Finding Value. Can Buying a Property with Mold Contamination be a Good Investment?

 In Mold, Property Investment

The answer can most assuredly be yes, but you have to be comfortable with the associated risks and challenges. You should have a basic understanding of what you’re dealing with and what you can realistically do to improve, or remediate, the problem. The remediation is the investment, and as with any investment, it’s wise to not just “roll the dice”.

Understanding the basics of mold contamination is a key first step.  Mold is everywhere.  It is in practically every home, it’s in your work space, and most of the places we visit.  It becomes an indoor air quality issue when the mold spore concentration inside becomes higher than the concentration outside.  Causes of this can be extreme moisture – it takes a mere one to two days for wet furniture or building materials (such as wood or sheetrock) to begin to support unhealthy mold growth – from sources such as a leaking roof or faulty pipe, but truthfully any environment with humidity over 60 percent can support mold growth.

Black mold often found due to old water leaks not addressed.

Black mold often found due to old water leaks not addressed.

Couple the moisture with a moderate temperature and an organic food source – such as dust – and you have conditions ideal for mold growth.  These conditions are, coincidentally, what you would commonly see in neglected, foreclosed and/or abandoned properties.  So for those value-hunting in the real estate marketplace, we must understand that mold contamination is one of the likely challenges with the property.

A next step is measuring and characterizing the mold in a home or building.  Just looking at it will not tell you if it is toxic or just an allergenic (an allergenic is exactly that, they affect people with allergies more than people who are not allergic to the spores).  That is where a professional should be used to sample and clearly identify the contaminants.  Once an analysis is complete, a remediation plan can be put together.  This may be as simple as removing contaminated material and thoroughly cleaning and drying the space – which very often does not have to be done by a remediation company.

Stock-Mold-Testing-Comp

At Stock Environmental, we routinely provide evaluations and help property owners clearly identify what they are dealing with and, many times help them develop basic budgets and work plans that they can execute themselves.

The cost of bringing in a professional to pinpoint a solution and provide real, executable remediation plans becomes nominal in the overall investment of property with mold contamination.  And the cost of peace-of-mind, knowing what you’re dealing with, can be immeasurable.

There are certainly instances, however, where professional intervention is required.  Again, the value of having someone to consult with early in the purchase process is that a true cost-benefit analysis can be developed based on the real – not perceived – problems at hand.  Additionally, root causes can be identified and corrections spelled out to help avoid reoccurrence.

Examples of common contributors to interior mold growth:

  1. Gutters and downspouts that are in poor condition and do not allow rainwater to travel and disperse away from the home or building.
  2. Improper grading along the foundation walls that doesn’t allow water to drain away from the building.
  3. Poor ventilation in basements and crawlspaces.
  4. Poor maintenance of air handling equipment.

If you’re looking to capitalize on undervalued real estate with mold problems, Stock Environmental can provide you the knowledge and tools you need to pull the trigger on a winner. If you would like more information, or would like to schedule an inspection, give us a call at 732-383-5190 or e-mail us at info@stockenvironmental.com.

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