Moisture Problems in Your Home: Causes, Effects, and Prevention

Moisture is a common problem in homes, and it can lead to a variety of issues, including mold growth, structural damage, and health problems. In this blog, we will discuss the causes, effects, and prevention of moisture problems in your home.


Moisture is a major problem in many homes. It can lead to mold growth, structural damage, and health problems. In this blog, we will discuss the causes, effects, and prevention of moisture problems in your home.

Causes of Moisture Problems

There are a number of things that can cause moisture problems in homes, including:

  • Water leaks: Leaks from pipes, roofs, and appliances can cause significant moisture problems. For example, a leaky pipe in the basement can cause water damage to the foundation and flooring.
  • Condensation: When warm, humid air meets cold surfaces, condensation can form. This can happen in areas like bathrooms, kitchens, and basements. For example, condensation can form on windows and mirrors in the bathroom after a shower.
  • Groundwater: Groundwater can seep into basements and crawl spaces, causing moisture problems. For example, if your home is located in a floodplain, you are at risk for groundwater seepage.
  • Poor ventilation: Poor ventilation can lead to buildup of moisture in the air, which can contribute to mold growth. For example, if your home does not have good ventilation, moisture can build up in the air, which can lead to mold growth.

Effects of Moisture Problems

Moisture problems can have a number of negative effects on your home, including:

  • Mold growth: Mold is a type of fungus that can grow in moist environments. Mold can cause health problems, such as respiratory problems, allergies, and asthma. For example, exposure to mold can cause respiratory problems, such as coughing, wheezing, and shortness of breath.
  • Structural damage: Moisture can weaken building materials, leading to structural damage. For example, mold can weaken the foundation of your home, which can lead to cracks in the walls and floors.
  • Increased energy costs: Moisture can make it harder to heat and cool your home, leading to increased energy costs. For example, if your home has a lot of moisture, you may need to run your furnace or air conditioner more often, which can increase your energy bills.
  • Decreased property value: Moisture problems can decrease the value of your home. For example, if a buyer finds mold in your home, they may be less likely to offer you a high price for your home.

Preventing Moisture Problems

There are a number of things you can do to prevent moisture problems in your home, including:

  • Fix leaks: If you have a water leak, fix it as soon as possible. For example, if you notice a leak in your roof, call a roofer to fix it as soon as possible.
  • Ventilate your home properly: Make sure your home has adequate ventilation to prevent buildup of moisture in the air. For example, open windows and doors regularly to let fresh air in.
  • Use dehumidifiers: Dehumidifiers can help to reduce the humidity in your home, which can help to prevent mold growth. For example, if you live in a humid climate, you may want to consider using a dehumidifier in your home.
  • Seal up cracks and gaps: Seal up any cracks or gaps in your home’s foundation, walls, and windows to prevent moisture from entering. For example, caulk around windows and doors to prevent moisture from seeping in.
  • Raise appliances off the floor: Raising appliances off the floor can help to prevent water damage from leaks. For example, if you have a washer and dryer in your basement, raise them off the floor on blocks to prevent water damage from leaks.
  • Clean up spills immediately: Clean up any spills immediately to prevent moisture from soaking into surfaces. For example, if you spill water on the floor, wipe it up immediately to prevent moisture from soaking into the floorboards.


Moisture problems are a common problem in homes, but they can be prevented and fixed. By following the tips in this blog, you can help to keep your home dry and free of moisture problems.

Recommendation for Home Inspection

If you are unsure whether you have a moisture problem in your home, it is a good idea to have a home inspection performed. A home inspector will be able to identify any moisture problems in your home and recommend the best course of action to remedy them. Contact us with any questions or to schedule an inspection

Glossary of Inspection Terms

If you’re buying a home, you’ve probably heard about mold testing. And while it may seem like a regular part of a home inspection, mold testing is a critically important part of any real estate transaction. In addition to being risky for pets and people who live inside a home, the presence of mold can put your real estate investment at risk and expose you to liability down the road.

The home inspection is an important part of any real estate transition – for both buyers and sellers. If you’re considering selling a property in the future, you can do a few things to make the process smoother, easier, and faster for your home inspector.

We’ll share a few of the top things home inspectors want you to know in this blog.

Let’s dive in.

8 Things Your Home Inspector Wants you to Know

Have you sold homes before? Are you planning to sell your first property? No matter what, a home inspection is an important part of the process. Designed to identify issues and protect your investment, a home inspection safeguards buyers, sellers, and agents.

Fortunately, these eight must-knows can make the process easier and faster:

1. Pets make the job harder

Having pets underfoot makes it harder for the home inspector to do their job. Even if your pets are friendly and people-loving and the home inspector loves four-legged family members, tuck pets away as the inspector does their job.

This allows the inspector to get in and out quickly and devote their full attention to your property. It also keeps your pet safe and guarantees they won’t accidentally slip out of the house during the process.

2. Clutter makes it challenging for us to spot problems

Whether you plan to be home for the inspection, clear the clutter out of your house before the inspector arrives.

While a home inspector won’t judge you for streaky windows or a grimy stove (just make sure to clean these things before the house sells), they do need to access the nooks and crannies of your home, which can be tough if you’ve got a lot of junk in the way.

Before the inspector arrives, make sure to remove junk from your crawl space, attic, closets, and other vital areas of the home.

3. Almost anything can be fixed

If the home inspection reveals problems with your home (as it likely will – no house is perfect), don’t panic.

Most issues uncovered by a home inspection are minor and can easily be fixed. Plumbing can be repaired or updated, electrical panels can be replaced, and drafty windows can be modernized.

Even big things, like roofs and foundations, can be repaired if you’ve got the time and money to do the job. Finding issues with the home during the inspection doesn’t mean you can never sell it, only that you may need to invest some money in it first.

4. We can’t predict the future

If you’re wondering how long that hot water heater will last or how many more years the roof has in it, we canot give you an estimate on how long it will last. Some things last two to three times what they should and some things fail far sooner than their expected lifetime. Dirty things can be new and old things can be clean. There’s no way to predict what will happen after you buy a house.

5. Good inspections aren’t cheap – cheap inspections aren’t good

They say you get what you pay for, and that’s as true with home inspections as it is anything else. If you’re calling around looking for the cheapest inspector, you could be in for trouble. A home is probably the most expensive purchase you’ll ever make, and it’s worth investing in a good home inspection.

The inspection is a time-consuming, detailed process that requires a skilled, comprehensive inspector. Most inspectors love what they do, take pride in a thorough inspection, and charge accordingly for those services. Trying to price-shop or lowball your inspector is a sour note to start the relationship off with.

6. You’ll need to use your heart and your brain during the purchase

If you’re on the buying side, rather than the selling side of the real estate sale, it’s important to know you’ll need to use both your heart and your head during the sale.

If you find a home you love with lots of expensive issues, use your brain to determine whether the house is the one for you. Weighing emotion and reason can help you make the right choice for your home.

7. Water is a major danger sign

Water isn’t always a deal-breaker during a home sale, but it can be a red flag for other issues like mold and mildew. If you find water-related issues before the deal closes, you’ll want to address them immediately. Faulty plumbing, leaking roofs or ceilings, or water in the basement can be expensive and difficult to fix and can cause you lots of headaches after the sale is complete.

8. We’re here to help

Our goal is to uncover issues that everyone involved in the sale should know about. We’re honest, thorough experts who want to protect your best interests. That’s why you should NEVER waive the home inspection.

We’re happy to answer your questions, and we want to work with you to protect your investment or streamline your life as a home buyer or home seller.

Bonus tip: Honesty is always the best policy

If you know about an issue with your home, tell us about it before we perform the inspection. No matter how large or small the problem may be, we want to know about it.

We’ll likely identify the issue anyway. Knowing about it beforehand allows us to inspect other things that may be affected and assess the extent of the damage and needed repairs. With home inspections as in life, honesty is always the best policy.

Being upfront helps us do our job better, ensures a better relationship between home inspectors and clients, and helps speed up the home sale and purchase process for everyone involved in the deal.

406 Home Inspection Pros: Your Home Inspection Experts in Northwest Montana

If you’re considering relocation to Montana or already own a Montana home and are looking to buy or sell, 406 Home Inspection Pros is here for you. Our expert home inspectors will help you protect your home investment and streamline the sale process – from start to finish. Contact us to learn more or book your home inspection today.

The home inspection: it’s the buyer’s best opportunity to uncover a home’s problems and negotiate to have them repaired or paid for (as long as the contract has an inspection contingency in place). If you’ve never experienced this process, though, you’re probably wondering what to expect from a home inspection.

How much will it cost? How does it protect your real estate investment? Do you need an inspection before buying a home?

We’ve got answers.

In this blog, we’ll discuss what to expect from a home inspection as either the seller or buyer.

Let’s dive in.

What to Expect From a Home Inspection? 3 Key Features

As a home buyer, a home inspection is the last chance to identify existing defects in the house (and negotiate to resolve them) before finalizing the purchase of the home.

As a seller, a home inspection ensures the good condition of the home you’re selling or planning to sell. With that in mind, it’s reasonable to wonder what the inspector will be looking for.

Here are the three key features of a routine home inspection:

  1. A home inspector will inspect the inside and outside of the home. This includes the HVAC system, plumbing, electrical wiring and panels, structural components, roof, and foundation. The inspector will create a written report that details the inspection results.

  2. The inspection takes about 2-4 hours. Inspections can be longer or shorter depending on the size of the house, the number of defects, the thoroughness of the inspector, and the accessibility of certain home elements (like the attic, for example). Still, most take between 2-4 hours. The best inspectors will deliver your finished inspection report the same day.

  3. Buyers can choose to attend the inspection. While not all buyers choose to participate in the inspection, some want to learn more about the home and ask questions during the inspection process.

When the inspector issues their full report, you can expect it to include pictures and videos of the home’s defects listed under a separate tab for easy reading. Usually, most defects listed are minor and may not even need to be fixed before the sale.

Instead of worrying about minor defects, we recommend focusing on the home’s more severe issues, which you may need to repair before the sale.

What do Home Inspectors Look for?

Home inspectors have a long list of elements they inspect, as set forth by the International Association of Certified Home Inspection (InterNACHI):

Here are the twelve inspection categories certified home inspectors will review:

  1. The home’s roof.

  2. The home’s exterior.

  3. The home’s basement, foundation, crawlspace, and structure.

  4. The home’s heating system.

  5. The home’s cooling system.

  6. The home’s plumbing system.

  7. The home’s electrical system.

  8. The home’s fireplace (if applicable).

  9. The home’s attic, insulation, and ventilation.

  10. The home’s doors, windows, and interior.

How Much do Home Inspections Cost?

The cost of a home inspection will vary depending on the size of the house and the presence of systems like air conditioning and fireplaces.

In Montana, the average cost of a home inspection is between $450 for a small house and a basic inspection to about $1000 for a large home that requires ancillary inspections for things like radon and mold.

Who Pays for the Home Inspection?

In most cases, buyers are responsible for paying for the home inspection. That’s not always the case, however. Some sales contracts include language that requires the seller to pay, and the arrangement is always open to negotiation.

Sometimes, a house seller pays for an inspection before putting the property on the market. This allows the seller to identify and fix issues before listing the home.

How can Sellers Prepare for the Home Inspection?

Your home is under contract, there’s an inspection contingency in place, and the home inspector is scheduled to arrive at any time. How can you make the process easier for them? Here are a few tips we recommend:

  • Leave the keys (or be there to let the inspector in). If you opt not to be there during the home inspection, leave your keys under the doormat or the electrical panel, where the inspector can easily find them.

  • Turn on all pilot lights. If you have gas fireplaces or furnaces, make sure the pilot lights are lit so the inspector can verify the function of heating and other appliances.

  • Ensure access. Ensure there’s an unobstructed path to critical areas like the basement, attic, furnace, crawl space, drainage access points, septic tank, HVAC unit, water heater, and other major appliances. This makes the home inspection easier and faster for the inspector.

  • Have the utilities reconnected. If the house has been vacant and the utilities are off, have them turned back on for the inspection.

These are simple tips, but they’ll ensure a fast, comprehensive, accurate home inspection for you and your buyer.

What Happens After the Home Inspection?

If the home inspection report reveals only minor issues, the sale can usually go forward as planned. If the report indicates serious issues, though, the buyer and seller will need to work together to take action.

In some cases, an issue may warrant additional inspections. In others, a seller will negotiate with the buyer to have significant issues paid for before the sale closes. Rarely, the defect may be so severe that it causes the home sale to fall through.

If you find yourself facing severe issues on the home inspection, work with your real estate agent and home inspector to determine the next steps.

Why Choose us to Conduct Your Home Inspection?

When it comes time to choose a home inspector, professionalism and certification are key. Here at 406 Home Inspection, Pros, we’re Certified CE Instructors (Continuing Education Instructors).

The owner of our company is also the author of “The Top 10 Things Found During a Home Inspection” course currently offered to Realtors through the Montana Association of Realtors.

Here are a few more of our qualifications:

  • CPI – Certified Professional Inspector

  • AIC2 – International Association of Certified Indoor Air Consultants

  • CCPIA – Certified Commercial Property Inspectors Association

Don’t settle for anything less than the best on your upcoming home inspection. Contact us today to book your inspection.

If you’re considering selling your Montana home, there’s one trick that could make it even more appealing to buyers: a pre-listing home inspection.

In today’s competitive real estate market, many sellers want to streamline their home sale process. Fortunately, a pre-listing inspection is a great way to do that. In addition to allowing you to get a jump start on any needed repairs or areas of concern, a pre-listing inspection decreases the chance that an eventual sale will fall apart due to issues in an inspection report.

Even if the buyer eventually wants another report (we always advise buyers not to waive a home inspection), you can rest easy knowing you’ve already identified or repaired any major concerns.

In this blog, we’ll discuss the importance of home inspections, and why you should always invest in a pre-listing inspection.

Let’s dive in.

4 Benefits of a Pre-Listing Home Inspection

Whether you’re a first-time seller or an experienced real estate pro, a pre-listing home inspection offers many perks. Here are a few of the most pronounced:

1. You’ll sell your home fasterpre-listing home inspection 2

A home inspection serves one major purpose for buyers: it gives you a heads-up about what buyers will notice and want fixed in your home. Investing in a pre-listing home inspection allows you to check off boxes like a mold test and radon test and identify existing issues in your home. That way, you can fix them before the home goes on the market, and be assured that you’ll sell your home quickly and for a fair full price. This, in turn, means your home will sell faster and that the sale will be more streamlined.

2. You’ll see fewer negotiations

Without a pre-listing home inspection, a buyer will likely order their own home inspection. If issues come up during this inspection, the buyer will likely negotiate to have the problems fixed before the sale or will want you to decrease the sale price of the home.

This back-and-forth can cost you money and draw out the sales process. When you invest in a pre-listing inspection, you can eliminate these concerns and streamline the sale.

3. Pricing will be easier

There are many factors that impact pricing, from neighborhood “comps” to the home’s condition. Fortunately, pricing a well-inspected home is easy and straightforward. Because you’ve already evaluated the home’s condition and identified or fixed any major existing issues, you’ll be able to price your home accurately and attract buyers who are willing to pay a fair full price.

4. You’ll attract more buyers

In addition to decreasing workload for buyers, investing in a pre-listing home inspection communicates that you care, and that you’re a responsible seller. This, in turn, attracts more qualified buyers. After all, who doesn’t want to purchase a home that’s been well cared for and maintained?

How Home Inspections Work

During a home inspection, a qualified, trained home inspector will conduct a visual inspection of your home, including the following systems and areas:

  • Major appliances

  • HVAC system

  • Sealing around doors and windows

  • Your home’s plumbing and electrical systems

  • The structure and covering of your roof

  • The home’s flooring

  • Walls and structural supports

  • The home’s foundation

  • The home’s basement and attic

  • And more

Additionally, a home inspector may conduct a mold test and/or a radon test to ensure that mold or toxic gas isn’t present in your home. Once the inspector has finished the inspection process, they’ll provide you with a written report that you can use to guide your home repairs or make your home more attractive to a home buyer.

How to Choose a Home Inspector

Once you’ve decided to have a pre-listing home inspection, you’ll need to find the right Montana home inspector for you. Here are a few tips to choose the perfect match:

  • Ask around. If you have friends who have recently sold homes, ask around to see if any of them have home inspectors they’d recommend. You can find great professionals via word-of-mouth.

  • Look for membership in professional organizations. certified mold inspectorLook for inspectors who are members of reputable professional organizations like the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI), the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors, or the National Academy of Building Inspection Engineers. Membership in any of these organizations is a good indicator of quality and reliability in a home inspector.

  • Ask for a sample report. Before you pay a home inspector, ask to see a sample report that the team has done on a house like yours. This sample report will help you see what the home inspector identifies and what they intend to inspect in your home. It’ll also demonstrate how they communicate information and what level of detail you can expect.

  • Consider experience. Look for someone who has been a home inspector in your area for a while. After all, a state like Montana has many unique concerns and considerations, and you’ll want to work with a company that knows how to look for the problems that can arise in this climate.

  • Read reviews. Once you’ve found someone you like, read their online reviews. You should expect to find generally good reviews left by satisfied customers. Beware of any company with many negative customer reviews.

  • Go with your gut. Ultimately, you want to work with a company you like and trust. Look for a home inspector who answers your questions honestly and takes the time to build a relationship with you. Selling your home is a big deal, and your home inspector will be an important part of that process.

406 Home Inspection Pros: Here for all of Your Pre-Listing Home Inspections406 Home Inspection

When it comes time to sell your home, contact 406 Home Inspection Pros for your pre-listing home inspection. Our team provides the comprehensive, reliable inspection services you need. Let us help you identify issues in your home before your property hits the market.

Whether you’re selling a large home or a little historic bungalow, our team will look for issues like mold, radon, foundation cracks, plumbing and HVAC issues, and more. The result is a comprehensive, detailed home inspection you can count on.

Ready to learn more? Contact our team to book your inspection now.


The housing market in the Flathead Valley has been hot for the last couple of years. Realtors, buyers, and sellers have been moving at full speed. Regardless of whether you’re selling, buying, brokering a deal, or remodeling, you’ll need a home inspection during the process.

Home inspections serve several important purposes. In addition to proving the satisfactory condition of the home, they help interested parties, like buyers, educate themselves about possible defects in the home, and avoid the surprise of costly repairs. Home inspections are especially important for out-of-state buyers, who very often have never seen the home they’re buying and need “eyes on the ground” to make sure the home is a good investment.

Still, finding the right home inspector can be easier said than done. In this post, we’ll discuss how to find a Montana home inspector you can trust, qualifications to look for, and everything else you need to know.

5 Tips to Choose a Home Inspector

Follow these five tips to choose the best home inspector for your needs:

1. Find an inspector who will perform the home inspection in your presence

Many people think home inspectors only work alone. Fortunately, that’s a misconception. In fact, the best home inspectors will encourage buyers, sellers, or other interested parties to attend the home inspection if possible.

Doing so will help you understand the things the home inspector is pointing out, and help you be more informed about the home. As long as you follow some common etiquette practices, attending the home inspection can be a positive, informative experience.

2. Read the inspector’s customer reviews

For more information on the home inspector, head to review sites like Google, Facebook, and Yelp. Keep an eye out for any reviews that are very positive or very negative. These reviews will speak to the home inspector’s strengths or weaknesses, and help you understand what you can expect if you choose to work with them.

3. Ask about certificationscertified mold inspector

Before you decide on an inspector to hire, find out about the inspector’s background and certifications. What is the experience level and background of the Home Inspector? How many inspections has he or she done? Do they have specialized certifications, and if so in what areas?

Instead of hiring someone who does home inspections as a part-time job, look for someone who is a full-time home inspector, and not a part-time contractor.

4. Ask about what the inspection does and does not include

In some climates, home inspectors won’t inspect certain things during certain times of the year.

Here in Montana, for example, an inspector might not inspect a patio, driveway, deck, or roof that’s covered in snow. If the inspector won’t examine those things, ask about the best way to check their condition.

You may also want to ask about the services the inspector does offer. For example, do they handle labs and lab results? What about thermal imaging and drone inspections? Does the team offer mold and radon inspections? Be sure you get a complete picture of the home inspector’s services before you decide to hire the team.

5. Ask for copies of licenses and insurance

Before you hire the inspector, ask the inspector for copies of their license and insurance documents. Is the inspector a member of a professional organization like ASHI, NAHI, or InterNACHI? Each member of 406 Home Inspection Pros is, and we list our license and certification numbers right on our website for your convenience.

Great home inspectors will willingly provide copies of these documents, and other proof of their quality.

Finding The Right Home Inspector for Youchoosing the right home inspector

Your home is likely the largest investment you’ll ever make. Whether you’re building a new home, selling your home, or buying a pre-owned property, choosing an excellent home inspector is critical to protecting that investment.

The right home inspector will find defects in a home that could cost you, the buyer, money down the road. And as a seller, a home inspection can identify issues that may get in the way of closing the sale.

When you’re buying or selling a home, having a qualified home inspector is imperative. At 406 Home Inspection, we promise a thorough and complete home inspection, every time!

Contact us today for all of your home inspection, and independent mold, radon, and asbestos testing needs.

Dear Homeowner

It’s common to get nervous during the home inspection process. You don’t want the deal to fall through or be stuck with the cost and burden of repairs if your buyer requests them as a contingency. There are some things you can do to prepare for the inspection.

Getting Ready

  • Keep all utilities on
  • Provide open access to areas that need to be checked.
    • Attic, Crawlspace,
    • Electrical Panels,
    • Furnace, Water Heater area,
    • etc.
  • Clear around Furnace and Water Heater
  • Replace any bulbs that are out
  • Replace Smoke Detector batteries
  • Turn all pilot lights on
  • Make sure toilets function properly
  • Take care of any bug problems
  • Clear under sink areas as much as possible
  • Secure or remove Pets (Dogs)
    • Inspector will not enter homes with animals present if the homeowner is not there
  • Empty the Dishwasher
  • Clean Rain-gutters and Downspouts

Inspection Day

By the day of the home inspection you should have done everything you can to prepare. Now, it’s just about making sure it goes as smoothly as possible.

  • Unlock any gates, electrical boxes, or other areas that you normally keep secure.
  • Be ready at least two hours before the inspector is set to arrive (we are known for being early)
  • Vacate the house during the inspection and take any pets with you, or make sure they’re safely crated or secured
  • It’s common for the home inspector to note a few minor issues, but most of the time, if there’s something serious to detect you likely already know about it.

Finally take a deep breath. Most buyers aren’t expecting complete perfection; they just want to know that there are no heavy burdens waiting for them.