Mold on inspection, need advice

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bbqkingster
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Mold on inspection, need advice

Post by bbqkingster » Wed Oct 10, 2018 5:55 pm

Hi

So we completed inspection on a house and found water spots in the ceiling. The drywall was opened and there is fair amount of black mold on the drywall and along the edge where the drywall meets the rafter. Spouse is freaked. Obviously the leak needs to be repaired and we were planning on having a mold remediation person come out to take a look.

Anyone been in this situation before? Would really appreciate your advice.

livesoft
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Re: Mold on inspection, need advice

Post by livesoft » Wed Oct 10, 2018 5:58 pm

There is mold everywhere, so I suppose you would want to find out if it is good mold or bad mold.
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tennisplyr
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Re: Mold on inspection, need advice

Post by tennisplyr » Wed Oct 10, 2018 6:09 pm

I found water/mold on inspection of a new home last year. I canceled my deposit and continued to look for a home. Found one shortly thereafter....we're very happy. Guess it depends on how much this discovery bothers you.
Those who move forward with a happy spirit will find that things always work out.

boglerdude
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Re: Mold on inspection, need advice

Post by boglerdude » Wed Oct 10, 2018 11:17 pm

Mold is everywhere and not toxic. Since its not your money, go ahead and have the seller pay a "mold company" to clean it

Starfish
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Re: Mold on inspection, need advice

Post by Starfish » Wed Oct 10, 2018 11:24 pm

The incredible rate of asthma and allergies in US tighter with very few other countries might be related to mold and/or AC with mold on the ducts. I lived for decades in a country where these problems don't exist and the only differences between countries I can thing of are these 2.

s8r
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Re: Mold on inspection, need advice

Post by s8r » Wed Oct 10, 2018 11:50 pm

Mold is usually the result of either poor engineering, poor craftsmanship, or neglect of maintenance. Walk away, you will save money and get less gray hair.

Rupert
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Re: Mold on inspection, need advice

Post by Rupert » Thu Oct 11, 2018 6:38 am

Leaks are sometimes hard to find, and repairing them is often a trial-and-error process over time. If the roof has any age on it, I'd insist on a re-roof, rather than a repair. If they refuse, walk away.

noco-hawkeye
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Re: Mold on inspection, need advice

Post by noco-hawkeye » Thu Oct 11, 2018 6:56 am

s8r wrote:
Wed Oct 10, 2018 11:50 pm
Mold is usually the result of either poor engineering, poor craftsmanship, or neglect of maintenance. Walk away, you will save money and get less gray hair.
I agree - walk away.

Even if you fix this problem - I would always wonder what else is in poor shape and need repair. And every time I found something that needed fixing, I would kick myself for not listening to my gut on this one. Homes are always going to need maintenance and work - the universe is telling you this house needs extra work.

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4nursebee
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Re: Mold on inspection, need advice

Post by 4nursebee » Thu Oct 11, 2018 6:58 am

Not enough info.

I like blue cheese and penicillin.

I have water marks on my ceiling, slept well last night.
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NightTrain
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Re: Mold on inspection, need advice

Post by NightTrain » Thu Oct 11, 2018 7:35 am

I just spent 3 grand doing mold remediation after finding out that hidden mold caused major health issues for me. I spent a lot of time researching mold, different kinds, how some people are more sensitive, etc etc. We had mold inspectors come in who did a deep analysis. After this entire experience, if I was in your situation I would find another home! Without. A. Doubt.

tarmangani
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Re: Mold on inspection, need advice

Post by tarmangani » Thu Oct 11, 2018 8:07 am

Agreed with most others here--walk away. This would terrify me since it suggests that the house was not maintained well, and while it's true that many houses are not, this one has already had a serious issue crop up. Who knows what else is there? We just spent $2,200 to remediate mold in our basement from a plumbing leak that we didn't notice and the meter's still running basically as we will have to put the walls back up.

Thegame14
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Re: Mold on inspection, need advice

Post by Thegame14 » Thu Oct 11, 2018 8:10 am

I would walk away, you are only seeing the end result, who knows how big the source problem is.

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Watty
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Re: Mold on inspection, need advice

Post by Watty » Thu Oct 11, 2018 8:23 am

One thing to consider is that when you eventually sell the house you will have to disclose the mold. That may make the house harder to sell. In addition to fixing it at the sellers expense there should also be a price reduction because of that.

captpete
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Re: Mold on inspection, need advice

Post by captpete » Thu Oct 11, 2018 8:26 am

THis is impossible to answer. A good home inspector with lots of experience will tell you how bad it is/could be and should be able to determine at least a likely source for the excess moisture. It could be an easy fix like adding or replacing an exhaust fan orre-sweating a failed joint on a pipe. It could also mean your DWV system has failed and needs overhauled costing 10's of thousands of dollars or a new roof is necessary. Find the source and you will know if it is worth it. Older homes are often built better but also come with the caveat that all the guts of the house have a life span. If this house was built in the 70's, and not custom, you should walk away anyway. My dad was a home inspector for 35 years and this is the advice he would give his clients.
I bought a house in 09' that was inundated with black mold, did the remediation my self, I tore out the entire back half of the house down to the studs and joists, then cleaned with outdoor bleach then finished. the mold will not come back until the moisture levels get high enough to support mold growth. We lived in the house for 2 years with no resurgence. Almost every home I have ever lived in has had mold in the basement due to flooding and the current home I live in has an unfinished basement and has a little mold.
Good Luck

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lthenderson
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Re: Mold on inspection, need advice

Post by lthenderson » Thu Oct 11, 2018 8:49 am

bbqkingster wrote:
Wed Oct 10, 2018 5:55 pm
Anyone been in this situation before? Would really appreciate your advice.
I have worked on a lot of houses over the last 30 years and they all have one thing in common. They all had mold somewhere. If it isn't in the bathroom behind tiles or under the floors, if it wasn't in the kitchen behind cabinets, floors or walls, it was up in the attic on the drywall under an old roof leak. Mold will grow eventually anywhere there is a leak or a continually wet environment. Fortunately it is easy to rid. Fix the leak or dry up the wet environment and the mold will die.

If you haven't seen any mold in your house, you aren't remodeling because it is still new and hasn't gotten its first leak.

When I come across these situations, I just wear a mask, fix the leak, remove the moldy materials and dispose. Spray the area with bleach to kill any mold currently alive. After a few days, remove any visible signs of the mold and repair.

megabad
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Re: Mold on inspection, need advice

Post by megabad » Thu Oct 11, 2018 9:15 am

bbqkingster wrote:
Wed Oct 10, 2018 5:55 pm
Hi

So we completed inspection on a house and found water spots in the ceiling. The drywall was opened and there is fair amount of black mold on the drywall and along the edge where the drywall meets the rafter. Spouse is freaked. Obviously the leak needs to be repaired and we were planning on having a mold remediation person come out to take a look.

Anyone been in this situation before? Would really appreciate your advice.
My advice--the mold doesn't concern me at all. What would concern me is what caused it and I would quickly determine what that is. A little bit of drywall work and bleach is quick and cheap. A new roof is not. That said, many of the responses above appear to be from folks that are used to buying new construction. I have lived in dozens of older homes and every single one of them has some issue or another. Almost everything is fixable and most of the time I find I can fix it myself.

I agree with lthenderson above on the prevalence of mold in many homes and that is pretty simple to fix. Most of the bathrooms I have redone have incorrectly installed tile which when removed reveals quite a bit of mold, that I am sure previous homeowner didn't even know about. Takes me about 10 mins to rip out the drywall and subfloor with my respirator on.

In short, it sounds like you are on the right track--get an expert opinion and a quote and negotiate with the seller based on the cost to repair, but remember that the seller does not have to make concessions so be ready to walk away if spouse is not ok with it. Also, I would not allow the seller to actually repair, I would handle this on your own if you move forward to ensure repair is done right. This issue is no different than any other that crops up during inspection in my opinion.

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snackdog
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Re: Mold on inspection, need advice

Post by snackdog » Thu Oct 11, 2018 9:25 am

Mold may be benign and only affect you if you are sensitive, or it may be toxic and induce neurological impairment or even death. You can have it tested for about $40 at a lab.

barnaclebob
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Re: Mold on inspection, need advice

Post by barnaclebob » Thu Oct 11, 2018 9:33 am

Determining the extent of the leak should be your main concern, not the mold. Nearly every house will have mold in it somewhere.

carolinaman
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Re: Mold on inspection, need advice

Post by carolinaman » Thu Oct 11, 2018 10:02 am

You need to do several things: determine the source of the mold and what it takes to re-mediate, and determine the extent of the mold and what it would take to re-mediate. Often, the mold is only near the source of moisture which may be limited in scope. If it is a small area then it should be a minor problem to remediate. People tend to freak out at the mere mention of mold but where we live in the hot humid South, it is pretty common and can be dealt with.

BTW, we have got 15+ inches of rain in the last 3 weeks. That is a lot of fuel for mold.

stan1
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Re: Mold on inspection, need advice

Post by stan1 » Thu Oct 11, 2018 10:11 am

Your post doesn't give enough information to know if this is a pinhole leak in the roof that went unnoticed or a roof that was neglected for years with damage to the entire ceiling. How large is the area with mold? Mold grows anywhere there is moisture. In a wet or humid climate that's hard to avoid. You found it in this house. The next house may be worse but you don't find it until after you've closed escrow. Investigate the cause and extent of damage further.

bbqkingster
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Re: Mold on inspection, need advice

Post by bbqkingster » Thu Oct 11, 2018 12:49 pm

Thanks for the replies. Ceiling mold is on the first floor and there is a bathroom directly above it. Area of mold is about 6 ft, and involves upper surface of the ceiling drywall and the adjacent rafters.

Nowizard
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Re: Mold on inspection, need advice

Post by Nowizard » Thu Oct 11, 2018 1:04 pm

You are fortunate to have discovered this on inspection. A relative purchased a home in California and discovered mold later that was not discovered by the inspector. California is strict on this, requires it be removed, inspects at each step. Gist is that relative out thousands and out of the home for more than a month.
Tim

TropikThunder
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Re: Mold on inspection, need advice

Post by TropikThunder » Thu Oct 11, 2018 1:06 pm

bbqkingster wrote:
Thu Oct 11, 2018 12:49 pm
Thanks for the replies. Ceiling mold is on the first floor and there is a bathroom directly above it. Area of mold is about 6 ft, and involves upper surface of the ceiling drywall and the adjacent rafters.
Most of the advice (which you haven’t responded to yet) assumes this is a house you’re looking at purchasing (hence the inspection) but it’s not clear to me whether you already own the place (“spouse is freaked”). Can you clarify? You refer to the drywall having been opened and consideration of a remediation specialist, which implies you already own the house (otherwise all of that would be the seller’s responsibility). If it’s already your house, was the visible mold the reason for the inspection, and was that inspector unable to advise repair options? And was none of that detected before purchase, or have you lived there a while?

michaeljc70
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Re: Mold on inspection, need advice

Post by michaeljc70 » Thu Oct 11, 2018 2:06 pm

If you can be fairly sure the leak was fixed and can get them to get the mold remediated, I see no problem going forward. The next house may have had a leak and has mold and they just primered and painted over the stain and you'd be none the wiser.

bbqkingster
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Re: Mold on inspection, need advice

Post by bbqkingster » Thu Oct 11, 2018 2:11 pm

TropikThunder wrote:
Thu Oct 11, 2018 1:06 pm
bbqkingster wrote:
Thu Oct 11, 2018 12:49 pm
Thanks for the replies. Ceiling mold is on the first floor and there is a bathroom directly above it. Area of mold is about 6 ft, and involves upper surface of the ceiling drywall and the adjacent rafters.
Most of the advice (which you haven’t responded to yet) assumes this is a house you’re looking at purchasing (hence the inspection) but it’s not clear to me whether you already own the place (“spouse is freaked”). Can you clarify? You refer to the drywall having been opened and consideration of a remediation specialist, which implies you already own the house (otherwise all of that would be the seller’s responsibility). If it’s already your house, was the visible mold the reason for the inspection, and was that inspector unable to advise repair options? And was none of that detected before purchase, or have you lived there a while?
Yes, inspection occurred with intention to purchase. Water spots with ?mold visible on the ceiling were noted by the inspector, and examination with opening of the drywall was recommended and performed with permission.

UpperNwGuy
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Re: Mold on inspection, need advice

Post by UpperNwGuy » Thu Oct 11, 2018 2:20 pm

I would not buy a house with mold problems.
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GrowthSeeker
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Re: Mold on inspection, need advice

Post by GrowthSeeker » Thu Oct 11, 2018 2:34 pm

Obviously, do not buy it "as is" unless it is for a very very low price.
Simplest solution: walk away.
If not, then at least get a quote from ServPro or one of the big firms that does mold. I bet the total cost to remove it all and reconstruct will be in the ballpark of $5,000. (the ServPro cost plus the contractor to fix it all)

One one hand, getting rid of the mold merely involves:
- stopping the leak
- removing all involved drywall (and bathroom subfloor if involved)
- dehumidifier
- HEPA vac everything
- then fix everything

Mold spores are everywhere and all they need is a constant supply of water and something to eat and the mold then goes crazy.
All mold produces mVOCs (mold Volatile Organic Compounds) which are not good to breathe in. But the color of the mold means nothing. The whole "black mold" scare is mostly BS.

Now, suppose the mold clean up is all done by a reputable company, the reconstruction is all done, and the seller pays for it; all before you buy. I'm not sure whether YOU then have to disclose it to the next buyer when YOU sell it. Does anyone know this?

The bad thing would be: the seller "takes care of it" himself, but you don't know whether he just did a crappy cover up job or actually did it right.

If you have to be around the mold much, get a good P-100 mask. Those who do the clean up will wear a full face mask, but just casual contact you just need a regular size mask, not even half face.
Just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they're NOT out to get you.

Murgatroyd
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Re: Mold on inspection, need advice

Post by Murgatroyd » Thu Oct 11, 2018 2:50 pm

Responses all over the map. We’ve lived in the north and south. I suspect the “mold is everywhere, no big deal” are from folks in the south and “find another house” from other areas. Says a lot about attitudes based on local experience.

OP, where are you?

Katietsu
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Re: Mold on inspection, need advice

Post by Katietsu » Thu Oct 11, 2018 4:41 pm

Ok. Now with the detail of the problem being in the ceiling below the bathroom, I would personally not back away if I like the house. I suspect I have never lived in a home that had not a bathroom leak and mold at least once. In my experience, that is not the same as the mystery problem behind the bedroom wall or the hassle of a perpetually wet basement.

simas
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Re: Mold on inspection, need advice

Post by simas » Thu Oct 11, 2018 6:00 pm

bbqkingster wrote:
Wed Oct 10, 2018 5:55 pm
Hi

So we completed inspection on a house and found water spots in the ceiling. The drywall was opened and there is fair amount of black mold on the drywall and along the edge where the drywall meets the rafter. Spouse is freaked. Obviously the leak needs to be repaired and we were planning on having a mold remediation person come out to take a look.

Anyone been in this situation before? Would really appreciate your advice.
Is this your first house? the 'freaked' part ..
are you buying or selling?
if you are buying, you should not be planning to have anyone do anything - seller would fix it.

few things
- it is typicaly a symptom of some other issue. we were in the same situation (buying), and in our 80s house design (same as every one else), they wented bathrooms into the attic (vs outside of the house) so humidity from exhaust fan always went to the same spot and had no way to escape . Seller found the issue, paid to extend exhause fan pipes, replaced the part that had 'microbacterial growth' . all total was a little over $1k, definitely not enough to 'freak' about
- also check for radon. as mold it is everywhere, just in different concentrations. in Illinois, seller would pay to remediate (1-1.5k near Chicago).

2015
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Re: Mold on inspection, need advice

Post by 2015 » Thu Oct 11, 2018 8:57 pm

bbqkingster wrote:
Thu Oct 11, 2018 12:49 pm
Thanks for the replies. Ceiling mold is on the first floor and there is a bathroom directly above it. Area of mold is about 6 ft, and involves upper surface of the ceiling drywall and the adjacent rafters.
If the seller had of had good sense he/she would have had the area tested for mold/remediated before putting it on the market. I did this earlier this year in preparation for selling my real estate and it wasn't a lot of fun. If the remediation company is any good they will set up a containment area(s) in and around the mold area. This will probably involve the bathroom upstairs as well. The problem is, without a remediation estimate you don't know the extent of what they are going to tear out (e.g., bathtub, toilet, sink). You also don't know the extent of the mold in the upstairs bath (although I was told mold travels down so chances are probably good the upper walls of the upstairs bath are contaminated). Point is, it's a lot of work, and not inexpensive. I agree with the points made above that you will have to disclose mold was present/remediated as I did when I sold.

Personally, this is not something I would want to take on merely due to consistency/commitment bias in relation to a single house. Buying/moving into a new house is enough of a headache without mold remediation thrown into the mix. Possibility is pretty expansive and there's a good chance you will find something to your tastes without attendant baggage.

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