A Hard Pass: The 6 Dangers of Buying a Property with Mold

6 dangers of buying house with mold

 

I was in escrow and had them inspect the new home for mold. Many forms of mold were found in all bathrooms and kitchens, including airborne black mold. We were able to negotiate a $10,000 price reduction on our home as a result. 

Dorsaye was very attentive and thorough. She always picked up the phone and inspections was scheduled without delay, which was critical during our 14-day escrow. They also provide recommendations for remediation companies, one of which I used and did a great job. 

Guaranteed came out and did the final inspection and cleared the house for mold. Great experience during a stressful time.

~ Ben W.

 

Moldy homes are a major problem in the United States. According to research from Harvard, an estimated 70 percent of homes in the US contain some type of mold growth. Mold can grow quite quickly in any area exposed to moisture – so it is incredibly common in many homes and buildings. This includes areas such as the basement, attic, carpet, drywall, and more.

It only takes 24 to 48 hours for mold to grow in a moist indoor area. If left untreated, mold will spread to other areas of a home and may cause health troubles and expensive home repairs.

If you’re thinking about buying a property with some kind of mold problem (even a small one), think again. Here are six key reasons why you need to avoid buying a property with mold.

1. There Are Many Types of Mold

Types of Mold

One of the dangers of buying a property with mold is that there are so many different kinds that can grow in a closed-off environment. Researchers have identified over 100,000 different varieties of mold, many of which are routinely found indoors.

Someone who is unfamiliar with mold might be unable to recognize the signs – even if they were to see them.

The trouble is that not every mold inspection technician or traditional home inspector is properly certified as a hygienist. This means they will not be able to identify all the problem areas properly.

2. Mold Can Spread to the HVAC System

indoor mold due to ac malfunction

Mold infestations get exponentially worse if they spread into heating and air conditioning systems.

Mold feeds on dust and moisture, which is plentiful inside of an HVAC system. This increases the likelihood of mold spores circulating in a home. Spores can spread through the air, entering into your family’s lungs and causing potential health issues. Having mold around is never healthy – and it gets exponentially worse when that mold is breathed in. This is one of the major causes of the health risks associated with having mold inside of a home.

3. Mold Is Unsightly

black mold is unsightly

The appearance of mold is very unappealing. Mold can show up in a sickly green or yellow color. It may also be blue, black, or white, which tends to stand out on carpets or walls. Mold growth can leave an unsightly stain wherever the mold infestation has taken hold.

Once it has taken root, mold stains can be very difficult or even impossible to get rid of. Sometimes, repainting will not fix it as the mold will show through the new layer of paint. Additionally, this just masks the issue rather than removes the mold.

If you need to cover a mold stain, you should check with your local hardware store about antifungal paints. These will help kill the mold while simultaneously covering the stain and removing unsightly blemishes in the process.

4. Mold Is Bad for Your Health

carpet mold causes health problems

Mold can cause detrimental effects on human health.

Asthma is the most common health issue associated with long-term indoor mold exposure. People who live in moldy homes are up to 50 percent more likely to develop asthma. Mold exposure has also been associated with other upper respiratory infections, with symptoms that can range from sinus infections to sore throats.

Mold can cause infections of the lower respiratory system as well. This often leads to shortness of breath, wheezing, or even whooping cough.

As if this all weren’t enough, mold can also trigger allergies. Sometimes mold-related allergies can develop into more serious illnesses, such as pneumonia and bronchitis.

If someone in your home has a weakened immune system, they will be more susceptible to develop mold-related infections. These infections are dangerous to immuno-compromised people and can lead to long-term illnesses and, in some cases, death.

A person with a weakened immune system is highly susceptible to developing a mold-related infection. These infections can lead to long-term illnesses and, in some extreme cases, result in death.

5. Treating Mold Can Be Expensive

treating mold can be expensive

Once a mold infestation affects a home, it can take a great deal of money, time, energy, and resources to eliminate the problem.

First, you’ll have to hire a specialized mold inspector. You’ll need a trained specialist to be able to identify the type of mold(s) in your home and their potential health risks.

Once the mold inspectors determine the state of your mold problem, you’ll need to remove it completely. If the mold infestation is fairly advanced, you may need some major structural work to eliminate the issue. For instance, it might require cutting into drywall or even complete demolition to some parts of the home.

Serious mold problems need to be treated using special mold-resistant solutions. This can be something like anti-fungal paint, as mentioned earlier. It may also involve using special seals and curing the trouble area. These solutions can get very expensive and rather inconvenient as it restricts you from using your house to its fullest capacity.

In worst-case scenarios, your home may be condemned, especially if it is infested with toxic mold. This is an extreme scenario – and often preventable if you catch the mold issue early enough.

6. Mold Can Destroy Your Property

Mold on Wall

Since mold can grow anywhere there is damp air; it should come as no surprise that it can grow on personal belongings. This includes clothes, books, photo albums, and more.

When mold grows on personal items, s it needs to be completely eradicated, so it doesn’t spread elsewhere. It’s virtually impossible to remove mold completely from personal items like fabric or paper, so you will likely need to throw it out, even if it holds sentimental value.

Along with personal belongings, mold can damage large sections of a home, like built-in carpeting. You may even need to hire demolition services to remove mold from your home, and this could result in numerous home repairs. The process of rebuilding the structure of your home is very expensive, as well as time-consuming, and stressful.

The Difference Between Buyers That Conduct Mold Inspections – and Those That Don’t

Difference Between Buyers That Conduct Mold Inspections

Before you buy any home, you should conduct a professional mold inspection – regardless of whether you see visible signs or not. This will let you know how much mold, if any, is in a home and whether it’s easily removable. You want to know the house is worth the investment upfront.

When buyers DO conduct a mold inspection, they have the chance to:

  • Identify all of the different affected areas.
  • Back out of the sale if the mold problem is out of control.
  • Understand the extent of moisture or water damage.
  • Learn about past claims to insurance.
  • Talk to the seller about covering/addressing mold remediation costs.
  • Negotiate a better price for the house after finding the mold growth.
  • Remediate the mold immediately if they plan to move in and stay safe.

When buyers DO NOT conduct a mold inspection, they will likely:

  • Not find out about the mold until weeks or months after the purchase.
  • Overpay for a house with serious problems.
  • Expose their family and pets to health complications after moving in.
  • Jeopardize the safety of their belongings by exposing them to mold.
  • Face a hefty remediation bill (probably not covered by their homeowner’s insurance).
  • Deal with hefty medical bills after mold exposure.
  • Have to vacate the property if the infestation turns out to be extensive.

The bottom line is that if you’re considering buying a home, you need to have a mold inspection done to cover yourself and to avoid purchasing a nightmare of a situation.

What to Do When Buying a Property with Mold

Mold Testing

If you have your heart set on buying a particular house and discover it has mold, you have options. A certified mold inspector will identify the problem, present you with a written report and scope of necessary work for remediation/removal of mold, and put you in contact with a properly certified mold remediation company to give you an estimate.

You can take that estimate to your real estate agent or the sellers and ask them to either address the remediation before the close of escrow or to give you a price reduction on the purchase price of the property.

Are You Considering Buying a Property with Mold?

Don’t worry – buying a house with mold isn’t the end of the world. Our certified technicians can identify and solve nearly any kind of mold infestation imaginable.

If you think you have a mold problem, contact us today and let us help you!

 

First Published on: May 22, 2020

Updated: July 16, 2021

Posted in