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Is mold remediation effective in the long term?

Our home inspector just found serious mold problems in a home we are considering buying.

The seller are willing to pay for remediation, but I'm very concerned about the possibility that mold would return to the house later on. Assuming that the underlying problems are corrected (cracks in the foundation, improper bathroom venting, etc.,) is it possible--or even likely that over the next 10 to 15 years, the problem could recur?

I'm concerned about the problem recurring in the existing locations, but just as much concerned that it could grow in other, hidden, yet-to-be-discovered/treated locations such as within walls, finished ceilings, etc.

Re: Is mold remediation effective in the long term?

I'd pass on this one.

Mold requires 3 things to grow; food, water and air. Normally we attack the water as the easy one to fix. But it sounds like you have a number of serious water problems.

Re: Is mold remediation effective in the long term?

Remediation doesn't fix the problem, only the symptom. It's like fixing a roof leak by mopping up the water. If they can find the problem causing the moldiness and fix that correctly, then it will be OK. Only enough time passed will prove that out.

Unless you're willing to wait, pass on this one as mold problems can be one of the toughest adversaries you'll ever face.


Re: Is mold remediation effective in the long term?

Mold remediation's effect is only temporary. It's really difficult to totally remove mold problems. If it were me, I'd pass on buying this house as well.

A. Spruce
Re: Is mold remediation effective in the long term?

Given that mold spores are ever present around us at all times, no, remediation is a fallacy, however, we have, for centuries, had homes that would not kill us with toxic mold growth.

So, in answer to your question, can detrimental mold be remediated, no, but it can be controlled by controlling the environmental factors that precipitate mold growth. A leak proof shell (roof and siding), followed by proper vapor barriers, followed by interior environmental conditions that are not suitable for mold growth.

Much of today's "mold scare" is sensationalized by the media. Yes, mold can be a health hazard, but you don't all of a sudden wake up one morning with the Grim Reaper standing over your bed, mold is a relatively slow growing organism, and the signs of it's presence are evident long before it becomes a health hazard.

Case in point, I once got a call from a customer that they had mold concerns in their house. I go for a site visit and the reality is, they had 3 feet of standing water in the house from a flood, then the house was never ventilated or dealt with, resulting in putrefied air that you literally couldn't breathe. Had the house been stripped to studs when the water receded and ventilated, there would not have been any mold, as it was, it was a total interior loss.

On another occasion a client called that the ceiling had fallen in one of the bedrooms with a concern for mold. A site visit reveals a large portion of the room had a gaping, molded hole, a roof inspection reveals a rather large hole torn by squirrels. Neither the squirrel hole, nor the room hole happened over night, it was the result of neglect and a very long period of denial that there was a problem with the roof.

Yet a third inquiry for a ceiling failure problem results in a roof leak issue, which has gone on for years . . . At this point, I think you see where I am going with this . . . Mold issues don't "just happen", they are the result of ignorance or ignored issues. Keep a water tight structure and you won't likely have mold issues into the future.

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