My husband and I have found our "perfect" house, after much searching. The
only problem is the entire lower level (it is a tri-level house) has black
mold along the walls, ranging from 6" up to 3 feet up the wall. NO visible
mold in any of the upper levels. The story is: It is bank-owned, and when the
previous owners moved, the electricity was turned off, causing the sump pump
to quit, which allowed water to back up. I know the house was empty for
around 1 year, and when the bank finally took posession, and restored the
electricity, the water problem was solved. I am unsure how long the water
was present, or when it occurred. I have asthma (well controlled) and
obviously have health concerns. I had a mold remediation contractor give an
estimate for extensive removal and repair, including removal of all carpet in
the house on the upper levels, with washing of all surfaces in the entire
house with fungicide, repainting with 2 coats KILZ, and total "gutting" of
lower level walls, ceiling tiles, flooring, etc. If we can get the bank to
accept a MUCH lower bid, with having to put approx $28,000-30,000 into the
home, it will be a wonderful home with approx $60,000.00 in equity right off
the bat! Our concern is, can this come back? Has ANYONE had a recurrence of
mold after adequete PROFESSIONAL remediation?? I need to know, good bad or
otherwise, before even making an offer on the house. Most of our friends and
family are against the house because they feel "once it's there, it'll always
be a problem", but I'd like to hear from anyone about their personal
experience!! We LOVE the house, and it is a great deal, even with the
extensive work that is needed, but we don't want to be stuck with a house we
can't live in due to allergies, or resell due to mold. HELP!!
It all depends on how well the job is done. Done right it will be no
more prone to future mold issues that any other home. However it will not
Now how well is an issue. Finding someone who will do it right could be
difficult. I would want an inspection after they are done before they are
paid and best while they are doing it, to make sure nothing is just
covered over. I have seen some good jobs, but I am sure not all are.
Thanks! The remediater did say that they do the testing after the work is
done to show that the spore count meets acceptable EPA levels, before we
could move into the home. I guess my question would be-OK, so its clear now,
providing there is no further water backups, etc, COULD this come back out of
the blue? We plan to have a dehumidifier and moniter the moisture in the air,
we have a generator for emergency power outs to keep the sump running, etc.,
and I plan to get at LEAST 3 estimates, ask for references before deciding
etc.. Anything else?
Joseph Meehan wrote:
Might want to think of installed a second sump. If one breaks without
you knowing........the second will take over. This happened to me in
the past where the sump broke.......and the basement flooded.
Might want to also find out the water table in this area....is it prone
to high tables? Your sump might be running continuously. If so, the
moisture content would be very high.........and dont believe a
dehumidifier could keep up with such moisture. What kind of foundation
are we talking about here? Beware of a stone foundation vs. water
But if the mold problem is taken care of right the first time, then
moisture will not be much of a concern other than possibly letting a
new mold to investigate moving in with you.
Already planned to have a back up. Spoke with a neighbor (directly next door
with a trilevel as well) says his pump runs at most 1-2 x day for a few
minutes during really rainy weather, to once a week or so for a few minutes.
I'm thinking the foundation is cement, would that be right for a trilevel
home? Forgive me, I'm not a builder !
For what it worth, we spend 20,000 cleaning up our house from black mold, We
hired two top notch
pros to clean it up, our house was only 7 years old.
This is straight from my doctor that is mold specialist 25% of people are
allergic to mold, Being allergic
to mold means the mycotoxins/mold that enters your body does not exit your body
it keep recirculating
because your body does not identify it as a toxin. So you need to be put on
medication to carry the mycotoxins
out of your body.
Black mold poisoning is very serious the symptoms are not be taken
lightly. Symptoms :Dizziness, blurred vision, light .sound and movement
sensitivity, nausea, weight loss, psychiatric issues, hormonal issues, coma
seizure, and heart attack..itchy skin, nose , ear and eyes,, carcinogenic (
cancer causing) and tremendous amount of other issues, since it mold disrupts
your body function, and pathways, these pathways start misfiring so you need a
specialist to help you figure this whole mess out! .
My fear it this, even if you not allergic yet, I believe you immune system
takes a beating because it is aware that something toxic is IN close proximity
so it is reacting, this over time I think break down your immune system so when
you need it to kick it well it is weakened.
My doctor told us that once your sensitized/ allergic to mold think of it like
Fukishima there is no going back ! He told us point blank do not go back to the
house! Here is why the mycotoxins or mold are invisible, odorless and
microscopic is size you cannot get every little piece out of a house .and if you
breath in one microscopic mycotoxin and your sensitized you'll get sick I did
not believe him I went back to the house became ill moved . Life is hard
enough without dealing with this we sold our house
buying a mold house
I have never heard of "getting rid of mold" other than gutting like you
stated the entire lower level. This means any wood, plaster, etc etc
where mold can grow....and that the water reached.....and replacing
with new. But with mold that bad as youve stated..........I wouldnt do
it; especially with allergies. You could be asking for some big
problems. I dont believe you will ever COMPLETELY get rid of it.
Cosmetically it will look okay probably, but will still be
present.........It may look like so many inches to the eye........but
within the wall, where the dampness is much more.......the mold could
have grown all up into the walls of the 2nd and 3rd levels also.
Something to think about.
I think in some states you must report this to potential buyers when
and if you sell the home in the future; might want to check on this. If
so, you might not be able to resell it........and your then stuck with
It's a risk certainly.
If you eliminate the moisture source, mold won't come back. The rub
is did PROFESSIONAL remediation just kill and bleach up the mold, or
did it to that plus eliminate the moisture source?
I'm fairly risk averse though, and wouldn't advise such a gamble,
especially if I had allergy or asthma concerns in the family, no
matter how well controlled. Investment property.. .maybe, but even
Careful, I've been told that if the conditions for mold growth aren't
removed, mold grows, information I heard wasn't shared with
homeowners, since more mold means more money.
So was there a humidity problem? Water intrusion?
tom @ www.YourMoneyMakingIdeas.com
Originally, the electric was shut off and the sump couldn't run, allowing
some water to back up into the lower level (how long, I don't know. The
"warping" at the bottom of the paneled walls shows about 2 inches of rippling,
so I don't think it was massive) And when the bank restored power, and
restarted the pump, the water was removed and hasn't returned. We looked at
the house during the tail end of a 2 week heavy rain (daily) and the
walls/floors/ceilings were all dry, no evidence of recent moisture. The
remediater is certified in mold remediation, has explained the need to remove
ALL carpet (which we were going to do anyway, it was worn out) and walls,
ceiling tiles, insulation and wood studs in the lower level, with complete
cleaning and sealing of all surfaces/walls upstairs etc. Since the water
wasn't due to a long standing leaky roof or foundation, SHOULD mold
spontaneously appear if total remediation and prevention of recurrence of
water leaking? THAT is my question. The entire lower level will be like
brand new after the work is done, with all upstairs walls washed with
fungicide x 2, painted 2 coats of KILZ, and 2 coats paint. Kitchen cupboards
(which appear to have been added fairly recently and are like new) will be
thouroughly cleansed with fungicide x 2, and resealed with varnish/clear
sealant. What do you think?
Tom The Great wrote:
I will just add this to what has already been said. The mold will not
be limited to the visible portions of the walls, it will be between the
walls and anywhere the moisture reached. That will make it necessary
to remove the lower wall paneling or drywall to above the point of mold
penetration. If that is done and the remaining structure is treated
before replacement, the mold should not reappear as long as you
maintain the proper environment. I will caution you though, if the
house contains a central air system it must be throughly cleaned and
treated as well. What you have described looks like you should be in
good status once complete.
Thanks! We have a friend who owns a heating/cooling company who will clean
all the ducts and check the furnace/AC etc after the removal of the
contaminated stuff, and again after the restoration to remove dust/ residual
stuff etc. just to be sure! I'm trying to make sure I can cover all bases
before buying this house and being stuck with trouble!
Wow now that the idea about the ducts came up, I would use good
filters for a long time. I was told the alergen from mold is in its
spores. So if you keep the house the same or cleaner than outside,
you might benifit. Now this is just guessing, I might even involve
your health care provider as to what you are doing.
Also, another thing I remmeber, some insurance companies will NEVER
cover a home again after a mold claim. Might want to see if you can
get coverage since there was a pre-existing condition.
I mean, how do you verify it's over to underwriters? Fires go out,
floods receed, how to do you say your home is mold-free? Mold is
Now again, just guessing, now an insurance agent, doctor, or lawyer.
Insurers are not offering mold coverage anymore;
I don't think that will be an issue.
Good idea about the filtering though.
I would use one of the deep-pleated media filters
which are HEPA rated. Not one of the usual 1" thick filters.
Additionally, install a UV lamp in the ductwork (usually in
the return but can be in the plenum too. These are very
effective in destroying spores and even viruses as they move
thru the ductwork. Any HVAC guy will know what to get.
Add in maybe another $200 for this.
I wouldn't be too enthusiastic about a house where one of the living
levels can flood this badly from a sump pump going out. Around here,
we'd call that a basement and put the furnace, water heater, etc up on
blocks to help avoid future problems. If I were bidding on this
place, I'd discount the price that way.
As for the mold issue, if the flooring, drywall, etc are all removed,
what's left cleaned, scrubed, treated, I wouldn't be overly concerned
about the mold. But there are 2 issues. One is you have asthma. The
second is I would check local real estate disclosure laws. In many
area, after a house has had even far less damage then this, you have to
disclose it to future buyers, which may affect resale value.
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