Ask Andrew: Should Mold Be A Deal Breaker?
By: Andrew Goodman
Q: I visited a home that had what I think was black mold in the basement. The home was perfect, besides the mold. Should I try to fix it or should I walk?
A: Mold is a fungus that thrives in damp, warm and humid environments. Typically, agents find visible mold in vacant homes with no utilities running and water seeping in from the exterior.
When dealing with mold, the first thing to do is find out where the moisture is coming from. Some folks believe that just throwing bleach on it and cleaning it will remove the mold. But mold grows deeper than what you can see. You have to get to the roots of the mold to remediate it.
I’m not a mold specialist by any means, however in my experience, most molds that are found in basements are due to the lack of grading around the home. If the water flows toward the home, you have a high probability of water getting into the basement, which could eventually lead to mold growth.
Be sure to fix the reason the mold formed in the first place before remediating the mold itself. If you don’t stop the cause, then it will most likely happen again.
Again, I’m not a mold inspector or specialist, but mold is treatable if you do it the right away.
My biggest concern with mold is not the mold you see and can remove, but the mold and moisture in the air. Tests and inspections can be performed to make sure the remediation has been successful and all fungi have been removed from the home and the air of the home.
If you’re selling a home that contains mold, or a mold substance, be sure to professionally remediate the home prior to it hitting the market.
Be sure to disclose the issue(s) to any and all potential buyers and supply them with all documentation about the remediation and all test results. It would also be smart to disclose the contact information for the company that performed the remediation so the buyers can contact that company on their own for more information. Don’t try to hide it!
If mold is properly taken care of, then the theory is the home is back to its clean state. But what is considered clean?
The truth is mold grows everywhere. Basements are just the areas where we can typically see it.If you get the ductwork cleaned in your home, you’ll most likely find some sort of mold growth that you wouldn’t have known about.
Personally, I’d be extremely nervous to purchase a home with mold in it. Cleaning mildew up is one thing, but black mold is something I wouldn’t want to risk living in — or more important, having my family live in.
Please consult a mold specialist to determine if the home has mold and the severity of the mold before purchasing it.