Buying a home with Mold Damage

Would you consider buying a home with mold damage?

Mold damage inside a house can potentially be life threatening. It can cause allergic reactions from sneezing to asthma attacks. While mold in the outdoors has a purpose, it is not something you want inside your house. Mold is not able to grow without moisture. If you ever find mold inside your house, identifying the source of the moisture is the first step to remedy the problem. Current laws only require a seller to disclose any knowledge they might have of the existence of mold; it does not however require any testing or remediation of the mold. If you suspect there might be mold in a house you are looking to buy, testing for mold would not be a bad idea.

mold-damageHow did the mold get into the house?

People are exposed to mold on a daily basis. Mold spores are invisible to the naked eye, they are airborne particles. We are constantly in contact with mold spores inside and outside of our homes. People do not have any reaction to these airborne spores, until that is, they settle on a damp surface inside our homes. This is when mold begins to growing.

No mold is able to grow without a source of moisture. If you find mold damage inside your house, eliminating the mold from within your house is more than just getting rid of the mold that you can see. To permanently get rid of the mold you will have to locate the source of the moisture, then you can work on treating the growing mold in the house.

Mold and health concerns

The potential health risks to mold exposure is determined on a person’s sensitivity to mold. As you can imagine some people are more sensitive to mold than others. If you really wanted to know what kind of mold is present in the house there are tests available that will tell you what type of mold it is. These types of tests can get expensive, if you are sensitive to mold of any kind you should stay away! There are a wide range of reactions that can be caused by mold ranging from skin and eye irritation, lung infections to life threatening asthma attacks.


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Mold damage and home inspections

The first step in identifying a potential mold problem in a house for a buyer who is looking to buy a house is by having a home inspection done by using a licensed and qualified home inspector. If there is any mold damage found in a house, finding the type of mold growing in the house is not as important as finding the moisture source the mold is using to grow. The potential cost to remedy the source of the moisture can range drastically in price. This can depend on if it is a simple repair of a leaking pipe or something more extensive like a flooding condition. By finding out what the remedy for the mold damage is early will help you negotiate with the seller on repairs and remedy that needs to be performed.

Remediation of Mold Damage

Eliminating the source of the moisture the mold needs to grow and cleaning mold-damage-remediationthe mold that is currently growing in the house is a combination effort. If you are sensitive to mold, you should look at hiring experts to remedy the mold instead of doing it yourself. As a homeowner you can clean the mold on surfaces such as counter tops, sinks, tubs and walls. If there is mold behind walls or mold that is covering a large area, it is better to call an expert who specializes in mold remediation. The elimination of the moisture source the mold is using could involve dehumidifiers, fixing a water leak or stop the seeping water. The dehumidifier will  help eliminate the moisture in the air and if necessary you may need to put down a vapor barrier between the carpet and concrete floor to help control the moisture.

Mortgage and Home Owners Insurance with Mold Damage

If you are looking at going with an FHA loan: When the FHA does their appraisal, if they find evidence of mold, the loan will be contingent on the mold having a remedy and the moisture source has to be eliminated before the lender will allow closing to take place. Unless the mold remediation is taken care of by the buyer or seller before closing, the buyer might not be able to close on the mortgage loan.

There are some insurance companies that are refusing to issue or renew policies if there is presence of mold damage. If there is evidence of mold damage and the home owners insurance company finds out about it, they might not allow the homeowner to renew their policy.

Final note on Mold Damage

If a home inspector makes note of mold damage or the seller discloses mold, the buyer should negotiate to have the seller remedy the mold and eliminate the moisture source prior to closing. If the seller is not willing to do the remediation then the buyer should get estimates for the cost and renegotiate with the seller to cover the cost to eliminate the mold.

If you are considering purchasing a home that has had a history of mold damage, keep in mind the potential resale ramifications. Some people want nothing to do with mold and since you have knowledge of mold it will have to be disclosed when it comes time to sell.

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