both types of testing require analysis by a certified laboratory. The inspector will also assess all areas of the home for elevated moisture in materials by utilizing a moisture meter and/or an infrared camera. Identifying the source of mold growth is the key to performing mold removal remediation if needed. Our team will assess the property, collect moisture measurements & relative humidity % readings and generate a work plan to remediate the mold growth.

How is a mold ‘air test’ performed?

A real estate mold testing involves testing for the presence of mold by collecting a sample of spores in the air. A mold air test commonly uses several different devices to collect air samples. These devices include:

● Impaction samplers – These devices use a calibrated air pump to impact spores onto a prepared microscope slide.
● Cassette samplers – Cassette samplers are either disposable or one-time use and force air to impact spores and create a collection.
● Airborne-particle collectors – Using the airborne-particle collector method, these devices trap spores directly onto a culture dish.

How is the ‘surface sampling’ method of mold testing performed?

Surface sampling is commonly used, and arguably the easiest, method for testing for the presence of indoor mold. Some methods used to collect surface samples during a mold test include:

● Tape sample – A tape sample is the most common way to sample visible mold. Tape sampling allows the inspector to collect multiple samples in different rooms of residential or commercial buildings quickly.
● Swab sample – With a swab sample, a cellulose swab with a liquid preservative is used to collect suspected mold samples.

How does the lab analyze mold tests?

Once the sample slides have been prepared in the lab, they are examined under a microscope using a direct fungal examination to identify the mold spores present on the samples collected. The types of mold spores present, and the amount will give great insight to the types of issues that may be present in the home.

Asbestos testing home inspection

For houses built before 1979, asbestos testing is a critical component of the home inspection process.

During the asbestos test, a CA state-licensed inspector will test the property to determine whether asbestos materials were used in the original construction of the house. Since asbestos has a well-documented history of affecting human health, it is important to identify these issues if they exist. An asbestos test will not only help you determine whether asbestos exists, but also whether you need to actually remove the asbestos. In some cases, asbestos may not pose a risk to human health if left undamaged and undisturbed.

Lead-testing home inspection

During a home inspection, lead inspections are performed by California Department of Public Health (CDPH) certified inspector/risk assessor or sampling technician, the only people who are legally permitted to perform lead tests. During the actual testing process, an inspector will perform a surface-by-surface XRF Lead Gun analysis inspection of the premises to determine whether lead-based-paint levels are present and potentially, if any lead hazards may exist.

For anyone looking to purchase a new home, lead testing can help a potential home buyer determine whether lead paint exists and whether health issues related to lead paint exposure pose a threat to the property’s inhabitants.

Water testing home inspection

You should always get water tested before purchasing a home. A water test can identify potential contaminants in the water supply. Our all-in-one BasicPlus Water analysis will test for the following contaminants:

• Bacteria including total coliforms and E. coli
• Lead
• Iron
• Manganese
• Nitrite
• Nitrate
• Tubidity
• pH Levels

A water test can also inform buyers on whether they need to add mitigation costs into their price negotiation, or whether it’s something that the seller can address prior to sale. In addition to unpleasant taste and/or smell, contaminated water can contribute to adverse health effects, like:

● Neurological disorders,
● Respiratory disease,
● Cardiovascular disease, and
● Cancer

San Diego’s trusted home inspection partner

Whether you’re dealing with mold, asbestos, lead-based paint, or water issues, the professional and experienced technicians at Rarefied Air Environmental can help. We are experts in performing a variety of home inspections for real estate transactions. Our team is dedicated to providing the most technologically advanced testing and comprehensive reporting available in San Diego. Contact us today to schedule a home inspection or learn more about our full-range of home inspection services for real estate transactions.