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  1. #1
    M Penry's Avatar
    M Penry Guest

    Default It's the Mold/Mould Lady Again

    If you missed my last thread, my location is the coast of Washington state, so we have western Washington rain plus coastal salty humidity, i.e., lots of dampness and rot.

    I looked at a vacant house for sale today and am wondering if a home inspection could even help since you can't do anything invasive. Can you suggest anything on this one? (I love the house and location and the price is right.)

    We opened the door to a strong musty smell. The heat was on, but I don't know for how long. The house has gone through foreclosure and auction and the bank just listed it, so it's possible the heat has been off for some time. I was in the house for less than five minutes and my throat was itching and a sinus headache started (I am very sensitiive to allergens -- the realtor didn't have a problem.) No air quality expert needed --the house has a mold problem of some kind.

    There was no visible mold or mildew on the walls. They were definitely not freshly painted so no coverup concerns there. The carpeting is old and dirty and has to go; also there was visible green mold on about a 1 foot square area of carpet adjacent to an interior wall. There was an obvious moisture problem at the kitchen entry door -- rotted bottom edge door frame with a small damp area on the wall beside it and dark gray stains on (in? under?) the vinyl floor.

    Are there any tests you could do to tell if it's "just the carpeting" or to determine what the source is? If it's not just the carpet, what could I be in for?

    Thanks in advance, again.

    Marlene Penry

    Similar Threads:
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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Plano, Texas
    Posts
    4,170

    Default Re: It's the Mold/Mould Lady Again

    First, forget about tests. You have mold, no need to test for it.

    Go to the EPA website for their pamphlet on dealing with mold and look with extreme skepticism from any home inspector that tries to sell you on mold testing.

    About the only thing I can suggest is to removed all the mold you can find and expect to deal with some that you can't find. If you are determined to buy the house, plan on spending some big bucks to replace things that mold likes. In general mold likes processed cellulose, the more it is processed, the more mold likes it. Timbers and solid lumber, concrete and stone are not favorable to mold. Paper, particle board, hardboard, carpet are favorites for mold. This includes Sheetrock (drywall) since it has paper facing.

    The Building Science Corporation website has some really good information on dealing with mold.
    BSI-027: Material View of Mold —

    Jim Luttrall
    www.MrInspector.net
    Plano, Texas

  3. #3
    Charles Guinn's Avatar
    Charles Guinn Guest

    Default Re: It's the Mold/Mould Lady Again

    I don't disagree that you may have a mold problem, and I don't know if the house is vacant or has been for a while. Many of the foreclosures we look at here in AZ have an unpleasant odor when they are entered. We have discovered that the P-traps have dried out, and allow sewer gases to enter the house. Just a thought.


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Rockwall Texas
    Posts
    4,519

    Default Re: It's the Mold/Mould Lady Again

    Quote Originally Posted by M Penry View Post
    If you missed my last thread, my location is the coast of Washington state, so we have western Washington rain plus coastal salty humidity, i.e., lots of dampness and rot.

    I looked at a vacant house for sale today and am wondering if a home inspection could even help since you can't do anything invasive. Can you suggest anything on this one? (I love the house and location and the price is right.)

    We opened the door to a strong musty smell. The heat was on, but I don't know for how long. The house has gone through foreclosure and auction and the bank just listed it, so it's possible the heat has been off for some time. I was in the house for less than five minutes and my throat was itching and a sinus headache started (I am very sensitiive to allergens -- the realtor didn't have a problem.) No air quality expert needed --the house has a mold problem of some kind.

    There was no visible mold or mildew on the walls. They were definitely not freshly painted so no coverup concerns there. The carpeting is old and dirty and has to go; also there was visible green mold on about a 1 foot square area of carpet adjacent to an interior wall. There was an obvious moisture problem at the kitchen entry door -- rotted bottom edge door frame with a small damp area on the wall beside it and dark gray stains on (in? under?) the vinyl floor.

    Are there any tests you could do to tell if it's "just the carpeting" or to determine what the source is? If it's not just the carpet, what could I be in for?

    Thanks in advance, again.

    Marlene Penry
    I believe you have already answered your question on if you should consider this place. No need to drag a home inspector in to tell you what you already know.

    Just my opinion.

    rick

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  5. #5
    imported_John Smith's Avatar
    imported_John Smith Guest

    Default Re: It's the Mold/Mould Lady Again

    Don't be cheap. Hire a home inspector. A good home inspector will likely be able to determine if the moldy smell is a result of a leak without doing something invasive.


    Some home inspectors will use moisture meters/thermography, etc. Others would look at it, determine its vicinity to an obvious potential leak location (door or window). An inspection of the roof decking in the attic would also help.

    If I think I am having a heart attack, Im not going to WebMD asking what tests are available. Im going to hire a professional to help me out.

    The cost of the inspection is minimal in the grand scheme of things.


  6. #6
    M Penry's Avatar
    M Penry Guest

    Default Re: It's the Mold/Mould Lady Again

    [quote=imported_John Smith;109187]Don't be cheap. Hire a home inspector. A good home inspector will likely be able to determine if the moldy smell is a result of a leak without doing something invasive.


    Some home inspectors will use moisture meters/thermography, etc. Others would look at it, determine its vicinity to an obvious potential leak location (door or window). An inspection of the roof decking in the attic would also help.[quote]

    Sorry, I didn't mean to imply I would skip an inspection. I just was wondering if the house was worth inspecting -- if you had any methods to determine the source of the problem, and you answered that. Thank you.


  7. #7
    M Penry's Avatar
    M Penry Guest

    Default Re: It's the Mold/Mould Lady Again

    Oops, guess I still don't know how to use the Quote button.


  8. #8
    M Penry's Avatar
    M Penry Guest

    Unhappy Re: It's the Mold/Mould Lady Again

    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Hurst View Post
    I believe you have already answered your question on if you should consider this place. No need to drag a home inspector in to tell you what you already know.

    rick
    There's no icon for whining, so -- Whine - I was afraid someone would tell me what I didn't want to know.


  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Rockwall Texas
    Posts
    4,519

    Default Re: It's the Mold/Mould Lady Again

    Keep a Looking. That dream home is out there somewhere waiting for you.

    If your gut tells you its wrong, it probably is.

    And if your agent is only finding you homes as such, hire another realtor.

    rick


  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Ormond Beach, Florida
    Posts
    26,252

    Default Re: It's the Mold/Mould Lady Again

    Quote Originally Posted by M Penry View Post
    We opened the door to a strong musty smell.

    I was in the house for less than five minutes and my throat was itching and a sinus headache started (I am very sensitiive to allergens -- the realtor didn't have a problem.) No air quality expert needed --the house has a mold problem of some kind.
    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Luttrall View Post
    First, forget about tests. You have mold, no need to test for it.
    Based on your statement, Jim gave good advice ... if you are that allergic to mold ... and that is what the key is - being allergic, not "mould is gold" or "toxic mould", but that *YOU* are ALLERGIC to it ... then I would recommend you consider one of two things:
    1) Walk away and do as Rick "Keep a looking".
    2) Plan on gutting the place to the structural frame and rebuilding it back.

    For EITHER CHOICE ... you do not need a home inspector.

    Not trying to discourage you from hiring a home inspector, just advising you to be realistic:
    1) If you are going to walk way, why hire a home inspector?
    2) If you are going to gut the place to the structural frame, wait until you do that to hire the home inspector, put their talents to use to look over the structure, plumbing, HVAC, electrical, etc., as though it were a pre-insulation/pre-drywall inspection.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

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