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Tiny hints of mould may be tip of the iceberg

Small indications of mould can very easily be the symptom of a much larger problem.

We are in the process of purchasing a new home and have inserted a condition in the Agreement of Purchase and Sale for a home inspection. We have found the ideal house in a desirable location, however, when our inspector spent time at the house, she found small dark dots around a couple of the windows. She indicated that this may be a small indication of mould. What would you do in this case?


It may very well be that the house is a solid, mould-free construction, but you need to be very careful in this situation. Small indications of mould can very easily be the symptom of a much larger problem. Oftentimes, if mold is showing on the exterior of walls, it could lead to extremely serious problems on the interior. Removing mould from a building is a costly and sometimes very extensive procedure.


To further complicate this matter, you now have an advance indication that this may be a problem. Therefore, if it is discovered in the future that there is a costly mould problem, can you rely upon your lack of knowledge of the problem and pursue the vendor for damages? If I were the vendor’s lawyer and found out that you knew of the potential for mould, I would bluntly refuse to even entertain any compensation by my client. You would probably be in line for an expensive rehabilitation invoice in the thousands of dollars.


So, this being said, even though you love the house and it is exactly where you want it to be, I would run quickly in the opposite direction. Do not waive the house inspection condition and the deal will be null and void. Small mouldy dots around the windows could be just the tip of the iceberg.

 
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