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Mold: Know the Facts

When searching for a new home, it's crucial to know how to detect mold, get the seller to disclose any mold issues, and be prepared to negotiate if mold is found during the sale.
Nobody wants to buy a house with mold problems, but these sneaky spores aren't always easy to spot. If you're willing to address the issue yourself, you might even secure a great deal on a home.

Mold is a fungus that can cause health issues and can be expensive and time-consuming to remove. While some molds are visible and odorous, they can also grow hidden between walls, under floors and ceilings, or in hard-to-reach places like basements and attics.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, molds produce allergens, irritants, and sometimes toxic substances. Inhaling or touching mold spores can cause allergic reactions, including sneezing, runny nose, red eyes, and skin rash. Mold can also trigger asthma attacks.

Mold thrives in damp environments like water-soaked materials (paneling, wallboard, carpet, attics) and can survive in any moist location. Many indoor mold problems start with an old, leaky roof allowing water to enter the home. Mold spores are easily airborne, and once disturbed, can spread rapidly. Containment is essential to prevent the contamination of the entire house.

Most homebuyers rely on home inspectors to identify mold, but inspectors will only mention obvious signs of water damage and potential mold. It's important to specifically ask your inspector about any mold concerns.

A savvy buyer should hire a certified mold inspector for an independent mold inspection and testing. This ensures that any potential mold issues are thoroughly investigated before finalizing your home purchase.


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