Cleaning and Disclosing Mould

Verifying the Existence of Mould

On the advice of his REALTOR® the seller regretted paying for and getting a pre-listing home inspection. His reasoning:  people told him he shouldn’t have to do that because that's something the buyer does. 

The REALTOR® confirmed that getting a home inspection was the right thing to do. It was essential to verify whether the black stain covering the basement walls was mould as this could be a health hazard.

Mould after removal can resurface

With the inspector affirming that the walls were covered with mould, the seller on the paint store attendant’s recommendation purchased products that would allegedly remove the mould. On seeing the clean walls, the REALTOR® informed the seller that on listing the home, the existence of mould would have to be disclosed as it could resurface and pose be a health hazard to buyers with allergies or asthma.  

Affects of Mould

It likely needed further testing to determine the type of mould, the air quality, the amount of mould in the air and to resolve whether the mould was toxic, disease causing or allergenic.

Mould caused dampness caused the mould possibly causing allergic reactions, wheezing, shortness of breath, asthma symptoms, as well as  eye, nose and throat irritation, coughing and phlegm build-up.

Mould is especially harmful to children, elderly people and people with allergies, asthma and respiratory problems.

That’s because mould releases spores into the air that are so small people can inhale them.

A damp basement, in this case the source of moisture, should be corrected to prevent the mould from growing back once cleaned. In this basement water seeping along the walls collected into a trough below the concrete floor which was diverted to a sump pump. This is likely resulted in much dampness over the years causing mould to grow on the walls.

Cleaning Small Surfaces

  • Typically, small areas—about one square meter of hard surfaces on concrete walls--can be scrubbed with detergent and water.
  • A bleach/water solution can also be used for small surfaces.

Cleaning Larger surfaces: As in this instance, they require a professional contractor skilled in mold removal and remediation. Go to Health Canada site at http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca for more info. Once you are sure that the mould has been eliminated, www.familyhandyman.com, recommends sealing wood surfaces with special shellac or an oil-based primer. Cleaned wall surfaces can be repainted “with a regular latex paint that contains a mildewcide to help stop future mould growth. If the moisture returns, mold will return.” Mould is a health hazard and should be disclosed.

Eugene Pilato

Eugene Pilato

Broker of Record
CENTURY 21 Today Realty Ltd., Brokerage*
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