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We want you to be an informed homebuyer, and each blog post is a question that we have answered for our friends and customers over the years. Hope they help you make a good choice for your next home.

   Typical sources of moisture are roof leaks, plumbing leaks, and air conditioning duct or condensate line leakage. Once the source of moisture has been identified and removed, and the area dried-up, the next step is to determine the square footage of the problem. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) advises that an area of less than ten square feet can usually be safely remediated--a technical term for “fixed correctly”--by the homeowner. Cleaning of the area with a detergent and water solution or removal or replacement of the moldy material are the two options.

   Larger areas require professional remediation and, typically, the mold inspector or an industrial hygienist will specify how the area is to be remediated, and will inspect and sign-off on the job at completion. This can be very expensive but, particularly when there is extensive and/or long-term mold infestation, you will need to know that the seller used a licensed professionals and the completed job has documentation.

   Unfortunately, if you are simply told that the problem was “taken care of” and the area is now freshly painted, you may find--after closing--that you were stuck with a handyman-fix of spraying the area with a bleach solution or, even worse, simply painting over it. This does not actually remove or kill the mold and may invite a repeat infestation.

   For more information about mold in the home, we recommend the EPA publication A Brief Guide to Mold, Moisture, and Your Home.”

While we hope you find this series of articles about home inspection helpful, they should not be considered an alternative to an actual home inspection by a local inspector. Also, construction standards vary in different parts of the country and it is possible that important issues related to your area may not be covered here.
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