Mold in house-Can it come back after remediation?

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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!!
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dancer1 wrote:

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 be exempt.
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.
Good Luck
--

Joseph Meehan

Dia \'s Muire duit
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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:

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dancer1 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 tables.
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.
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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 !
avid_hiker wrote:

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Mold simply has a hell of a time growing without a moisture source.
-- Todd H. http://toddh.net /
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replying to Joseph Meehan, Grace wrote:

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
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Grace posted for all of us...

And what would they be?
--
Tekkie *Please post a follow-up*

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this thread is from 2007
wonder what happened?
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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.
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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 then....
-- Todd H. http://toddh.net /
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imho:
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
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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:

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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.
dancer1 wrote:

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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!
BobR wrote:

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imho:
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 everywhere.
Now again, just guessing, now an insurance agent, doctor, or lawyer.
tom

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Tom The Great wrote:

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.
Jim
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I've been on the fense about the UV lights. I understand destroying the bad stuffs ablity to reproduce, but doesn't dead spores still cause asthma attacks?
tom @ www.Consolidated-Loans.info
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Tom The Great wrote:

<SNIP>
Using a high-rated HEPA media filter after the UV should hopefully collect the dead critters :-)
Jim
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dancer1 wrote:

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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