moisture and mold issues

Asked by Feng, Plymouth, MN Wed Oct 15, 2008

The house I am interested in had moisture and mold issues back in 2005. According to the seller's disclosure the problems have been taken care by a professional remediation contractor with a 5 year transferable warranty. How can I make sure the issues have been solved properly and permanently. If I buy this house, how this remediation record gonna affect the resale value? Any thoughts? Thanks

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Lenny Frolov’s answer
Lenny Frolov, Agent, Brooklyn Park, MN
Thu Oct 16, 2008
I agree with Cameron that the repair sounds like it will solve the problem but without actually seeing its hard to say. A good home inspector should be able to give their opinion on if the situation is solved and you may want to get a contractor in there to weigh in as well.

As far as resale value I will also have to agree that the more time that goes by the less it will be an issue to potential buyers. If you do follow through with buying the house make sure you keep everything you used to determine the problem was solved so that you can show the same info when you decide to sell the property.
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Susan Hoffla…, Agent, Shoreview, MN
Thu Oct 16, 2008
Hi, Feng!
Yes, you should have a professional Mold Inspector do the job for you, not just your home inspector. Their knowledge and expertise only goes so far, and I think they would rather you have your inspection done by someone specifically trained to detect mold and moisture issues.

I agree with my colleague that, if the problem has been properly addressed and if you make sure to maintain the house while you live in it so the problem doesn't recur, your buyers, when you're ready to sell, will be less concerned with a moisture/mold problem that occurred years before and has been successfully abated.
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Cameron Piper, Agent, Forest Lake, MN
Thu Oct 16, 2008

The repaid does sound sufficient but only you and your inspector will be able to determine if the description was successful in stoping the water problems.

Ask your agent to revise (if they haven't done so already) the MAR inspection contingency form to allow you to provide intrusive testing. In won't be cheap but you will then need to find a company that can selectively open up the walls (and make the subsequent repairs) to check to see if the mold is gone. Opening the walls is the only way you will know for sure.

It will affect your resale to the same extent that it is concerning you while you are purchasing the home. As time passes the thought is that many buyer concerns will mitigated (we had water 30 years ago is different to a buyer than we had water last year) but it will be something that you must disclose when you sell the house.

Cameron Piper
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Feng, Home Buyer, Plymouth, MN
Wed Oct 15, 2008
Thanks for your quick response. It was described that the moisture issue was caused insufficient flashing installed with the original construction. Remediation consisted of removing moisture-damaged materials (located in the basement wall and the front wall of the family room) and upgraded reconstruction of the areas to prevent any further moisture issues. Does this sound like a typical repair? Thanks again.
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Jeff and Gin…, Agent, Vero Beach, FL
Wed Oct 15, 2008
We strongly suggest that you hire a licensed and Errors and Omissions insured professional inspector to verify that the moisture and mold problems have been successfully resolved. Ask for a copy of the license and insurance coverage for your files.

The transferable warranty is a reassurance as well. What caused the problem? Was there a broken pipe that caused the mold to grow? What was the extent of the problem and how was the problem resolved? The answer to those questions will determine whether this is a typical repair issue or a red herring problem that could always cloud the resale of the home.

For example, if the drywall was damaged, it should have been replaced unless the mold was very minimal and superficial. Mold loves to eat drywall. Was there water intrusion between the walls? Has this been successfully treated as well? As the owner of any home, you will want to be sure that you manage the moisture level in the home and quickly treat any beginnings of mold on the shower tiles, for example. Maintenance is essential to prevent
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