Home Buyers Beware of Black Mold and Hidden Roof Leaks
One of the most rewarding decisions we will make is purchasing a home, especially after many weeks of searching for the perfect house. Buying a house is a major financial responsibility, so before you throw caution to the wind and jump into the sale based on outward appearances, do your due diligence. On the outside it could look great, but what are you really getting for your money?
We all know it's easier to be generous when the economy is on an upswing. Unfortunately when home owners are feeling the pinch from the opposite side of the coin, choices are made to save money. What reduces the expenses for the seller many end up costing the buyer – you! Historically the real estate market has acted like a roller coaster ride where homes are purchased at the top end, but when it comes time to sell, the bottom may have dropped out.
There is always a concern for the seller that they cannot recoup their original investment and their upgrades to the property. Tough choices are forced upon them, and corners get cut.
It makes absolute sense to hire a third-party building inspector to assess a house before you sign on the dotted line. Certain issues are fairly easy to detect, but there are others, such as hidden roof leaks and the presence of black mold that are not as simple to identify. You need to have a professional roofing contractor trained in infrared technology to reveal the truth about the history of the house.
The first thing we need to do is inspect your roof and attic for signs of leaks and adequate ventilation. Damage to the roofing materials, such as cracked or missing shingles is obvious, but problems associated with water and excess humidity from lack of air flow are tougher to track down. Inside the attic we could find evidence of rot, mildew and black mold, but there is no telling by the naked eye how far reaching it is. Once black mold gets started, it spreads like wildfire. Damp insulation loses R-value and forces your energy costs to rise.
The same goes for the other building materials that were used to construct the house. Wood framing, decking and flooring rot out when wet. Metal brackets and fasteners corrode and break. Water running through electrical fixtures creates a serious fire hazard.
In the rooms below the attic, we might see crumbling plaster, buckling drywall and water stains that give away the fact the house had a leak. We could find water stains in the carpet from leaks that originated in the roof.
One of the worst things that can happen in a house is long term exposure to water caused by a leaky roof and poor roof ventilation. You cannot be certain the home you are about to purchase is not seriously damaged without having it scanned by an infrared moisture detection camera. It makes no difference to the camera when the original leak occurred – it will tell you where it happened and where it still exists, even hidden behind walls. Knowing this opens up several options. You may choose to continue the search for your dream home, or use the evidence about the actual condition of the house as a negotiating point. The bottom line is you will protect your money and invest it wisely with the help of the roofing professionals.
As a homeowner you should be worried about leaks and moisture that enters your home. They are unwanted guests and hide in your walls creating unseen havoc. It's time to make sure you get rid of these intrusive problems.
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