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Unread 08-16-2009, 04:23 PM
 
2 posts, read 15,768 times
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Default Mold in crawlspace - should I buy the house?

We are negotiating on a house with a bank. The home inspector found mold in the crawlspace (picture attached). It happened because the master bathroom leaked. The leak has been fixed and he did not find any moisture there now. Since we are getting a good deal on the house, we are very inclined towards buying it.

What do you think - should I buy the house? Is it difficult to fix this mold?

Thanks

db
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Mold in crawlspace - should I buy the house?-mold.jpg  
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Unread 08-16-2009, 04:48 PM
 
Location: Nashville, TN
957 posts, read 2,133,029 times
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I would buy contingent upon the mold being removed...or if it's a real good deal you could do it yourself. to get rid of it completely, the subfloor will probably have to be replaced.
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Unread 08-16-2009, 05:06 PM
 
163 posts, read 282,804 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dblist View Post
We are negotiating on a house with a bank. The home inspector found mold in the crawlspace (picture attached). It happened because the master bathroom leaked. The leak has been fixed and he did not find any moisture there now. Since we are getting a good deal on the house, we are very inclined towards buying it.

What do you think - should I buy the house? Is it difficult to fix this mold?

Thanks

db
If that is the only evidence of mold, it looks like a simple fix. I would recommend ripping out the floorboards and replace. We rehab homes all the time that have had mold issues. As I've been told by a licensed mold remediation expert, mold is all around us. Depending on the weather, humidity and ect.. they can be elevated. Most mold is not poisenous though. This is why it's always best to have an expert test the mold that shows up in your home to make sure it's not the deadly kind. Know what I mean? Just take precautions to make sure early signs of mold is taken care of immediately. If you have a crawspace, Make sure there are vapor barriers. It wouldn't hurt to also have a dehumidifier in the crawspace as well to help keep it dry.

As long as the leak has been fixed and you replace the floorboards, you should be fine. If it is on the floor joist, you can hire a redemiation company to come out to remediate, if you prefer not to have it replaced. It would be wise just to get a mold test before and after, just to be safe and provide you with a peace of mind. Especially it being in your bedroom. Sometimes mold will come back if it is not properly disposed of.

Hope this helps. Congratulations on your home purchase.

Last edited by fumanchu41; 08-16-2009 at 05:18 PM..
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Unread 08-16-2009, 06:26 PM
 
Location: Tempe, Arizona
4,511 posts, read 6,384,419 times
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As noted in your inspection report, you should bring in an expert to test and recommend how to proceed with dealing with it. Any other opinion is just that, an opinion that may or may not be correct.
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Unread 08-16-2009, 06:49 PM
 
Location: Sometimes Maryland, sometimes NoVA. Depends on the day of the week
1,501 posts, read 7,001,622 times
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What material is the shower? Does it have a tile floor? I know they said no moisture, but if the shower hasn't been used in awhile (like a foreclosure that has been empty for awhile), it could still be an issue. Would I buy the house? Probably, if that was the only issue. But I'd want a chunk of change to have the shower gutted and rebuilt from the joists up.
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Unread 08-16-2009, 07:22 PM
 
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The shower is made of tiles. I was told that there was a crack in the grout. The house is still occupied. They owner had it fixed. The shower is used every day.

What would be an approximate estimate on getting the shower gutted and rebuilt?

Quote:
Originally Posted by rubytue View Post
What material is the shower? Does it have a tile floor? I know they said no moisture, but if the shower hasn't been used in awhile (like a foreclosure that has been empty for awhile), it could still be an issue. Would I buy the house? Probably, if that was the only issue. But I'd want a chunk of change to have the shower gutted and rebuilt from the joists up.
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Unread 08-16-2009, 07:32 PM
 
283 posts, read 266,453 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dblist View Post
The shower is made of tiles. I was told that there was a crack in the grout. The house is still occupied. They owner had it fixed. The shower is used every day.

What would be an approximate estimate on getting the shower gutted and rebuilt?
Not that much. You can actually gut and remodel a whole standard bathroom for around $2500.00-3k. This is what I pay for a license contractor to perform it.

Last edited by REIRehabber; 08-16-2009 at 07:43 PM..
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Unread 08-16-2009, 07:34 PM
 
Location: Sometimes Maryland, sometimes NoVA. Depends on the day of the week
1,501 posts, read 7,001,622 times
Reputation: 951
Bank owner and still occupied? Or is it a short sale? Not that it matters, I just assumed that "negotiating with bank" meant it was probably vacant. Different story if its still be used and dry.

Estimate - I have no idea. We did our shower for about $900, but that was a DIY job (it also took a year before our bathroom was usable, and ~$10k total for the two bathrooms). Check over on the house sub forum or google john bridge tile forums. Someone there might have a clue, or at least an opinion
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Unread 08-16-2009, 07:51 PM
 
Location: Salem, OR
10,522 posts, read 15,900,954 times
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I had a client who had water damage/mold and it was $5,000 to gut the bathroom. Not sure the extent of the damage here.
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Unread 08-16-2009, 08:48 PM
 
19,759 posts, read 29,973,762 times
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The best advice is that this needs further investigation.

I tend to agree with REIRehabber, that a repair type renovation could almost certainly be done for under $3000, I cannot tell from the photo if the multiple "blooms" are from a single incident / point of failure or if this is from ongoing leaks / numerous problems.

Similarly without verifying the integrity of the decking / subfloor and adjacent joists it is impossible to suggest the best way to address this situation.

The thing I also am confused about is that you are negotiating with a bank yet you say the place is inhabited and some one (owner / occupant??) says they had something fixed? Some "fixes" are worse than nothing as when things are really "broken" you can generally trace out exactly what NEEDS to be fixed, but with a partial repair (which is what this clearly is /was...) you need to find a much more thorough contractor that has skills of undoing previous half-*****ed repairs...

If the OP really has comps that suggest this place IS a good deal, even with at least one other ESTIMATE FOR REPAIRS in hand and there is no other evidence of damage I would be inclined to move forward with this. As others have said (and has been in other threads...) this type of problem is very common with tiled showers. That is one reason that there are several companies that SPECIFICALLY make products that are designed to ensure a completely water-tight solution when tile is used in a shower. It is always cheaper to do things right the first time than to repair, but this is an area that new materials / protocols are really much better then the stuff that was available only a short time ago, though unfortunately without X-ray vision there is no way to be sure that "good stuff" was used ...
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