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How to Prevent Mold Growth - Home Inspection Tips from Quality Home Inspections

Mold is bad for air quality, and it can literally eat the wood in your home as food. The only way to really keep mold at bay in a home is to limit the amount of moisture in your home. Any moisture can promote mold growth including the water used for your indoor plants.

To avoid mold growth we, therefore, have to look at all the ways that moisture can enter into a home.

Moisture can come into your home, first of all, via the roof, where, if shingles or flashing aren't installed properly, points of moisture entry can be created. For instance, let's say nails are visible in the middle of the roof that should be under a shingle layer. That's a point of entry for water. If the flashing around a vent pipe is installed incorrectly, it could allow water to flow right into the attic. When this occurs, mold will oftentimes be visible around the points of entry inside the attic, and possibly throughout the attic, if the moisture level becomes too high.

Another thing to look for as a homeowner, or someone about to buy a home, is whether there are any dryer or bathroom vents venting into the attic instead of outdoors. This can also lead to moisture problems.

Inside the home, look for too many plants, leaks under sinks, toilet leaks, etc.

Under a home, the crawlspace can be a haven for mold, more often than not. Gutters that are filled with leaves or downspouts that don't direct water far enough away from the house can cause water to run right into the home and under the basement area leading to lots of potential mold growth. Also, another huge problem, of course, is leaks from pipes. Even a small leak can add a lot of moisture under the home and create mold that could be eating the floor right out from under you.

Just think of every entry point of moisture and keep the water out of the home. Don't let leaks go unchecked.

Clean the gutters and make sure the water is running far enough away from the house. If it isn't, then consider adding length to your downspouts.

Basements and bathrooms should not be carpeted because mold loves carpeting, as it hold in moisture, and these areas are more likely to experience moisture. Make sure you wipe water away around sinks in the bathrooms and kitchen. That black you see around the caulking of sinks is usually mold.

Keep it dry. Remember it only takes about a 20 percent level of moisture in wood to encourage mold growth.

Below are a couple of images I've taken on inspections of apparent mold growth.

Don't buy a home without having a home inspection done first. The house you are looking at today could look beautiful from the outside and  from inside all the habitable room areas but hide pipe leaks and moisture damage underneath.

East Tennessee Quality Home Inspections
Quality Home Inspections serves the East Tennessee area of Roane, Loudon, Knox, Anderson, and Cumberland counties which includes the cities of Knoxville, Oak Ridge,  Oliver Springs, Kingston, Harriman, Rockwood, Midtown, Lenoir City, and Crossville, Tennessee. The goal of Quality Home Inspections is to help make the home buying decision a little less complex by providing a professional visual inspection and report of various systems and areas of the home.

If you have questions regarding our home inspection services in East Tennessee feel free to call me at any time during the day at

or email me at