Mold in a home can be a nuisance, but in large quantities can be a health code violation and a threat to the health of the people in the home. A particularly moldy home that isn’t cleaned can lead to citations for code violations. There are some sellers in the real estate market that try to sell homes despite mold problems.

Homebuying is already a stressful process, and a potential home with a moldy basement probably won’t help your stress. Is it worth it to buy a home with mold in the basement, or should you look somewhere else? The right answer is up to you, but facts can help you make the best choice.

What Causes Mold?

Mold is a type of fungus that exists in homes, but especially in damp spaces. Water in the basement after a heavy rain that isn’t cleaned up right away can cause mold problems, as can plumbing problems, melting snow, a history of flooding, and other indoor and outdoor problems that can bring moisture in your home. Low-grade, cracked, or porous building materials can increase mold issues, as can improper ventilation, construction, maintenance, and landscaping.

If the mold is in a damp area, it probably means that the area isn’t properly cared for. If there’s a large amount of mold growth, it could be a sign that there’s a serious issue with the home, and it’s important to find the cause before you buy.

How Mold Affects You and Your Home

Some types of mold are more toxic than others. Brief exposure to mold is unlikely to cause serious problems in a healthy person, but prolonged exposure to a large quantity of mold can cause breathing problems and coughing or make existing allergies or asthma worse. In extreme cases, black mold can cause permanent health damage and death.

Large amounts of mold or growth in unusual locations can lower a home’s value. For some buyers, this might be a blessing in disguise: it could make a home more affordable than it would have been before the discount. Get an independent appraiser to look at your home before you make an offer. An appraiser is required to note if mold is growing, where it’s growing, and the type of mold present. It’s possible that mold removal is required before you can get an FHA loan.

Before You Buy Your Home

Whenever you make a major purchase, especially for the home you’re going to be living in for years, have it inspected for mold or other problems. On top of telling you other issues about the home, the inspection might tell you what caused the mold problem. Get an inspection even if the seller is offering a steep discount on the home: the savings could be negated by the cost of removing the mold. The sellers have to disclose if the home has an ongoing mold problem or has flooded before, but they might not so don’t take the word of a seller or real estate agent about mold in the home.

Should I Buy a House with a Moldy Basement?

What if your perfect home has mold in the basement? There isn’t really a right answer to the question of whether it’s ok to buy a home with mold in it. Your home-buying decision will probably be based on your budget, you and your family’s health, and how soon you need to move. If you have the time and money to get rid of mold in a home you purchase, it might be worth it, especially if the home was appraised and sold at a discount because of the mold issue. If you have allergies or other health problems that might get aggravated by mold, or your priority is moving into a home in excellent condition, it’s probably better for you to wait.

If you decide to have the mold removed, consider the cost of having the mold removed. A mold remediation specialist can properly remediate your basement, prevent the mold from spreading through your ventilation system into the rest of your home, and keep it from coming back. The cost of remediation will depend on a number of factors about the home and infestation. A dehumidifier in your basement can keep moisture under control and help prevent mold from coming back once it’s removed.

Acculevel Basement Waterproofing and Mold Prevention

Water in your basement can not only lead to mold growth but also other foundation problems that can be prevented with proper repairs and maintenance. Acculevel has a variety of solutions for homeowners struggling with water in their basement as well as foundation repair and mold prevention strategies to keep you and your home healthy for years to come. For a free home inspection and basement reconditioning or waterproofing estimate, contact Acculevel.