Interested in a property but my agent told me it was previously listed, went
into pending sale and now listed again. When we pressed for the reason the
listing realtor told us the previous buyer had an inspection which found a
serious mold problem and the estimated cost of clearing the mold was about
$20000. This is a $600000 house in Miami area. The owner may be more
receptive to a price reduction now.
The rest of the house look good to me, I can't tell there is a mold problem,
was not very knowledgeable about molds. I did a search on the net and it
scared the heck out of me. I did not ask to see the inspection report, but
I was cusious if mold is a real serious issue. If there is a mold problem,
can it really be cleaned up or is this more than likely a more serious
underlying moisture problem, or something not draining or internal leak of
some sort? What is involved in clearing up molds? Ripping out and
replacing all the walls?
If the owner is willing to pay for the mold removal, should it be
acceptable? I mean, let's say a house has a deteriorating roof and it will
cost $30000 to replace the roof, I know after the replacement, the roof will
be good for another 15 to 20 years. But will clearing molds be an expensive
but persistent problem?
Thanks in advance,
It is difficult to say. Ask the mold experts there. Some friends of mine
bought a house in Bonsall, California. REALLY nice house on hillside
property in an exclusive gated community.
A hot water tank had leaked when the property was unoccupied, and by the
time anyone noticed, there was mold.
They repaired it according to the guidelines. But, the house stood there
vacant for months because everyone was afraid of the mold. They made a
lowball offer to a "motivated" seller and got the house.
Fast forward three years. Yearly inspections have revealed that mold is not
present, and there are no problems. This is in the hills north of San
Diego, so would think it has a high humidity like Florida.
You just don't know. You must protect yourself with contracts that will
have all mold problems paid for by someone other than you. Don't know if
they actually do that, or once you buy it, it's your problem, and the seller
evaporates. So, you have to ask yourself how bad you want the house. What
is the worst case scenario on future mold. And whether you want to buy or
Future disclosures may call for you to reveal the mold problem even if it
has been cleared up. Not a good selling point ..............
I just went through a mold abatement problem. Here's what I was told:
Exposed live mold is a health hazard and must be treated and killed.
Exposed dried/dead mold becomes very powdery and becomes airborne when
touched and can spread throughout the structure easily. When reexposed
to moisture, the "dead" mold can reactivate. Therefore exposed dried
mold is encapulsated with a spray that hardens like a clear paint.
Dried mold between the walls poses little risk since it cannot be
easily disturbed and it is isolated from normal airflow.
(I claim no authenticity for the above facts. I just repeated what was
told to me by a hazmat abatement company rep).
Mold in itself is not hard to stop.
But as you already correctly stated, is a sign of a moisture problem.
Stop the water, and the mold disappears by itself.
The question is how much does it cost to fix the "moisture" problem, and
what other damage (rotten joists/studs) has occurred.
This is Turtle.
Miami , This mold game is being plaied to a stupid level in southern states.
there is only a danger of Black Mold to people who are first exposed to it and
after that it has no effect on you. 99 % of the people in the Southern states
have been exposed to it already and will not have any effect on them at all when
they have it in a house. If your exposed to black mold for the first time. It
will kill you or just make you sick and when you get over it or die. It will not
effect you again. The only ones that catch hell from it is Northern people
moving Southward and they have not been exposed to it before and it gives them
So if you want to buy one of these discount houses you can just paint the inside
walls and then spray the central heating and cooling blower system to circulate
it all over the house every month or so and the black mold will never grown
again. This stuff is call Bio-Fresh and sells for about $12.00 a Quart or $25.00
a Gal. and spray about 4 good sprays from a 409 spray bottle will do it every
month. Mold will never grow in that house again if you spray it every month or 2
and sometimes out as long as every 6 months. I think black mold is a building
contractor's dream come true.
Turtle, you have some facts wrong. Black mold can affect you in 2
First, you can contract a mold infection at any time, first or
hundredth exposure. This can be an acute infection, which clears up
just like any other upper respiratory infection, or it can be chronic,
leading to chronic lung problems.
Second, you can have (or develop) an allergic sensitivity to allergens
the mold (much like a cat allergy). Again, this can occur on first
exposure, or hundredth exposure.
The information "It will not effect you again" is absolutely wrong
(BTW, it's "affect" not "effect"). Wherever you got that info, it
wasn't a reliable source. Read up on the topic at the Centers for
This is Turtle.
If your not alergic to it , it does not bother you at all. Some People are the
same way about pollion in the air or rage weed in the air. A person with good
health will never know it is there. You have to be ill or have bad health and
allergic to all forms of polion and stuff in the air to be even effected by it.
No Know Health person ever had any trouble with the Black Mold at all.
Yes I just read up on the Black Mold at the Center for Disease Control and whjat
they say about it. So Please You need to read up on it before you start bullshit
about it Abe.
You both may be right. The term "black mold" is a generic term - there
are literally dozens of molds that are black. Some are relatively
harmless as Turtle states, and some are seriously dangerous as Abe
states. Black molds from fecal contaminated water (i.e. toilet
overflows) are very bad news, whereas black molds from normal dampness
can cause little to no problems. Only a lab can tell which is which.
Have someone knowledgeable inspect the house and determine the extent of the
problem. That $2,000 could turn out to be $20,000 if it is spread and in
areas not easily accessible. I saw a house recently where all the sheetrock
and ceiling has to be torn out and removed. Extreme as it was an empty house
and neglected, but still expensive.
When I bought my 30 year old 1500 sq ft house, it was a shithole. I
did a complete teardown to the studs and subfloor using my sweat, a
few day laborers, a few wheel barrows and tools, and a couple of 12
yard dumpsters from the local waste company.
With everything open, I was able to rewire/upgrade the electricity,
replace/move all old outlets and junction boxes, put in cat 5e and RG6
cable throughout, replumb, reinsulate, move walls, put in stud and
joist straps, fix lumber issues, treat a pest problem at the sources,
etc... etc.. fairly cheaply.
The whole deal, including re rocking, tape/mud to smooth finish,
putting in new windows, doors, floors, bathrooms (nothing very fancy,
but nice), cabinets (again, nice but not extravagant), countertops,
appliances, fixtures, and paint cost about 43,000. It was great. I had
an essentially new house (when I refinanced a couple of years later,
they gave the age as 6 years old equivalent). I paid 132,000 for the
house, put in 43,000 (total 175k), and ended up with something much
nicer than I could have gotten for a no fixer for 175,00k). The house
is now worth over 350k.
My point is that if you plan on doing a remodel anyway, stripping the
house to the shell, replacing everything and treating it for mold, and
building it back up is an extremely cost effective way to get a much
nicer house than you would have otherwise. As the saying goes, "buy
the shittiest house in a really good neighborhood."
So if the OP can get a great deal because of the mold, it's a prime
opportunity to get a whole lot of value.
I forgot to say that treating the mold with everything opened up will
cost very little if you read up on the procedure and do it yourself,
or with a contractor who'll help you for a day on the side. 8/10 to
9/10 of the cost of treating the mold in a finished house is access
and refinishing. Spraying bleach (or other chemical as appropriate)
from a pump sprayer onto wood is not expensive. Your local Gov't will
have procedures on it's web site for which chemicals to use.
It's not $2000, the previous inspector estimated $20000. But I don't know
what is involved, but with that amount I am pretty sure sheet rocl removal
and carpet removal is involved. Just guessing.
Just for kicks, try calling a House Insurance agent, and ask
whether they'll insure a house with a history of mold.
And if they say yes, then ask how much it will cost. You
might be, uh, surprised.
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