Buying and Selling a Home with Mold
[This is a guest post from our content partner Tacoma Property Management.]
Mold in a house may seem less serious than a cracked foundation, but it can warrant a lot of hesitation from buyers and sellers, warns Tacoma Property Management. All of that worry is reasonable because mold growth damages both the building's structures and the health of its residents.
In this article, you'll get information you need to know before buying or selling a home with a mold issue.
Why should you care about mold?
Excessive moisture or a water leak can lead to mold growth. It is unusual for homeowners to take regular humidity measurements and they may unknowingly live in conditions where relative humidity level readings could be higher than 70%.
Accumulated moisture allows different mold strains to grow in your living spaces. Some of these may not be harmful to your health and pose more of an aesthetic problem. Other types of mold pose serious health risks, including rashes, seizures, and respiratory complications.
Mold can be especially dangerous to people already experiencing allergic reactions, asthma, and breathing difficulties. While it's true that most of the mold encountered in regular households don’t pose life-threatening health risks, many buyers still bail out at the first mention of the mold issues.
How to sell a moldy home?
As a seller, it's important to start thinking about resolving the mold problem well before putting the property on the market. Failing to do so invites unwanted attention from inspectors and makes it a lot harder for you to make a successful transaction.
In order to be able to sell the house, you will need to get a mold inspection. Hiring a specialized mold inspector is a way to understand the issue better in order to take appropriate, lasting measures for removing the mold. A competent inspector will identify visible and potential mold, identify water intrusion issues, and help you understand what the process to correct any issues may be. An experienced inspector, combined with appropriate testing of air and materials, can help you understand the scope of a mold issue and the steps needed to return the home to a healthy state.
It’s important to document all measurements taken against the mold problem. The buyer will want to see proof that you have done everything possible to stop the mold from growing in the house and corrected any contributing factors. This is especially important if mold has been positively identified and proper remediation has been completed.
It is important to understand that while correcting a water intrusion issue may be well within a homeowner’s skills, performing mold remediation is a specialized discipline requiring specific training and equipment. All too often a homeowner or inexperienced contractor will attempt mold remediation only to find the mold issue has been made worse by cross-contamination. It is best to start with a specialized mold inspection and follow the recommendations in the corresponding report to avoid making a small issue into a bigger issue.