(July 2011) - The glut of foreclosed homes on the market may seem like a bargain during this ever- popular summer house-hunting season, but could turn into a bust because of the consequences of hidden mold. Unsuspecting home buyers, thinking they've nabbed a deal from the bank, could later feel like they need to rob a bank to pay for prohibitive mold removal costs that surface months after they've closed the deal.
"There could be mold growing behind walls and underneath floors, but you can't always see, smell or touch it," says Jeff Dudan, CEO and founder of AdvantaClean, a national mold remediation franchise company with a locally owned franchise serving your area. "Once mold takes hold, it's really tough to prevent it from spreading. The new buyer could spend thousands of dollars on mold remediation, an unexpected expense that can turn that bargain dream home into a nightmare."
FORECLOSED AND FORGOTTEN:
- As homes are foreclosed and vacated, the power is typically turned off. In the winter months, vacant homes without heat are prime candidates for uncontrolled leaks, burst pipes and vandalism.
- Within minutes of water intrusion (and we all know how many weather events we've had across the nation this year), excessive moisture begins to cause damage to structural components and finished surfaces. Left unchecked, the moisture can quickly result in mold growth and degradation of the quality of the indoor environment.
- In the summer months, temperature and humidity levels skyrocket leading to conditions that are ripe for mold to grow unchecked.
Home buyers can protect themselves from unexpected costs associated with mold issues.
- Pay for a mold inspection prior to purchasing a home by hiring an indoor air quality specialist to inspect for mold. If a problem is discovered, bring in a certified remediation company to properly remove the mold.
"You should bring in mold specialists before you buy the home to substantially reduce your risk of discovering a lingering mold problem," says Dudan. "This small step could protect your investment."