Attic Mold via Bullet Hole ??

Hi, I know it's hard to give advice over the web. But here's my story about attic mold.
Ten days ago I made an offer to buy a house in Indiana, subject to physical inspection. Pretty normal deal, realtors, etc. Not a 'distressed' property. One story, on a crawlspace.
The physical inspection mentioned a few pertinent things -
1) Mold (not disclosed by seller) of some sort in the attic on the underside of part of the roof sheathing, which is 5 years old. Here's a link to the picture:
http://www.geocities.com/roger61611/classic_tan.html?1075257092234
Area is several feet wide, maybe 4 feet high, darker at the base (by the eaves).
2) Evidence of moisture in the attic. (Also there's a musty smell)
3) Crawlspace has a dirt floor, no plastic over it, and evidence of past moisture that's come thru the crawlspace walls (which is fairly normal).
So I responded (the term used here) under the Purchase Agreement, asking the seller to 'resolve the source of moisture and mold in the attic'. Such repairs asked for by the buyer are subject to the buyer's 'reasonable satisfaction' according to the Purchase Agreement (which is a contract in Indiana, not an offer).
The seller agreed to fix the attic but it occurred to me that (unless I pay fora more detailed and expensive inspection) I won't know if the problem is really fixed. I've asked them to supply a statement from their contractor that they have "found and fixed the source of moisture and mold in the attic".
Seemed simple until they mentioned to my realtor that the cause of all the trouble was a single *bullet hole* in the attic. They even found the slug. But all they're planning on doing for the mold is (a) patching the bullet hole, which must be pretty small, like half an inch and (b) cleaning and sealing the sheathing.
Am I dreaming this ? Surely there must be some other cause for moisture in the attic than a small hole.
Rain coming thru a little hole, from my limited experience fighting leaks, would either -
(a) drip straight down and puddle - but there's no water or marks on the attic floor, even though it's rained recently
or (b) it would run down the underside of the roof and puddle. If it ran down like that, there should be a track of some sort, not a uniform field of mold on the sheathing, and it would have to drip onto the attic floor, which would eventually cause a mark on the ceiling below (which didn't exist).
There's nothing venting into the attic, like a bathroom fan. Only one bathroom and it doesn't even have a fan.
Maybe there's moisture from condensation ? There's only 3-4 inches of insulation on the attic floor, so maybe the attic is too warm in the fall-winter.
A followup talk with the home inspector found that he felt the moisture in the attic came from bad ventilation and air cycling in the attic, and/or the lack of a vapor barrier in the crawlspace. (Inspectors in Indiana are sort of vague so he didn't put this in writing.)
Spoke to a reputable waterproofing firm who also felt if there was excess moisture in the crawl, and no vapor barrier, that it could contribute to the attic mold.
I am flabbergasted that the seller would attribute the attic mold to a single small hole, I'm losing sleep, and I want the seller to do more than patch over the problem so I can buy the house without so much worry.
What's reasonable mean ? Would you buy a house with mold in the attic if all the seller did was clean up the mold and patch a bullet hole ?
Thanks - Roger
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Roger D wrote:

How is the attic ventilated? Ridge? Seems to me there might not be enough air intake, therefore darker nearer the bottom.
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Roger D wrote:

<SNIP>
Looks like a ventilation problem.
Check these out: http://www.allergybuyersclub.com/faqs/moldy-attic.shtml http://www.ronhungarter.com/ventilation_repairs.html
Jim
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Roger D wrote:

If the house is moist in winter for whatever reason and air leaks into the attic via ceiling fixtures, holes drilled for wiring, or lack of a moisture barrier you could easily get a lot of mold. I saw some pictures an inspector took of an apparently well built home whose attic space was dripping mold due to improperly installed ceiling lights. Yuck!
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You are right but they must also remove the mold and prove they fixed the problem. venting vapor barrier etc. So why Bother with the dam place, move on, withdraw your offer
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OK, so I'm not nuts. I will press them to demonstrate that they've really found the problem and fixed it, and after looking at the links it looks at a minimum like the ventilation problems described. I don't recall soffit vents on the house, there are gable vents at each end of the attic.
Thank you all !
snipped-for-privacy@webtv.net (m Ransley) wrote in message

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I can sympathize with you, it is a difficult decision. On the other hand, no house is perfect and you will always find any number of minor or major problems. In your case, I would classify this as somewhere in between.
You can be fairly confident that it is a ventilation/insulation/sealing problem (not the bullet hole!). It is unreasonable to expect the seller to redo the ventilation of his roof, unless it's really a buyer's market in your area. You can, however, get an estimate of the cost of this repair and deduct it from your previous offer. This needs to be negociated with the seller, you may need your inspector to put something in writing to convince the seller that the ventlation is deficient.
Good luck, and let us know what happened.

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I'd be more concerned about the source of the bullet than the source of the moisture.....
As well, that's far too much water/moisture damage to be from a 1/2" hole, I'd say there's other factors there, if your going to buy the house for sure, I would stipulate that a 3rd party inpect and sign off on any repairs before closing (preferably a firm with experience in mold/moisture problems)

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On Wed, 28 Jan 2004 17:17:34 GMT, someone wrote:

Who died & made you King?
What 3rd party would do this and why and or how much $ to take on this liability? (Surely you want them to take on liability for if not, then what good is the piece of paper.)
What power does the Buyer have to STIPULATE anything of the sort (actually also likely a misuse of the term "stipulate".
I am always hearing people on this NG saying as to how they would require this and demand that if it were them. But its not them. And I wonder how many deals they have done where they have been able to demand and require what they are talking about, and still do the deal.
In the end he is gonna take the house or walk. There is a limit to how many conditions he is going to be able to kick about before the Seller tells him sorry Charlie.
-v.
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I think the bullet hole was a warning to you :-) That attic needs quite a few more bullet holes before it is ventilated properly.
-Jack

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On 27 Jan 2004 19:04:50 -0800, someone wrote:

so cannot claim to have been induced to buy, by a false or misleading non-disclosure. Just watch that you don't harp on it in the future. This is why you have a home inspector of your own.

page. Not much help if they are not.

But this could end up in court to get your deposit back, and if they can convince the judge that their repair WAS reasonable, and YOU are being unreasonable.....

but rather negotitate s price reduction. The Seller has every incentive to do the cheapest easiest cheapest quickest cheapest (did I say cheapest?) fix that will last for one day past the closing. Why would they spend any extra to do a ggod job on a house they are getting rid of. You try and get 'free' repairs, this is what happens.

"found and fixed hole". No way would I go on the hook for having fixed mold. But maybe you will get a dumb or reckless contractor!

house he is getting rid of? This is the trouble with asking for Seller repairs.

are not willing to pay for repairs that are sufficient to satisfy you, on your own.

scared, so you should not. See if you can get your deposit back.
-v.
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Maybe the bullet hole penetrated the roof near the eves. Each rain allowed a small trickle of water, enough to soak the insulation, (Which would provide ample moisture for mold) but not actually soak through or stain the sheetrock ceilings below, or maybe near the inside edge of the eaves and excess water "drained" out through the fascia, maybe even through a fascia vent hole?
Maybe...
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This is the same as taking your car into the repair shop and complaining it makes a funny noise. The mechanic will look at it and try to fix the most obvious part. Probably not the noise you are complaining about, but the most obvious thing.
You have a bullet hole in the roof. At what angle is the hole, most likely it is close to parallel to the ground, which means it is at a different angle to the way water flows down the roof. The water will run into the hole but probably not run through the hole into the attic but will soak the sheathing and seep downwards between the shingles and sheathing, spreading a wide path and soaking into the sheathing. This will cause an area of mould. When you asked the vendor to fix the mould, they repaired the most obvious thing. If there are other reasons for mould, they were not checked or repaired, and the vendor is not going to do a deep investigation to find other causes. Either buy the house and be prepared to finish the job or decline the purchase.

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FYI, I (buyer) challenged seller to install proper attic ventilation and a 'real' vapor barrier in crawlspace. Seller delined to do so. Deal is terminated !
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snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com (Roger D) wrote in message

Good deal Roger. I feel happy for you getting away from the problem. You wanted a new house, not a new set of problems. Cash is king. You're now free to find your dream mansion.
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How old is this house? Not having a vapor barrier in the craw space can cause issues but is not uncommon on homes 20+ year old or older. Are you a "mold" expert? Is it really mold? Looks like rotted wet pressed fiber board and may be from wicking. Granted the photo makes it hard to tell. Regardless ventelation is an issue. Now back to the issue. The craw space is a cheap fix. If the seller will pay great, if not dont kill yourself over it. The damage done is the big issue and correcting it. Worse case you pull the roof over the affect area replace the board and put some more vents in the attic.
If the house is just a few years old then I would be more concerned. If it older then its may not be out of line with whats in the neighborhood. Not that its correct just the way it was done then.
snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com (Roger D) wrote in message

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