Mold, not just for bread and cheese anymore…

Real Estate Agent with Century 21 Results Realty
Moldy nectarines that were in a refrigerator. ...
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Ok, mold has NEVER just been for bread and cheese.  and while it can be useful stuff… when it is penicillin… the rest of the time, it is NOT something we want in our bodies.

So, Mold and Real Estate?

I’m seeing it more and more.  Actually, it started a few years ago, but as more foreclosures come on the market, mold gets to be a bigger issue.

In some homes it is a minor issue… a little musty smell that can be handled with a couple of filter changes in the HVAC and a good cleaning.  There are even some homes that don’t seem to have any mold smells present.

But in other homes it is a MAJOR problem.  We aren’t talking about a little smell, we are talking about unhealthy levels of toxins… and in some cases, they could cause serious respiratory distress, or worse.  In those cases, if the price is good enough, and the home is otherwise desirable, a mold remediation company could be brought in to kill the mold and bring the property back into a healthy state.

How can we know?

Get an inspection.  Of course, I ALWAYS recommend getting an inspection from an ASHI Certified Inspector for any home… even brand new.  But there are actually specialist Mold Inspection companies.  If you suspect that there could be mold in the property, getting it inspected is cheap insurance.  Mold remediation can be simple, or VERY involved and expensive.  Knowing during the Due Diligence Period is much better than unexpectedly finding out that your good deal is going to suck $50,000 out of your pocket before you can move in.

Some favorite mold hangouts…

  • Crawlspaces and basements
  • Under sinks in kitchens and bathrooms
  • Attics
  • The back of closets
  • Anywhere there isn’t airflow

Be aware.  Do a little research… even trolling Google, Yahoo or Bing for a few minutes can yield a lot of good knowledge.  of course, getting professional advice isn’t a bad idea either.  And remember, almost every property is going to have SOME mold.  But, if the humidity and moisture levels are in line with what they should be, there is good airflow and the space is kept clean, the mold can’t get a solid foothold and take over the house.



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John R. Lynch
RE/MAX Fine Properties - Scottsdale, AZ

Lane,  I own a mold testing (inspection) company in Phoenix, Arizona and we are also seeing more and more mold issues - especially with all the foreclosures, REO's, and short sale homes on the market. Desert Professional Consulting in Scottsdale has been doing this since 2001 when as a Realtor I saw the need for someone with background in testing methodolgy, sampling techniques, statistics, and all around common sense to do Mold inspection. We have done thousands of inspections and find some very sad situations where I have personnally seen an individual with 35% lung capacity failing and never until we inspected understand why they were so affected. Another was a little girl with MS in a home with soaking wet carpet from a dishwasher leak in the next room - no-one noticed the floor was wet until I did began a floor level moisture check and got a wet hand when it rested on the carpet - everytime she wpent time in this room, she became ill.  Mold doesn't affect everyone and no-one the same. our immune systems vary so much - but I strongly advise every Realtor to at least have clients consider testing or sign a waiver.  Sure it's god for business but I've seen the results of severe infestation and it's relatively easy to remediate if not overly severe.

John Lynch

Sep 04, 2009 09:54 AM #1
Terry & Bonnie Westbrook
Westbrook Realty Broker-Owner - Grand Rapids, MI
Westbrook Realty - Grand Rapids Forest Hills MI Re

I listened to an inspector one day about mold in homes. He had one thing that stuck with me mold is caused by moisture until you get ride of the moisture the mold will continue to be in the property.

Sep 04, 2009 02:35 PM #2
Thom Abbott |770.713.1505 | Intown Atlanta GA Condo Living - Atlanta, GA
Midtown Atlanta GA Condos For Sale

It can also grow on the desk of a real estate agent that is not selling enough real estate......ROFL!!!!

We use to have serious problems with it in the beachfront hotels I worked in....

Sep 05, 2009 02:38 AM #3
Lane Bailey
Century 21 Results Realty - Suwanee, GA
Realtor & Car Guy

John - I wouldn't think you would have nearly the issue in AZ as we have here in GA... 

Terry - And that is why I was surprised about mold in AZ...

Thom - Maybe even grow on the agent...

Sep 07, 2009 03:02 AM #4
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