Mold may be hiding in your home when you least expect it. For mold to live and grow, there needs to be a damp and usually dark and unexposed surface. Mold may be hiding in a closet behind clothes you rarely touch, or behind a dresser, you haven’t moved away from the wall in years. Mold can hide in a ceiling or wall after a water leak, or under a carpet whose floor underneath is damp from inappropriate drainage or leaks.
When you see something that might resemble mold, there’s a temptation to run for the bleach bottle and vigorously scrub it with a rag. That is the last thing in the world you want to do, for several reasons. No. 1: If it really is mold, you don’t want to mess with it, inhale it and risk the potential health issues. People also grab the towel and the bleach for fear mold could significantly reduce their chances of selling their property or cause a big financial loss in the sale. But mold is not something to mess around with. If you have mold, it needs to be dealt with appropriately, even if it is not a serious species. It also should be disclosed in your sale. Even if you choose to remain uninformed, you are obligated to report anything that visually stands out or is otherwise known, and draw attention to it for a buyer to do his or her own investigation.
Another issue people sometimes deal with inappropriately is asbestos. Back in the ’50s and ’60s, it was very popular to spray your ceiling with a compound we often refer to as “cottage cheese” or “popcorn ceiling,” which often contained asbestos. In fact, it is not true plaster but a material that was blown onto the ceiling to disguise typical cracks that may occur in plaster. It was very popular in those days and later became increasingly unpopular due to the dated look and resemblance to low-income tract housing that has no character or charm. Some popcorn ceilings were enhanced with shiny specks of glitter to make them even more distinctive and decorative. Now, of course, we are horrified to see these ceilings and can’t wait to scrape them smooth again. I urge you not to pull out the razor blades, though, because you may release dangerous particles and fibers into the environment. There is an appropriate way to remove cottage cheese ceilings that contain asbestos. Asbestos was banned in the 1970s and rarely used after 1980, so if you know your ceilings were blown onto the surface after 1980, the material likely doesn’t contain asbestos.
If you think you have mold or asbestos, before doing anything, find a specialist who can analyze the specimen. Read reviews, and make sure they are legitimate vendors. If it is determined that you have mold or asbestos, hire an appropriate remediation company to deal with it. Even if it is costly, to have peace of mind and prove to a subsequent buyer you have no liability, you need to get a certification that shows it was dealt with completely and per housing codes.
The bottom line is don’t panic or do things yourself. Seek qualified inspectors, and always consider your options.
Lava Integrity Group, LLC is a San Francisco East Bay Area residential redevelopment company. We focus primarily in Oakland, CA and Concord, CA. Our team is highly motivated, knowledgeable, ethical, and resourceful. Qualified to handle any real estate transaction, our dedicated staff is committed to helping people with their real estate needs and making successful deals happen. Our team of professionals has the integrity to follow up on our promises, and the expertise to navigate any transaction to ensure you’re fully informed for making the best decision possible.
When we work directly with a home seller, what we provide can not only make for a smooth transaction, but it can also add up to thousands upon thousands of dollars in savings as compared to selling a home through traditional means. With the ability to directly purchase homes and make cash offers, we can create extremely fast and hassle-free transactions.
There are many creative ways to help you out of any situation. We pride ourselves on our reputation for working one-on-one with each customer to handle each individual situation; and it’s our goal to make each client feel like we achieved a WIN-WIN scenario.
We’d love to learn about your situation and see how we can help. Call (510) 900-4090 or email ([email protected]) us to get a no-obligation offer on your home!