Toxic Mold and Real Estate: What does it mean to you?

As a former Californian living in Colorado, I was surprised to hear someone complaining of a toxic mold problem.  Here?  In dry Colorado?  Though we usually think of this as a coastal phenomenon, you may be surprised to know you have company in dealing with it.

Mold spores can be found anywhere

They float through the air, enter homes through doors and windows, and even hitch a ride on your pets.  In most cases, these molds are harmless and can even be beneficial to the environment.  It is when your home or piece of real estate begins to grow toxic mold that the real problem begins.

Mold and Water Damage
Problems with toxic mold rarely occur in homes unless there has been flooding, whether from rising water, leaking roofs, or plumbing problems.  This is just as true here in Colorado as it is close to the coast.  When mold spores anchor to moist, damp surfaces they find a perfect environment to replicate and spread.  If the water damaged areas are not fully dried within 24 hours, there is a potential for mold damage to occur.

Health Risks
A home containing mold can be very detrimental to the health of everyone that lives in the home.  Some individuals are more sensitive than others and can exhibit symptoms of allergic reaction very quickly after exposure to mold in the home.  The most common health problems associated with mold exposure include difficulty breathing, eye irritations, and skin irritations.  Some individuals may experience a severe reaction that could be life-threatening if not treated promptly.

Where Does Mold Grow?
Toxic mold tends to grow in places that are dark, damp, and poorly ventilated.  To get rid of a mold problem, the source of the moisture must be eliminated.  This is difficult in many situations and usually requires the assistance of a professional inspector.  Any absorbent materials that begin to grow mold must be disposed of quickly to prevent the mold from spreading further.

Cost of Mold Removal
If the area growing the mold is more than 2 feet in diameter, the services of a professional mold remover should be obtained to ensure that the mold is removed from the home safely and completely.  This can cost anywhere from $10,000 to $50,000 for a medium sized home.

Mold and Real Estate Transactions
Toxic mold can cause a real estate transaction to fall through or cause the homeowner to become enmeshed in litigation.  Any mold problems should either be corrected before attempting the sale of the home or disclosed prior to the completion of the sale.  There have been a number of lawsuits in recent years regarding the development of illnesses after exposure to toxic mold. Judgments in these cases have resulted in more stringent standards and the creation of an entire industry dedicated to inspecting homes for mold growth.

— Contributing author Joel McDonald is the owner of Automated Homefinder, a Denver real estate company.

How Can California State Government Mess With It’s Economy More!

As a sales person, I’m not supposed to define my political affiliation for fear of scaring off folks that may not believe in the same things that I do. So, I’m about to commit a cardinal sales mistake. I hope you all that know and love me don’t hold this against me.

I have been a Californian for most of my life and for the most part didn’t really care what the our great state’s government did or does, however I am now angry enough to speak out against some of the pure stupidity I continue to see.

I truly believe that the less our government intrudes into my life the better. So, you could describe me as a conservative libertarian with republican leanings. With that said, I have reason to believe that our current state government has now gotten to the stage where it is unwieldy and acting for it’s own preservation rather than for my or anyone’s best interests.

It’s time for a lot of reform.

California is currently ranked 47th out of 50 for states that are friendly to business. Every year our legislature comes up with new diabolical plans to make doing business in this great state more difficult and more costly.

There is California Workers Compensation and Disability (CWCD). Every year our friendly legislature ads more fees and requirements to this program making it even more expensive to hire employees. Ever wonder why most of California’s manufacturing jobs are moving to other states? Well, this is one of the reasons. I’m not irritated that California has this. It’s a good thing. I just ask that the legislature weighs the effects of what is currently required and how much they charge against what will be lost. Maybe if they asked the employers how these requirements and fees will affect them, they would have a better idea of how many jobs would be lost.

Of course, there is my favorite stupidity, the California Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006. I’m all for a clean environment. I did grow up in Los Angeles with those hot August days where the mountains were clouded in a brown cloud of smog. But think about it. How is California going to clean up it’s act if no one else is? I don’t see any other state doing this? Why? Because it’s an economy killer.

We as a society rely on hydocarbons as our primary fuel source which mean we produce CO2 in mass quantities.  It looks like we will be doing this for sometime to come. Wouldn’t it be better for us to look for solutions to get us off hydocarbon energy? We are California where the computer was incubated among other inventive technologies.

So, answer me this? Why is the California Air Resources Board (CARB) doing everything in it’s power to make it even more difficult for us to do business here. When I talk to my friends in the already decimated construction industry, they tell me that they are now considering taking their trucks and moving to another state or closing all together. They can’t afford to do business here anymore. Those that are still in business are laying off workers or putting their employees on part time so they can afford to make the costly modifications to their heavy equipment to meet CARB’s standards.

Large manufacturing operations are also looking at the cost to adhere to what CARB is requiring and adding into it what is required for the CWCD and deciding that it’s cheaper to pack it in and move to another state.

I don’t know what you think about all of this but to me this means that our state government has made it TOO expensive to do business here. In a state that has around 20% of it’s population under employed. This all sounds pretty moronic to me.

I think our legislature has way too much time on its hands. As they say, idle hands are the devil’s tools. In order to make it look like they are doing something, they are making laws that sound good but are totally impractical.

I am all for a part time legislature. Maybe if we cut their hours in half, they will be concentrating on what is really good for the state rather than what sounds good for reelection.