Recent articles and news programs have provided constructive notice to the real estate industry, homebuyers and sellers about the hazards associated with mold in a building. Names like Stachybotrys chartarum and meruliporia incrassata not only sound bad, they are bad. We all need to get more information. Unfortunately, this is a new science and information is scarce.
What we do know:
- Mold is most often found hidden in wall cavities and it requires moisture in order to proliferate.
- Not all molds are hazardous and environmental experts are required to determine the difference.
- NResearchers are still determining what kinds and how much mold is dangerous.
- The source of moisture is likely a plumbing leak, roof defect, window installation defect, exterior wall defect or exterior grading problem (when a home inspection report outlines defects like these, take them seriously).
- Costs are very high to remedy a serious infestation, would you believe average pricing of $35,000 to $45,000?
In preparing a home for sale please take a few important steps to protect everyone. As you walk-thru the interior of the home, to make decisions about whether to add new paint or wallpaper, take a close look around. Signs of moisture or mold may be apparent at interior wall or ceiling surfaces. Also look under sinks, around bathtubs, around windows and doors for signs of moisture or mold. Once painted the evidence is gone. Hiding known defects is a very serious matter that will be regretted later. Home inspectors and wood infestation experts provide a limited visual analysis of homes that are often recently painted and dressed up to sell. A home inspection specifically excludes environmental hazards like mold from the scope of the inspection and they certainly will not be cutting open wall cavities. How can you protect yourself? Disclose, disclose, disclose.
Include any information about the presence of moisture stains or mold on the Sellers Property Disclosure Statement. Molds have been known to cause serious health problems. Be advised.
Arizona home inspectors take this issue seriously, because if not treated properly and disclosed at the time of sale, mold can be a serious health hazard for new owners.