The source of moisture in bathrooms is mainly the steam from hot baths and showers condensing on the ceiling and walls making bathrooms the ideal breeding ground and bacteria. Mould on bathroom ceilings, walls and tiles is mainly the result of condensation and poor air circulation in the bathroom.
How to get rid of bathroom mould
The first step to cleaning mould from a bathroom ceiling and walls is to use a product that will kill the mould and remove the staining. Therefore, this means using products like Domestos, Jik or any other bleach you may have in your kitchen. However, there are also propriety products like Mould Buster which have been specially developed to get rid of mould. If you prefer to use one of them follow the instructions carefully!
Safety first when cleaning up bathroom mould
Always use PPE (personnel protection equipment) when using dangerous chemicals like bleach and even vinegar!
The PPE listed below is essential to protect yourself against the cleaners:
Breathing apparatus (not dust or medical masks)
How to kill the mould
If you decide to use bleach, create a mixture of bleach and water, using a spray or sponge to apply it to the mould areas in your bathroom. The bleach removes the mould stains!
Wash down the area with water.
Apply white vinegar with a spray or sponge to the mould area. Vinegar will kill the mould!
Wait about an hour before cleaning the area with water again.
Let the area dry thoroughly.
Ventilate the bathroom to help remove fumes and to help the drying process. Use a fan or heater to speed up the process if required.
Never mix any other cleaning ingredients with bleach as it could create a toxic gas. Therefore, wash your mouldy ceiling with bleach first, then apply the white vinegar solution separately.
How to prevent mould from forming in bathrooms
Ventilation is the key to preventing mould from forming:
Leave shower and bathroom doors and windows open to provide proper ventilation to the bathroom, particularly after hot showers or baths.
Wipe down your walls with white vinegar whenever you see mould starting to appear.
Now that you know how to keep bathroom mould from ceiling areas and walls for good, prevention is the key! Be proactive by wiping down the tiled walls in your bathroom and the floor in your shower with vinegar once a week, especially in showers, and you’ll never have problems with mould again.
What is a mould Inspection and should you have one?
A mould inspection is a different process from a typical home inspection. Besides searching for the mould itself, a mould inspector concentrates on finding damp or wet conditions conducive to mould growth in and around the outside of the house. Mould spores can be found everywhere inside and outside the house! The secret to controlling mould growth is eliminating the moisture that allows mould spores to grow.
There are a few different situations in which you might want a mould inspection. Below you will find out what a mould inspection entails when to do one, what mould testing proves and the average cost of an inspection.
What is mould?
Mould is a fungus, and like all fungi, it thrives in moist places. Mould spreads by emitting spores, microscopic particles that are often as small as a single cell. Spores float around in the air until they land on a surface. Mould spores are everywhere, outdoors as well as inside your house. It would be impossible to remove all mould spores from a house without installing a massive industrial filtration system.
Luckily, mould spores only form mould when they land on a moist surface. If you can keep the interior of your home dry, you can avoid having any problems with mould. You should clean up spills, and repair leaks in your roof, plumbing or air-conditioning systems. Also, make sure your kitchen and bathrooms are properly ventilated to keep moisture out of the house.
Removing any mould in your house will prevent the surface it is on from being damaged and prevent allergies or asthma.
Can mould affect your health?
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), mould exposure has the potential to cause adverse health effects. If mould is growing in your house, it can release spores that are easily inhaled. Moulds can cause nasal stuffiness, throat irritation, coughing or wheezing, eye irritation and in some cases, skin irritation. People with mould allergies may have more severe reactions. Immune-compromised people and people with chronic lung illnesses may get serious infections when they are exposed to mould.
A type of toxicosis can result from exposure to black mould. Disturbed black mould releases mycotoxins as a defence mechanism. These mycotoxins travel through the air on tiny mould spores and are easily inhaled. Black mould may cause the symptoms mentioned above and can cause depression, cognitive impairment, sleep difficulties, circulation problems, digestive complaints, fatigue and joint pain.
When to inspect for mould
If you can see it or smell it, you have mould in your house. You need to discover the magnitude of the mould infestation! Seeing mould in the cracks and corners of your walls means it is growing and spreading more spores. Mould may also grow in places you cannot see, such as on your ceilings or in your cupboards. It may also form colonies so tiny they escape the eye. A few situations should make you look for any mould problems in your house.
Water damage. If your bathroom flooded, the roof leaked, or a broken pipe sprayed water all over the kitchen, you need to inspect for mould. Any wet area not quickly dried (within 24 hours) could become contaminated by mould.
If you are purchasing a pre-owned home there is no way to know what kind of water damage may have happened in the house. The only way to find out if mould is present is to do a mould inspection.
After a house has been unoccupied. Houses closed up and unoccupied for a long time, may have humidity built up that could cause mould to grow. This is especially a problem in warmer areas with high humidity.
After mould remediation. If you have had a mould problem, have regular mould inspections to ensure it does not reappear.
You see some mould. If you notice some green, blue, black or white stuff growing in your house, do a mould inspection to make sure you find it all. It might not be restricted to one location.
A mould inspection vs. mould testing
If you are researching for a mould inspector, you will find different services and costs with mould inspections and mould testing.
A mould inspection simply confirms the presence of mould and generally defines the extent of the problem. The main purpose of a mould inspection is to identify the source or sources of the moisture that allows the mould to grow! The second most important purpose of the mould inspection is to recommend solutions to eradicate the sources of moisture!
Mould testing attempts to identify what specific type of mould is in your home and how many mould spores are in the air. However, keep in mind the following:
The carefully controlled conditions required to conduct a proper scientific test of mould are extremely difficult to achieve in a home. Mould testing, especially air testing, is often inaccurate. Air samples at best give a snapshot of the air in one location at one time. The samples do not represent the air conditions unless many air samples are taken over a long period of time. Air sampling typically overestimates or underestimates the number of mould spores in the air on average throughout the day.
All indoor spaces have mould spores that drift in from the outdoors. Mould tests will generally provide a long list of species, most of which are not growing in your home.
The WHO has set no guidelinesfor an acceptable amount of mould or mould spores in a house. WHO therefore agrees that mould testing is not always useful for this reason. Instead, they recommend hiring a professional inspector to look for why the mould is present.
Mould testing is expensive. Any money spent on mould testing will not be available for cleaning up the mould and fixing the water problem that led to the mould. Furthermore, the Laborities can take days or weeks to analyse samples. It is better to use this time to clean up the mould and fix the water problem. No recognised authoritative public agency recommends mould testing as a guide to the cleaning up of mould or the correction of the water problem.
What happens during a mould inspection?
A mould inspection is a visual inspection of a house. Aside from a good flashlight and camera, the specialised equipment needed is a moisture meter, a humidity meter, a temperature meter and possibly an infrared camera. This equipment is used by the mould inspector in determining whether a particular area is wet, humid and warmer than other areas of the home.
A typical mould inspection involves finding out about any areas where you have seen mould, or where there have been moisture problems or water damage in the past. I inspect the house thoroughly, inside and outside, looking in places known to be prone to mould growth. When I find mould, I try to find the source of the moisture that is causing the mould spores to grow and suggest a remediation plan.
Mould inspectors must have a mould certification. I am mould inspection certified and experienced in mould inspection and mould remediation.
Factors affecting the cost of a mould inspection
The size of the house being inspected is the main factor affecting the cost of a mould inspection. Quite simply, a large house is going to cost more to inspect because the inspection and the report are going to take longer.
The second factor is the travelling cost! The further away from my office the more it will cost. However, you will find that in my inspection area, my prices are substantially less than those of other mould inspectors.
The cost of a mould inspection
As a rough guideline, mould inspection costs about ⅔ the cost of a comprehensive home inspection. On average, mould inspection costs around R1,500 to R2,000 for small to medium-sized houses (up to 250 m²) depending on how far the property is from my office. Above 250 m², the cost increases to the R2000 to R3000 range. Keep in mind that these costs are for inspection only and do not include testing. Skipping unnecessary mould testing can save you a lot of money.
Finding the right mould inspector
Look for an InterNACHI inspector with specific experience and expertise in mould inspections and remediation. Call around your area and get a few quotes. There might be a wide price range, so shopping around could save you a few hundred Rand.
Importantly, you want to make sure you only work with a properly certified inspector.
Remediation after the inspection
If the mould inspection finds or confirms mould in your home, the next step is to make a remediation plan. This always begins with removing the source of the moisture that’s allowing the mould to grow. If you fail to remove the moisture, you can clean up all the mould and it will just grow back again.
Following that, you can scrub and wash hard surfaces with specialised chemical cleaners. Surfaces such as carpets, timber, laminate and similar finishes will have to be cut out or lifted up and replaced. You will then have to treat hard surfaces below these finishes. It is impossible to clean all the mould off of porous surfaces. Furniture, mattresses and built-in units should be discarded.
You need not hire a qualified contractor for mould remediation of smaller areas. However, mould can be dangerous, or at least unpleasant to work with,especially for someone with allergies or asthma. Professionals with the correct safety gear and cleaning equipment are better qualified to deal with large areas.
Preventing mouldbefore it starts
Getting rid of mould in your house can be a major task, and remediation can be expensive if the mould is widespread. The best solution to mould problems is to prevent them from ever happening. Here are some tips on preventing mould:
Repair leaks promptly whether it is a leak in your roof, a window or a leaking water pipe. Fix leaks and keep moisture out of your house.
Clean and dry things promptly. If your bathroom or laundry floods or condensation from your air-conditioner drips onto a carpet, dry everything out within 24 hours, if possible. Mould needs moisture to grow, so prompt drying is vital.
Control humidity. Extremely humid aircan provide enough moisture for mould to form on some surfaces. Use a dehumidifier in humid and damp areas and run air-conditioning when possible during the summer. Keep windows open or install vents in your kitchen and bathroom windows. This will keep humidity down and keep moisture under control.
Mould is a serious problem, and spotting mould contamination before it grows out of control can save you many thousands of Rands. This makes the cost of a mould inspection well worth a few thousand Rand, especially when you are buying a new house. Mould testing, however, is not worthwhile. The important thing is, if you see mould in your house, you need to get rid of it, and the reason it has formed as soon as possible!
Because of my experience and training, I offer SEVEN different types of home inspections or property assessments to suit the needs of home buyers, home sellers, homeowners, business owners, landlords and those of you thinking of building or extending your home.
There are 6 different types of comprehensive inspection depending on your inspection requirements. This can be inspections for previously owned homes, new homes or existing homes or properties.
a) Home-buyers inspection or buyers inspection
Buying a home is one of the most important and expensive transactions you can make.
A professional home inspection can help you optimise your investment by identifying issues before you finalise the purchase and price of your new home. This inspection will save you money in the long run and prevent the stress associated with such a large investment.
Importantly, with this purchase, you must remember to insert a home inspection contingency in the Offer To Purchase and negotiate a contingency period with the seller.
Before moving into a newly built home the need for a professional home inspection cannot be more important!
A home inspection (snag list) is performed to validate the finishes and condition of your home’s components. In addition, the snag list can be done prior to you taking occupation or during the 90-day patent defect period after you have taken occupation.
Follow up inspections are also provided if required.
check out all the main systems of your home—roof, walls, foundation, air-conditioning,
electrical, plumbing etc. In addition, I will flag anything that might be
starting to malfunction.
I will uncover problems you have not noticed. I will detect the little signs that something is starting to go wrong. This may be small cracks, spots, uneven wear, or fixtures such as a geyser reaching the eventual end of its live. Furthermore, I will also make you aware of the regular maintenance you should be doing in your house.
Having a Rental Inspection Report as part of a written tenancy agreement is advantageous to both the landlord and tenant.
Rental Housing, Unfair
Practices Regulations and Consumer Protection Acts, dictate the practice around
home inspections and the refund of the damages deposit.
Both the landlord and the tenant must undertake both ingoing and outgoing inspections as required by The Rental Housing. However, if either party is unable to attend, they may send an assigned representative on their behalf.
Landlords or rental
agents who have not conducted a property inspection when the tenant takes
occupation will not be able to take any action in the event that the rental
unit has been damaged during the course of the rental period.
Generally, a landlord or rental management agent will be able to withhold the rental deposit to mitigate any financial cost of repairing any damage to the rental unit. However, if no property inspection was done beforehand, they will not be within their legal rights to do so and will have to absorb the full cost of the repair. Therefore, it is advisable for landlords to also undertake a midterm inspection approximately halfway through the tenancy agreement in order to monitor the state of the property and intervene early if there is any breach or damage.
If contracted, I provide the initial, midterm and follow-up inspections when tenants are leaving and new tenants are occupying the premises at a very affordable fee structure.
However, I only perform rental inspections in the Pretoria and Centurion area to keep them affordable to landlords.
Whether you are considering buying or renting a commercial property it advisable to have a Commercial Property Inspection. As part of your “due diligence”, I can provide you with a detailed evaluation of the condition of the building and its components. Furthermore, I will make recommendations regarding maintenance and improvements.
offer commercial property inspections of:
small manufacturing facilities
My commercial property inspections include a comprehensive evaluation of all major components of the building. For example, this includes the structure, roof, electrical system, interior and exterior elements, heating & cooling systems, plumbing and more.
Critical Home inspections are for both buyers and sellers. The critical inspection costs about ¾ of the price of a comprehensive inspection.
A critical home inspection is for the budget-conscious, homebuyers and sellers who only require that the major components of the home be inspected! Consequently, I only focus on the critical components of a home which are the roof, structure (inside and outside), windows and doors, and electricity and plumbing installations.
critical inspection includes unsafe, functional or structural issues which, in
my opinion, requires prompt remedial attention to preserve the safety,
functional or structural integrity of the home or major installation.
Such issues are frequently NOT plainly obvious to any observant layman after carefully viewing the property.
These include structural cracks in walls, ceilings and floors, or damp, roof leaks, illegal or unsafe geysers, windows or door issues and unsafe electrical and gas installations. In addition, I also report surface drainage, vegetation and foliage issues which may affect the structure adversely.
Other external elements such as boundary and yard walls, the site, swimming pools driveways, walkways, carports, garden sheds etc. do not form part of the critical inspection. Furthermore, the internal wall, floor and ceiling finishes are only inspected for signs of damp or staining from moisture intrusion or for structural issues. Furthermore, cupboards and counters are only inspected for moisture intrusion.
A walkthrough is not a formal home inspection. It is an informal inspection. As a result, I perform a visual walkthrough inspection of the home and provide you with comments summarizing my observations. Furthermore, my comments will be nothing more than a subjective summary of my initial observations during the walk-through.
What is involved in a walkthrough inspection?
A walkthrough requires, on average, about the same time as a comprehensive inspection (1½ to 3 hours depending on house size). Moreover, you can ask questions and take notes while I explain the defects.
Because a walkthrough is less formal, I do not adhere to the InterNACHI Standards of Practice. If you are present at the walkthrough I do not generate a written report of any kind. I simply communicate my observations orally to you. You make your own notes during the inspection. In this way, you save time and money because there is no written report at the end of the inspection.
Furthermore, because it is an informal inspection, an inspection of this type is also very affordable.
However, you will need to sign an InterNACHI Walk-Though Inspection Agreement before the walkthrough. This is to protect me against liability as a result of deviating from the requirements of the InterNACHI Standards of Practice for Home Inspections.
4) Itemised Limited Home Inspections(Single Component Inspections)
I often receive calls from clients who are looking for a home inspection for a single component in the home. For instance, this can be roof leaks, bulging ceilings, or damp problems and so on.
A single component inspection is also the cheapest inspection, starting from R1500.00 depending on where you are in my inspection area. Moreover, if you want more components inspected at the same time, this will only cost an additional R750.00 per component
A multi-unit inspection is normally for more than 4 units and is regarded as a commercial property inspection.
For this type of inspection, the following options are available:
a) Critical area inspection
Plumbing for leaks, drainage and hot water.
A representative number of windows and doors
Structure (exterior and interior) including roof from the ground and at least one point at the eaves on a ladder (where applicable and practical).
Stoves and other fixtures (air conditions etc.) do not form part of an Electrical CoC.
Presence damp and mould in ceilings and walls.
The units’ common areas are not inspected unless it is specifically requested!
b) Sampling comprehensive inspections
A sampling formula of comprehensive inspections of a random number of units between 20% and 50% of the units you wish to invest in, where it is not feasible to inspect every unit. This will include an equal balance of older and newer units, and different floors if the blocks are multi-storied ( equal number of ground top, and intermediate floors).
A comprehensive report on the units will be provided for every unit inspected. The units’ common areas are inspected.
c) Sampling critical area inspections
A sampling formula of the type of inspection detailed in the critical area inspection option with a random number of units between 20% and 50% of the units you wish to invest in where it is not feasible to inspect every unit. In addition, this will include an equal balance of older and newer units, and different floors if the blocks are multi-storied ( equal number of ground top, and intermediate floors).
I will not inspect common areas in this case!
d) Your choice of specific items and number of units
Your choice of specific items and/or the number of units you wish to have inspected.
NOTE: I do not recommend options b, d or c as unsafe, damaged or problem units can slip through the net and may be expensive to bring to standard.
It is advisable to carry out a mould inspection when you suspect you might have a mould problem in your property. Moreover, I strongly recommend that you have your property professionally inspected when you experience sleep loss, or breathing difficulties (shortness of breath, tightness in the chest, or respiratory irritation). Also, you may also experience neurological difficulties (headaches, dizziness, drowsiness, nausea).
If your house is already suffering from obvious mould contamination such as parts of the wall or ceiling, an inspection is essential. My mould inspection will identify and confirm the true extent of the problem and provide a recommendation on how to rectify it.
are signs of termites in your garden or you are in a known termite problem area
you should regularly have your home inspected for a termite infestation.
They might be in your built-in cupboards, the floor skirtings or in your roof space. Therefore, my termite inspection will identify and confirm the extent of the problem and damage. I will provide recommendations on how to rectify it.
InterNACHI is a nonprofit association providing training, certification, and Continuing Education for its members. This includes property inspectors, licensed real estate agents, and building contractors. Furthermore, InterNACHI provides its members with business training, software products, marketing services, and many other membership benefits.
Advantages of having Property Inspector Standards and Codes of Ethics
Standards of Practice and Code of Ethics for InterNACHI Property Inspectors
Furthermore, InterNACHI maintains an industry blog, inspection forums and local chapters in support of this swapping of information. In addition, InterNACHI provides me with the means of direct and membership-wide interaction with other inspectors. This furthers my understanding of my particular role in the inspection industry and howbest to serve you, my client.
Above all, this cross-communication enhances my ability, as a property inspector, to build my business and develop specialised ancillary property inspection services for you.
Advantages for homebuyers and homeowners
In fulfilling InterNACHI’s primary objective of training and mentoring me and other inspector members, the association’s broader mission is also to inform and advise home buyers and homeowners about maintenance issues in their homes. This helps homeowners understand the functions, materials, systems and components of their properties. Furthermore, maintenance is not covered by homeowner’s insurance policies. Therefore, homeowners have the responsibility to conduct regular maintenance checks and to do the necessary maintenance to protect their investment.
My duty as an Internachi certified property inspector
In addition, as an InterNACHI property inspector, my commitment is to provide consistent, accessible and trusted information to you about the condition of the properties you wish to have inspected.