Mold Should Never Be Taken Lightly
Today we are seeing an explosion of moldy properties due to the foreclosures that have hit the real estate market. More than half of the homes that have been unoccupied for the past 6 months to a year have mold in the basements. This is due to the utilities being turned off and lack of maintenance on the home and existing leaky basements. These houses need to be cleaned of all molds prior to anyone occupying the property.
Many people are very sensitive to molds and other allergens; everybody has a reaction to some type of pollen or mold spore. We have mold everywhere; it is the higher than normal levels that are reason for concern. People have purchased homes that have not been remediated of mold properly. Most of the homes need to be cleaned again after the initial mold clean up. Home owners are getting sick and having to go to the hospital to treat major allergy infections.
It is a professional duty of all real estate agents and contractors to make sure mold issues are identified and made known to all parties interested of such issues with everyone knowing that the property has a better chance of getting the mold remediated properly, and being turned back into a livable house again.
Mold is not something to take lightly, but also it is something that can be fixed. Most of the basement leaks need to be repaired after the remediation to prevent more water from entering. If contractors are doing remediation then they should at least be certified to do remediation and especially be insured to do the work. Insurance now requires coverage for remediation of mold. Different states have their own requirements for insurance, check your local regulations. This is a reason that a simple handy man shouldn’t do mold remediation.
Experience is the only way to know what is going on in the house. After all, the only conclusion is that they just need to be totally gutted of drywall and cleaned throughout the house. Just cleaning the surface and painting with KILZ doesn’t always work. I can’t tell you how many times I have re-cleaned where a supposed mold remediation took place (all that happened was a spray and wipe clean up, not total removal). This isn’t just for the foreclosures but even for houses that people live in. The biggest complaint of home owners is bad air quality; this is mainly due to dirty air ducts and HVAC units, years of neglected maintenance and improper filters being used.
More information should be shared between all professions so we can help homeowners and business owners having a safe environment to work and live in.