Don’t Let Mold Ruin or Kill Your Sale!
Mold is major concern in real estate sales. BUT Mold does NOT have to kill a transaction.
Here are a few TIPS to help Buyers, Sellers or Realtors keep mold from sabotaging a real estate sale when mold is found. These are common issues we often see several times a week.
Tip #1: Mold is everywhere …. Inside and outside. The only question is where, how much, what kind and how does the mold inside a building compare to that in the outside air.
Tip #2: A small amount of mold is found in 1 or 2 areas of a building.
You do NOT need to tear the building down OR burn it when just a little mold is found!
Mold only grows in locations where there is moisture OR high humidity. If mold is seen in 1 or 2 places for example … Key in on those areas where mold has been sighted and remove the moldy material (carpet, wood, drywall, wallpaper, etc) and eliminate the source of moisture. Afterwards the areas around where the mold was, can be cleaned with solutions like a bleach and water mix.
Once you’ve done this, a “handy owner” can rent and scrub the air in the building with a HEPA vacuum AND a HEPA air purifier to help eliminate any airborne mold spores. OR this can be done by a professional mold remediation company fairly inexpensively.
Tip #3: “Black Mold” is seen in the building OR discovered during an inspection of some kind and the buyer, seller, Realtor, appraiser or home inspector is concerned that its TOXIC.
Guess What ……… Mold comes in ALL shades or colors (including green, red, orange, brown, white and the fabled “BLACK mold”). Now the good news, NOT all toxic molds are BLACK.
Media reports of “Black Mold” often refer to molds that will produce toxins or mycotoxins (like Stachybotrys). Mycotoxins will not always be produced when these types of mold are present. The only way to know if mold is toxic or not is to get it tested and sampled.
Tip #4: “Test or DON’T Test for Mold”. If you can already see mold, and it’s a small amount (under 10 square feet) and in 1 or 2 localized areas …. testing can be a waste of money. Most of the time it simply needs to be removed and the area well cleaned and air scrubbed.
TESTING, however can be extremely beneficial in certain situations such as when someone identifies a moldy-like smell but cannot actually see mold anywhere OR if there has been a history of plumbing leaks, roofing leaks, sewer back-ups, flooding OR if someone in the building is prone to frequent respiratory problems OR there are small children, pregnant women, elderly people or occupants have health concerns with lowered immune systems (HIV, cancer, etc).
In these type of instances, get the building tested for mold immediately, as it is unhealthy to live in a moldy environment.
Tip #5:How much MOLD is too much? We are not doctors so please consult a physician if you believe you or someone you know is experiencing health problems from mold exposure. Too much mold in a home can pose a health risk. Currently, there are no federal guidelines that define exactly how much mold is unhealthy. Even though no federal standards currently exist, generally speaking, you should not be able to see actual mold growth or smell it. If you can, your home or office probably has too much mold and this can be unhealthy.
In many cases minor mold problems (less than about 10 square feet of mold) can easily be handled by the home or building owners with a free weekend afternoon and a few basic supplies from the hardware store.
If a mold remediation company is needed, shield yourself from dishonest remediation contractors by remembering one hard fact: Mold Remediation is simple and does NOT require a PhD!
Do not let a mold removal company tell you otherwise in an attempt to justify their outrageous estimate. There are essentially just two basic steps involved in mold remediation: Containment (using plastic like poly sheeting to prevent cross contamination of air spores) and removal of contaminated materials (safely removing moldy drywall, scrubbing/sanding wood framing, trim, etc, and removing any airborne mold spores with HEPA air scrubbers, cleaning, etc.)
There are plenty of honest mold removal companies too. Just do your homework, get multiple bids and educate yourself on the procedures needed to remove mold.
Remember that water problems can not only start mold growth but can also destroy building materials and reduce the life-span of the building.