Does Your Southern California House Have Mold?

(June 18, 2012)

wall cracksDo you need to sell your Southern California house with mold issues? As a real estate investor, I visit about 10-20 Southern California homes a month. I buy fixer-uppers, for the most part, so I see and smell mold quite often. I have bought houses that have a small amount of mold that is easy to remediate and I have bought homes that need expert remediation. Costs have ranged from $1,000 to $10,000, depending on the amount and severity. Either way, owners have liked the idea of selling their house with mold issues for cash and "AS-IS".

How do you know if your home has mold?

Here are a few ways to check:

Look for it!

Do you see mold anywhere in your house? Look where plumbing is located, look under sinks, look everywhere. You can see mold, most of the time. It can look like cotton on walls and surfaces. It comes in different colors, such as white, black, green and gray. Black mold, as you already know, is the worst and most dangerous to your health.

Smell it!

Mold typically, not always by any means, smells. In fact, it stinks. Use your nose to locate it. I can smell it pretty quickly now that I am aware of it. I would describe it mainly as "musty" and "stale" smell. But, as I said, mold doesn't always smell or have an odor. That's why you have to look, too.

Is your basement or other subterranean area prone to flooding?

Flooding can cause mold, especially after water-damage. So know that your house likely has it if you have an area that floods or there has been water-damage in your house (anywhere).

Mold Test Kit (do-it-yourself)

If you can't see it or smell it, but you aren't sure, then you can buy a fairly inexpensive mold test kit. These test kits can help you find out if mold is present in your house. These test kits are easy to use and give you instant results. But, if you are that worried, hire a professional.

Hire a Licensed Mold Inspector

The only way to truly know if there is mold in your house is to hire a licensed inspector. They can find undetected mold problems, tell you the kind of mold you have, and suggest the proper way to remediate the problem.

The best way to take care of mold is by being proactive. Fix plumbing leaks immediately, take care of your roof and roof repairs immediately, keep flooding from happening, and remediate all water damage.

Sometimes, it's too late and too costly to handle mold.

Mold can and does get worse, so don't wait. Address it quickly and aggressively.

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Jennifer Shenbaum

Written by Jennifer Shenbaum

Jennifer Shenbaum is a real estate investor based in Southern California. She is a veteran of the housing market crash of 2007. Best of all, she offers free remodeling ideas to all who ask.

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