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Question DetailsAsked on 9/23/2014

how much is the typical cost to remove mold from a basement and attic?

my wife & i are very excited about the purchase of our first home, but we just found out that there is considerable mold in the basement, as well as some in the attic. the home is from 1975 and has a smaller than usual attic (by today's standards) and little to poor ventilation. the musty smell in the basement is pronounced, and it appears evident that water must've gotten in at some point, although it looks as though it is not currently entering. i've seen quotes all over the internet from mold remediation specialists that vary in cost from $500-$30,000, which is quite a difference. we're not really sure how bad it is, or would be, bc the sellers are still there and have MANY items in the basement seemingly covered in mold, and we're particularly concerned that when they remove all those items, the mold spores would go airborne and possibly become an even larger problem. any advice would be appreciated.

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2 Answers

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Have you completed your offer and inspection period ? If not, I would get the mold certified by a certified mold inspector and then WALK AWAY based on that inherent defect in the house. Talk to your Realtor about this ASAP - from the way you are describing this, with mold in various parts of the house and lots of visible mold in the basement, sounds like you have a serious household moisture problem that is probably going to require significant HVAC system improvements or replacement, a MAJOR mold removal operation including likely tearing out a bunch of drywall, and complete top to bottom disinfection process before it has a prayer of being habitable - and even then, you will likely have mold in the walls/floors/ceilings still that is not detected or killed in the cleaning process. This is NOT a good situation for your health, and even less so if children might be in the picture down the road.


I hope you have not made an offer on this house - because the musty smell and visible mold seen at your viewing should have rung alarm bells and driven you away at that time, but short of having an inspection verify mold within your home inspection refusal period, you are in trouble contract-wise, though you might have an out because a house has to be habitable at closing (unless bought as a tear-down or total rehab property).


I would seriously talk to your Realtor and probably an attorney about what it would take to get out of this deal - possibly even by have a city health inspector in who might condemn it, thereby making it unsaleable prior to closing, which would give you an out - your attorney could walk you through that. If your realtor is the listing realtor for the sellers, you may well have a good case against the realtor for not warning you of this obvious problem, because his/her responsibility to you as buyer would have required pointing out an obvious defect like that. If that is the case, then an attorney is important - especially ASAP if the inspection period has not gone by yet.


From your description alone, I would say you are talking several tens of thousands of $ to remediate the VISIBLE mold - which would NOT totally eliminate it throughout the house - PLUS cost of a new HVAC system to control the moisture issue. I have seen several couples who tried to take on this type of job in houses that ended up looking like Hurricane Katrina rejects - total tearouts including replacement of ALL electrical and plumbing because not only were the walls full of mold, but they had decades of moisture caused rot and the metallic utilities were corroded and dangerous, resulting in total rehab costs exceeding $50-100,000 in several cases, and a mortgage default because of the rehab cost in a couple of the cases.


One other possibility - if the appraiser does an in-house inspection and sees significant mold, he might downtick the value enough that the mortgage falls through (hopefully you had a morrgage approval contingency) so you cannot pay for the house, so sale falls through.


BTW - on the mold spores going airborne when they move out - sorry to have to say this, but the entire house is full of spores already, because if you have significant visible mold it is putting out millions of spores every day into the air. Yes, even more would be generated by the move, but assume at this point that every exposed or air accessible surface already has a hign mold count.

Answered 3 years ago by LCD

0
Votes

Hi, this is Meranda with Angie's List.


You can search for a mold testing or mold remediation company when you log in at www.angieslist.com, and then ask the companies to collect a sample in different areas of the home. The tests can tell you the types and level of mold spores in the home, and also be used as a baseline to compare the air in the home post-remediation.


In addition to LCD's advice above, we have a wealth of content about mold in homes on the site, so I wanted to point out a few articles that may give you somewhere to start and a better understanding of the problem:

Homeowners tackle mold testing and remediation

Got mold? Indy mold removal specialists offer remediation advice

Beware of mold when buying a foreclosed home

Do I need a mold inspection?

How to eliminate mold in your basement

Choose separate companies for mold testing, remediation


Good luck with your home search/purchase!

Answered 3 years ago by Meranda




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