Breathing in mold spores can cause permanent lung and brain damage.

I got this picture of mold-gone-wild from a website:  – very specific about what they do, eh?

Reading the disclosure reports:  Mold

 Before we bought the 1906 Craftsman house that we converted to our office, we reviewed all the house inspection reports.  One of those reports was from a company that had inspected for mold. 

 Now, the house had large roof and window leaks and the previous tenants had put masking tape around every window and keyhole to keep out drafts (yikes!)  so condensation ran down all the windows and rotted the sills.  There was lovely mold everywhere. 

 Ok, so we reviewed the report and the estimate to remove the mold was for $18,000 dollars!  Ouch.  This was during the height of the mold scare.  Black mold, especially, which can cause health issues.

 Since we didn’t have $18,000 (eighteen THOUSAND dollars!) to throw at mold, I decided to find out exactly what the mold was.  I carefully read the entire report, including all the footnotes and went online to several sites to understand the terms used.

 The mold in our house was not the kind that sprouts mushrooms (yes, we had a client with mushrooms growing in their bathroom!)

Here's his mushroom, the Caterpiller can't be far off.

nor was it the scary black mold (did you know that there have been lawsuits over the color of mold?  Because a real-estate agent referred in a report to seeing a spot of black mold, he was sued.  After all, the lawsuit said, the agent was not a color expert, so he should not have indicated a color and, since he was not a mold expert, he should not have written the word ‘mold’.  So, now an agent will specify that a ‘discolored area’ was noticed.   In reality, the lawsuit was all about that scary black mold which, for awhile, was the curse of doom for anyone selling a house.) 

 But, back to me and MY mold problem, the inspection company wanted to carefully clean the areas with HEPA filter vacuums, then wipe down the areas 3 times with special solutions and so forth.

I discovered that our particular kind of mold, having dried up once the leaks were stopped, was no longer a threat – it died – mold needs the water to survive.  I also discovered that the mold was as threatening to a human being as walking on the street in the spring.  Yes, literally.  So, I vacuumed the areas, wiped them down with alcohol and thought no more about it.

 Can you take care of your own mold problem?  Depends on the mold and, well, you must decide that for yourself.  The report was long and full of tiny print and footnotes and weird words.   But, I read it meticulously and felt comfortable that I understood what it was saying.  The mold we had was not life-threatening, so we took care of it ourselves.

 The point here?  Read the reports carefully, don’t make assumptions.

 Oh, btw, here is a link to the EPA website info regarding mold