Paying For Mold Removal Before Selling A Home
Mold Is Discovered During a Home Inspection. What Is Going To Cost To Fix?
The answer depends on several factors. But in some cases, believe it or not, you may be able to remove the mold yourself without seeking professional help.
Whether or not you can fix the mold problem yourself is based on several factors:
- Size of contamination area: According to the EPA, if the mold area is less than about 10 square feet, it may be manageable without professional help. This is not a hard and fast rule but just a general guideline and other factors such as the extent of the water damage overall need to be considered.
- How handy the individual is: You should be comfortable and experienced with doing household repairs because even many minor mold jobs usually involve using tools, taking down drywall, etc. Do your research or check out our DIY Mold Removal eBook.
- Susceptibility to mold health effects: People who are sensitive to mold or who fall into the high risk group above should not be around mold and should leave the removal to professionals.
- Location of the mold: Confined spaces like crawl spaces and attics often have mold. Due to the tight space, reduced ventilation and higher risk of injury it is recommended to seek professional services for mold removal in these areas.
What You Need To Know About Indoor Humidity Levels
Indoor humidity levels are tricky because some moisture in the air is necessary for personal comfort and health. On the other hand, extremely dry air can cause health issues like asthma flare-ups, sore throat, eye irritation, nosebleeds, and dehydration. But on the other hand, high humidity not only helps mold grow, but it can also lead to poor indoor air quality.
Humidity causes common allergens to stay suspended in the air, such as pollen, dust, and, of course, mold spores. As a result, poor indoor air quality can lead to respiratory problems and issues for people with allergies.
Try To Determine Liability
Its possible that the seller didnt disclose a mold problem because he or she wasnt aware of it. Before you bought the house, the original home inspection report should have noted signs of leaks or mold. Hire a second home inspector to confirm and document mold growth and damages that were originally overlooked.
You May Like: How To Control Mold In Basement
Techniques For Cleaning Surface Mold
Surface molds grow in just about any damp location, such as the grout lines of a ceramic tiled shower. They’re easy to scrub away with a mold cleaner mixture of 1/2 cup bleach, one quart of water and a little detergent. In mold remediation, the bleach in the cleaning mixture kills the mold. The detergent helps lift it off the surface so you can rinse it away and it won’t return as fast.
- Even for simple cleaning, protect yourself from contact with mold and the bleach solution by wearing a long-sleeve shirt and long pants as well as plastic or rubber gloves and goggles.
- If the mold doesn’t disappear after light scrubbing, reapply the cleaning mix and let it sit for a minute or two. Then lightly scrub again for mold remediation.
- Seal the clean surfaces when they’re thoroughly dry to slow future moisture penetration. Apply a grout sealer to tile joints to help your how to remove mold project
Note: Do not mix ammonia or any detergent containing ammonia with bleach. The combination forms a poisonous gas.
Four: Set Up Air Pressure In The Work Area
Negative pressure in the work area causes air to flow out of that area, usually outdoors, thereby preventing airborne mold spores from spreading to other areas of the home. You dont have to set up negative pressure in the work area but its a good idea, especially if youre dealing with a large amount of mold. You can create negative pressure with a high performance shop vac. After using sheets of heavy plastic to create barriers around your work area, put the shop vac with intake and exhaust hoses attached in the work area. Make a small hole in one of the plastic sheet barrier walls and extend the exhaust hose through the hole and out the nearest window. Use duct tape to seal the opening around the hole in the plastic sheet barrier wall and around the window.
This article explains the importance of airflow during mold removal.
Also Check: How Do You Kill Mold Spores In The Air
Three: Prepare The Work Area
Remove any personal items from the area, or if items cannot be removed, cover them completely with sheets of heavy plastic so they do not become contaminated with mold.
To prevent the spread of mold spores from your work area to other areas of the home, seal off the area in which you will be working with sheets of heavy plastic and duct tape. Tape plastic over any heating or air conditioning vents, as well.
In this photo the den of a home with mold has been sealed off from house using 6 mil. polyethylene sheeting. A negative air machine is located inside, and an air tester can be seen outside to make sure no mold spores get into the rest of the house. A piano and all furniture were moved outside of the work area. The piano was covered with plastic because is was so close to the work area.
Take Care Of Your Plumbing
Your pipes can also add moisture into the air, especially if they have leaks or cracks. Be sure to have your plumbing checked on a fairly frequent basis, especially if you notice signs of leaks like lower water pressure.
You should insulate your cold-water pipes, too, to help reduce condensation from forming.
You May Like: How To Clean Mold From Air Handler
Who Is At Risk Of Mold
According to the WHO, 15 percent of houses in cold climates show signs of dampness, and about 5 percent have signs of mold problems. In warm climates, however, it is estimated that 20 percent of houses have dampness, and 25 percent have mold. Dampness is most likely to occur in overcrowded houses or those that lack appropriate ventilation, heating and insulation. Because symptoms of mold infection are similar to other respiratory ailments, they are often misdiagnosed.
What Are Potential Symptoms Of Mold
Most molds will not produce significant symptoms in most people. However, certain types of mold can bring on issues ranging from typical allergenic reactions to more severe problems, based on whether the mold produces mycotoxins, or toxic substances produced by fungi.
When symptoms are present, they vary from person to person, said Kimble of Turn Key Home and Mold Inspections. Symptoms could include nausea, dizziness, vomiting, respiratory issues, burning eyes, burning lungs and rashes. Severe cases are very rare.
Read Also: What Causes White Mold On Furniture
What Happens If You Eat Food With Mold
The thought of eating something moldy likely makes you want to gag. Most of the time, this is the only symptom youd get after eating moldy food. If somethings not right with your immune system and you eat something moldy, you might experience symptoms like:
- If you are allergic to mold, those allergy symptoms may be triggered also
If you notice mold on your food that you dont want to throw away, consult the USDAs guide on handling moldy food.
Stagnant Air In The House
Stagnant air can sometimes be confused with mold. Air flow within a home is extremely important. If there have been no doors or windows open and the HVAC system has not been running for a substantial period of time, this can lead to an odor.
Each home needs many air exchanges per day.
If you walk into a home that hasn’t been accessed for at least a few weeks with a minimal amount of air exchanges you will get a whiff when walking through the front door.
Read Also: Does Kilz Paint Kill Black Mold
Tips On How To Remove Mold From Home
The first step is to locate and confirm the presence of mold. In addition to looking for the obvious discoloration spots, you can have your home tested for mold. According to homeadvisor.com, the average cost to test for mold is $834. However there are home mold-testing kits available for $10 to $50.
It is quite important that you remove the mold the moment you discover it, because the spores can affect the quality of air in your home. It is always advisable to hire a professional to remove the mold, but if you do it yourself, use an OSHA approved respirator, gloves, disposable coveralls, non-vented goggles. Listed below are a few tips on how you can remove mold from your house:
Remove moldy materials
If not properly disposed of, moldy materials may stir up spores, which can spread into your house. Because of their microscopic size, a square foot of wall can have over 3,000 million mold spores. You have to use the appropriate equipment and follow the safety procedures so as to protect yourself from the spores.
Excessive levels of contamination may require that you discard absorbent materials such as carpets, wall paper etc. To avoid airspore becoming airborne, professionals seal off the affected area with tape, and use plastic sheets to seal doorways and vents. They also use air movers, dehumidifiers and HEPA air scrubbers to eliminate moisture and dry out the air and surfaces.
Heating, Insulation and Ventilation
Find and fix interior plumbing leaks
Check the ductwork
Top Tips For Controlling Mold
It’s impossible to get rid of all mold and mold spores in your home, but because mold spores can’t grow without moisture, reducing moisture in your home is the best way to prevent or eliminate mold growth. If there is already mold growing in your home, it’s important to clean up the mold and fix the problem causing dampness. If you clean up the mold but don’t fix the problem, the mold will most likely return.
Following is some advice for reducing moisture throughout the home with specific tips for the areas most prone to dampness and mold growth:
Around the house:
In the kitchen:
- Use exhaust fans to move moisture outside whenever you are cooking, washing dishes, or cleaning.
- Turn off certain appliances if you notice moisture on windows and other surfaces.
- Check for leaks around the kitchen sink, refrigerator ice makers, and other sources of water. Repair if necessary.
- Empty and clean refrigerator drip pans if necessary.
In basements and crawl spaces:
In the laundry room:
- Vent your clothes dryer to the outside.
- Make sure the vent is clear of obstructions, such as lint, and that there are no holes that leak air. If the vent duct is damaged, replace it with a metal duct. Have the duct cleaned at least once a year.
- Avoid leaving damp clothes in the laundry basket or dryer. Wash and dry them promptly.
Don’t Miss: Does Vinegar Kill Mold On Drywall
Reach Out To The Seller
Make the seller aware of the situation. He or she might be willing to pay for necessary repairs as well as mold removal and remediation. If not, your attorney can draw up a demand letter detailing the problem and the reasons you believe the seller should assume responsibility. There are several different ways to approach the seller with hopes of a positive resolution outside the court system.
Moisture: Investigating And Solving Problems
Mould will grow indoors if moisture is present. Moisture problems in homes may result from:
- daily activities such as showering or bathing, washing clothes or cooking, if exhaust fans are not working properly or are not used
- infiltration of water from the outside when there are cracks or leaks in the foundation, floor, walls or roof
- plumbing leaks
- moisture condensation on cold surfaces
- flooding due to weather conditions
- inadequate ventilation.
Moisture indoors accumulates when it cannot be vented outside and becomes a problem when building materials become damp or wet.
Moisture problems are preventable.
Unless the cause of the moisture problem has been identified and solved, mould will reappear. Once the moisture problem and its causes have been identified, they must be fixed. To prevent future problems, measures should be put in place to control sources of moisture in your home, for example:
- Ensure rain, irrigation water and snowmelt drain away from the house by sloping the grade away from the building.
- Keep eavestroughs and downspouts clean of debris and ensure that the outflow runs away from the house and not into neighbouring foundations.
- Repair plumbing leaks promptly.
- Use exhaust fans, ventilation and air conditioning systems to vent moisture outdoors.
- Use moisture tolerant materials in areas likely to get wet .
Run a dehumidifier in damp areas such as basements or if you observe that moisture is condensing on cold surfaces such as window panes.
Also Check: What Does Mold And Mildew Do To Your Health
How Mold Remediation Works
- Inspection: During your homes mold inspection, the specialists will determine the severity of the problem including what areas spores have infiltrated and what type of mold has been found.
- Containing mold growth: Mold can grow quickly under the right conditions. Plus it can move through the air, putting other areas of the home at risk. The first step to mold removal is to seal off the contaminated area to prevent the mold from spreading.
- Controlling Moisture: Since mold spores thrive in a moist environment, the next step to clearing the area of mold is to get rid of any leaks or other moisture problems.
- Cleaning the mold: Once the area is completely dried, HEPA vacuums can be used to remove mold spores form the area , while the infected surfaces are cleaned.
- Cleaning the air: Since mold spores move through the air, it is vital that homes that have been infiltrated with black mold also have their ducts, furnace and air filters thoroughly cleaned to remove all spores from the home.
A Qualified Environmental Lab Took Samples Of The Mold In My Home And Gave Me The Results Can Cdc Interpret These Results
Standards for judging what is an acceptable, tolerable or normal quantity of mold have not been established. Sampling for mold can be expensive, and standards for judging what is and what is not an acceptable quantity of mold have not been set. The best practice is to remove the mold and work to prevent future growth. If you do decide to pay for environmental sampling for molds, before the work starts, you should ask the consultants who will do the work to establish criteria for interpreting the test results. They should tell you in advance what they will do or what recommendations they will make based on the sampling results. The results of samples taken in your unique situation cannot be interpreted without physical inspection of the contaminated area or without considering the buildings characteristics and the factors that led to the present condition.
Recommended Reading: How To Get Rid Of Mold Behind Shower Walls
Will You Inspect My Home Or Apartment
IDPH does not perform inspections of residential environments for mold. We primarily respond to requests for assistance by providing information by telephone and providing recommendations for homeowners, landlords or tenants to take to alleviate conditions that may represent a potential health hazard.
What You Can Do As A Seller
Ideally, you should begin addressing potential mold problems before you ever put your house on the market. Mold cleanup can take time, and you do not want buyers associating your home with ongoing mold remediation if you can help it.
Begin by looking at your home over as thoroughly as possible. Are there any areas where moisture tends to accumulate? Are there any places that you have not looked in a while, such is behind the water heater, in the basement or in the attic? Have you had any water damage problems, such as a leaking roof or a flooded basement?
Examine your house from top to bottom for moisture penetration or accumulation. Not every home has a mold problem, or is even at particular risk of developing one. While every property has the potential for mold in small quantities, not all homes encourage serious mold growth.
You should be able to determine where any major water infiltration has occurred, if any, and you should be able to see any major mold growth on exterior surfaces.
Water damage is the main cause of mold infestations. Repair any such problems now, and keep an eye out for mold while making your repairs. In removing damaged materials you may discover infestations behind walls or in ceilings. If you do discover serious mold growth, stop work immediately, and contact a mold cleanup professional.
Get a mold inspection
Read Also: How Does Plastic Injection Molding Work
Scrub Moldy Surfaces With Mold Cleaner
- Scrub the surface mold stains from walls and wood trim with a mixture of one quart water and 1/2-cup bleach mold cleaner to kill the mold.
- Use a soft brush and work until signs of the mold disappear.
- After scrubbing the surfaces, allow the bleach solution to continue to penetrate the surfaces and dry.
- Wipe off, but DO NOT RINSE these surfaces.
- Set trim in direct sunlight to dry. Scrub concrete with TSP or automatic dishwasher detergent.
How Do Doctors Test For Mold Exposure
If you are aware of mold growth in your home and you feel sick, inform your doctor about the mold and your symptoms right away. But sometimes you cant see mold, and it is not clear whether its mold exposure thats made you sick or not.
Because mold allergy or mold exposure symptoms can resemble that of other allergies, the doctor will typically start by asking about your medical and family medical history. Additionally, doctors usually run tests for mold exposure which may include one or more of the following:
- Skin test for reactions to allergens, including mold
- IgG mold antibodies test to see the immune systems reaction to molds. A positive test means that an individual was or is currently exposed to mold
- Urine mycotoxins test
- A fungal culture of the nasal sinuses
The type of testing youll receive depends on the doctor you visit, so be sure to ask questions ahead of time so you can feel confident in your diagnosis.
Also Check: Is Mold Removal Covered By Homeowners Insurance