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Old 04-13-2017, 12:31 PM
 
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Hello, We just did the inspection for a house we are under contract with. It says "water staining throughout the crawlspace" and it indicates small amount of mold-like organic detected in the crawlspace. See the attached picture. Our current house has only a slab and crawl space is new to me. Would this be a "deal breaker" for a 15+ year old house in Charlotte, should I walk away from the contract? Thanks.
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Home inspection done, walk away?-waterstainscropped-page-001.jpg   Home inspection done, walk away?-waterstainscropped-page-002.jpg  
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Old 04-13-2017, 12:42 PM
 
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No. The moisture below 20% is good. The comments by your inspector are largely to cover themselves. If you're anxious or want to reduce the purchase price, you could pay for an estimate to evaluate the mold issue as recommended and ask for the $ equivalent off the price or off closing if you're paying any.

Beware of crawl space sealing hucksters. You'll find all kinds of information supporting both camps (whether to seal/insulate/open etc.). Typically the companies that make money sealing crawlspaces are the ones that use the fear tactics to support that approach. I know many builders that keep their crawl space vents open. Personally, we make sure the vapor barrier is good and keep our crawlspace vents open and have no humidity issues. You will find some people set on dehumidifying/sealing, but it's largely unnecessary in most cases.

Not a deal breaker at all.
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Old 04-13-2017, 12:57 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Essequamvideri View Post
No. The moisture below 20% is good. The comments by your inspector are largely to cover themselves. If you're anxious or want to reduce the purchase price, you could pay for an estimate to evaluate the mold issue as recommended and ask for the $ equivalent off the price or off closing if you're paying any.

Beware of crawl space sealing hucksters. You'll find all kinds of information supporting both camps (whether to seal/insulate/open etc.). Typically the companies that make money sealing crawlspaces are the ones that use the fear tactics to support that approach. I know many builders that keep their crawl space vents open. Personally, we make sure the vapor barrier is good and keep our crawlspace vents open and have no humidity issues. You will find some people set on dehumidifying/sealing, but it's largely unnecessary in most cases.

Not a deal breaker at all.

Thanks, Essequamvideri. I'm concerned when we heard about the water and mold. If fixed, would they come back? and would this be a concern for future house buyer?
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Old 04-13-2017, 12:58 PM
 
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We walked away from a house once when the inspection was done. Was over in Cotswald area.

Cracked furnace core, black mold from too much moisture.

IMO, once the mold gets into the structure, there isn't much you can do about it except live with it.
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Old 04-13-2017, 01:01 PM
 
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Not sure it should be a deal breaker. Did you get a professional opinion to accompany the inspection?

I noticed your moisture meter reading of 14+. I have been told by a general contractor that this area of NC would be considered in the normal range between 6 and 16 for a reading. I have a similar meter and don't record more than a 7 under my house at any point, wood, metal or cement block.
Occasionally during the summer months I notice the outside of my air handler sweats visibly while it runs.

I have never done a humidity check under my house, but inside the home it stays in the 40 to 55 percent range depending upon the season and the weather. I believe if there is more than a 10 to 15% difference from crawlspace to living space hardwood floors would begin to cup on the edges.
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Old 04-13-2017, 01:11 PM
 
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Inspector said the moisture level yesterday was within the recommended range, but it hasn't rained for a while. I am worried as the summer comes, the humidity level will definitely increase once rain season starts. Too bad we can't do the inspection after certain rain.

Also, the mold I can see is only white, is that normal as well???
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Old 04-13-2017, 01:19 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vidaleina View Post
Thanks, Essequamvideri. I'm concerned when we heard about the water and mold. If fixed, would they come back? and would this be a concern for future house buyer?
Water is certainly something you want to tackle, as well as any mold.

Monitoring moisture is something you should do regularly has a homeowner. I can't tell from the pictures, but an expert could tell you if the prior moisture stains stemmed from a leak from above, or accumulation. To me, if they were from leaks from above, that would be reassuring. Are the photos directly below the kitchen or a bathroom?

If it's very concerning to you, I would recommend hiring a professional to share their opinion, but to be wary of them selling you an u unnecessary solution. This is a big purchase so investing a few hundred dollars now to get the facts is important. How is the grade of the lot? Does the home have gutters? Was their any standing water under the house? (I assume the inspector would have noted that if found, but it can't help to check)

As far as how it would concern a future house buyer - your own questions indicate that it is an area of interest. You could have the wood replaced, but that would be expensive. If the moisture issues are completely resolved, it wouldn't bother me at all as a buyer, but as your own trepidation indicates, not everyone is as easy going as I am.

It sounds like you may need some reassurance, so I would hire the expert to provide advice and an estimate for correction (if a problem exists) and then demand that the seller fixes it. If they refuse, you walk away with peace of mind. If they accept - then you don't have to worry about it anymore. Good luck! Home buying is exciting and a roller coaster.

One recommendation I have is to get your HVAC system thoroughly inspected if it's older than a couple years. It's an expensive repair if it's on it's way out.
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Old 04-13-2017, 01:24 PM
 
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I wouldn't move forward without having a "mold expert" evaluate it.
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Old 04-13-2017, 01:43 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Essequamvideri View Post
Monitoring moisture is something you should do regularly has a homeowner. I can't tell from the pictures, but an expert could tell you if the prior moisture stains stemmed from a leak from above, or accumulation. To me, if they were from leaks from above, that would be reassuring. Are the photos directly below the kitchen or a bathroom?
I second this... those stains look like they came from above, not because the crawl space was moist. If the crawl was that wet to make stains, the whole crawl space would have issues. Get a pro to look at it... although, I would have expected the inspector to give you some insight on what might have caused those water stains.
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Old 04-13-2017, 01:48 PM
 
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Black stains = Black mold.

Best to avoid it.
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