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Old 04-24-2013, 09:53 PM   #1
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Mildew in basement


Hi,

I am considering buying a home that has been closed up for a year and a half and the basement has a dusting of mildew all over the walls. The finished bathroom has the worst of it but on the surface it looks like it can be wiped clean. The bank has agreed to have the entire finished basement wiped down and the carpet cleaned. My realtor is cautioning me to have mold remediation done but the selling agent won't even discuss the topic of mold with the seller (bank). Sold as is... I have never had to address this situation before so I'm looking for advice on the subject of mildew removal and personal safety.

Thanks,

David

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Old 04-25-2013, 05:19 AM   #2
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Mildew in basement


when we found our place in hilton head, it had been closed for 2yrs w/no heat OR a-c,,, it really smelled like an ammonia factory complete gutting ( conc columns & cmu fill between ), power washing, mold killing fogger, & it was ready to rebuild

doesn't sound as if you're a contractor so let me suggest you invite several mold remediation specialists for their opinions & estimates,,, the bank's already agreed to something so their ' in ' for a certain amount to be deducted,,, the rest is on you for this type of sale,,, think i heard some states require a mold report however it may just be a requirement of mortgage lenders.

here's another suggestion,,, make your offer including the FULL mold cost remediation,,, what's the worst that can happen - they'll say NO ? so what - drop back to the original offer, buy the house, & get on w/your life

last tip - agents ( no matter whom they represent ) are a LARGE PITA @ times

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Old 04-25-2013, 07:31 AM   #3
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Mildew in basement


The surface mildew is probably not the worst of your worries. It does sound like your real estate agent has your best interests in mind so heed the counsel and get a mold remediation specialist in to tell you for sure what is going on with the possibility of something deeper than a surface mildew problem.

I personally would be inclined to pull mildewed carpeting up.

Have you gotten an overall inspection on this place? Why was it sitting empty for so long?
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Old 04-25-2013, 10:35 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by itsreallyconc View Post

here's another suggestion,,, make your offer including the FULL mold cost remediation,,, what's the worst that can happen - they'll say NO ? so what - drop back to the original offer, buy the house, & get on w/your life

last tip - agents ( no matter whom they represent ) are a LARGE PITA @ times [/SIZE][/FONT]
I tried that, the selling agent said he will not submit any offer or inspection to the seller the suggested there is presence of mold. Its seems so immoral but what do you do? Said he'd be fired. Sold as is, dont care, dont want to know, I suppose. So when I asked for a Mold remediation they basically said no, we're calling it mildew, we'll have it cleaned but that's it.

I plan on making the offer with the mentality that I'll have to have a remediation company check it out and replace the carpet. One company said it sounded like a 3-5k remediation but they havent seen it yet in person. I question how much cleaning they will have to do if the bank is going to have it scrubbed as well.
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Old 04-25-2013, 10:38 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by sdsester View Post
The surface mildew is probably not the worst of your worries. It does sound like your real estate agent has your best interests in mind so heed the counsel and get a mold remediation specialist in to tell you for sure what is going on with the possibility of something deeper than a surface mildew problem.

I personally would be inclined to pull mildewed carpeting up.

Have you gotten an overall inspection on this place? Why was it sitting empty for so long?
I have not had an inspection yet as I am still negotiating. Many people have suggested removing the carpet. I just figured I'd let the bank clean it and then have the Mold Remediation company check it if they can.

It was empty because it was a foreclosure. The rest of the house is in relatively good condition. There was no water damage in the basement just humidity I guess.
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Old 04-25-2013, 01:22 PM   #6
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Mildew in basement


They can call it "mildew", but it's MOLD. Calling it mildew doesn't make it any less of a problem or get them off the hook. FYI: Mildew is a class of molds that thrive on the leaves of living plants. If it's growing on anything else, it's mold.
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Old 04-25-2013, 01:34 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Maintenance 6 View Post
They can call it "mildew", but it's MOLD. Calling it mildew doesn't make it any less of a problem or get them off the hook. FYI: Mildew is a class of molds that thrive on the leaves of living plants. If it's growing on anything else, it's mold.
I agree entirely. I am waiting in an inspector that is experienced in this, to call me back so I can pick his brain on the subject. I am wondering if the bank were to "clean" it and the carpet. Then I had a Mold Remediation company test the air quality and behind the walls and it was ok, would that be safe to live in. Im trying to consider best and worst case even though unlikely.
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Old 04-25-2013, 08:31 PM   #8
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If you do an air test and the spore count is the same or lower indoors than a control sample taken outside, then all is good. You can never expect to be cleaner than the outside air. Take indoor samples at several locations. I always like two outside samples taken on opposite sides of the building. I would also recommend some moisture sampling in a few places as well.
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Old 04-25-2013, 10:43 PM   #9
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Mildew in basement


I spoke to a guy my Realtor has known for 20 years who is a certified mold remediation specialist and does a lot of foreclosures. After describing the issues to him in detail, he said the thinks he knows exactly what this is. Said he'd have to see to be sure but he thinks its an allergenic mold and not a toxic mold and not mildew either. He said it doesn't sound that bad and that his company could clean all the surfaces, carpet, and ducts with MircoBan and thinks that would be enough to call it safe. Said the smell would go away as soon as it was clean and the air was circulating again. They would check the air quality too of course They will warrant the work for 4 or 5 years and after than the warranty can be renewed for a few hundred bucks. I feel much better but I still need to get him to look at it to be sure.

I'm going to see if I can get the bank to have his company do the work.

David
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Old 04-25-2013, 11:10 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by djonesax
Said he'd have to see to be sure but he thinks its an allergenic mold and not a toxic mold and not mildew either.
Totally depends on the person as to if they react to it or not. Some people will not have an issue but others may. Varies from person to person, just like any other allergy. A visual inspection cannot tell what species of mold you have. There are lots and lots if different types of mold. Color also will not affirmatively tell you the type.

Mildew grows on live plants.
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Old 04-26-2013, 06:47 AM   #11
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Either way, I would get rid of the carpet and pad.
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Old 04-26-2013, 08:16 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by itsreallyconc

last tip - agents ( no matter whom they represent ) are a LARGE PITA @ times
ooh I think we know who they represent. themselves. They don't get paid for making sure you get the best price for your house or you get the best house for the best price.

They simply get paid when a house is bought. faster is generally better than more money since the amount of time spent with prospective buyers/sellers impacts their income per hour more than a few bucks added to their commission.
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Old 04-26-2013, 11:42 AM   #13
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Mildew in basement


I tracked down the person the bank contracted to do the cleaning and he said he will be subcontracting it out to a company that is licensed to clean "Surface Contaminants" or something like that :-) Said it will be cleaned with something like Microban, and basically everything the mold remediation guy told me. I feel a *little* better about it now. The good thing is that I have a due diligence period and the inspection should happen after the cleaning. The inspector is a licensed mold remediation expert so hopefully he will be able to tell if the cleaning was done right or not. I can always exit the contract after the inspection during the due diligence period and not lose my ernest money.
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Old 04-26-2013, 03:08 PM   #14
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Licensed remediator? You don't have a location in your profile, so just curious who he's licensed by. I'd still require air testing bothe before and after. Compare the results and compare both to at least one outdoor sample.. Moldy carpet is a throw away. No surefire way to get it clean.

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