Home inspections are an essential part of the homebuying process. Evaluating the condition of the home and identifying problems in areas such as roofing, plumbing, or foundations will help prevent unwelcome surprises that might crop up after purchase.

But have you ordered a professional environmental inspection?

Environmental inspections identify harmful materials like mold, asbestos, and radon

Environmental inspections of the property are designed to look for problems such as mold, radon, and asbestos, which can damage the occupant’s health and the surrounding environment.home inspection

When an environmental inspector goes through a home, they will search for signs of:


Walking through the home, you notice a musty smell. Is that normal? It could be a sign of mold.

Water damage, humidity, and poor ventilation can encourage mold growth in a home, especially in bathrooms and basements. The presence of mold in a home can be dangerous for inhabitants, especially children, seniors, and those with illnesses.

A professional mold inspector will test your home for mold, including air and surface sampling.


Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas that comes from the decay of uranium in soils and is the top cause of lung cancer in the U.S. after smoking. It enters a home through cracks in the foundation and becomes trapped in the house. If your otherwise ‘dream home’ shows signs of radon in an inspection,  it can be mitigated by installing a ventilation system that pulls radon out from the house and vents it outside. While an additional expense, this can be a negotiating point with the seller.

Asbestos and  lead paint

If the home was built before the 1980s, you will need an environmental inspection to determine the presence of asbestos, a flame-retardant material, and lead paint. These dangerous materials can cause health problems with prolonged exposure, such as mesothelioma, asbestosis, and lead poisoning.

If asbestos and/or lead is present in the home, negotiate to have it fixed if you are set on the house. Otherwise, you can move on to another property, especially if you have an inspection contingency on the home.

Talk to your real estate agent and lender about your options if you have to back out of the contract. They will work with you to get the problem fixed or the purchase rescinded.

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The above information is for educational purposes only. All information, loan programs and interest rates are subject to change without notice. All loans subject to underwriter approval. Terms and conditions apply. Always consult an accountant or tax advisor for full eligibility requirements on tax deduction.