Small Areas of Mold in First Flip

7 Replies

I am at the tail end of my first flip in FL (decorated and on the market). The buyer's inspector found a few small areas of mold in the basement. I'm afraid that 1) a professional remediation of this will eat all of the profit from this flip, and 2) if it's not professionally remediated, having to disclose it to future buyers will scare them off, at least if we were to do it ourselves as the EPA seems to allow given how small an area it covers (3'x3')

None of these areas are large (all around a couple square feet) and are not actively growing (i.e. dry). 

How do experienced flippers handle this? 

Jeremy - I do not have the exact answer, other than get multiple quotes on remediation.  I have one waiting for closing day that has some basement mold, I will tag along in this post and offer any info I find out, and learn as well.

Has the buyer requested the mold be professionally removed? Is the mold located on hard surfaces or soft? I had a small amount of mold on my last sale in a basement. The buyer was ok with me treating it myself. I had another house in the past that had some mold in the attic. It was treated in the $500 range. I have heard others getting quotes of thousands for "remediation". It can't hurt to get s few quotes.

The buyer has requested it be professionally remediated (not just by a GC, which remediation can legally be performed by in FL as we recommended), including potentially replacing all of the duct work, which has not shown any mold. I fear some serious fear and hyping of the problem. I am getting a few quotes. Mold appears to be limited to drywall in a couple areas (wall behind a shower that was leaking and has been repaired, wall behind the washing machine).

If remediation is $5k for a small job (pulling that out of the air), I doubt seasoned flippers routinely have this professionally remediated, especially when simply tearing out drywall/replacing/wiping down with bleach after correcting the moisture problem is sufficient to correct it.

don't let an inspector scare you... they have knowledge of a-lot of things but are not experts at anything (meaning they are not mold experts).  Inspectors in my area are now being trained to say "weird substance, could be mold, needs to be examined professionally" on every house.     Get your quotes!    Having it sprayed shouldn't eat up your profits

Get some quotes but it's OK to say no to some buyer demands, especially unreasonable replace all the ducts fears.  You can always counter with here's the quote from a professional for what's actually wrong, I'll meet you in the middle. If they walk, that might be for the best so that you can clean it up if it's truly just a small area and sell it at full price to the next buyer.

Hi @Jeremy Olmen , If the buyer has requested it be professionally remediated, then you are kind of stuck, as far as that buyer goes. Like the others have said, get a few quotes. that small if an area should not break the bank to have professionally done. 

As far as the ducting, did they specify there was mold in the ducting? I have replaced some ducting and fogged a system that had water in it for a while, it was not that bad, but we had to remove some drywall to replace the ducting. I used to have a professional remediator in Atlanta, but he has since moved on to other things. 

I would have some pro's come out and provide his/her own inspection on the ducting and provide an all clear if possible and have them treat the spot. It is rare that the ducting would be affected given such a small space that the mold is on.

Best of luck!

I had a pro come out today and they agreed the ducts are fine, but there was some drywall near one of the returns that needs to be addressed. Quote is 3k for everything, which includes a certification of all clear, which isn't terrible given what I thought it might cost. 

This buyer has withdrawn but, as we now know there is mold, I figure it needs to be professionally remediated, as I and the agent are required by law to disclose to future buyers that there is/was mold, and specifically how it was remediated. And I figure if I say "by myself with some bleach" they'll run away screaming. :) Right?