Buying a Home With Previous Mold Problems

Buying a Home With Previous Mold Problems

Previous mold problems ct

Buying a Home With Previous Mold Problems

There are many old homes for sale in Connecticut, some even from the 17th and 18th centuries.   It is very likely that these homes have had prior water damage as well as mold contamination.   Newer construction can also have a history of mold contamination. If the builders were rushing to complete the house and didn’t properly waterproof areas or weren’t careful with sealing or connecting plumbing.   When looking to buy a house you may observe signs of previous potential problems including water staining, apparent repairs or a microbial encapsulant applied to building components such as attic rafters. The first step is to obtain as much information as possible about previous moisture problems. Here are some questions to ask:

  • When did the leak or flooding occur?
  • How long did it go on for?
  • How quickly was it fixed?
  • Has the moisture intrusion been fixed properly?
  • Was there any visible mold?
  • Was it remediated? By whom?
  • Was there any testing conducted?
  • What were the results?

These questions should not prevent you from buying a home with previous mold problems.

It may be alarming to learn that the house was previously contaminated with mold.   However, as long as the water problem was corrected and the mold was properly remediated there should be no further concern about recurrent mold from those previous moisture intrusion.  Examples of previous problems include an ongoing roof leak with moisture contacting sheetrock and creating mold growth. See photo 1 below.

ct-mold-testing-roof-leak

To properly correct this problem the roof would need to be patched or replaced to ensure no moisture intrusion.   The mold remediation would depend on the extent of the mold growth and would need to be performed according to established protocols.

Another example of previous mold contamination that ECOthink group has observed is improper venting of bathroom exhaust. We have observed bathrooms being exhausted into the attic which is not a good idea.   The warm humid air from the bathroom will condense on the cooler surfaces and create moisture. This will promote mold growth and contamination in the attic. Spores from the attic will enter the living spaces of the home and affect occupants. See photo 2 below.

 

To properly correct this problem the bathroom ducts will need to be routed to exhaust air to the outside.   The mold remediation would depend on the extent of the mold growth and would need to be performed according to established protocols.   More specific recommendations to correct the problem described above may include the following:

  • Correct the bathroom exhausts to ensure that bathroom air is being exhausted to the outside and not to the attic.
  • All mold remediation work should be conducted by highly trained and experienced mold remediation personnel.
  • Prior to remediation work, ensure that the attic is contained and air from the attic cannot move into the living spaces of the house. The attic should be placed under negative pressure. There are some holes and cracks around the recessed lights that need to be sealed.
  • Ensure workers are utilizing appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE).
  • The attic meets the OSHA definition of a confined space. Please ensure compliance with the OSHA confined space standard.
  • HEPA vacuum all attic surfaces including ductwork and insulation.
  • Brush all surfaces containing suspect mold growth with Foster 40-80 disinfectant.
  • Clean and properly dispose of all dirt and debris. HEPA vacuum if necessary.
  • Allow surfaces to dry.
  • Apply antimicrobial encapsulant Foster’s 40-50 or 40-51 to all affected surfaces in the attic.
  • Once the work is complete, a clearance inspection should be conducted as per ANSI/IICRC S520-2015.

For mold investigations and mold testing in Connecticut homes please contact ECOthink Group at info@ecothinkgroup.com

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