Mold in House Being Built

tombiowamiNovember 2, 2011

Good day,

I am in the process of purchasing a house that is still being built. ETA on closing is late December. It is part of a new subdivision of which approx. 50 houses are complete or being built currently and another 250 later or in process. We have put earnest money down and signed a contract.

Unfortunately right after they put up the drywall, mold was discovered at another house being built nearby. We went over to our future house and saw several areas of mold in the garage where they had not drywalled yet.

The builder (large national builder) is aware of the issue in the development and stating they will 'address it'. I have been doing some research but wanted to get some opinions as well on specific actions I should take.

I have not reviewed the contract yet as to how earnest money ($3,500) would be handled, but I would be prepared to lose it rather than move into a house that had a lot of mold I did not feel was addressed properly.

I have not heard yet the specific plans the builder has to take care of it, but I fully beleive they were aware of the mold prior to the drywall being installed; so at best I am suspicious of their actions.

Obviously we will be having a mold inspection done as part of any pre-purchase inspection; but any other comments?

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Billl

Contact a lawyer asap and run away for the deal. If this builder was willing to drywall over a moldy wall, what other corners was he cutting?

    Bookmark   November 2, 2011 at 1:55PM
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marie_ndcal

What area are you in? MY DD has mold in her house all the time due to the fact she is right on the beach in No Calif and the weather is almost always very wet and cold and rains alot. If your area wet and cold/hot alot this may be a factor. Talk to your building dept and find out if this is normal for your area. Your builder should be putting some kind of sealer under the drywall. Check with others in your area, but like Bill stated, I would be very careful because what he is doing (no matter how big/good he seems to be) he or the subs may be cutting corners and make sure the drywall is US not China. Big problems with made in China

    Bookmark   November 2, 2011 at 4:40PM
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brickeyee

Houses are not built in a controlled environment.

Until they are dried in, it rains in the house, snows in the house, etc.
The mold will quickly die once the source of moisture is removed.

    Bookmark   November 2, 2011 at 6:44PM
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ncrealestateguy

What Brickeyee says...

    Bookmark   November 2, 2011 at 6:54PM
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sweet_tea

Relax. Folks have gone overboard about mold and mildew the past several years.

Can you tell it apart from mildew...they appear the same visually to many folks?

There are many different types of mold and most types don't cause any health issues at all. You don't even know what you have and chanced are very, very likely that is is harmless.

Also what brickeye says above is correct.

The poster that says run away is simply fueling the fire with this fear of anything in the mold/mildew area.

If you are really fearful, get it tested to see what it is(is it the bad mold, and how to remedy). ServePro is a nationwide franchise that does cleanup for mold and also fire clean up, and all kinds of clean-up. They can test it and even suggest ways to clean it, remove it,prevent it if it is indeed problematic.

Again, what brickeye says is real important.

Don't stress over this.

    Bookmark   November 3, 2011 at 9:16AM
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PRO
Sophie Wheeler

Not a big deal at all. All houses will have a bit of moldy framing before closed in when they got rained on while under construction. If they are constructed properly, with the correct flashing for the windows and doors and roofing system, then you really don't ever have to worry about it surviving and creating a problem. If your builder in inept, then you have more problems than mold and you just don't know it yet.

    Bookmark   November 3, 2011 at 10:07AM
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tombiowami

Thanks for all of the responses! I am in the Raleigh area of NC; so mid-state. We are not that near the ocean. We should find out what the builder is going to do in the next couple days and take it from there.

    Bookmark   November 4, 2011 at 3:34PM
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Billl

Mildew on framing is not a big deal. Active mold by the time the house is ready for drywall is. The place has assuredly been closed in for an extended period of time if the drywall is already up. If it hasn't dried out in a month or so, there is a problem.

    Bookmark   November 4, 2011 at 4:19PM
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braytonak

I wouldn't be the least bit worried about it. We removed the carpet in our home when we moved in. (It's now 30 years old.) We noticed the water stains along every wall on the upper floor. It was pretty obvious that it was simply a result of rain during construction of the house.

It really is inevitable that rain or snow will be inside a house while under construction. Once the structure dries any mold or mildew that did start to grow will be dormant. A functional roof, HVAC and exterior will mean that it won't be a problem.

Look at it this way: Mold exists everywhere. It's floating in the air, lands on surfaces and is trapped in places you can't get to. Even when you can't see it, it's there. Be careful not to overreact.

    Bookmark   November 7, 2011 at 12:18AM
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