Mold-Related

By
Home Inspector with H.I.S. Home Inspections (Summit, Stark Counties)

Mold on the floor joists & framing

This picture is from a ranch style house basement, where the house has been sittting vacant, with no heat or utilities on for over 8 months. The damage seen is not from an external leak  from a roof or foundation; it is from condensation cuased by the neglect of beingclosed up with no heat, or ventilation.

This is a typical bank-owned property, that really has no management of the property, other than to make sure it is locked up. I see this type of damage more and more, with all the foreclosures and bank REO'S.

The thing is, I don't think most bank real estate departments have any idea what kind of damage they are causing, or how difficult it is to repair, and all because of simple neglect.

This home has extensive mold in the entire basement, as well as some 1st floor ceilings, and all the window sills. The damage will cost more than $18,000 to repair, and could go much higher, if there is evidence of mold inside the wall cavities, and insulation.

Extensive mold damage- need profesional cleanup

Mold damage, when it gets to this point, is really well beyond the scope that any amateur, or homeowner should try to do on their own. The risks of becoming sick, or hyper-sensitive to mold are greatly increased, and if not handled properly, you can actually cause more damage, by spreading the spores to other areas. Respirators, gloves, protective clothing, and sometimes elaborate containment methods are needed to deal with it, as well as proper disposal tecniques.

Bank owned, or repos may actually be endangering neighbors and neighborhoods with this kind of neglect, since spores become airborne, and can travel several hundred yards.

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Ohio Stark County Canton
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Rainer
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Jim Dvorovy
Cutler Real Estate - Canton, OH
REALTOR - Canton Ohio Real Estate

Hi Kevin - I think I've shown that property!  lol

All kidding aside, I don't know how many times folks have requested to see these distressed properties, the husband has dollar signs in his eyes thinking he will get rich by flipping the property for a handsome profit. The wife flatly tells the husband she will refuse to live in that property. Lately I've been referring these showing requests out. That smell from the mildew and mold can linger in your sinus the rest of the day, even for someone that doesn't have a weak stomach it can be nauseating.

Good advice about the micron filter respirator!

Nov 30, 2008 10:35 PM #8
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Chris Ann Cleland
Long and Foster REALTORS®, Gainesville, VA - Bristow, VA
Associate Broker, Bristow, VA

Kevin:  Saw a basement in an REO a week ago similar to his.  Black spots on the carpet in the basement and starting to march up the walls.  My buyer and I got out of there fast.  Too bad there's not hazmat fees for Realtors showing REOs.  There certainly ought to be.

Dec 01, 2008 01:22 AM #9
Rainmaker
67,128
Kevin Corsa
H.I.S. Home Inspections (Summit, Stark Counties) - Canton, OH
H.I.S. Home Inspections, Stark & Summit County, OH Home Inspector

Jim & Chris;  There is no doubt that showing or being in this type of property can be hazardous to your health. If you are a realtor, and have to show one like this, truly, you should take some precautions: like wearing a respirator (no joke), not touching anything you don't have to, carrying some santary wipes to clean your hands when you leave, and maybe even having your client wear a respirator, or sign a waiver of liability.

Some realtors in our area have now just recently started having people sign waivers before going in to properties like this.

Dec 01, 2008 01:29 AM #10
Rainmaker
67,128
Kevin Corsa
H.I.S. Home Inspections (Summit, Stark Counties) - Canton, OH
H.I.S. Home Inspections, Stark & Summit County, OH Home Inspector

Jim & Chris;  There is no doubt that showing or being in this type of property can be hazardous to your health. If you are a realtor, and have to show one like this, truly, you should take some precautions: like wearing a respirator (no joke), not touching anything you don't have to, carrying some santary wipes to clean your hands when you leave, and maybe even having your client wear a respirator, or sign a waiver of liability.

Some realtors in our area have now just recently started having people sign waivers before going in to properties like this.

Dec 01, 2008 01:29 AM #11
Rainmaker
1,247,164
Steven L. Smith
King of the House Home Inspection, Inc. - Bellingham, WA
Bellingham WA Home Inspector

Kevin,

That last photo of your family room really makes me think you ought to clean it up and get some heat in there.

Dec 01, 2008 04:25 AM #12
Rainmaker
197,582
Cheryl Willis
RE/MAX Solutions- OZARK MISSOURI - Mount Vernon, MO
MO Broker - Mt Vernon, Monett, Aurora, Barry & Law

that was a nasty picture! looks like something out of a flip this house show.  cheryl

Dec 01, 2008 10:09 AM #13
Rainmaker
690,288
James Quarello
JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC - Wallingford, CT
Connecticut Home Inspector

Kevin,

I find it hard to fathom that all that mold was caused by no heat in the home for 8 months. There has to be other issues (excessive trapped moisture) that are causing this to happen. I would suspect there was a problem before this property was vacated.

That is one nasty looking house. I hope you wore body armour when inspecting this property.

Dec 02, 2008 02:12 AM #14
Rainmaker
67,128
Kevin Corsa
H.I.S. Home Inspections (Summit, Stark Counties) - Canton, OH
H.I.S. Home Inspections, Stark & Summit County, OH Home Inspector

Well, James, we are talking about a house that has negative grade around the foundation, single-pane windows with aluminum frames, and gutters that are falling off the house. Is that what you expected? True enough, that other issues usually compound the mold problem.

I wore coveralls, a micron respirator, and rubber gloves, and sanitized myself with anit-fungal spray afterwards.

Dec 02, 2008 02:25 AM #15
Rainmaker
197,582
Cheryl Willis
RE/MAX Solutions- OZARK MISSOURI - Mount Vernon, MO
MO Broker - Mt Vernon, Monett, Aurora, Barry & Law

Kevin, I just read you last comment, and was thinking, that is pretty much how I dress for success too!  have a wonderful day.  cheryl

Dec 02, 2008 02:39 AM #16
Rainmaker
690,288
James Quarello
JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC - Wallingford, CT
Connecticut Home Inspector

Kevin, I wasn't expecting anything, but as I said I would think there would have to be other contributing factors. You did not spell any of that out in the blog. Thanks for clarifying that for me.

Dec 02, 2008 02:47 AM #17
Rainer
52,042
Jim Dvorovy
Cutler Real Estate - Canton, OH
REALTOR - Canton Ohio Real Estate

Kevin - It is my new policy to NOT enter properties for which either I or a potential buyer needs to sign a mold release waiver. If the buyer wants to sign it, fine. I open the door for them but remain outside. I've entered too many of them already, and have never had a looker even remotely interested once they've seen that mold. I am also firing those buyers and encouraging them to work with someone else, as they have dollar signs in their eyes about flipping.

Dec 02, 2008 02:52 AM #18
Rainmaker
67,128
Kevin Corsa
H.I.S. Home Inspections (Summit, Stark Counties) - Canton, OH
H.I.S. Home Inspections, Stark & Summit County, OH Home Inspector

James, no problem. I probably should have gone into more detail to begin with.

Jim, I think that is a smart policy.

Dec 02, 2008 03:28 AM #19
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Charles Buell
Charles Buell Inspections Inc. - Seattle, WA
Seattle Home Inspector

No gutters, concrete block foundation, drywall finish on the interior, no heat, reverse grade.  If I wanted to grow mold that is how I would set up my mold factory:)

Dec 02, 2008 03:59 AM #20
Rainmaker
67,128
Kevin Corsa
H.I.S. Home Inspections (Summit, Stark Counties) - Canton, OH
H.I.S. Home Inspections, Stark & Summit County, OH Home Inspector

There's probably a market for bottled mold somewhere....  ewww!

Dec 02, 2008 04:14 AM #21
Ambassador
1,335,014
Charles Buell
Charles Buell Inspections Inc. - Seattle, WA
Seattle Home Inspector

I HAVE GOT IT!!!!!   Chia-pet-mold!

Dec 02, 2008 05:21 AM #22
Rainer
52,042
Jim Dvorovy
Cutler Real Estate - Canton, OH
REALTOR - Canton Ohio Real Estate

Chia-pet-wha???  I want in on it!! We'll be smokin' cigars and drivin' big cars....

It might even be a great mold for a new strain of swiss cheese!

Dec 02, 2008 05:54 AM #23
Rainmaker
101,441
Dona Reynolds
Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Stein Summers - Saint Joseph, MO
St. Joseph MO

Kevin-nice post.  When I have a REO property listed, I have always discussed with the lender a possible instance as you have stated here, fortunately we have able to have the heat on but that is a lender to lender situation.  Maybe as realtor's we should put in listing remarks, Mold may be hazardous to your health or possible other verbiage to identify to agents the presence of mold. 

Dec 02, 2008 06:13 AM #24
Rainmaker
67,128
Kevin Corsa
H.I.S. Home Inspections (Summit, Stark Counties) - Canton, OH
H.I.S. Home Inspections, Stark & Summit County, OH Home Inspector

As realtors, entering these kinds of properties could be hazardous to your health, especially if you are exposed to it multiple times in a short period of time. Best case scenario: let your interested buyer enter and look around on his own... after he signs a waiver releasing you and your company from liability.

Dec 03, 2008 04:11 AM #25
Rainer
140,489
c m
Colorado Springs, CO

Yikes! That makes my lungs hurt just looking at it!  We started a little project of ripping off some boards on our deck last year that had mold on them, and hubby and I were sick for several days after, and that was OUTSIDE, can't imagine a closed up room like that! 

Dec 03, 2008 06:58 PM #26
Anonymous
joseph piodos

Mold is often an invisible threat to you and your home. When mold spores are present in a humid or moist environment, they can spread quickly; making your home structurally vulnerable and you exposed to potential health problems.

 

It causes far more than just cosmetic damage to your home. The airborne spores can enter our lungs and cause problems including coughing, inflamed glands, sneezing, asthma attacks and, in some extreme cases, even permanent lung damage. Unfortunately, keeping your home clean is not always enough. Although mold is encouraged by dust and warm, damp conditions, it can infiltrate even the most spotless home. Once it begins to grow, its spores become airborne and might harm the human body. This means that it can enter our lungs and take possession of other parts of our homes. It is surprising how even the smallest growth of mold can give rise to a major problem. You must have what they call mold testing.

 

 Find out more at <a href="http://www.funguyinspections.com">Mold Testing Services</a>

Jun 13, 2013 07:01 PM #27
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Kevin Corsa

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