Mold inspections are essential to maintaining a healthy living or working environment, especially in humid regions like Los Angeles. If left unchecked, mold can cause serious health problems and damage your property. But how much does a mold inspection cost in Los Angeles? This blog post will provide an in-depth understanding of the costs associated with mold inspections in Los Angeles.

How Much Does a Mold Inspection Cost in Los Angeles?

How Much Does a Mold Inspection Cost in Los Angeles?

The Importance of Mold Inspections

Before discussing the cost, it’s crucial to understand why mold inspections are necessary. Mold is a type of fungus that thrives in damp and humid conditions. It can grow on various surfaces, including walls, floors, and ceilings. Prolonged mold exposure can lead to health issues such as allergies, asthma attacks, and other respiratory problems.

The risk of mold growth is high in Los Angeles, where the climate is often warm and humid. Regular mold inspections can help detect any signs of mold growth early on and prevent potential health risks and property damage.

Factors Influencing Mold Inspection Costs

Several factors influence the cost of mold inspections in Los Angeles. These include:

1. Property Size: The more extensive your property, the more time it will take for a thorough inspection and, hence, higher costs.

2. Location: Travel time may be factored into the cost depending on where you live in Los Angeles.

3. Extent of Mold Infestation: If there’s already visible mold growth or a strong, musty smell indicating severe infestation, additional tests may be required, which could increase costs.

4. Type of Testing: The type of testing performed also affects the price – surface testing is generally less expensive than air testing.

Average Cost for Mold Inspections in Los Angeles

The average cost for professional mold inspections in Los Angeles varies widely based on the abovementioned factors. However, homeowners should expect to pay between $200 and $600 for a standard mold inspection. This price typically includes a visual inspection of the property, air or surface sampling, lab analysis of the samples, and a detailed report of the findings.

The cost can be $1,000 or more for more significant properties or extensive mold infestations. It’s also important to note that this cost is for the inspection only. If mold remediation is required, that will be an additional expense.

Choosing a Mold Inspection Company

When it comes to mold inspections in Los Angeles, choosing a reputable company is essential. Look for companies with certified inspectors with experience dealing with different types of mold. Ask about their testing methods and make sure they provide detailed reports.

Remember that the cheapest option may not always be the best one. A thorough and accurate mold inspection can save you money in the long run by preventing costly property damage and health issues.

Conclusion

Mold inspections are an investment in your health and property. While costs can vary based on several factors, homeowners in Los Angeles should expect to pay between $200 and $600 for a professional mold inspection. By choosing a reputable company and addressing any signs of mold early on, you can protect your home and health from potential harm caused by mold infestations.

Are do-it-yourself mold test kits accurate and reliable? Do-it-yourself (DIY) mold test kits can vary in accuracy and reliability. While they can provide some indication of the presence of mold in a given area, they may not always offer a complete and accurate assessment of the extent or type of mold contamination. Here are a few factors to consider:

Are do it yourself mold test kits accurate and reliable?

Are do-it-yourself mold test kits accurate and reliable?

1. Limited scope: Do-it-yourself kits usually involve collecting a sample from a single location or surface, which may not represent the overall mold presence in a building. Mold can be airborne, hidden within walls, or in other areas beyond the tested surface. Therefore, do-it-yourself kits may not comprehensively analyze the mold situation.

2. Inaccurate identification: It can be challenging for the average person to accurately identify different types of mold based solely on visual inspection. Do-it-yourself kits often use visual identification, which may lead to incorrect mold species identification. Certain molds require professional analysis to determine their potential health risks accurately.

3. Lack of expertise: Conducting a mold test requires proper training and expertise to ensure accurate results. DIY kits may not provide the necessary guidance or support to correctly sample and interpret the results. Conversely, professionals have the experience to conduct more reliable and comprehensive mold assessments.

4. False positives or negatives: DIY kits can produce false positive or negative results. False positives may occur due to mold spores being naturally present in the environment or due to improper sampling methods. False negatives can occur if mold is present but not effectively captured in the samples provided.

5. Professional validation: It is generally recommended to consult a professional mold inspector or industrial hygienist to perform a comprehensive assessment if you suspect mold issues in your home. Professionals can access specialized equipment and training to identify, quantify, and provide informed recommendations for remediating mold problems.

In summary, while do-it-yourself mold test kits can provide some initial indications of mold presence, they may not always be accurate or reliable. For a more comprehensive assessment and reliable analysis, it is advisable to consult a professional mold inspector or industrial hygienist.

Are gas stoves safer than electric ones? This is an important question that must be answered to make an informed decision when looking to purchase a new home.

When looking into the safety of a gas stove versus an electric one, the main thing to consider is that both products have safety concerns. If improperly maintained, gas stoves can be dangerous, as they require ventilation and lead to carbon monoxide poisoning. On the other hand, electric stoves can be more hazardous in the home as they have a higher risk of electrical shock.

Are gas stoves safer than electric?

Are gas stoves safer than electric?

Gas stoves do have some advantages over electric ones. They are often cheaper to run due to their low cost of natural gas, and they are also capable of generating high temperatures, making them ideal for cooking various dishes. Furthermore, gas stoves do not require electricity as an additional power source like electric stoves, which is a big plus for many people.

However, electric stoves come with their benefits. They are more energy efficient than gas stoves, as they do not require significant electricity to heat up. Electric stoves are also safer than gas stoves because there is no risk of gas leaks or carbon monoxide poisoning. In addition, electric stoves are much easier to clean and maintain as they are not prone to dirt and grime buildup like gas stoves can be.

Ultimately, the decision as to whether a gas stove or an electric one is safer will depend on the individual and their situation. Both stoves have advantages and disadvantages, and it is essential to weigh all of the factors before making a final decision. As a home buyer, it is necessary to do your research and consider all aspects before deciding which type of stove best fits your home.

Indoor air pollution is a severe concern for homeowners. Poor air quality can cause various health issues, from headaches and asthma to more severe illnesses. To ensure a healthy home environment, it is essential to be aware of the four major indoor air pollutants and take steps to reduce their levels in the home.

The first major indoor air pollutant is Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs). VOCs are chemicals found in various household products, such.

What are the four major indoor air pollutants?

What are the four major indoor air pollutants?

As paint and cleaning supplies, and can be released into the air when used. VOCs can irritate the eyes, nose, and throat, as well as headaches and nausea.

Second, mold and mildew can also pollute indoor air. Mold and mildew thrive in humid environments and can cause allergies and asthma when inhaled. If mold or mildew is present in the home, it is essential to find the source of moisture and make repairs to reduce humidity.

Third, asbestos is another major indoor air pollutant. Asbestos was commonly used in building materials before the 1980s and can still be present in older homes. Inhaling asbestos fibers can lead to serious health issues, including lung cancer. If asbestos is present in the house, it is essential to seek professional help to remove it safely.

Finally, dust mites are also a common indoor air pollutant. Dust mites feed on dead skin cells and can trigger inhaled allergies and asthma. To reduce dust mite levels in the home, it is important to vacuum regularly and keep surfaces dust-free.

As a homeowner, there are several steps you can take to reduce indoor air pollution levels in your home. Regularly cleaning and dusting surfaces, using natural products when possible, and ensuring any mold or asbestos is addressed promptly can all help to improve indoor air quality. Additionally, investing in an air purifier can help to reduce levels of VOCs, mold, and dust mites in your home.

By taking the steps outlined above, homeowners can ensure a healthy environment for themselves and their families. Knowing the four major indoor air pollutants and reducing them can help protect your health and improve the quality of the air you breathe in your home.

Defensible space is an urban planning concept in which an area around a residential structure is secure from potential threats. This can include physical features like fencing, trees, and landscaping and electronic security systems like cameras, alarms, and motion detectors. Defensible space can help protect homeowners from burglaries, vandalism, and other criminal activity.

Defensible Space

Defensible Space

When designing a defensible space, property owners should consider their environment, their property’s layout, and the safety of their neighborhood. For example, having a high fence around the property could be effective if the area is prone to crime. Still, a more aesthetically pleasing wall may be more appropriate if the property is in a safe neighborhood. Additionally, property owners should consider the type of security they need and the amount of money they are willing to spend.

Physical features like landscaping and trees can also create a sense of security. For example, trees can be planted to produce a natural barrier, or hedges can provide a sense of privacy and safety. Additionally, landscaping can be used to improve visibility, and visibility can help deter potential criminals.

Additionally, electronic security systems can be integrated into a defensible space plan. These systems can include cameras, alarms, and motion detectors. Cameras can help monitor activity in and around the property, and alarms can be set to alert property owners in the event of a possible intrusion. Motion detectors can be used to detect movement in the area and alert property owners as well.

In conclusion, defensible space is an essential concept in urban planning that can help protect homeowners from crime. While there are multiple options available, property owners should consider their environment, the layout of their property, and the safety of their neighborhood when designing defensible spaces. Additionally, physical features like landscaping, trees, and electronic security systems can create a sense of security and safety.

Is Your Water Heater Earthquake Safe

Water heater earthquake strapping is critical in California, where earthquakes happen on a regular basis. From San Diego, Orange County and Los Angeles to San Jose, San Francisco, and Sacramento, damage from earthquakes in homes and businesses can happen without warning. Most of us never think about our water heater’s safety before an earthquake takes place.

The law in California requires that your electric or gas water heater must be properly secured to a wall. These laws are in place so that water heaters will not tilt or fall during an earthquake episode and lead to a flood or fire in your home. All apartments, offices, homes, multi-family properties, and public buildings are required to have their water heater strapped securely.

water heater strapping

Your water heater also holds available cooking and drinking water in the event of an extended power outage. New laws regarding strapping help to keep water heater tanks in place. Strapping types and attachment hardware rules have been upgraded for safety since the Northridge earthquake of 1994 and the Loma Prieta quake of 1989.

If your water heater is older, you might want to have it inspected by a water heater professional installer. They will ensure that you have the safe and correct strapping that is necessary. They will also make sure the correct connectors and lines are installed and strapping and wall attachments can be upgraded.

Water Heater Strapping Things to Know

  • 30, 40 & 50-gallon water heaters require 2 straps
  • 75 & 80-gallon water heaters require 3 straps
  • 100-gallon water heaters require 4 straps
  • Strapping must be placed properly- the top 1/3 and the lower 1/3 of the water heater must be strapped to prevent rocking and tipping.

If you personally would like to determine if your water heater earthquake strapping is correct and find out if it is current to California law. Earthquakecountry.org offers some good tips for proper attachment.  https://www.earthquakecountry.org/step1/waterheater/

Signature Home Inspection has inspected thousands of water heaters in California to determine if they meet earthquake code standards. We would be happy to help you determine if your water heater, for the safety of your family and your neighborhood is properly strapped.

After an earthquake, you should check your water heater strapping to make sure that there are no gas lines leaking that can start a fire and cause a fire in your home. You should also be checking that your water heater has not fallen over and leaking water lines have not flooded your home, resulting in expensive repairs.  If proper earthquake strapping is present, your home will be much less likely to be devastated by an unfortunate water heater issue due to earthquake tilting.

We are pleased to be of service to Los AngelesOrange County, Riverside, and San Diego including their surrounding communities.

Smoke & Carbon Monoxide Alarms

Effective July 1, 2011, all single family dwelling units require smoke & carbon monoxide detectors throughout the residence. Smoke & carbon monoxide detectors must be installed in accordance with the 2016 California Residential Code (CRC) and will be verified at the permit final inspection.

Smoke Alarms shall be installed in the following locations:

  • In each sleeping room.
  • Outside each sleeping area in the immediate vicinity of the bedrooms.
  • On each additional story of the dwelling, including basements but not including crawl spaces and uninhabitable attics

Carbon Monoxide Alarms shall be installed in the following locations:

  • Outside of each separate dwelling unit sleeping area in the immediate vicinity of the bedroom(s).
  • On every level of a dwelling unit including basements.
  • Where a fuel-burning appliance is located within a bedroom or its attached bathroom, a carbon monoxide alarm shall be installed within the bedroom.

Smoke & Carbon Monoxide Alarms

Smoke Alarms (CRC Section R314)

Alterations, repairs, and additions.

When alterations, repairs, or additions requiring a permit occur or when one or more sleeping rooms are added or created in existing dwellings, the individual dwelling unit shall be equipped with smoke alarms located as required for new dwellings.

Carbon Monoxide Alarms (CRC Section R315)

Where required in existing dwellings.

Where a permit is required for alterations, repairs or additions, existing dwelling units that have attached garages or fuel burning appliances shall be provided with carbon monoxide alarms.

California SB 969

California has recently had its most destructive fire season with widespread power outages that made it difficult and or impossible for some to escape. With the loss of electricity, garage door openers were impacted and deaths were attributed to homeowners becoming trapped and who perished because they could not open their garage doors manually.

Reports from the 2017 Northern California fires recounted stories of neighbors stopping to help raise garage doors for elderly people who didn’t have the strength to manually open their garage door, and a mother who struggled to get her disabled son into a car because their custom van was in the garage they couldn’t open.

On September 1, 2018 Governor Brown signed SB 969 into law. This legislation requires newly sold or installed garage door openers in residential applications to have battery backup up in the state of California.

California SB 969 Facts!

• The law goes into effect July 1, 2019.

• The law applies to all new garage doors and garage door opener installations.

• Homeowners must install a battery backup opener when a new door is installed or when they replace their existing opener.

• Existing openers in use will not have to be replaced with battery backup openers unless the door is being replaced.

• On or after July 1, 2019 no person, corporation, or entity shall manufacture for sale in this state, sell, offer for sale at retail or wholesale, or install in the state of California a residential automatic garage door opener that does not a have battery backup function that is designed to operate when activated because of an electrical outage.

• Failure to follow this will result in a civil penalty of $1000 per opener installed and operational.

Here is what was signed into law:

This bill, beginning July 1, 2019, requires an automatic garage door opener that is manufactured for sale, sold, offered for sale, or installed in a residence to have a battery backup function that is designed to operate when activated because of an electrical outage. This bill would make a violation of those provisions subject to a civil penalty of $1,000. This bill will, on and after July 1, 2019, prohibit a replacement residential garage door from being installed in a manner that connects the door to an existing garage door opener that does not meet the requirements of these provisions.

Future Impact:

Homeowners will have to test the functionality of the garage door opener batteries – Homeowners will have to remove and replace garage door opener batteries (including proper disposal) – Listing and Selling Real Estate agents will have additional request for repair items – Other issues yet to be determined

How to Protect Your Home

When it comes to home maintenance, everyone thinks of weatherproofing, but does anyone think of thief proofing? Last year, there were 8,632,512 property crimes, costing an estimated $16.6 billion, which includes burglary.

Here are a few home security basics to help you protect your home.

Check Locks and Latches – Add checking locks and latches on windows and doors to your regular maintenance routine. All it takes for a thief to gain entry is a single broken latch.

Cut Back Trees and Hedges – Maintain sight lines to the street by removing trees and hedges that obscure key entry points into the house. The lack of a suitable place to hide is sometimes enough to deter would-be criminals.

Alarm System – Consider an adding alarm system. Modern systems offer features like remote access, security cameras and 24-hour monitoring. Here’s what you need to know before buying an alarm system.

Security Lights – Install security lights anywhere a potential thief might look to gain entry to your home, including back doors, attached or detached garages, covered porches and any other outbuildings.

Beware of Bragging – Avoid broadcasting big-ticket purchases via social media – this could be an invitation for trouble. It’s also a good idea to shred any receipts or credit card statements that may alert thieves to your recent purchase (this also helps prevent identity theft).

Keep Control of Keys – Get in the habit of gathering keys from contractors or household helpers after they are done. Be careful about using a smart key system that allows you to rekey locks yourself – some are easily picked.

The purpose of this Attached garage Fire hazards article is twofold. First, at Signature Home Inspection, we’d like you to Garage Firetake measures to keep your garage free from fire. Fortunately, there are ways this can be done, some of which are described below. Secondly, garage fires do happen, and we’d like you to make sure that a fire cannot not easily spread to the rest of your house. While you can perform many of the recommendations in this article yourself, it is a good idea to hire an InterNACHI inspector to make sure your home is safe from a garage fire.

Why do many garages pose a fire hazard?

  • Where are you most likely to do any welding, or any work on your car? These activities require working with all sorts of flammable materials.
  • Water heaters and boilers are usually stored in garages, and they can create sparks that may ignite fumes or fluids. Car batteries, too, will spark under certain conditions.
  • Oil and gasoline can drip from cars. These fluids may collect unnoticed and eventually ignite, given the proper conditions.
  • Flammable liquids, such as gasoline, motor oil and paint are commonly stored in garages. Some other examples are brake fluid, varnish, paint thinner and lighter fluid.

The following tips can help prevent garage fires and their spread:

  • If the garage allows access to the attic, make sure a hatch covers this access.
  • The walls and ceiling should be fire-rated. Unfortunately, it will be difficult for untrained homeowners to tell if their walls are Type X fire-rated gypsum. An InterNACHI inspector can examine the walls and ceiling to make sure they are adequate fire barriers.
  • The floor should be clear of clutter. Loose papers, matches, oily rags, and other potentially  flammable items are extremely dangerous if they are strewn about the garage floor.
  • Use light bulbs with the proper wattage, and do not overload electrical outlets.
  • Tape down all cords and wires so they are not twisted or accidentally yanked.

If there is a door that connects the garage to the living area, consider the following:

  • Do not install a pet door in the door! Flames can more easily spread into the living area through a pet door, especially if it’s made of plastic.
  • Does the door have a window? An InterNACHI inspector can inspect the window to tell if it’s fire-rated.
  • The door should be self-closing. While it may be inconvenient, especially while carrying groceries into the house from the car, doors should be self-closing. You never know when a fire will happen, and it would be unfortunate to accidentally leave the door open while a fire is starting in the garage.
  • Check the joints and open spaces around the door. Are they tightly sealed? Any openings at all can allow dangerous fumes, such as carbon monoxide or gasoline vapor, to enter the living area. An InterNACHI inspector can recommend ways to seal the door so that fumes cannot enter the living area.

Concerning items placed on the floor, you should check for the following:

  • Store your flammable liquids in clearly labeled, self-closing containers, and only in small amounts. Keep them away from heaters, appliances, pilot lights and other sources of heat or flame.
  • Never store propane tanks indoors. If they catch fire, they can explode. Propane tanks are sturdy enough to be stored outdoors.
In summary, there are plenty of things that you can do to prevent garage fires from spreading to the rest of the house, or to keep them from starting in the first place. However, it is highly recommended that you have your garage periodically examined by an InterNACHI inspector.
Information provided by NACHI.org

Signature Home Inspection is a Certified Home Inspection service located in California serving Orange County, San Diego County, Los Angeles County, Riverside County, Santa Clara County, San Mateo County, San Francisco County, Contra Costa County, and San Bernardino County California.