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By November 5, 2020August 7th, 2023No Comments

Dream home inspection problems can be a sizable part of a real estate transaction. If you’ve found your dream home in the ideal location, even if it has major problems, it may not be possible to just walk away. Can you still have your dream home even if it has mold? Come read Part 3 of Luke and Vanessa’s story, and how they solved the problems with their dream home.


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Luke and Vanessa and Family - things that fail a home inspection

If you read Parts 1 and 2 of our story, you already met Luke and Vanessa. (If you missed it, check out Part 1 HERE and Part 2 HERE).

Luke and Vanessa (Nessa) were in the market for a new home because their family would soon be expanding. Nessa was expecting their third child, and they were already feeling the crunch of not having enough space.

home inspection problems

It looks great on the outside, doesn’t it? Unfortunately, what lurks inside is more nightmare than dream.

Luke and Nessa found their dream home, put in an offer, and their offer was accepted. They were ecstatic! The kids loved the big yard and were excited to move.

Now that their due diligence period had begun, Luke contacted the home inspection service suggested by their real estate agent. Unfortunately, they were shocked at what the home inspector found.

water in crawl space - things that fail a home inspection

Standing water in the crawlspace

There were several major problems with the home. Inside the crawlspace, there was standing water, and even water lines on the concrete suggesting higher water levels. There was also mold growing on the floor joists and subfloors. The bank would not finance the sale, due to the standing water and mold in the crawlspace.

What do we do now? Options for Negotiating Home Inspection Problems

Options - What happens when a home fails inspection?

“This is our dream home! Do we have any options?” Luke and Vanessa talked to their real estate agent, and explained how important this particular home was to them. In our previous posts, we discussed the 3 options their real estate agent presented to them. The options of walking away or for the owner to fix the problems were not possible.

So they chose Option 3: “Contact the bank to find out if you can qualify for a Renovation Loan,”  their agent told them. “Then, contact a company to perform a mold inspection and get an estimate for the cost of the repairs. After that, we can lower your offer to accommodate the cost of the repairs after the sale, and then we just have to wait and see if they will accept your offer.”

Luke and Nessa carefully considered all their options, but decided that Option 3 was their best choice. Luke contacted their bank and talked to the loan officer about a loan to cover the renovations. Then, he called us (Branch Environmental) to schedule a comprehensive mold inspection.

Comprehensive Mold And Air Quality Inspection

Our inspector not only saw the water damage in the crawlspace, but several other problems. Our inspector checked the entire house top to bottom, inside and out. There were other problems with this home that the home inspector missed. You see, mold inspections are different from home inspections. 

Our inspector created a comprehensive mold inspection report with photographs for Luke and Nessa detailing all the problems with the home. An estimate for the repairs was given to Luke and Nessa with the mold inspection report.

Inspection Report Findings – What needs to be fixed?

Luke and Nessa knew there was some mold, but not how extensive it was. Keep reading to find out about problem #4 for this home. Click the following links to see our previous articles about this home, and how the problems can be solved!

wall in shower saturated with water - things that fail a home inspection

See the 999 reading on the moisture meter? That means that the wall is very moist even though the tub was dry when the readings were taken.

  1. Water and Mold in the Crawl Space
  2. Drain Line Condensation
  3. Missing Insulation on HVAC Ducts

Problem #4 – Bathroom on the Main Level – Water Saturation

This problem is one that was not obvious and was missed by the home inspector. The bathroom looked clean and did not have any obvious issues. However, this shows one of the main differences between home inspections and mold inspections. The bathroom walls around the tub were saturated with moisture.

The water from the shower was seeping into the grout lines and under the caulking around the tub.


First, to fix the problem, the caulk should be stripped and replaced. Then, the grout should be cleaned and a penetrating sealer applied to repel water.


Remember that before we performed the mold inspection, Luke and Nessa had received a home inspection. Problems like this one illustrate the differences in a home inspection and a mold inspection. 

Comprehensive mold and indoor air quality inspection (like ours) should give you different information than just a home inspection. Mold usually forms when there is a moisture problem or leak. Until the leak is fixed (and even after it is), the mold will continue to grow unless the mold is removed.

Unscrupulous sellers will try to hide mold by cleaning the surface of an area and adding fresh paint. This is NEVER a good idea! It’s both a nightmare for the buyer, and a legal headache for the seller. With a comprehensive mold inspection like ours, you gain the knowledge that every part of the home from attic to foundation has been thoroughly checked for mold. Our inspectors are relentless and leave no stone unturned. Even when people try to hide it, you can be sure Branch Environmental will find it!


dream home key with flowers

An estimate for all the repairs was given to Luke and Nessa with the mold inspection report. Now, they had the ability to negotiate with the seller using the knowledge they gained.

Luke and Nessa talked to their real estate agent and renegotiated with the seller. They requested that the seller pay for the gutter extensions and gutter cleaning in the contract. They also lowered the price they were willing to pay for the home based on the estimate for the repairs. Their agent sent the owner a revised contract, and they waited.

Now comes the best part! The owner agreed to the new contract, and they got the renovation loan from the bank!

Mold Remediation and Construction

Once all the paperwork was signed, mold remediation, cleaning, and construction began. Each of the problems discovered during the comprehensive mold and air quality inspection was addressed.

  1. water in crawl space - things that fail a home inspectionWater and Mold in the Crawl Space –Gutters were the main source of water in the crawlspace. Gutters needed to be cleaned and gutter extensions installed to stop the flow of water into the crawlspace. This was accomplished by the seller according to the contract. Mold was growing in the crawl space because of all the water. The space was cleaned and mold removed. Then, the space was dried out and waterproofed with a full coverage wall and floor vapor barrier. A dehumidifier added to the crawlspace to ensure dryness.
  2. water dripping from uninsulated HVAC line causing mold - things that fail a home inspectionDrain Line Condensation – The HVAC drain line in the attic was causing mold to grow on the plywood below the unit. The line was insulated to prevent future condensation on the pipe. Mold in the area was cleaned and removed.
  3. missing insulation on ductsMissing Insulation on HVAC Ducts –In the attic and crawl space, the insulation for the HVAC system was missing around the duct boots. Mold around the duct boots was removed, and new insulation installed. All the protrusions into the home including wire, pipe, and duct penetrations were sealed to prevent ‘dirty air’ from entering the home and the breathing area of the home.
  4. Bathroom on the Main Level – Water Saturation – The caulk was stripped and replaced in the bathroom. Then, the grout was cleaned and a penetrating sealer applied to repel water.

Four weeks after closing on their dream home repairs were complete and they moved in! We love happy endings for our customers!


Mold Inspection

comprehensive mold and indoor air quality inspection (like ours) gives you different information than a home inspection. Mold usually forms when there is a moisture problem or leak, but, condensation can also cause mold problems.

Once the leak or water intrusion is stopped and moisture is gone, the mold will not continue to grow. However, the mold will still be there, and spores will release and become airborne. Airborne spores can go anywhere the air moves them, including all over your home! The only way to stop the mold is to remove it.

Knowledge is Power!

Including a comprehensive mold and indoor air quality inspection as part of your due diligence package is money well spent. Knowledge is power! You now have the power in the negotiations with the seller, armed with the inspection report knowledge. You gain the knowledge you need to make a good decisions about purchasing the home you want.Knowledge is Power - Buying a Home

If the home has mold, you could choose to walk away. But if it’s your dream home in the ideal location, that could be very difficult! What you might be willing to pay for the home now and its appraisal value may change, now that mold is a problem. Sometimes lenders will not allow you to purchase the home without fixing the mold issues first.

Everything is negotiable once you have the knowledge. You could ask the seller to remediate and repair the property. You could also negotiate a lower price for the home, so that you could have the remediation and reconstruction performed yourself. Knowing what needs to be remediated and repaired, and how much it will cost, makes a big difference!

Especially if you live outside our service area, check out our post: How to Choose the Best Mold Removal Company. We let you know what you should expect and what the industry standards should be. If the company you interview doesn’t know the answer to the questions in our article, you don’t want to hire them!


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Call Branch Environmental. We’re experts not only at mold removal, but at determining and remediating the underlying causes. From hidden mold sources to major contaminants, we can identify exactly what is going on in your home and rid it of environmental toxins, often for good.

Branch Environmental – Because nobody should live or work in a building that makes them sick.


Join Thousands Of Other Customers Who Have Already Eliminated Toxins From Their Homes, And Their Lives.