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Buyer Hotspots Part 2: Mold, Lead Paint and Basements

June 9th, 2015

What is Mold?

Mold is a type of fungi that feeds on organic material and can spread across warm and humid surfaces. Some common places for mold:

  • Basements
  • Bathrooms
  • Kitchens
  • Laundry Rooms

Within these areas, mold can be seen on:

  • Ceiling
  • Carpet
  • Clothes
  • Dry Wall
  • Ducts
  • Furniture
  • Fabric
  • Rugs
  • Walpaper

Mold spores spread through water and air producing colors anywhere from green and blue to black.

What’s the damage?

Once mold reaches a severe level, it can cause lasting damages to the structural components of your home and household items. Mold can also lead to health symptoms including:

  • Coughing
  • Asthma attack
  • Eye irritation
  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Rashes
  • Shortness of breath
  • Skin issues
  • Skin irritations
  • Sneezing fits

Take action to keep mold from damaging your home

Use an air conditioner, dehumidifier or fanto keep the air moving inside your home. Humidity levels change throughout the day, so by using a fan, the wet places in your home won’t be able to get too comfortable and start producing mold.

Check for water leaks if you haven’t had a problem with mold before. There may be leaks in your plumbing, roof, or walls that are causing the mold build-up. If you come across leaks, make sure to fix them immediately to prevent any more molds from growing.

Reduce humidity by opening up your windows on sunny days, and continue using dehumidifiers, fans and air conditioning.

Let the sun shine in! Just like you, your home loves the sun. Mold cannot survive in warm and dry conditions, so open up those blinds and let as much sun shine in as you can!

Getting rid of mold is a fairly easy task, despite having to look at the mold while you’re doing it. All you will need is a soft scrubbing brush, cleaning product, protective eye and skin wear and lots of ventilation and clean air. Combining one-part water with three-parts vinegar can make a DIY cleaning product.

If you follow these easy tips, you should have no problem maintaining a safe, healthy and mold-free home!

Lead Paint

If your house was built before 1978 and you are thinking about having renovations done that disturb more than six square feet of painted surfaces inside or 20 square feet on the exterior, the contractor you hire is required by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to be trained and certified. Back in 2010, the EPA enacted a new rule for professional contractors to help protect children from the dangers of lead dust exposure. If you need lead paint removed, hire an EPA Lead-Safe Certified Renovator. Do not attempt remodeling work yourself, as this puts you and your family members at risk of lead poisoning.

Here is a list of EPA Lead-Safe Certified Renovator firms in Wisconsin:
http://www.nahb.org/en/find/directory-hba.aspx#sort=%40flocalnumber40069%20ascending&f:@fstate40069=[wi]

Basements

Some of the most important aspects prospective buyers look for in a home are an updated kitchen, enough bathrooms, and a big yard. However, if you are thinking about buying a home, make sure you look carefully at the basement; specifically, to see if there are any wet spots or past moisture. Basement issues can be some of the most costly repairs in a home, so you will want to dissolve the problem prior to placing a bid. While you are touring the basement, look for drip lines around the windows or from the ceiling, water spots, stains and a musty odor. These are all signs that water is finding its way into the home.

If you notice any of these signs in the basement, it’s important to address them to the seller as soon as possible if the seller has not already addressed it. The first step to transforming the basement back to a livable and healthy state is to get rid of any mold. Secondly, it is important to block any further water from spreading into the already-affected area. The earlier the damage is corrected, the longer the foundation of the home maintains good condition.

 

Whether you are a buyer or seller, all of these issues circle back to being aware of what’s happening in the home and tackling the problem quickly.

By following these best practices, you will be that much closer to a healthier home that will stay in wonderful condition longer and sell faster!

Read Buyer Hotspots, Part 1: Radon & Asbestos