Mold Issues in Foreclosed Homes

As the number of real estate owned (REO) properties rises, the link between foreclosure and mold keeps growing.

Mold infestation in bank-owned, vacant houses is a serious problem throughout the country. The recent real estate collapse has led to a growing number of moldly, abandoned REO homes. Water, sewage and flooding problems often go untreated when homeowners are missing. In the event of natural disasters, unoccupied homes in humid areas can quickly become infested with mold. Even homes that are simply unoccupied for extended periods are susceptible.

Any mold, but particularly black mold, can scare away buyers and drive down the price of the real estate. If the mold damage is intensive, it can require large remediation efforts to make the home habitable again. This often requires the work of professional mold removal contractors.

Once a home, condominium or apartment building is severely infested, it can become difficult to remove hidden mold. In the worst cases, floors and walls must be torn away to correct the problems. Many REO properties do not have documented histories about past conditions or treatments.

Infested foreclosed properties present challenges to future real estate transactions. A properly cleaned up mold home can be sold. However, if the issue not properly handled by a mold professional, the mold problem creates a high risk of lawsuits down the road, particularly if the new owner experience health problems due to new mold growth.

Remediation must be properly completed in order for a foreclosed home to be once again inhabited safely.