Water damage and mold are costly problems, but that’s one reason why selling a house with these issues is challenging. All types of mold can cause health issues when people inhale the spores, but black mold is especially hazardous. For this reason, sellers are liable for failing to inform buyers of mold in the home.
If your property already has water damage, you should take steps to prevent mold growth. Improving air circulation, regulating the temperature, and taking steps to reduce moisture will all help. If you do suspect a mold problem, use mold remediation services to eliminate mold growth in affected areas.
How Do the Dangers of Mold Affect Home Sales?
People wrongly assume they can live in a house with mold as long as they don’t go near the affected surfaces. In truth, even a small amount of mold requires mold remediation to eliminate this hazard. Although the mold might only cover a very small surface, it will release spores into the air.
Once mold spores are airborne, anyone in the home can inhale them. The spores travel to the lungs and can lead to several respiratory problems. While someone who already has asthma will experience the symptoms of mold exposure more severely, anyone can develop respiratory illnesses from mold exposure.
Healthy people might only experience mild symptoms like frequent sneezing, coughing, or post-nasal drips. The effects are more serious for at-risk individuals, such as older adults and infants. Anyone with a respiratory problem or allergy will suffer more serious effects.
If your property has a mold problem, and you haven’t provided mold remediation, you might find it more difficult to sell the property. Interested parties, particularly those with children, will lose interest if they learn there’s an unresolved moisture or mold problem.
How Will Mold Affect the Sale of Your Home?
There are several issues related to selling a home with mold, and you should be aware of them before you publish a listing. You might save money in the long run by scheduling mold remediation before marketing your property.
Buyers Might Back Out
A real estate sale is contingent on the results of a home inspection. If the inspector informs the potential buyer that there’s mold in the home, the buyer has the legal right to back out of the sale. In many cases, a buyer would rather continue shopping for a house that doesn’t have mold.
You’re Legally Liable
It’s your responsibility as the seller to notify potential buyers of a mold problem. The law won’t excuse you for forgetting to notify buyers about mold on the property. It’s up to you to test for mold and take steps to eliminate it. If you don’t resolve mold problems and inform buyers of the issues, they can sue you for damages.
You Might Sell for a Loss
Even with mold remediation complete, buyers are less likely to buy a home with a history of mold. Plenty of homes on the market within every price range don’t have moisture and mold problems. Often, this means you’ll have to sell your property at a price considerably lower than its market value.
How Should You Deal With Mold Before Listing Your Property?
Even if you don’t think your home has a mold problem, it can be worthwhile to find out before you sell it. This allows you to fully resolve the problem in advance. While you’ll still have to inform buyers about the home’s mold history, you can add the caveat that you have dealt with the problem.
Repair Water Damaged Surfaces
Mold won’t grow in areas without moisture, so fixing water-damaged surfaces is essential. In many cases, you’ll have to tear out porous surfaces that water leaks have extensively damaged.
Before replacing these surfaces, examine the interior area. If you discover hidden mold, contact a mold remediation expert immediately.
Look for Signs of Moisture and Mold Exposure
Mold can grow in any part of your home, from your attic down to your basement. Examine every part of your home and look for signs of water exposure, such as plumbing leaks, cracked foundation walls, and defective roofing. Fix these problems immediately.
You should also look for evidence of mold. Visually, watch for black, brown, or green splotches on your house’s wood frame, drywall, concrete foundation, and other surfaces. You can tell that there is unseen mold by smelling a musty, wet-paper odor. You might also see bubbling or peeling paint on your walls.
Schedule a Mold Inspection
Even if you still feel sure that there isn’t mold in your home, schedule a professional inspection. Getting an inspection in advance will ensure there won’t be any surprises when a potential buyer has their own inspection performed. It will also give you extra time to get the mold remediation finished.
What Does Mold Remediation Involve?
A remediation company will come into your home to remove all of the mold. This involves thoroughly cleaning and drying nonporous surfaces that have mold on them.
It’s a little more difficult to deal with porous surfaces, such as wood and drywall, since the mold can grow deeper into the material. Those surfaces will have to be completely removed.
The team will use air scrubbers, vacuums, and industrial dehumidifiers with HEPA filters to remove mold spores. These devices will remove mold spores from the air and from surfaces in the home. Even after cleaning surfaces within the contaminated area, the team will apply antimicrobial chemical agents to kill any unseen hazards.
At this stage, it’s time to restore the affected areas. Before installing new drywall, wood framing, or tiling, they will install a vapor barrier or moisture seal. This prevents moisture from becoming a problem in the future.
Typically, your mold remediation company will provide a warranty on their work. This ensures moisture and mold won’t return in these areas for a predetermined number of years. Make sure to keep the warranty documentation to share with the future buyers of your property.
We’ll Help You Prevent the Need for Mold Remediation
Attic Projects can help you address moisture and humidity in your home. We’ll clean up your attic or crawl space to help you identify problems contributing to moisture. We’ll also update your insulation and seal or repair your ductwork to ensure you can better regulate your indoor air quality. Contact us to request a free estimate.