Real Estate Transactions and Mold Inspections
Real Estate Transactions and Mold Inspections – One big worry for people buying a home or business these days is the inspection. What will it reveal? Will mold be a problem? Well, in many cases, yes, it can be – especially when it involves toxic black mold, a deadly type of this fungi. You may be wondering why mold is found in so many homes and buildings, even with today’s advancements in building materials and practices.
The answer is three-fold, according to the National Association of Realtors:
- Modern energy-efficient building practices can actually encourage mold growth.
- Public awareness on mold has grown in recent years.
- More people are suing over the presence and effects of mold, leading to several recent multimillion-dollar judgments.
Mold Inspection – Just take a look at the Texas family that was recently awarded $32 million from their insurance company for mold exposure in their home. This covered property damage, pain and suffering, punitive damages, and legal fees. Mold liability, therefore, is a growing concern for many home and business owners, as well as real estate agents.
There are some important things to remember. Real estate agents are not experts on mold. And, as a home seller, you’re responsible for disclosing any information pertaining to the presence of mold (assuming, of course, you know about the mold…some do not until the inspector finds it).
As said above, mold is a fungus, and it’s usually black or brown in color. It grows wherever there are damp, moist, shady conditions. That’s why you’ll frequently see it in bathrooms, attics, basements and crawl spaces. It can appear as fuzzy dots, whether you spot it on decaying wood or on the walls of your shower stall. Most mold is harmless. You can even wash away a few spots that may accumulate in your bathroom, for example, provided you wear gloves and a mask for safety while using bleach or a similar household cleaning agent.
However, it’s wise to leave all mold inspection & detection up to the experts. That’s because you never know which strain you’re dealing with: aspergillus and stachybotrus strains, for example, can produce potent toxins that can lead to dangerous health conditions or even death in severe cases.
Sometimes, mold can flourish unnoticed when out of sight, such as behind walls, under the roof, in insulation and even under carpeting if there are high humidity conditions. It’s this concealed mold that could cause a problem, as it can grow out of control and release spores into the air. Those spores are breathed in, and that’s where the trouble starts. Respiratory problems, mold infections in the lungs, nasal stuffiness, headaches, fatigue…these are all symptoms of mold exposure.
If you are selling your home or business and suspect there is mold, or if an inspector told you that the structure does indeed have mold, it’s important to have that issue addressed quickly. Likewise if you are a real estate agent. If you know about the presence of mold, you must disclose it to potential buyers. It could compromise the sale of the building if you don’t get an expert in to test and inspect for mold. If a trained expert concurs that mold is present, it will have to be removed if the sale is contingent on that issue.
Stock Environmental Consulting provides extensive mold inspection and testing, so call us today to get this important matter addressed as quickly as possible to save the sale transaction of the home or business. Schedule an appointment now at 732-383-5190.