Moldy Condo??? ....

I am considering purchasing a condo in Massachusetts. I am supposed to sign the P&S tomorrow. There are *four* units in this building. My unit is on one end, and there was a plumbing leak in the unit on the other end (ie there are 2 units between my unit and the plumbing leak unit).
The plumbing leak caused mold to form in that other unit. The buyer could never move in, and there is a lawsuit pending.
My inspector said everything looks fine in my unit, but I did not call his attention to the issue of mold, because the seller had not told me about it. This leads to some questions I hope you will help me with. Thanks...
1) Should I test for mold in the condo I want to buy?
2) Could the mold from that other end unit affect my condo?
3) Would you suggest I hold off on signing the P&S?
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A number of TV news shows outlined the dangers of mold a few years back. Some of it's pretty nasty. If I were you, I would NOT sign on the dotted line until you contact your local health department and find out how to do a proper inspection.

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PLEASE LET ME KNOW how would a person get information on what mold can kill you... I found some on the back of my cupboard strange by the garage door within 1 foot of the door opening I also have energy panels ... can anyone explain this..
SHOWERBEATLE

on
could
his
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Call your local health department first.

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about
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P.DINDORF wrote:

Do some GOOGLE searching. Tens of thousands of hits.
A few which may start you:
http://www.thefairways.com/index.htm http://www.toxlaw.com/toxboard / http://www.thefairways.com/stachybotrys.htm http://www.moldremoval.com/html/mold_types.htm
http://www.inspect-ny.com/sickhouse/mold.htm http://www.toxicmoldusa.com/testing.htm http://www.pioneer.net/~microbe/test-kits.htm http://www.forallergy.com/heatac.htm http://masterhandyman.com/columndetails.hbs?myrec=6 http://www.aehf.com/articles/molds.html
Jim
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I've just bought a place in CA (but come from MA originally), and went through this issue. It's um, interesting. Lots of mass hysteria out there. Not to say there aren't problems; but ... it's this decade's asbestos.

That's a good sign. Not the final word, but a good sign.

Sure, why not? It'll cost you a few hundred $$, but a *quantitative* answer (like counts of spores per cubic meter) is a solid one. Two things:
-- Make sure the company you use for inspection *DOES NOT* offer "mold remediation" services ... they are self-serving at the very least, and are likely to "recommmend" work whether it's really needed or not. Kinda like that "ceiling delamination" thread a few days back. Do look for a company that uses Air-O-Cell cassettes and strips.
-- Do your own independent research. Understand that mold is a byproduct of a leak - and the real problem is the leak, not the mold, despite all the hysteria around mold. Know that there are *no* EPA standards on mold - and thus anyone else's standards are their own imagination. Know that "mold inspectors" are just normal folks who've taken a weekend course - they do not have PhDs in microbiology. Their common sense is as good as yours.
-- A really, really good source of information: http://www.bsu.edu/web/ien/search.htm (search for mold). There are many "mold information" sites out there, looking only to make $$ from your fear.

It sounds unlikely, but we can't say from here of course.

If you're concerned enough, sure, or make the sale contingent upon the mold findings. The sellers should be as concerned about this as you - they don't want to be sued later. Perhaps they'd split the inspection costs with you, even.
JSH
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Oh my god...think of those millions who bought homes over the last 50 years alone who didn't know the horrors of....mold!! And don't even mention Radon! Ignorance may not be bliss....but over exposure to information can breed hysteria (which is worse than all the mold ever discovered.)!
wrote

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Amen. I'd imagine there's been leaks ever since ... oh say the invention of plumbing. Shall we raze the White House, "just to be safe"?
I think the hysteria is the result of overactive imaginations and an under-sized problem. IE, there are certainly microscopic amounts of mold *everywhere* (and you can always measure *some*); and it's easy to scare people about something they can't see. That's where imaginations go wild.
Seems obvious to me, that if you can see a bunch of mold, well, CLEAN IT (and more importantly, fix the leak)! If you can't see it, and are still worried, go see a therapist.
But that's just my opinion, and opinions are like ...
JSH
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wrote:

Hey, I was working at a hospital doing maintenance work. There was a secluded closet for contaminated garbage storage, and there was a sink in there to wash hands after touching this garbage. The sink was leaking for months, if not longer, before someone mentioned it to my boss, who told me to check it out. I found a drain pipe with a hole in it, and discovered that I would have to rip open the wall to remove the entire section of steel pipe which was rusted out. When I opened the wall, I found thick black mold all over the inside of that wall. I obtained a mask, knowing that I have alergies, and began tearing the wall apart. The boss came in there and asked why I was tearing the whole wall apart. I explained that it was all mold, and since I had ripped apart part of the wall anyhow, I may as well just replace that whole section. I mentioned that from what I know, black mold can cause health problems, and it made no sense to leave it there, being it is a hospital, and went on to explain that it was actually easier to replace the whole wall section with a full sheet of sheetrock, than to patch the old one together. His reply was "do what you must", and he walked away. The next morning when I arrived at work, I was terminated. The reason was "not complying with my job duties". The REAL reason I was fired, was because I mentioned the health hazzard of that mold. I am currently going to court over this. The funny thing about all of this is that I was really only mentioning the mold as a possible health risk, and trying to make my job easier at the same time. I have already tried to spakle over mold and mildew. It dont hold, or soon comes back as mold. It would have cost them at least 3 gallons of spakle and tape, 1/2 sheet of sheetrock, and many hours of wages. My intent was to replace one whole sheet of sheetrock, and only use less than one gallon of spackle, which would have required less than used half the wages (my time) to repair, and in the end saved them at least $50, possibly over $100, if I had to go back and re-do the spakle for not adhering. Not only that, but the mold would still be in that wall. But, you see, I "knew too much". I should just keep my mouth shut, and do my work, and never mention a "health risk". Thus, they fired me.....
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If you reach a settlement watch out for Alternate minimum tax. Under the amt, legal fees are not deductible from your award of loss wages and possible other damages involved when sueing an employer. So pay taxes on the 1/3 you pay your lawyer. Possible way to avoid it..... and I don't know for sure.... is if they pay your lawyer. Ask your lawyer to look it up and tell him any settlement has to avoid taxes on his fee or you won't sign.
wrote

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Really good advice, Julie
Additionally, mold typically only survives when the moisture problem continues. This is a flag that may need further investigation: does the condo have other moisture problems, perhaps in crawlspaces or indications of subterranean standing water?
In my area, there's no hope of getting a contingency for anything. Usually there are multiple bidders on each property, so depending on your situation, you may or may not be able to get the sellers to agree.
But if you can, do it!
Good Luck!
Rock

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netnews wrote:

It probably is fine, but is probable good enough to get you to sign?
--
Joseph E. Meehan

26 + 6 = 1 It's Irish Math
  Click to see the full signature.
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How do you KNOW it was a plumbing leak. There have been thousands (yes, thousands) of major roof/flashing/stucco/wall leaks in condos over the last 10+ years in North America with damages running into the tens of thousands per EACH unit. Often such damage only manifests itself after the building has been "up" for several years (long enough for the New Homeowners Warranty to have expired) Some folks have had to double their original mortgage to pay for damage repairs because they couldnt sell such a unit. Some couldnt afford to pay for repairs and walked away on their investment. In a condo building, its usual for ALL the owners to have to pay as the damage is ofter in outer walls which are "common areas". (Google for "leaky condos"). I m not saying that this is the case in your situation...but what if it is ? Be very careful.
R
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If the siding is synthetic stucco I would definitely stay away. Even brick structures which are poorly flashed and with poor quality or non-existing ties are risky to buy. The masonry quality in NC for example is terrible. People think if the brick is straight it is a good job. They have no idea how important flashing and walll ties are.

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netnews wrote:

Probably has no direct effect on your unit, BUT............ I'll wager pretty good odds that the stigma will affect the unit's resale price forever.
Check out this link: http://www.thefairways.com/index.htm It's not directly relevant to your situation, but it outlines the horrors that some apt dwellers have gone thru.
Jim
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Have you seen the mold in the other unit to have an idea of the scope of the issue. Could be serious or could be dumb. You need to see it for yourself and since it might affect your unit the condo covenent should provide that right. If not I would walk.

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