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Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Mold — The Hidden Danger in Homes and What You Need to Know About It

[Published May 23, 2013, in the Jeffco editions of the Denver Post's YourHub section and in five Jefferson County weekly newspapers]

I’ve been reading and hearing about mold lately, and that’s a good thing, because it is a serious real estate issue which is not fully understood by most agents, but should be.

Those who have been impacted by toxic mold in the past have good reason to be paranoid about encountering it again. The effects of it can be extremely debilitating and can, I’m told, result in permanent damage to one’s immune response.

My recent professional encounters with mold as a real estate issue are instructive of its impact.

First, I had a listing which went under contract quickly after the seller completely prepped it for sale — new carpeting, new paint, new tile flooring, and even removal of “popcorn” ceiling (after testing it for asbestos content).  The model seller!

As soon as we were under contract I submitted the seller’s property disclosure to the buyer, who promptly terminated the contract without any inspection.  Why? He saw on the disclosure that a frozen hose bib ten years ago had resulted in minor flooding of the lower level, which necessitated replacement of carpeting and the bottom several inches of drywall. Testing for mold would not satisfy them, unless the current new carpet was ripped up and the drywall opened to look for mold. I suggested they call in a mold dog (dogs trained to sniff out mold behind walls and under carpets) and I would pay the cost ($200 or so) if mold was found.

The second episode occurred last week. Buyers loved a home I showed them, and, at my suggestion, looked for neighbors they could chat up about the house and the neighborhood. One neighbor told them the house was infested with mold and would probably have to be scraped. Having seen no outward signs of mold, I asked the listing agent, who told me that the previous owner had claimed mold as a reason for not paying his mortgage (it was foreclosed on), but sent me a mold report that showed no evidence of mold. 

So there is lots of fear on this subject, but it is, sadly, rooted in the very serious health effects of mold when it truly exists in a house.  Scott Lagge of Pinnacle Mortgage learned about mold the hard way and watch himself and his wife and children slowly decline in health getting no diagnosis or wrong diagnoses from medical professionals until his own research brought him to the realization that there was hidden mold in his home.
Click here to read Scott Lagge's story of his family's fight to diagnose, then deal with the effect of mold in his home.
Click here to read Scott's informational explanation about mold and how to survive it.



  1. This is indubitable. Real estate agents do, sometimes, forget to include simple but imperative facts about the homes they are trying to sell. It is relevant that they inform the buyers about the previous condition of the house, and if there have been any repairs done to it. There are various reasons for it. Any complaints that will be made by the homeowner would have a bad effect on the agent's reputation in selling houses, for one. Another is that the real estate agent would be putting the new owners at a hazardous state. It would be best to have the house restored before reselling it.

    Brewer Restoration

  2. What you stated about molds is true. They carry airborne diseases and could cause permanent damage in the body's immune system. This is why there are professionals who devote their expertise to clean molds and secure the family's safety.
    CM Hazard Control

  3. Mold is indeed very dangerous to your health; especially to the digestive and respiratory tract. I ran into some problems with mold after my basement was flooded due to a hurricane. Fortunately, I was able to effectively eliminate it with the help of a professional mold repair specialist.

  4. The presence of mold in one’s household can really be cause for alarm, as it not only slowly compromise parts of the house, but also affect the inhabitants’ health. While it might be good that people are talking about it, what with the previous strings of bad weather, it would be best to have your home checked before jumping to conclusions about it.