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Water and mold, two things that most every home buyer or homeowner for that matter, fear. While a healthy respect for both substances is more sensible and realistic. The fact is there has and continues to be much misinformation around fanning the flames of mold dread. Truth is mold is every where. Some of it even tastes good.
One thing about fear I have found, it makes my phone ring. It also makes other phones ring too, but that is what the fear mongers desire. I how ever have a different agenda. Recently I was contacted by a property manager (email, not by phone) with whom I have working relationship. The problem, moisture and mold in a condo unit in a building her company manages. The construction is new, the building is not. A mill that has been converted to one level condos. The manager gave me the homeowner’s info so that I could contact him directly to set up an appointment.
On the day of the inspection the homeowner took me directly to the area where the issue was happening. He related the problem was occurring fairly regularly and was concerned about the mold growth.
First thing I noted was some of the “mold” was actually efflorescence. Salts that are driven to the surface of concrete by moisture. I did see a couple of very small patches (4 -5 inches) of black moldy looking stuff on the wall. The brown stuff in the photo is water stains. So all in all not much mold, but definitely there is moisture.
Heading to the exterior I saw the landscapers were using the usual wood mulch along the building. I despise wood mulch. It rots and retains moisture. It also builds the grade up over time because the old mulch is rarely removed before the new is laid down. The grade along the wall here has, in just a few short years, increased by several inches. Look at the A/C condenser to the left, you can see it sits lower than the mulch.
So what is causing the moisture on the inside of the unit? By my assessment several factors creating a “perfect storm”. The biggest problem is the wall is bare concrete that is directly through to the exterior. Yep, not a bit of insulation over it. There has to be condensation from time to time. Also as I said the mulch is high and over part of the wall. To exacerbate things further this wall is on the north side of the building. There is a swamp at the end of the parking lot opposite the wall. Lots of moisture all around.
As for the dreaded black mold, it can’t possibly grow on latex paint. What has grown has probably been feeding on organic detritus plating out on the cold concrete surface.
Looks to me like the concrete has done what is to be expected, transported moisture and cold into the building. I guess the builders had hoped the paint was going to insulate the concrete wall.
Disclaimer: ActiveRain Corp. does not necessarily endorse the real estate agents, loan officers and brokers listed on this site. These real estate profiles, blogs and blog entries are provided here as a courtesy to our visitors to help them make an informed decision when buying or selling a house. ActiveRain Corp. takes no responsibility for the content in these profiles, that are written by the members of this community.