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Mold Sickness

Emergency Water Extraction & Mold Remediation in Northern VA & Southern MD

3 Rules to buying a home or office with water damage/mold.

Whether you’re a first-time home buyer or a savvy real estate investor, this article has been prepared with you in mind.  As an IICRC Certified Master Water Damage Expert, I wish to share with you three critical details about purchasing a home or office with mold contamination.

Rule 1- Have the property inspected.

Once the property has been inspected, carefully review the inspection report and ask questions.  Research the company that provided the home inspection and find out about the services they offer.  All home inspections were not created equally, so it is in your best interest to find out what kind of inspection was performed.  For example, the company may offer a “basic” and a “complete” inspection; of course, the complete inspection will be much more thorough than the basic inspection.  Also, keep in mind that most home inspectors are not certified mold/water damage professionals and will often miss not so obvious signs of mold growth and water damage.  People looking to sell a home or office will often opt for bare minimum services, it is your duty as the buyer to ensure the documents of service presented are sufficient to meet your specific needs.

Rule 2- Review the estimates.

Once water damage or mold has been discovered and sited in the inspection report, one of your buying conditions should be that the seller have the damage restored to what is known as a “Condition 1” or normal microbial levels before purchase.  Additionally, your buying conditions should dictate that the contracted service provider be an IICRC certified AMRT-applied microbial remediation technician, which also means the service provider will be IICRC WRT-water restoration technician.  The IICRC or Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification is the primary certification and standard setting organization for the mold remediation industry.  Regulations for mold abatement in DC and MD are relaxed, but licensing is required for “local” and “full scale” containment projects; however, in Va. there are no licensing requirements.

The seller is most likely to agree to get three estimates but is also most likely to choose the lowest bid.  To ensure your seller doesn’t simply choose the lowest bidder regardless of work quality, review the estimates yourself.  A proper remediation project scope will be prepared using Xactimate software, which is industry standard, and prepared according to the ANSI S520 and S500 IICRC mold abatement and water damage standards.  Also, before providing an estimate, an IICRC Certified AMRT will inspect and may find mold or water damage missed by the home inspector.  Many times, sellers will only want what is noted in the home inspectors report remediated, which may still leave you with an unresolved mold problem.  

Rule 3- Get it tested.

As a final condition, the mold remediation effort should be tested, do not simply accept an invoice for services rendered.  According to IICRC ANSI S520, testing should be conducted while containment is still intact and after air filtration has ceased for at least 12-24 hours.  Air samples in addition to swab or lift samples should be collected from remediation zones (condition 3 and condition 2 areas).  An air sample of the ambient air outside must also be taken.  Air born mold and mildew should not exceed 10% of the air born mold and mildew of the outside sample, all swab or lift sample should read rare or non-detect.

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Metrix Restoration is your premier Emergency Water Removal, Flood Damage Restoration, Mold Remediation and Indoor Air Quality, Carpet Cleaning & Reconstruction service provider in Woodbridge Virginia, Prince William county, Fairfax county, Stafford county, Fredericksburg, Manassas, Arlington, Alexandria, Fairfax, Montgomery county Maryland, Prince Georges county Maryland and surrounding areas.

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