mold remediation myself

A friend bought an apartment on fairly high floor in a high rise, right on the ocean and facing the water, in Florida, and it turns out it has mold. The apartment is vacant. His wife says she's had companies look at it, and they say they will do the job, but they never come back.
What's going on? Have all the reliable Florida contractors gone to NJ and NY? Don't some have families and enough business and want to stay in Florida?
It's also possible that the wife is doing something wrong, but I don't know what. Any guesses?
Did water get in through the windows and doors during storms not bad enough to close the storm shutters, is that the cause? Or maybe a leak from upstairs? Any other possible cause?
I owe this friend several big favors and fixing this for him would be a partial repayment. I really don't want to spend the spring or summer in Florida, or even the winter, but if work is almost all I do, may be I won't have to stay too long.
How long do you think it would take to do a 3 BR apartment? I know that's a stupid question because you (and I) don't know how big the problem is, but my rough guess is that most of it is under the window and door moldings that face the outside, and also if necessary killing the mold with bleach and painting the walls with mold resistant paint. (Which means mixing anti-mold liquid in with whatever paint the wife wants.) Is 3 weeks a reasonable time estimate?
I need the exercise. I can probably only do hard work 4 hours a day to start but after a week or two, might be up to 8 hours a day and after that, 12 hours a day and then I can go home, fit and fiddle. So it might benefit me, too.
Do I have to wear a respirator the whole time I'm in there? Can I sleep there without a respirator and not get sick? I had a little mold in my own house, one square foot in the basement for years (I hadn't noticed it), when I spent my time equally on all three floors, and it didn't bother me at all. On another occasion, 6 square feet for 3 months. Again, no problems. Or do these good experiences mean nothing because there are so many kinds of mold.
Can I let their 10-year old come in and play while I'm working, or is it too likely he'll get sick? If I say no, I want to have some authority like one of you to blame, so he doesn't blame me.
I'd like to hire a helper, but if the building management doesn't have reliable names, not sure where to look.
Thanks.
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Micky,
Forgive me but you don't sound as if you are ready for this project. Has the moisture problem been resolved? Who needs to fix that, the building or your friend? Have you looked at the apartment? What needs to be done? Do you have the knowledge, experience and tools for this? Florida has many water damage remediation companies. Pros who are bonded. Don't know why your friends can't find one.
Dave M.
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Agree with David and Oren. It's impossible for anyone to give much advice when even Micky doesn't know the extent of the problem. It could be relatively simple, or it could be a tear out of much of the apartment. Who knows. I would not want to take on something like this for someone else when I don't have the relevant experience in dealing with this kind of problem. Even worse, it's in a high rise building. If you start disturbing mold that gets into the building ventilation system, or are found improperly dragging molded material through the hallways, etc, you and the owner could have big problems. And a mold remediation company has insurance, you don't.
Also of concern is the fact that the companies that come out to look at it apparently never call back. If it was because they are all up in NJ/NY doing work, then why would they waste time coming over to look at it to begin with? My concern would be that they could be seeing that it's a tough job for some reason and there are lower hanging fruit.
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I agree that if Mickey doesn't know how bad the mold problem is, then none of us can give him any insight into that.
I don't agree that all indoor mold growth is a health hazard or that this kind of work should be left to trained professionals wearing biohazard suits.
Mold is like anything else; it needs a source of food and a source of water to survive. I you remove either one, the mold will first go dormant and then eventually die. But, because there are so many kind of fungii, plenty of them will be able to use any natural construction material (like the paper backing on drywall) or ordinary house dust as a food source, so the food is all around them, and therefore the focus should be on eliminating their source of water.
And, for an apartment several stories up in the air, then ground water seepage into the living space can be eliminated right off the bat, and then you only have a plumbing leak or rain leaking in from the outside to investigate.
And, on top of that, most fungii are harmless to us anyway, so it's very possible that the only real reasons to get rid of this mold are aesthetic and to keep Mickey from having to deal with uninformed health nuts going full retard over the MOLD!!!
--
nestork


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On Wed, 27 Mar 2013 14:34:35 +0000, nestork

Hmmm. Water. Maybe I can get her restarted indirectly, using my status as a "home repair expert". which I think she accepts, to just ask her about the status of the water. I don't think any hurricanes hit this part of the coast this year, so maybe if the leak was taken care of early on, it's not the whole apartment with problems. Maybe I can get her to want to make progress before I arrive in two months, just to impress me. (although if she doesn't care about her husband or kid, why me?) .

Well, aesthetic and that the condo board won't let my friends move in until this is resolved. So they're living in another apartment much smaller than the house they used to live in, with little space for visitors like their other kids who live out of town to stay in when they visit.
As to any possible legal case with a prior owner: If such claim exists, the court won't look fondly on their failure to remediate this, the possibility it's gotten worse by their not doing anything, and the fact that they have no dollar number to sue for, since they still haven't fixed it. I don't know how she thinks she can run a business if she isn't aware of stuff like this. She's made her bed and can lie in it, but I care about my friend and his son.
Go for my personal point of view. Get an ugly girl to marry you.
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You may think they are "uninformed health nuts going full retard", but you don't live in the high rise, do you? There are plenty of real stories of houses having to be torn down because of mold. If micky goes in there and starts disturbing mold, it gets into a common building ventilation system and one tenant calls the management company, they call a mold remediation company that says he's unlicensed to do the work, what he's doing threatens the health of the entire building, he's already dispersed mold into the HVAC system and to resolve it is going to cost $$$$$, then you could have a BIG problem. Whether all of it is true and whether they are health nuts or not, maybe you can determine someday in court. Simple fact is when you live in a condo or co-op there are some very important diffences from being in your own single family house.
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On Wed, 27 Mar 2013 05:45:52 -0700 (PDT), " snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net"

My friend goes to work and doesn't get involved, not even it seems when his wife is screwing up.
I don't understand either. And get this, she wants to start her own business. When she would make a lot more money** in far less time to just get the apartment ready for occupancy.
**The value of the apartment when it's habitable minus the value when it's not.
She had a business in the last city they lived in, but my friend thinks mostly she lost money.

Dunno. I'm sure they had a lawyer for the closing, but that doesn't mean they ever got back to him with these problems.

Some of these I'd thought of, some I hadn't. It's good to be able to "talk" about this with someone, all four of you. .

I was thinking it was just the guys who barely knew anything who would come over, and when it wasn't a very simple case, they backed out rather than be in over their heads.
Or she bargained too much on the price. Sometimes she spends money like water, and sometimes aiui, she's cheap as can be. She's told me one of the cheap stories herself.
I'm going to be in Florida for a week or t0 days around Memorial day. Maybe I can interview remediators then. It's been 8 months or more since they bought the place. Even at current low interest rates, they've probably lost as much in interest as the repair job would cost.
You've given me food for thought. Thanks Trader, Oren, David and James.
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BTW, a property can be sold "as-is" [*] and the buyer can still have an inspection done. His options are then to proceed with the purchase or not. He can ask for repairs to be made but an answer has already been given.
[*] In fact, all properties sold in Alabamistan (and I'm sure at least some other states) are "as-is".
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On Mar 31, 6:37 pm, snipped-for-privacy@attt.bizz wrote:

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No answer has been given until the question is actually asked. As is, just means there is no warranty or guarantee. It doesn't mean the seller won't make some repairs if defects are found on the inspection report. I could be selling a car "as is". The buyer takes it for inspection and the mechanic says it needs a new exhaust. The buyer asks for me to pay for it by discounting the price and I agree. It's still an "as is" sale.
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On Sun, 31 Mar 2013 16:48:28 -0700 (PDT), " snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net"

The statement of being sold "as is" says that the sellers are not going to do any repairs.

Nope. A warranty has to be explicitly stated. It's a positive statement, not a negative.

That's what it means but it doesn't mean they can't change their mind.

Cars are *NOT* real estate.
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On Mar 31, 11:16 pm, snipped-for-privacy@attt.bizz wrote:

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Yes, because sales of real estate in most states are "as is", subject to some possible exceptions You yourself said that. That is what "as is" means. Unless a warranty is explicitly given or something is required by law in that state, then the buyer has no warranty. That doesn't mean the buyer can't do an inspection and go back to a seller that is selling a property "as-is" and say I'll still buy it, but only if you'll replace the broken AC. How any seller will or will not react to that isn't predictable, ie you don't know the answer without asking. I agree that with a sale being advertised as "as-is" the buyer is less likely to get concessions, at least for obvious things, small things, etc. But it doesn't mean you can never get a concession for anything.

Well, then the answer to whether they will or won't make any repairs isn't known, just as I said. Let's say the inspection finds extensive termite damage. Damage the seller did not know about. Well, now they do and if they don't sell it to you, they are going to have to disclose the termite problem to all other buyers. In that case, it could very well be to their advantage to discount the price now and sell it.

Same principles apply.
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On Mon, 1 Apr 2013 05:46:55 -0700 (PDT), " snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net"

So you're saying that all states have the same laws. You're as whacky as Haller.

Which is the *OPPOSITE* of what you just stated.

If it's being advertised as "as is" he's already stated that he's not interested. Again, he can certainly change his mind.

That's what I said. <sheesh!>
Good grief!
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On Apr 1, 10:47 am, snipped-for-privacy@attt.bizz wrote:

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Stop lying. I never said any such thing. Next will come the profanity, because you're wrong and won't admit it.

I never said any such thing. All I said was:
A - In most states, real estate sales are "as is", which means there is no warranty, other than anything that is required by law. You yourself said the same thing, so why lie now?

No shit sherlock. And the way you find that out is by ASKING. Are you that timid that you're afraid to ASK?

No, what you said was that in any sale that is "as is", the seller has already given you the answer, ie that they will not do any repairs or make any concessions. That is just wrong. The termite inspection example I gave you, which of course you ignored, is a classic example. You go to buy a house that is being sold "as is". Upon inspection, it's discovered that there is extensive termite damage, which the seller didn't know about. The seller now has to disclose that to any other buyers. So, why wouldn't they make a reduction in price? Geeez. You're obviously not experienced in real estate transactions.
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On Tuesday, March 26, 2013 5:59:40 PM UTC-4, micky wrote:

n the ocean and facing the water, in Florida, and it turns out it has mold. The apartment is vacant. His wife says she's had companies look at it, and they say they will do the job, but they never come back. What's going on? Have all the reliable Florida contractors gone to NJ and NY? Don't some hav e families and enough business and want to stay in Florida? It's also possi ble that the wife is doing something wrong, but I don't know what. Any gues ses? Did water get in through the windows and doors during storms not bad e nough to close the storm shutters, is that the cause? Or maybe a leak from upstairs? Any other possible cause? I owe this friend several big favors an d fixing this for him would be a partial repayment. I really don't want to spend the spring or summer in Florida, or even the winter, but if work is a lmost all I do, may be I won't have to stay too long. How long do you think it would take to do a 3 BR apartment? I know that's a stupid question beca use you (and I) don't know how big the problem is, but my rough guess is th at most of it is under the window and door moldings that face the outside, and also if necessary killing the mold with bleach and painting the walls w ith mold resistant paint. (Which means mixing anti-mold liquid in with what ever paint the wife wants.) Is 3 weeks a reasonable time estimate? I need t he exercise. I can probably only do hard work 4 hours a day to start but af ter a week or two, might be up to 8 hours a day and after that, 12 hours a day and then I can go home, fit and fiddle. So it might benefit me, too. Do I have to wear a respirator the whole time I'm in there? Can I sleep there without a respirator and not get sick? I had a little mold in my own house , one square foot in the basement for years (I hadn't noticed it), when I s pent my time equally on all three floors, and it didn't bother me at all. O n another occasion, 6 square feet for 3 months. Again, no problems. Or do t hese good experiences mean nothing because there are so many kinds of mold. Can I let their 10-year old come in and play while I'm working, or is it t oo likely he'll get sick? If I say no, I want to have some authority like o ne of you to blame, so he doesn't blame me. I'd like to hire a helper, but if the building management doesn't have reliable names, not sure where to l ook. Thanks.
From what I've observed most people are not bothered by mold. But occasion ally a few people are. And people that aren't sometimes become bothered by it after years of exposure. So there's no telling for sure but if it has not been a problem for you in the past I doubt a few weeks of exposure will be a problem now. I would wear a mask during tear down. And I'd have a b ox fan I could stick in a window to exhaust the air.
Without knowing why it has a mold problem or how exstensive the problem is no one can give you much advice on fixing it. It has to be more that "it h as a mold problem", someone must have had it evaluated or tested at some po int in the past. Can't you get the details of that?
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