Aside from the health hazards attributed to mold, one of the most important factors for buyers and owners of Multi-Family and Commercial property is the cost of remedying serious mold issues.
What are Molds?
Molds are fungi. Fungi include mildews, molds, mushrooms, rusts, smuts, and yeasts. Without them, we would not have, wines, cheese, bread and some of our medicines such as penicillin. Molds require moisture, something to eat – which is something organic such as dust or skin flakes – and the proper temperature – in Southern California that is almost all the time. In ideal conditions, molds can grow in less than 48 hours to the point of being visible.
After extensive research and personally inspecting thousands of homes and commercial buildings over the last fifteen years, I have found that mold really is a potential concern; a much bigger concern for some people than others.
Effects of Mold
Some people are affected adversely by the same amount of mold that doesn’t affect the person next to them in the least. Molds affect each person differently. The people who are the most susceptible to being affected by molds are the very young, the very old or those whose immune system is compromised for any reason such as chemotherapy or the flu or people with specific allergies to mold.
Molds are ubiquitous in nature, and mold spores are a common component of household and workplace dust. However, when mold spores are present in large quantities, they can present a health hazard to humans, potentially causing allergic reactions and respiratory problems.
Some molds also produce mycotoxins that can pose serious health risks to humans and animals. Exposure to high levels of mycotoxins can lead to neurological problems and in some cases death. Prolonged exposure, e.g. daily workplace exposure, can be particularly harmful. The term toxic mold refers to molds that produce mycotoxins, such as Stachybotrys chartarum, and not to all molds in general.
Checking For Mold During An Inspection
At Commercial Real Estate Inspectors we look for mold at all inspections. It is most often seen in the bathrooms in the grout, between the tiles in walls and the tub or shower. Also, exterior areas which have not been properly sealed, such as around windows and doors, allow moisture intrusion into the walls and ceilings.
Having each apartment checked for mold is a very important and cost-effective part of any inspection of Multi-Family properties. We did an inspection of a Multi-Family building wherein our client had us do only a representative sampling of the units; about 20% of the total. I advised him to have every unit inspected but the client felt he wanted to “save money” by not paying us to look at every unit. As it turned out, one of the units we did not inspect had mold issues and the repairs are going to cost over 10X the total price to have us inspect every unit! Not a very cost-effective decision in the end.
When you hire Commercial Real Estate Inspectors, we inspect all the systems in the building, check for mold and provide you with our unique RISK Assessment® report so you know what repairs and upgrades will cost per industry standards. That way you and your agent can make an informed decision.
Mold is everywhere. It can grow rapidly, can greatly affect some people even with very little exposure AND it can be costly to repair.
Call us TODAY and book your next inspection!