Whether you’re buying a property, selling a property, or looking to maintain the special spot you already call home, Windy City Home Inspection, Inc. has an inspection for you — including services and inspections for mold, radon, and pests.
What’s Hiding In Your Home?
From the city to the suburbs, the Chicago area has a rich history — and the unique homes in our region all have character and stories of their own.
Whether your ideal property is a condo in a multi-unit building, a classic Chicago-style bungalow, or a mid-century modern masterpiece in the suburbs, there’s potentially a lot going on beneath the surface of your Chicagoland home, including dangers or unwelcome guests you may not be able to notice by yourself.
This is just one reason why home inspections are so important here in Chicagoland. With a home inspection, an experienced and objective professional will perform a non-invasive visual examination of the readily accessible systems and components of a home, looking for structural and mechanical concerns, potential safety hazards, and the age of major systems. If problems or concerns are discovered, an inspector may recommend further evaluation from the appropriate specialists.
Home inspections are crucial at every stage of the real estate process, whether you’re buying a property, getting your current home ready to sell, or simply looking to care for the integrity of a house you’ve already purchased.
A home inspection is a powerful tool for building a solid foundation of knowledge about a home when you’re looking to make an informed purchasing decision, consider the future marketability of your listing, or settle in for the long haul. This includes getting to know whether or not a home is free of potential health risks.
Mold, Radon, and Termites
In the Chicago area, some of the most common threats to a home’s habitability and safety are mold and radon, as well as termites and pests. At Windy City, we strive to be a one-stop-shop for all of your inspection needs — including helping you to identify and protect yourself from these stealthy health hazards.
According to a report from Medical News Today, there are more than 300,000 different types of known mold in the world. Naturally, not all forms of mold are harmful to humans and animals. In fact, some are actually beneficial to us. For example, certain strains of mold are used to manufacture healing antibiotics, and some are even tasty enough to eat (bleu cheese, anyone?).
However, certain types of mold that may grow indoors can “cause a variety of health effects,” as the CDC explains, including “symptoms such as stuffy nose, wheezing, and red or itchy eyes or skin.” Long-term exposure to mold can also lead to harmful diseases and adverse physical reactions, particularly for vulnerable groups like young children, the elderly, or people with compromised immune systems.
Mold spores can be found just about everywhere, but they need excessive moisture and a food source to grow and spread. In homes, mold tends to grow in dark areas with excessive moisture, and can often follow leaks or water damage. As the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) puts it: “The best way to control mold growth is to control moisture.”
Concerned about mold in your Chicagoland home? Mold testing is recommended if the home inspection uncovers evidence that a mold-like substance is present, or conditions that are conducive to mold growth are present. While there are home testing kits available, having a professional conduct a mold test can give you much more complete and useful results, helping you to identify:
- The types and amounts of mold found
- The potential source of the problem
- Actions you can take to remediate the issue
With Windy City, you can trust that we’ve got you covered. With MoldSafe, we offer way more than just an inspection. If mold is found in your home that was not present at the time of the inspection, you are covered for remediation up to $2000.
Remember that not all molds will require professional remediation, and in some cases the cure could be as simple as applying a store-bought mold remover. In cases where professional remediation is recommended, we can refer contractors to help you with your problem. The contractor will be able to detail the scope of work as well as recommending how you can correct the underlying cause of the problem first, and prevent it from happening again.
Radon is a type of gas that can be present in Chicago homes, which can lead to serious health problems. As the National Institute of Health (NIH) explains, Radon is “an invisible, odorless, tasteless gas that seeps up through the ground and diffuses into the air.” While everyone breathes in some Radon every day, usually at very low levels, people who inhale high levels of radon “are at an increased risk of developing lung cancer,” according to the NIH. In fact, it is one of the leading causes of lung cancer among non-smokers.
Radon can enter a home by seeping through cracks or gaps in a home’s floors, walls, or foundation, or via sump pump openings and loosely fitted pipes. Elevated Radon levels can be found in any home, regardless of its age and quality of construction — making testing all the more important.
If you are testing as a part of a real estate transaction, you can add radon testing to your home inspection through Windy City, or contact a licensed radon testing company. If you are testing after a real estate transaction, you can also purchase a home radon test through the Illinois Department of Health, or at most hardware stores.
If a test finds high levels of Radon, Windy City can help you connect with local companies who specialize in radon mitigation, who can analyze your test results and help you determine the best mitigation system for your Chicago-area home. Once a mitigation system has been put in place, it is important to have a clearance test done to ensure that radon is being controlled properly.
Termites and Pests
If a standard home inspection uncovers evidence of wood-destroying insects or other unwelcome guests, your inspector may recommend a termite and pest inspection.
During a typical home inspection, your inspector will look for evidence of pest and insect damage, including visually checking vents and chimneys for signs of unwanted inhabitants. (You can find sample reports with more detailed checklists and descriptions here.)
If you’re concerned about termites — and the threat they can pose to your Chicago home — you’re certainly not alone. According to the EPA, these nasty invaders “cause billions of dollars in structural damage, and property owners spend over two billion dollars to treat them” every year. Windy City Home Inspection can help refer you to pest control services based in the Chicagoland area.
Have any other questions? We also offer access to Home Owner’s Resource, a free service that gives you access to professionals you can turn to whenever you have any questions about your property. This service is especially useful for any maintenance issue that may arise in your home where you would like an expert’s input or suggestions. You can learn more or sign up here.
What to Expect with Windy City Home Inspection
Curious about what goes into the home inspection process here in Chicago? Looking for guidance or insight from an experienced home inspection team? That’s where we come in.
With Windy City Home Inspection, buyers and sellers can expect a thorough, diligent inspection that never cuts corners. When searching for the right home inspector, it’s important to find someone you can trust — and that’s why we are here for you. The inspectors at Windy City Home Inspection, Inc. are licensed by the State of Illinois, certified, and insured. Each home inspection we provide is backed by our Warranty and Protection Plan. Furthermore, we pride ourselves on our superior customer service. If you ever have questions, even years after your home inspection, we will be here to answer them, even if it means returning to your home.
At Windy City Home Inspection, Inc., we perform inspections to the highest standards — yours. Backed by a consulting team with more than 60 years of experience, Windy City Home Inspection is truly committed to excellence. Have a question? Let us help.