The following are excerpts from the Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) and from the Center for Disease Control (CDC)
A buyer locates a house, makes an offer to purchase and orders a home inspection.
During the inspection the inspector discovers what appear to be molds
The inspector recommends further evaluation and repair.
Technically the inspector has fullfilled his obligartion to identify and report on conditions as they existed on the day of the inspection.
Learn these basic facts:“Molds can be found almost anywhere; molds grow on virtually any organic substance, as long as moisture and oxygen are present. It is impossible to eliminate all mold and mold spores in the indoor environment. However, mold growth can be controlled indoors by controlling moisture indoors.” Don’t take my word: visit the source http://www.epa.gov/mold/
“The term "toxic mold" is not accurate. While certain molds are toxigenic, meaning they can produce toxins (specifically mycotoxins), the molds themselves are not toxic, or poisonous. Hazards presented by molds that may produce mycotoxins should be considered the same as other common molds which can grow in an environment where there is a source of water. There is always a little mold everywhere - in the air and on many surfaces.” Don’t take my word: visit the source http://www.cdc.gov/mold/stachy.htm
Here are three questions often asked by buyers along with answers provided by the CDC.
1. “I found mold growing in my home; how do I test the mold?
Generally, it is not necessary to identify the species of mold growing in a residence, and CDC does not recommend routine sampling for molds. Current evidence indicates that allergies are the type of diseases most often associated with molds. Since the reaction of individuals can vary greatly either because of the person’s susceptibility or type and amount of mold present, sampling and culturing are not reliable in determining your health risk. If you are susceptible to mold and mold is seen or smelled, there is a potential health risk; therefore, no matter what type of mold is present, you should arrange for its removal. Furthermore, reliable sampling for mold can be expensive, and standards for judging what is and what is not an acceptable or tolerable quantity of mold have not been established. visit the source http://www.cdc.gov/mold/stachy.htm#Q14
2. A qualified environmental lab took samples of the mold in my home and gave me the results. Can CDC interpret these results?
Standards for judging what is an acceptable, tolerable or normal quantity of mold have not been established. If you do decide to pay for environmental sampling for molds, before the work starts, you should ask the consultants who will do the work to establish criteria for interpreting the test results. They should tell you in advance what they will do or what recommendations they will make based on the sampling results. The results of samples taken in your unique situation cannot be interpreted without physical inspection of the contaminated area or without considering the building’s characteristics and the factors that led to the present condition visit the source. http://www.cdc.gov/mold/stachy.htm#Q15
In summary, Stachybotrys chartarum (Stachybotrys atra) and other molds may cause health symptoms that are nonspecific. At present there is no test that proves an association between Stachybotrys chartarum (Stachybotrys atra) and particular health symptoms. Individuals with persistent symptoms should see their physician. However, if Stachybotrys chartarum (Stachybotrys atra) or other molds are found in a building, prudent practice recommends that they be removed.” visit the source http://www.cdc.gov/mold/stachy.htm#sum
- Molds are everywhere either dormant or active.
- Mold growth (active) is directly related to water.
- An inspection identifying sources of water or moisture, according to the CDC, is more important than identifying the different types of molds that are present.
- Cleaning mold can be very expensive and a waste of time and money if the source of water is not identified and corrected.
Remember this line “The mix of mold indoors should be equal to or less the mix of mold outdoors”. The reason for adding this is to emphasize the point that it is impossible to control mold growth outdoors and every time a door is opened mold spores can enter a living space meaning there will always be some mold. Common sense, correcting water issues and cleaning can prevent most mold issues. Cleaning with chemicals by a professional, if needed, can correct an existing condition but will not prevent future mold growth if water sources remain unchecked.
Some states are attempting to create and place standards for mold identification and remediation but existing rules are not uniformly applied. There are no nationwide standards or guidelines for environmental testing, remediation, contractor qualifications, worker training and protective equipment.
There are no clear-cut answers because mold is such a complex issue. Molds can affect each of us in a different way. If you as a buyer feel the purchase of any property will have an adverse affect on your health, don’t purchase the property. On the other hand if you decide to purchase this same property it is unreasonable to ask a seller to spend money to make repairs that may or may not correct the conditions and may not prevent future mold growth.
Lastly visit the web sites above and become a better informed buyer.