Mold Question

I just looked at a property to purchase for investment purposes. Its been vacant for three months. The full basement has linoleum floors and sheetrocked walls with a drop ceiling. The basement is more black with mold than the white painted walls it once had. The outside grade is level with no visible cracks between the foundation and the walls. The surface water run off goes underground and could be suspect. But in the basement most of the drop ceiling tiles were removed and you can see the top of the walls were there are not water stains at all around the perimeter. Some mold invested sheetrock was removed and you can see the block foundation walls behind that had no water stains and no efflourescents. The floor was dry. The basement had some much moisture in the air, I could of blown my nose three times from running. The pipes above the drop ceiling were corroded from moisture and had peeling flakes. The metal outlet boxes in the ceiling were the same all corroded and peeling. The nails holding the plastic outlet boxes were the same. I believe this is an internal made mold problem. The moisture in this cool basement caused the blowing mold spores to attach to all and just about everything in this basement. After the walls, ceiling, pipes are removed and the mold is removed by a company that deals with mold removal and we get the health inspectors blessing, Would a hard wired permanantley installed floor to ceiling dehumidifier keep this from happing again.? Did I miss something? Thanks Rick

I think you are waaaaay beyond a dehumidifier. As you mentioned “The surface water run off goes underground” This defect would have to be corrected first then there is all the mold remediation that needs to be done. You will (should) have to disclose that there was mold and how it was remediated when you sell the property. Also if you know of the existance of mold and it is not corrected properly, rent the house and your tenants get sick then you are IT! I have a bunch of rentals and all it takes is for one dirtbag tenant to get a dirtbag lawyer and sue yer azz off.

I’m not sure if this is your first rental but you need to add the cost of rehab in your purchase price before computing the ROI even if you do the non mold work, your time and labor needs to be paid for. Hope this helps.

The only way to control fungi is to control the moisture problem…that often starts with proper water management on the exterior of the home…failing to do that you will end up wasting your money.


Even if you are only paying a price for what the land the house sits on is worth, you are paying too much. I inspect and write mold remediation protocols for several homes like you describe every year, and it is cheaper just to tear them down then to make them livable.

Thanks Guys, Yeah it was pretty nasty down there. I made sure not to touch anything, but just being there mold spores probably attached to my clothes. Rick

I agree with Jim this is one of those remediation’s, that might prove endless, unless the moisture issue is resolved which seems to be unknown

Are you sure this was not a grow op? Check with the neighbors. As an investment check the comps in the area. Subtract your remediation costs. If you can pick it up for 25-30 cents on the dollar it could be fun.


Was this home left vacant for any period of time? If so, was the power turned off during that time? Was there a sump pump system? The reason I ask these questions is that I have inspected more than one home where the home was left vacant and the power turned off. Then, then sump overflowed and flooded the basement. In one case, the pipes had not been winterized properly and they froze, split and, when thawed, flooded the basement because the sump was not active to remove the water. In fact, a basement flooding is where I usually see the worst (best, depending on perspective) mold growth.

Matthew, Yes it is vacant but,the power is still on. From my original post, The floor and foundation walls were dry. So I guess the question is, if there was no outside water intrusion and the basement is a cool moist place and vacant for three months, can mold spores find there way down there and attach to everything? And if so, after the remediation would a hard wired floor to ceiling permanently install dehumidifier keep this from happening again? And Doug, I would love to put in an offer on this property for a rehab and fast sell but it needs about 50 grand of other work to put into it plus the remediation and basement finish costs. Its a foreclosure and I would be dealing with a bank. I will let it sit on the market for a while longer and if it don’t sell I place the offer. the bank might let it go if it sits on the market 8 months to a year or so. The banks say that they don’t want to be in real estate but they also are tight about how much they will let it go for. The banks are just stupid, they should dump these properties and get them off their books so they can offer more loans to people to get this economy going again. Rick

Considered toxic mold can only attached themselves to porous and semi-porous surfaces including dust and dirt.

The service does not have to be on to get water in the basement of a vacant house.

Pic. 4; I think they had a boat docked in this basement. :shock: