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By February 1, 2021August 7th, 2023No Comments

When you are in the market for a home, location, price, and features always seem like the most important parts of the transaction. What happens when the home you really want is inspected, but has major problems? Do you have to choose another home? What if it’s your dream home? Do you have any options? Come read Luke and Vanessa’s story and see what happens when a home inspection shows major problems.


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Meet Luke and Vanessa. Luke works for a major company in sales, and Vanessa works part-time from home. 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.

They called a local real estate agent and started looking. Then, they found their dream home! It was in the perfect neighborhood, had a big yard, a playground nearby for the kids, and an extra bedroom. They were very excited about purchasing the home.

home inspection image with magnifying glass - things that fail a home inspectionLuke and Nessa consulted their real estate agent and made an offer. Their offer was 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

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. The family was devastated.

What do we do now? Options for 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 told him how important this particular home was to them. He told them that they had several options at this point. Option 1: Walk away. (Unacceptable!) Option 2: Ask the homeowner to fix the damage and keep the offer for home the same. They asked the homeowner to fix the damages. However, the owner was not willing to fix the damage, and wanted to sell the home ‘as is.’

As disappointed as they were, they were still determined to purchase this home! It was in the right location, had all the features they wanted, and there were very few homes on the market like it.

real estate contract

“Ok, so there is one final option. 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 thought about it, and decided that this was a good plan.

First, 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

mold and indoor air quality inspection report

When our inspector came out, they 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. While most home inspectors will report mold they see through the course of their inspection, they aren’t going to go out of their way to find it. Most buyers are unaware that home inspectors are not legally required to report mold in Georgia.

Mold is sneaky and can hide in very small spaces like behind cabinets, in crawl spaces, and in attic corners. Here at Branch Environmental, we check everything from crawl space to attic to everything in between. 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. Now that Luke and Nessa had the estimate for repairing the damages both for the mold and the other problems with the home, they could renegotiate with the seller. They requested that the seller pay for the gutter extensions and gutter cleaning in the contract. Their agent sent the owner a revised contract, and they waited.

Inspection Report Findings – What needs to be fixed?

Luke and Nessa knew about the water in the crawl space, but not where the water was coming from or how to stop it. They also knew there was some mold, but not how extensive it was. Keep reading to find out about problem #1 for this home, and check in with our blog next week to learn about the other problems our inspector found!

Problem #1 – Water in the Crawl Space

mold on subfloor - home inspection problems

Mold growing on subfloor due to high humidity in crawl space.

According to our inspector, “The gutters are the main source of the water in the crawl space. Gutters are not fitted with extensions, and are full of debris causing overflow. Water is entering the crawl space through the ground and foundation. Mold is growing on the subfloor throughout the crawl space because of the high moisture levels.”

Water and Mold Removal Solutions

First, to fix the water intrusion problems, gutter extensions should be added on all downspouts to divert water away from the foundation. Next, cleaning the gutters, either personally or professionally will also help divert water away from the foundation. Homeowners can install gutter extensions and they are available at any home improvement store. Gutter cleaning can also be accomplished by the homeowner or by a gutter cleaning service.

Mold Removal and Waterproofing

Now, the crawl space area needs to be dried out and the mold removed. All of the mold can be cleaned without having to replace any of the subfloor. If subfloors had to be replaced, this would have been a major issue and caused by more than just crawl space moisture. Replacing subfloors is very expensive, since you also have to replace the floor above.) Then, once dry, the area should be waterproofed with a full coverage wall and floor vapor barrier and a dehumidifier added to the crawlspace to ensure dryness.


dream home key with flowers

The water damage in the crawl space was just one of the problems our inspector found in their home. An estimate for all the repairs was given to Luke and Nessa with the mold inspection report. Now that Luke and Nessa had the estimate for repairing all the damages, they could renegotiate 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.

Come check out our Education Center Blog for the next few weeks to learn more about this home’s problems and to find out what happens next!


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. 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

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.