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Buying a house (or not), they found some mold in the basement. This is a finished basement we were planning on using for kids playroom. Initially they found some common kinds like aspergillosis etc in moderate amount, the seller remediated and we retested.  Now some more toxic kinds of mold are coming back present.  “2” spores of bachysporous, “1” spore of chaetomium, and some other ones.  There’s evidence of a over-humid crawl space.  Can’t decide if we should take this on if it’s an ongoing problem or skip it.  

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In some climates you'll see mold spores everywhere you go. You haven't given us a general location.

If you can visualize a swamp in the spot where the house is now, it could be a problem. There should be good drainage around the basement foundation and some where for rain water to go. Those are basic things to check if you're in a place where it rains.

 

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2 hours ago, BestFaceForward said:

Buying a house (or not), they found some mold in the basement. This is a finished basement we were planning on using for kids playroom. Initially they found some common kinds like aspergillosis etc in moderate amount, the seller remediated and we retested.  Now some more toxic kinds of mold are coming back present.  “2” spores of bachysporous, “1” spore of chaetomium, and some other ones.  There’s evidence of a over-humid crawl space.  Can’t decide if we should take this on if it’s an ongoing problem or skip it.  

Depending of how much basement wall and floor is concealed, this can go all the way to impossible to sleuth without opening up some walls.

I've never quite understood why some folks dig a deep hole in the earth, build a house over it, then expect that hole to stay dry.

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55 minutes ago, John Kogel said:

In some climates you'll see mold spores everywhere you go. You haven't given us a general location.

If you can visualize a swamp in the spot where the house is now, it could be a problem. There should be good drainage around the basement foundation and some where for rain water to go. Those are basic things to check if you're in a place where it rains.

 

Sorry this is NJ.  Not a swamp area.  I don’t even think it’s an area with known wet basement issues.  There’s 2 year-old plush carpet in basement, panels all over the finished part and a dropped ceiling.  So areas we couldn’t inspect too well.  There was high relative humidity in the crawl space.  And some effervescence on. unfinished cinder blocks.  Thinking that’s probably the problem.  They couldn’t really find any other source.  There was some rust on the bottom of the furnace.  There’s a French drain system but no sump pump. 

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what was the outside spore count?  for both test sets.   I have never seen real mold testing with values of 1 or 2 spores.  Who did the testing?  every house I have ever been in (actually one was clean because it was a sterile air-lock house) has mold.

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4 hours ago, BestFaceForward said:

Buying a house (or not), they found some mold in the basement. This is a finished basement we were planning on using for kids playroom. Initially they found some common kinds like aspergillosis etc in moderate amount, the seller remediated and we retested.  Now some more toxic kinds of mold are coming back present.  “2” spores of bachysporous, “1” spore of chaetomium, and some other ones.  There’s evidence of a over-humid crawl space.  Can’t decide if we should take this on if it’s an ongoing problem or skip it.  

This document from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control is one of my favorites regarding mold.  https://www.cdc.gov/mold/faqs.htm

You should take a look at it.  A few highlights:

Quote

"If you can see or smell mold, a health risk may be present. You do not need to know the type of mold growing in your home, and CDC does not recommend or perform routine sampling for molds. No matter what type of mold is present, you should remove it. Since the effect of mold on people can vary greatly, either because of the amount or type of mold, you cannot rely on sampling and culturing to know your health risk."

So knowing the type of mold isn't really helpful.  And this testing seems especially unhelpful because it didn't help at all (as far as I can tell) in pinpointing the source of the water that's causing the mold.

Quote

"Standards for judging what is an acceptable, tolerable or normal quantity of mold have not been established. Sampling for mold can be expensive, and standards for judging what is and what is not an acceptable quantity of mold have not been set."

So when you tell us how much mold was found, that's not really helpful either, because there's no standard for what's too high.

Quote

 

"There is always a little mold everywhere – in the air and on many surfaces.

Certain molds are toxigenic, meaning they can produce toxins (specifically “mycotoxins”). Hazards presented by molds that may produce mycotoxins should be considered the same as other common molds which can grow in your house. Not all fungi produce mycotoxins and even those that do will not do so under all surface or environmental conditions.

Mold growth, which often looks like spots, can be many different colors, and can smell musty.  Color is not an indication of how dangerous a mold may be.  Any mold should be removed and the moisture source that helped it grow should be removed."

 

Again the type of mold you may have isn't really important.

Apparently you don't want to live in a house that grows mold where your kids are going to play.  I don't blame you.  I wouldn't either.  But the question is: can the source of the water be identified and fixed, right?  I don't think there's enough information here for anybody to help make that determination.  You need a good home performance specialist to look at the house and figure it out.

Good luck.

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Here are the reports, hopefully I deleted everything out.  Thanks for all the insight so far! It’s true even after this is remediated I am going to be worried about my kids playing here or if it’s all truly gone.  We had our current house tested and were fine with the results.  But we’ve never had a finished basement so maybe I’m not used to how they still can have issues.  

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First of all, take that mold report, set it on the back stoop, and light it on fire. It's worse than useless to you for all the reasons SNations posted and more. 

Second forget every gosh darned thing that you've ever heard about mold; just about all of it is false. Now, repeat this mantra, "Mold is not the problem, it's the symptom." 

Next, hire a really good person to work with you to locate the source of the water that's allowing the mold to grow and fix that problem. Try this guy if he's close to you: http://www.almosthome.com/bio.htm 

Finally, don't put wall-to-wall carpet in a basement. If you've got to have carpet down there, use throw rugs.  

 

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25 minutes ago, Jim Katen said:

First of all, take that mold report, set it on the back stoop, and light it on fire. It's worse than useless to you for all the reasons SNations posted and more. 

Second forget every gosh darned thing that you've ever heard about mold; just about all of it is false. Now, repeat this mantra, "Mold is not the problem, it's the symptom." 

Next, hire a really good person to work with you to locate the source of the water that's allowing the mold to grow and fix that problem. Try this guy if he's close to you: http://www.almosthome.com/bio.htm 

Finally, don't put wall-to-wall carpet in a basement. If you've got to have carpet down there, use throw rugs.  

 

Ok thanks a lot, I sent them an email.  

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Well the seller is refusing to remediate again or give a credit.  And the guy who did the remediation work won’t honor his warranty because he said the lab results above are acceptable levels.  Is that true?  I didn’t think there would be an acceptable level of stachybotrous or chaetomium but I guess I could be wrong. 

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There are no acceptable levels because there' are no unacceptable levels. Plus, the levels change minute by minute anyway. It's a snipe hunt. 

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re: BFF & the same advice i give my family on large purchases & based on the info provided

only 2 questions you need answered by you & you alone

1 what is the cost to properly remediate by your chosen vendor

2 is the cost of someone else's problems plus remediation within your financial comfort zone

there is no deal until you pull the trigger

 

 

Edited by BADAIR
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