Real-Estate Agents and Mold
Attention Real-estate agents,
What do you do if you walk into a new listing or any listing and suspect there is a mold problem with the home?
We are going to go over some of the basic do’s and don’ts of walk-throughs when suspecting a mold issue. We will also cover other relevant questions that should be asked when we know for sure there is a mold issue. Re-occurring exposures to mold is extremely dangerous. Human as well as pet immune systems break down over a period of time when re-occurring exposures exist.
This is my listing, when mold is present I need to find out why there is mold? Mold grows as a result of water intrusions.
Typical places where water can leak:
- Roof leak
- Pipes (entire plumbing system)
- Windows / doors
- HVAC units
- Foundations (cracks)
- Compromised brick or siding
- Sump pump
- Sewer back up
Suspected mold issue but no visual signs of mold. If you do not see mold is it possible there is still a mold issue?
How is this possible?
- Thousands of mold spores can fit on the head of a pin
- Mold spores can be on drywall and not seen
- Mold spores can be on any porous material and not seen
- Mold spores can be in crawl spaces
- Mold spores can be in attics
- Mold spores can be behind drywall
80% of ALL structures in this country have some degree of Mold
When mold is visible, this means the presence of thousands of colony’s of mold, And a real issue!
What are the warning signs?
- Same as visible mold
- Itchy eyes
- Running nose
- Trouble breathing
- Flu like symptoms
These are the basics, now what are we going to do about it?
If you absolutely must go into a listing that has mold:
- Wear a respirator (not a dust mask)
- Wear goggles
- Wear latex gloves
- Do not touch anything that looks like mold
- Do not brush up against the walls
- When you leave, throw out the latex gloves and store goggles and respirator in the trunk of your car
- Never knowingly expose a client to mold.
So what do we do if we walk into a listing for the first time and suspect there is a mold problem?
- Leave immediately
- Call a certified professional
Some other questions for us to think about:
- What is my liability as an agent when mold is present in one of my listings?
- Protect my health
- Protect my realty company
- Protect my livelihood