Buyers often include in purchase agreements an environmental inspection contingency since
contamination or hazardous substances on the property can affect the value of the real estate. This allows the buyer to terminate or renegotiate the contract if the environmental conditions are not acceptable. Lenders typically make commitment letters contingent on the acceptability of environmental findings because a cleanup or remediation project may interfere with the borrower’s business, potentially impairing its ability to repay the loan.
Mold can be an issue in any building pre or post purchase. Exposure to aerosolized mold spores and vegetative cells in indoor and outdoor environments is continuous. Some people are more sensitive to mold and exposure commonly encountered in indoor and outdoor environments can lead to symptoms such as stuffy nose, wheezing, and red or itchy eyes, or skin. Some people, such as those with mold allergies, asthma, and/or weakened immune systems may
have more intense reactions.
There are no exposure standards for mold in indoor air or in bulk samples, nor are there air standards for different types of mold. As such, indoor air sampling is not recommended for
indoor air quality investigations under most circumstances. A successful solution to a potential mold issue requires knowledge of building systems, a technical acuity for the merits of sampling, and the ability to communicate results and potential risks to owners and occupants. A well thought out approach will go a long way in avoiding a situation where a non-issue becomes an expensive remediation project and/or a public relations nightmare.
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