Hi, I know it's hard to give advice over the web. But here's my story
about attic mold.
Ten days ago I made an offer to buy a house in Indiana, subject to
physical inspection. Pretty normal deal, realtors, etc. Not a
'distressed' property. One story, on a crawlspace.
The physical inspection mentioned a few pertinent things -
1) Mold (not disclosed by seller) of some sort in the attic on the
underside of part of the roof sheathing, which is 5 years old. Here's
a link to the picture:
Area is several feet wide, maybe 4 feet high, darker at the base (by
2) Evidence of moisture in the attic. (Also there's a musty smell)
3) Crawlspace has a dirt floor, no plastic over it, and evidence of
past moisture that's come thru the crawlspace walls (which is fairly
So I responded (the term used here) under the Purchase Agreement,
asking the seller to 'resolve the source of moisture and mold in the
attic'. Such repairs asked for by the buyer are subject to the
buyer's 'reasonable satisfaction' according to the Purchase Agreement
(which is a contract in Indiana, not an offer).
The seller agreed to fix the attic but it occurred to me that (unless
I pay fora more detailed and expensive inspection) I won't know if the
problem is really fixed. I've asked them to supply a statement from
their contractor that they have "found and fixed the source of
moisture and mold in the attic".
Seemed simple until they mentioned to my realtor that the cause of all
the trouble was a single *bullet hole*
in the attic. They even found
the slug. But all they're planning on doing for the mold is (a)
patching the bullet hole, which must be pretty small, like half an
inch and (b) cleaning and sealing the sheathing.
Am I dreaming this ? Surely there must be some other cause for
moisture in the attic than a small hole.
Rain coming thru a little hole, from my limited experience fighting
leaks, would either -
(a) drip straight down and puddle - but there's no water or marks on
the attic floor, even though it's rained recently
or (b) it would run down the underside of the roof and puddle. If it
ran down like that, there should be a track of some sort, not a
uniform field of mold on the sheathing, and it would have to drip onto
the attic floor, which would eventually cause a mark on the ceiling
below (which didn't exist).
There's nothing venting into the attic, like a bathroom fan. Only one
bathroom and it doesn't even have a fan.
Maybe there's moisture from condensation ? There's only 3-4 inches of
insulation on the attic floor, so maybe the attic is too warm in the
A followup talk with the home inspector found that he felt the
moisture in the attic came from bad ventilation and air cycling in the
attic, and/or the lack of a vapor barrier in the crawlspace.
(Inspectors in Indiana are sort of vague so he didn't put this in
Spoke to a reputable waterproofing firm who also felt if there was
excess moisture in the crawl, and no vapor barrier, that it could
contribute to the attic mold.
I am flabbergasted that the seller would attribute the attic mold to a
single small hole, I'm losing sleep, and I want the seller to do more
than patch over the problem so I can buy the house without so much
What's reasonable mean ? Would you buy a house with mold in the attic
if all the seller did was clean up the mold and patch a bullet hole ?
Thanks - Roger