This problem has been like this for some time. What should buyers do when mold appears on new construction?
The drywall is in the rooms and was to be installed in the next couple of days. Nobody said anything to the buyers.
The builder did what they usually do - they called the buyers late one afternoon and said they needed a pre-drywall inspection the next day. We're so sorry, we forgot that pesky drywall was scheduled for installation the next day and, gee, if you want a pre-drywall inspection we don't mind but, gosh, good golly, our schedule just took us over and you need an inspection tomorrow morning. It was near my other inspection and I slipped them in early in the morning.
This GROWING GREEN GRUB was on every single truss rafter in the garage and main house.
The trusses had been strapped together, stored in the yard during many rain storms, and when the time arrived were lifted up and installed.
Some had growth that was worse than others, necessarily.
What's my job? To observe and report.
I do not speak scientifically.
I do not give an analysis.
I do not give a solution.
I do not tell them mold protocols.
I do not say how innocuous this stuff might be.
I do not say how dangerous this stuff might be.
I do not even say if this stuff is mold, fungus or microbial growth!
We have not done a mold test, and Virginia won't let me say there is anything other than "evidence of mold or microbial growth." Fine.
I DO SAY THEY SHOULD HAVE AN INDEPENDENT ANALYSIS AND LEARN WHAT THE LONG-TERM IMPLICATIONS MIGHT BE IF THIS STUFF IS COVERED WITH DRYWALL AND INSULATION.
There, the buyers are covered. They had seen this stuff before but did not know what to do.
They called their supervisor. He did not answer, it went to voice mail and within two minutes someone from the main office called back. It seems somebody did know about this stuff and maybe the supervisor was told not to say anything!
The office people told the buyers that the builder was going to "spray it all" before drywall installation. What does that mean? Nothing, it's an empty statement.
SO I REITERATED MY PREVIOUS STATEMENT THAT THEY WANT THEIR OWN ANALYSIS AND EXPLANATION OF WHAT TO DO FROM HERE AND WHAT CHEMICALS WOULD BE BEST IF THIS STUFF NEEDS TO BE MITIGATED. SPRAYING IT WITH CLOROX WATER MIGHT NOT BE THE RIGHT SOLUTION, NO PUN INTENDED! AND THAT THE SUGGESTED SOLUTION SHOULD BE IN WRITING AND THAT IT'S ACCOMPLISHMENT IS STATED IN WRITING. IT MIGHT BE THAT DOING NOTHING IS FINE. THAT IS NOT MY CALL.
My recommendation: it is not my place to say that even though this stuff is in the garage or attic that it is not something a buyer should be concerned with. I have no idea what affects these folks, their children, or future people who will live in the house. I have no idea if this stuff will dry up and go away, or continue to grow and become a problem for them. My clients are big kids and can decide for themselves what their comfort zone is. They can act accordingly. But it is clear that nobody was saying anything to them about this stuff.
The buyers called me last night. It seems the drywall installation has been postponed a bit. They are grateful.
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC
Based in Bristow, serving all of Northern Virginia.
Office (703) 330-6388 Cell (703) 585-7560