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checking for mold after a home has been painted?


Robert
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I am wondering how a person goes about checking for mold in a home which has recently been painted? Saw a large can of Kilz long with other paint cans in a house for sale and wonder if the Seller covered over mold and/or stains from water leaks. One finished room in the basement has a very sloppy looking ceiling with the seams showing and a very poor job of texturizing. I couldn't cut a hole in the drywall ceiling to check on what's behind it.

I talked with a contractor who works for a realty company getting houses ready to be put on the market and he said many agents want mold covered up.

don't want to have something which was covered up surprise me later.

any ideas on how to check it out would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

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Originally posted by Robert

I am wondering how a person goes about checking for mold in a home which has recently been painted?

Hire someone who's been to a two-day-get-rich-quick seminar. Pay him lots of money. He'll give you an indecipherable report that you'll probably love.

Saw a large can of Kilz long with other paint cans in a house for sale and wonder if the Seller covered over mold and/or stains from water leaks. One finished room in the basement has a very sloppy looking ceiling with the seams showing and a very poor job of texturizing.

Well, I guess that seller couldn't pull the wool over your eyes. Obviously, those folks are hiding mold. Better move on to the next house.

I couldn't cut a hole in the drywall ceiling to check on what's behind it.

Yeah, sellers can be *so* unreasonable.

I talked with a contractor who works for a realty company getting houses ready to be put on the market and he said many agents want mold covered up.

It's a scandal.

don't want to have something which was covered up surprise me later.

any ideas on how to check it out would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

Go hire a builder to build you a new house from scratch. Be sure he uses only kiln-dried wood. Visit the site every day and take lots of pictures. Hire a good home inspector to help you interpret what you see. (Of course, you'll have to sign a waiver. . . )

Robert, (or George, or whatever) there is no such thing as a house without mold -- at least I've never seen one. Neither is there such a thing as a house without hidden surprises.

- Jim Katen, Oregon

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Jim is right,

Mold spore is ubiquitous. Believe it or not, you and I are both breathing. right now, this very instant, two or three varieties of (gasp) TOXIC mold. I bet when you look around you won't see it though. Out here in the western corridor of Washington State, I bet I breath as much mold spore in a day as most folks in your state do in a month. S'funny how that works. If mold were so TOXIC, one would expect that most of those of us in western Washington would be in the hospital or walking about wearing masks and carrying oxygen bottles. That's why CDC and EPA have said that it's pointless to look for mold spore during the course of a home sale.

Mold only became "TOXIC" after Melinda Ballard was awarded $34,000,000 in a lawsuit about 10 or 11 years ago. For a couple of million years before that, it was just mold. Nobody remembers, though, that Ballard's award was later tossed out on appeal and that the court found that there was NO evidence that any of her symptoms were caused by mold. They tossed out all but $4M of her award and only gave her that to punish the insurance company for dragging its feet. Still, I suppose $4M is a pretty good outcome for a frivolous lawsuit.

Before Ballard, guys in this business used to say something like, "There's some mildew in the shower stall in the bath; it smells, you probably oughta clean it up." Now, we have to have a legal team standing by to consult with in order to describe smoke stains on a ceiling, because of the fear that some buyer whose allowed himself to be spooked by junk science spouted by sensationalized remodeling shows is liable to sue us over it if we don't go out of our way to write 6 paragraphs about it.

Just so's you know; they could have used Kilz to seal old water stains on a ceiling, or to prevent nicotine from bleeding through new paint, or to seal crayon stains on a wall, or to seal a greasy kitchen ceiling before repainting, or for any number of other things besides mold.

It looks like you don't trust the buyer. I'd advise you to get a good home inspector, but you've already sort of implied here on this board that what WE do is a ripoff, so I guess it really wouldn't be appropriate for any of us to advise you on what you should do next.

What exactly is it that you're fishing for here, anyway?

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

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I agree that the mold scare is hyped up. However, if it is bad enough it may be a problem for certain people who have breathing ailments but the CDC does not seem to make a big deal out of it.

In some areas you might be able to look deeper. In the attic for instance, you can pull back insulation and see the top part of the drywall of the upper floor ceilings. Many times water intrusion from the roof will cause the mold in the first place. If it was covered from beneath, you should be able to still stains from above.

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You talked me into it....I want a mold home that has been flooded and mold from top to bottom. I can also use it as a French cheese factory and make Brie on the side.

Yep, shouldn't be concerned at all about Sellers who hide mold, water damage, roof damage and other defects. I should just buy like Ray Charles who can't see. Don't need a Home Inspector either.....he's just a waste of money since mold is so desireable and makes a home worth even more money.

Originally posted by hausdok

Jim is right,

Mold spore is ubiquitous. Believe it or not, you and I are both breathing. right now, this very instant, two or three varieties of (gasp) TOXIC mold. I bet when you look around you won't see it though. Out here in the western corridor of Washington State, I bet I breath as much mold spore in a day as most folks in your state do in a month. S'funny how that works. If mold were so TOXIC, one would expect that most of those of us in western Washington would be in the hospital or walking about wearing masks and carrying oxygen bottles. That's why CDC and EPA have said that it's pointless to look for mold spore during the course of a home sale.

Mold only became "TOXIC" after Melinda Ballard was awarded $34,000,000 in a lawsuit about 10 or 11 years ago. For a couple of million years before that, it was just mold. Nobody remembers, though, that Ballard's award was later tossed out on appeal and that the court found that there was NO evidence that any of her symptoms were caused by mold. They tossed out all but $4M of her award and only gave her that to punish the insurance company for dragging its feet. Still, I suppose $4M is a pretty good outcome for a frivolous lawsuit.

Before Ballard, guys in this business used to say something like, "There's some mildew in the shower stall in the bath; it smells, you probably oughta clean it up." Now, we have to have a legal team standing by to consult with in order to describe smoke stains on a ceiling, because of the fear that some buyer whose allowed himself to be spooked by junk science spouted by sensationalized remodeling shows is liable to sue us over it if we don't go out of our way to write 6 paragraphs about it.

Just so's you know; they could have used Kilz to seal old water stains on a ceiling, or to prevent nicotine from bleeding through new paint, or to seal crayon stains on a wall, or to seal a greasy kitchen ceiling before repainting, or for any number of other things besides mold.

It looks like you don't trust the buyer. I'd advise you to get a good home inspector, but you've already sort of implied here on this board that what WE do is a ripoff, so I guess it really wouldn't be appropriate for any of us to advise you on what you should do next.

What exactly is it that you're fishing for here, anyway?

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

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Robert or George,

You need to hire an Industrial Hygienist who specializes in mold testing and remediation plans. This is the only way that you will know what you have in your home. The first step in stopping mold is stopping the moisture in the home.

Expect to pay around $2,500 to $3,500+ for a real mold evaluation of your home that is performed by a person who knows what they are doing.

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I repeat,

What is it that you are fishing for here? This is a professional home inspector's site where HOME INSPECTORS discuss their profession. You've already expressed some disdain for inspectors, so I don't know why you are wasting your time coming here when you obviously know better than we do anyway.

We get paid to proffer our advice about homes to non-inspectors. If you want free do-it-yourself advice, you'd be better off going to one of the sites put up by This Old House Magazine or Popular Mechanics.

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

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