Helpful tips for homeowners and sellers about mold from home inspector Michael Thornton of Brentwood, TN.
The "M" Word...
Mold. A four letter word that is the "kiss of death" to most property transactions. And why not? With all the negative publicity and horror stories on the Internet, buyers head for the hills once the "M" word is mentioned in the inspection report.
The "M" word is like Superman ~ it's everywhere. Unless you live in a vacuum or in an operating room, spores occupy ever nook and cranny of your home. All you need to do is add water and voila, within 24 - 48 hours, the "M" word appears.
Just because it's black doesn't mean that it is the "killer" stuff. The "M" word is like people. It comes in differing types, shapes and colors. Most of the time the black "M" word I find is nothing more than a common allergen. The killer stuff develops only after prolonged periods of exposure to water. It is a slow growing fungi.
Keep a cool head. Find and eliminate the source of water, and the "M" word is no longer an issue.
Have suspect areas tested. Qualified inspectors can do the same testing as a Certified Industrial Hygienist (CIH). Results can be be relayed back to interested parties within 48-72 hours. Are you dealing with a common allergen or something more serious? Testing is the only way to be sure.
Get several bids - check the scope of work. Remediation companies will charge varying amounts depending upon the scope of work. Companies that just "Kill the "M" word, will be less expensive than those who remove it. Will it include air-duct cleaning? Be wary. A good remediation job needs to pass the sight, smell and viable test.
Education is paramount. There are many properties that have gone through successful remediation procedures. Good, qualified contractors will warrant their work. Most chemicals used today will last for 10 years or more. Education takes away a lot of the doubt and fear about the unknown. Don't let the "M" word kill your deal...
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