Melvin Feller Discusses Rule for Real Estate Investors Who Invest in Properties with Mold.

Melvin Feller Discusses Rule for Real Estate Investors Who Invest in Properties with Mold.

Melvin Feller Business Ministries Group in Burkburnett and Dallas Texas and Lawton Oklahoma. Our mission is to call and equip a generation of Christian entrepreneurs to do business as ministry. We provide workshops and resources that help companies discover how to do business God’s way. When the heart of a business is service rather than self it can be transformed into a fruitful business ministry earning a profit and being of service to the community and their customers. Melvin Feller is currently pursuing another graduate degree in business organizations.

Properties with Mold by Melvin Feller

Everyone who invests in residential or light commercial real estate should have a copy of this document on their computer, iPad, or similar digital device.

This makes a quick read and explains the hazards and pitfalls of remediation. It also provides some common sense solutions to resolving mold on construction materials.

There are many solutions that you can do yourself. There are some that you never want to do yourself.

The EPA guidance on mold issues is here: http://epa.gov/mold/moldguide.html

The digital copy of the same information is here: http://epa.gov/mold/pdfs/moldguide.pdf

This document does not help you estimate costs for repairs, but does help you see through the “smoke screen” that many remediation companies will put up when talking about mold in homes.

In spite of what some investors. recommend, the use of a chemical or biocide that kills organisms such as mold (chlorine bleach, for example) is not recommended as a routine practice during mold cleanup. This is because “a dead mold is just as harmful to the hypersensitive as a live mold!” Why you may ask is that? Well, the mold hyphal matter (the spores/seeds, branches, etc.) have the allergen in their proteins. Killing mold does not inactivate the proteins. I can cite numerous instances where killing mold in an area occupied by hypersensitive people did NOT stop their symptoms. That is because they were still breathing in the (now dead) hyphal matter and said matter contains the proteins that they were reacting to. Therefore, they keep on reacting to the molds (dead or alive)!

Properties with Mold by Melvin Feller

Rather, remediation (as in removal of mold-contaminated materials) is the way to go. In the case of structural wood (studs, sill plates, headers, wood framing, etc.) that has mold, it is best to HEPA vacuum, then wipe with a solution of mild soap (dish soap) and water. Allow it to dry then re-vacuum the surface. If there is discoloration in the wood pores then you can do a light sanding, HEPA vacuum, wipe with the soap/water solution, allow to dry and HEPA vacuum again. Light sanding does not affect the structural integrity of structural wood.

Following that, a treatment with Kilz or Fosters encapsulating paint on the structural wood is OK as that will ensure that any hyphal matter that you missed does not become further airborne.

Mold investigations and remediation are a science. However, there is lots that investors can do to reduce their costs — and their ultimate exposure.

Potential health effects and symptoms associated with mold exposures include allergic reactions, asthma, and other respiratory complaints.

Properties with Mold by Melvin Feller

There is no practical way to eliminate all mold and mold spores in the indoor environment; the way to control indoor mold growth is to control moisture.

If mold is a problem in your home or school, you must clean up the mold and eliminate sources of moisture.

Fix the source of the water problem or leak to prevent mold growth.

Reduce indoor humidity (to 30–60% ) to decrease mold growth by: venting bathrooms, dryers, and other moisture-generating sources to the outside; using air conditioners and de-humidifiers; increasing ventilation; and using exhaust fans whenever cooking, dish washing, and cleaning.

Clean and dry any damp or wet building materials

and furnishings within 24–48 hours to prevent mold growth.

Clean mold off hard surfaces with water and detergent, and dry completely. Absorbent materials such as ceiling tiles, that are moldy, may need to be replaced.

Prevent condensation: Reduce the potential for condensation on cold surfaces (i.e., windows, piping, exterior walls, roof, or floors) by adding insulation.

Properties with Mold by Melvin Feller

In areas where there is a perpetual moisture problem, do not install carpeting (i.e., by drinking fountains, by classroom sinks, or on concrete floors with leaks or frequent condensation).

Molds can be found almost anywhere; they can grow on virtually any substance, providing moisture is present. There are molds that can grow on wood, paper, carpet, and foods.

Please note that Representations and Covenants. Transaction documents often may include representations or covenants regarding compliance with applicable laws, plus specific provisions regarding environmental laws. However, traditional language probably will not capture mold issues because of the lack of federal and state regulations. Accordingly, if a buyer asks a seller to represent that the property complies with applicable laws, mold likely will slip through the cracks.

In fashioning a contractual representation or disclosure form to address mold, buyers should seek disclosure of known mold buildup or health-related complaints. However, it is not practical to presume that no mold is present, as most buildings likely have some mold — albeit not necessarily one of the molds suspected of causing health problems.

Properties with Mold by Melvin Feller

Instead of using “compliance with applicable laws” or “no mold” language, buyers should tailor covenants and representations to include the history of circumstances that might indicate mold issues are lurking. These include:

Water intrusion problems, as well as knowledge of mold occurrences; Air-quality monitoring or testing;

Repair and maintenance efforts; and

Health-related complaints, responses, and any aftermath.

Accurate responses on the seller’s part will permit the buyer to better assess the investment risk.

Properties with Mold by Melvin Feller

Similarly, when writing lease covenants, a simple requirement to comply with applicable laws probably will not adequately cover a mold problem. The documents instead should focus on proper maintenance and repairs conducted in a timely manner.

Just as tenants expect landlords to provide accurate information about a building’s condition, landlords should include an obligation for tenants to promptly notify them of any mold or water problems. Early notification allows the owner or landlord to manage risk, providing the opportunity to insist upon a prompt response to potential mold issues, and may help the landlord’s position if the tenant later makes any mold-related claims.

Melvin Feller Business Organization Graduate Candidate and Business Coach

Melvin Feller Business Consultants Ministries Group in Texas and Oklahoma. Melvin Feller founded Melvin Feller Business Consultants Group Ministries in the 1970s to help individuals and organizations achieve their specific Victory. Victory as defined by the individual or organization are achieving strategic objectives, exceeding goals, getting results or desired outcomes. He has extensive experience assisting businesses achieve top and bottom line results. He has broad practical experience creating WINNERS in many organizations and industries. He has hands-on experience in executive leadership, operations, logistics, sales, program management, organizational development, training, and customer service. He has coached teams to achieve results in strategic planning, business development, organizational design, sales, and customer response and business process improvement. He has prepared and presented many workshops nationally and internationally.

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President of Melvin Feller Business Group With over three decades of executive coaching, speaking, and most importantly, real-life, in-the-trenches experience.

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Melvin Feller

Melvin Feller

President of Melvin Feller Business Group With over three decades of executive coaching, speaking, and most importantly, real-life, in-the-trenches experience.

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