One of the things we know about buying an older home (the one we want to buy was built in 1976), is that they usually have some issues. Those issues are compounded when the previous owner doesn’t truly care for the house, and only masks problems. (Like roof leaks and water behind the fridge)
Unfortunately, we live in a warm, humid climate, in an area that’s recovering from massive hurricane damage this past fall.
Which means that a week or so ago, when we went back to see the house, the “dry area that’s no longer leaking” behind the fridge… had expanded and was oozing black dusty goop into the master bedroom on the other side of the wall. Bad News Bears.
So we called in a Mold Inspection professional (not a removal professional – those are legally required to be two different companies in the state of Texas) – and she gave us some good, and some bad news.
The good news is, all the problems she sees are localized. The bad news? It ain’t just in that one wall. It’s in the air vent insulation in a few places, and probably in two or three other walls as well – mostly under where there are bad roof leaks.
(Did I mention originally the seller wasn’t going to replace this roof? Fortunately his realtor and he had a chat, and we’ve worked out a compromise where his insurance company is going to replace the roof and he and we are going to split the deductible)
Sadly, however, while an actual mold inspection is not that expensive, running the air quality tests to determine that there is actually mold there are quite expensive. We’re hoping to have a deal where if the tests come back negative, we’ll pay the entire costs (for being paranoid) and move forward with the sale.
If they come back positive, the seller will pay for the tests AND will follow the legal protocol for mold remediation (getting a protocol written, getting a licensed remediation company to remove all the mold, and getting a post-remediation inspection and clearance certificate) – and THEN we’ll move forward with the sale.
The good side of this is – we’ve done the tests and are sending them to the seller, so he’s legally required to disclose it to any other buyers if he proves to be uncooperative and we decide to look for another house. (So if they prove uncooperative, we’ve kinda screwed ’em pretty good – nobody wants a house with an active mold infection)
Oh – and I’m pretty sure they’re going to find an active mold infestation…
When our mold inspector did the tests, one of the things she did was bang on the walls to see if she could actually see any mold… and in three of the rooms? When she’d bang on the wall, greyish black poofs would come out of the cracks between the sheetrock and the baseboards. Ew.