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Gold Key Credentials

Certified by the National Association of Certified Home Inspectors - Click here to verify.
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IAC2 Mold Certified


Environmental Inspections

Gold Key offers testing services to help homeowners ensure a healthy home environment. Our inspectors are specifically credentialled to test for radon, mold and well flow and water quality at the time of your home inspection. We can additionally arrange for a septic inspection through one of our partners.

Radon

Radon. You can't see it. You can't taste it. You can't smell it. But, if you live in Maryland, it may be present in your home, and it may affect your health. Gold Key recommends that all homes be tested for radon, especially if located within Zones 1 or 2 (see map).

The good news is that your home inspector from Gold Key can test radon levels, and a house with high radon levels (4.0 pCi/L or higher) can be fixed. Radon mitigation involves installing a system that either actively or passively vents the gas from beneath the foundation of the home.

The Environmental Protection Agency provides extensive information on radon, its risks and solutions for homes with high radon levels.

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According to the EPA, radon is estimated to cause between 15,000 and 22,0000 lung cancer deaths per year.
 
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mold
Visible mold-like materials should always be tested.

 

Mold

Molds have the potential to cause health problems.  Molds produce allergens, irritants, and in some cases, potentially toxic substances.  Inhaling or touching mold or mold spores may cause allergic reactions in sensitive individuals.

Gold Key assists clients with evaluating moisture and mold issues. We can perform surface sampling where there are visible suspect growths. Air sampling is recommended if there is evidence of prior water damage but suspicion of possible hidden mold growth.

 
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Well Flow & Water Quality

Well Flow - If your water source comes from a well, you want assurance that the well will adequately support your water needs. A well inspection will identify well equipment, including type of pump and presence (if any) of water treatment systems. Our inspector will then conduct a modified well flow test to monitor the rate at which the pump draws water from the well to determine the rate at which the well can deliver a sustained water flow rate over a measured period of time. These tests are for informational purposes only and report on well flow in gallons per minute, measured at regular intervals over a 60-minute period.

Water Quality - It may look crystal clear, but is the water potable? If you’re buying a home with a well as its main drinking water source, you need to know the water is safe to drink.

Well water should generally be tested for bacteria, nitrates, sand, turbidity and pH. VA lenders require additional testing for iron, and FHA-insured loans require additional testing for nitrites and lead.

For more information about well water safety, contact the Environmental Protection Agency.

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Gold Key provides well flow testing as well as water quality testing, which meets the requirements of conventional, VA and FHA loans.

 
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septic field
Typical septic system and drain field
design.

 

Septic Systems

A septic tank is simply a big concrete or steel tank that is buried in the yard. The tank might hold 1,000 gallons (4,000 liters) of water. Wastewater flows into the tank at one end and leaves the tank at the other. While relatively simple in construction and operation, the septic tank provides a number of important functions through a complex interaction of physical and biological processes. The essential functions of the septic tank are to: receive all wastewater from the house separate solids from the wastewater flow cause reduction and decomposition of accumulated solids provide storage for the separated solids (sludge and scum) pass the clarified wastewater (effluent) out to the drain field for final treatment and disposal.

A home inspector will generally perform a visual inspection of the septic system to determine tank condition, accumulated solids, sludge and floating scum in the treatment tank and liquid level in the absorption system, which may include fields, pits and/or beds, to determine if the system is functioning properly.

Gold Key offers septic inspections through its partnership with a leading Maryland septic inspection company.

 
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