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Old 10-22-2012, 07:40 PM
 
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Hello there, can anyone help me out there? I found a house very inexpensive that has mold in the basement. The owner thinks it will cost about $10,000 to fix. What has your experience been? Have you gotten rid of a mold problem? How was your result? What were the challenges, frustrations?
thank you for your input!
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Old 10-22-2012, 08:35 PM
 
Location: Baltimore
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You might want to paint a clearer picture for us to help you.
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Old 10-22-2012, 08:37 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LindaMaier View Post
Hello there, can anyone help me out there? I found a house very inexpensive that has mold in the basement. The owner thinks it will cost about $10,000 to fix. What has your experience been? Have you gotten rid of a mold problem? How was your result? What were the challenges, frustrations?
thank you for your input!
What type of surface is the mold on?
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Old 10-22-2012, 08:49 PM
 
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Default Mold in basement generally means water and water often means UNSOLVABLE issues...

A leaky roof is one thing, but a foundation that never really keeps water out will eventually crumble and the whole house will need to be rebuilt, sometimes so costly that it makes no sense...

If you have no experince dealing with the kinds of repairs that go along with leaky basements I would be very reluctant to get in too deep with this kind of problem.
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Old 10-22-2012, 08:50 PM
 
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Have a mold inspector (who is genuinely qualified) look at the property and tell you what type of mold it is, how extensive it is, and how much it would cost to fix, if it CAN be fixed. Nearly every house has some mold (there are articles about this on the web). Some of it is benign. Some of it is anything but. Until you know what you're dealing with, you don't know whether you have a potential disaster or a bargain on your hands.

Also, you need to know, as Chet implied, whether the water problem that led to this has been solved. A basement waterproofer can help you determine this, although s/he may recommend that you bring in a structural engineer to examine the foundation.
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Old 10-23-2012, 05:02 AM
 
2,538 posts, read 4,363,247 times
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Originally Posted by chet everett View Post
A leaky roof is one thing, but a foundation that never really keeps water out will eventually crumble and the whole house will need to be rebuilt, sometimes so costly that it makes no sense...

If you have no experince dealing with the kinds of repairs that go along with leaky basements I would be very reluctant to get in too deep with this kind of problem.
Yes, the problem is that even if you clean up the mold it will likely come right back without major changes. Now some problems can be rectified. Mold can grow simply from a lack of air flow and high humidity, which is an easy fix. But if the foundation is constantly weeping then you need to fix the problem from the outside, which might not even be possible depending on the location.
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Old 10-23-2012, 05:56 AM
 
Location: Connecticut is my adopted home.
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The house is probably not a bargain unless you are qualified and willing to do the work yourself and the work can be done while the home is unfurnished and unoccupied especially if the mold is extensive. Firstly I'm going to agree with ACWhite when he/she says that practically every home has mold. However there is mold, and there is MOLD.

On the front end there is the immediate mold remediation and removal of contaminated surfaces (those that can be removed) followed by removal/repair of the water source that is feeding the mold in the first place. That could be as simple as a leaking pipe to having to waterproof foundation walls which is a big job. Been there, done that. Then comes the cleaning, followed by more cleaning with a mildew-cide (mold killer) of the walls, floors and other surfaces. Then properly drying out those surfaces in order to coat with a mold resistant paint or other treatment.

In the future each water incident no matter how minor, will have to be treated as an emergency and the exposure and drying of the wetted area will have to be accomplished immediately because it is quite likely that the house will contain a higher than average number of dormant spores and you could have mold all over again perhaps in a new area. If this basement is "finished" it is unlikely that it can be finished again properly without a great deal of thought, care and expense. You will always need to be concerned about the humidity level of the home and proper ventilation.

And finally upon resale it will be incumbent on you ethically and probably legally to disclose the mold issue even if you believe that you have repaired the problem.

We bought a little historic bungalow in our city. It had a mold problem in the basement within the walls that was undetected in the inspection. Since we were planning to gut it to the studs anyway, clearing out the place was our first mission starting with the basement. We ended up in haz-mat suits and respirators working in a negative pressure environment for weeks followed by roughly two years of work to clean, repair and replace faulty/failing plumbing, dig out the foundation and footings to apply waterproof shielding, backfill with more permeable fill, regraded the property and installed a curtain drain around the perimeter. Finally carefully rebuilding with aeration and moisture prevention in the forefront. To be extra cautious we run plumbed in dehumidifiers in the winter on each level, windows are opened all summer long, vent fans are high capacity and vent short distances to the outdoors. It's been a labor of love that most people would not wish to undertake.

Be very cautious. I would also concur with the need for a contractor that deals in mold issues so that you know going in what you have and what the issues may be. Though our little house is adorable, is dry and safe now, a match might have been a better prescription. Personally unless it's a one of a kind home, I'd pass.

Good luck.
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Old 10-23-2012, 05:57 AM
 
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You don't want those problems.
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Old 10-23-2012, 06:14 AM
 
Location: Philaburbia
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Vinegar, some elbow grease, a dehumidifier and an inexpensive gutter repair has been all I've ever needed to rid my basement of mold on the foundation walls.
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Old 10-23-2012, 06:21 AM
 
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I have had some success by fumigating rooms with an ozone generator. It will come back though.
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