You have heard time and again that when purchasing a new home, you should always get the home inspected. Inspections evaluate the state of the home and look at areas such as doors, windows, electric, plumbing, and the foundation.

But is your home inspection including environmental inspections? Environmental inspection of the property to look for problems such as:

home inspectionMold

Mold from water damage, humidity, and other sources can cause dangerous situations in a home, especially if there are children or seniors in the home. If the home has a musty odor, chances are it has mold. Mold can be visible or hidden:

  • Inside walls
  • Under wallpaper
  • Under carpets
  • Inside heating and air ducts
  • In washing machines

A professional mold inspector will test your home for mold, which can include air and surface sampling.


Radon is the top cause of lung cancer in the U.S., after smoking. This naturally occurring radioactive gas comes from the natural decay of uranium that is found in soils. It enters a home through cracks in the foundation and becomes trapped in the home.

The EPA has a list of state radon information where you can get radon testing kits, which are easy and inexpensive, as well as interactive radon maps.

Radon in the home can be mitigated through a vent pipe system and fan, which pulls radon out from the home and vents it outside.


Asbestos is a flame-retardant mineral fiber material that was used extensively in home construction through the 1940s and 1970s. Now, we know that prolonged exposure to the material can cause lung cancer, mesothelioma, and asbestosis, as the tiny abrasive fibers are easily inhaled when disturbed.

Asbestos can be found in:

  • Blown-in attic insulation
  • Window caulking and glazing
  • Popcorn ceilings
  • Roofing materials
  • HVAC duct insulation
  • Siding material
  • Some forms of linoleum and vinyl

Have an asbestos professional check for the presence of the material in the home, particularly if it’s an older one. If asbestos is present, negotiate to have it remediated before you purchase, or move on to another property altogether.

Air Quality

Finally, air quality will be tested. Air quality testing will check to see if remediation of problems like asbestos and radon has been successful, as well as help catch these issues in the first place.

Environmental Inspections Are Especially Needed In Older Homes & Land Purchases

If the home was built before the 1980s, you will need an environmental inspection. These homes were built using dangerous materials like asbestos and lead paint that can cause health problems.

Purchasing land will also require an environmental inspection, which will check for soil contamination, flooding risk, and soil quality. This is to ensure that the land is both suitable and safe to build and live on.

Get an inspection contingency, which gives you the right to inspect the property within a certain time frame and break the lease or negotiate repairs and remediation before the sale can move forward. This clause can be especially useful in the purchase of older homes.

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Contact Eric Merchant At 314.541.1218