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Mold --- It's Baaack!

By
Real Estate Agent with RE/MAX Properties

   Although I'm not in favor of the government getting involved in every area of our lives, the issue of mold remediation is quickly becoming a problem in New Jersey, at least in some of the homes I've listed in NW Bergen County.  Now, I'm not talking about serious mold --- the kind you can see AND feel when you breathe in.  I'm talking about what looks to the human eye like mildew --- the product of damp basements.  I don't know about the rest of the country, but here in the Northeast, we have hunidity problems that require dehumidifiers.  You can instantly tell when you approach the stairway to the basement if there's a water problem (and the often attendent mold).  I'm not talking about dampness, but clear evidence of water infiltration.

   I'd say it's only been about 5-6 years that inspectors have even mentioned mold in their reports, but it wasn't long before we started seeing signs in the local hardware store:  "WE ARE MOLD EXPERTS."  And they could claim that with impunity because NJ doesn't have any regulations regarding mold which has given rise to every Tom, Dick and Mold Guy claiming their expertise in the field.  It's also cost homeowners thousands of dollars to remove something that (a) may or may not be mold, and (b) if it is mold, is ubiquitous (all over the outside of our homes, and brought in on our clothes and shoes) and will be coming back.

   The question is "How serious is the mold, and to what degree must it be treated?"  I have a client who has mold in her rental home so bad that I can hardly breathe when I'm in her basement.  That is serious, and will probably take a lot of money to clean up.  The problem with serious and extensive mold is you often have to remove walls and floorin to completely rid the home of the "toxic mold."  From the initial testing of the mold to the clearing out of all infested materials, to replacing everything ypiu've removed --- mold remediation can cost upwards of $8,000.

   I'd love to hear stories about your experiences with mold and the people you've dealt with in removing it.