Should You Walk Away From A House With Mold?
Are you getting ready to purchase what you thought was your dream home only to find that it has a severe mold problem? This is a much more common occurrence than you might think, and it has caused many would-be homeowners to walk away from what could have been their ideal home.
Many older homes–and even newer ones–can be prone to mold infestation, which is caused by a type of fungus. Mold spores thrive in moisture and can quickly multiply out of control. As the mold spreads throughout the home, the mold can cause many health problems, some of which can be very serious.
The mere presence of mold might be enough to make almost anyone walk away. After all, it doesn’t seem to make much sense to invest a considerable amount of money into a house only to have to deal with the problems caused by mold immediately afterward.
But not all cases of mold infestation are unsolvable. Depending on the source of the mold and the extent of the infestation, the problem may not be as insurmountable as you initially thought. Here at Allied 24/7 we specialize in mold remediation to get your home back in perfect shape.
Requesting a Contingency Clause Including Mold
Before you decide whether or not to go through a planned purchase of a particular home, you need to have protective measures in place. A contingency clause in your purchase agreement provides the necessary protection that will allow you to renegotiate a sale or back out entirely if necessary.
Don’t wait until the walk-through or inspection before you take control of the situation. The time to request for a contingency clause is when you make your initial written offer. This ensures that you have the option to renegotiate or even back out of the agreement if you find mold during the home inspection or if the owner or agent later discloses the presence of mold.
Having a contingency in place will also give you some leeway in terms of having the problem resolved in a way that meets with your approval. If you detect mold on the property, you may also have the option to have the seller get rid of the mold or come down on the selling price. A contingency may even protect you if your insurance company refuses to provide coverage for the home because of the mold problem.
Assessing the Extent of the Mold Problem
In most cases, it is possible to repair even reasonably severe cases of mold infestation. Common sources of moisture can usually be eliminated, and steps can be taken to ensure that the problem doesn’t reoccur.
However, you need to have a mold assessment performed by a licensed home inspector, preferably someone with experience in mold-related problems. This procedure requires a specialist because few people are qualified to determine the extent of an infestation and the likelihood of recurrence.
In some cases, the inspector might recommend additional testing if hidden mold is suspected. Mold detection procedures usually involve testing the air, obtaining samples from the walls, and a thorough physical inspection of attics, basements, crawlspaces, and the spaces between walls and ceilings.
Because mold is always the result of moisture, the home inspector will focus specifically on finding the source. Excessive moisture often results from insufficient drainage, defective plumbing, problems with the roof or the foundation of the home, or a history of flooding.
Making Your Decision
After a thorough inspection, the home inspector will present you with a detailed report on the extent and severity of the problem, as well as a proposed plan of action. Based on this report, you will be able to make an informed decision as to whether or not going through with the purchase is a good idea.
The final report should also include an estimate of how much the proposed repairs will cost. This could involve the cleaning and treatment of affected areas of the home and the removal of any contaminated items. The sources of moisture and water damage will also be addressed, and steps will be taken to prevent the mold from coming back.
Mold infestation is a serious concern for a potential home buyer, but it doesn’t necessarily have to be a deal-breaker. A re-inspection after the repair is performed will help you determine whether the problem is solved to your satisfaction or if you would be better off finding another home.