Lindsey Buys a Fixer-Upper: Part 2, Mold and Asbestos

Lindsey Buys a Fixer-Upper: Part 2, Mold and Asbestos

By Lindsey Wolf Lunney
Last May, my husband and I unintentionally bought a major fixer-upper. In part one of this blog I talked about some of the problems we uncovered during our routine and not-so-routine inspections of the home. I hope my story will make the process easier for others who are thinking of taking on a big project like this one.

Mold Mitigation

We ordered a simple air quality test for mold in the house. When it came back positive, I knew we needed to do more extensive testing and get a quote for mitigation. We called Jeff Martin with Restoration Genius, who came to the house and looked at my concerns. He explained that a water issue in the family room, bathroom and laundry room, practically guaranteed a problem in the basement as well. With mold you can't tell the extent of the problem until you start cutting into the walls, which we could not do until after closing. We got a bid from him for the worst case scenario. Mitigation was not cheap, but less than I thought, so we continued on with the deal.

Asbestos Testing

As so often happens in these situations, mitigating the mold meant that we needed to do more asbestos testing.  We had not tested the drywall that we had planned to leave in place, but the mold mitigation necessitated removing it after all. We had those walls tested and of course they were positive for asbestos. Marvin Shelbourn with MDR Corporation gave us an asbestos removal bid. Once again, it was not cheap, but less than I thought. Again I said, “let’s do it,” and we continued on with the contract.

First Things First

Once we closed, we did the mold and asbestos mitigation and the sewer replacement first thing. Marvin and Jeff worked together so well, careful not to duplicate each other's work, which helped keep the costs down. However, once that was done, we were left with walls that were cut away up to about 4 feet off the ground. Our new house looked pretty awful! Now we needed new drywall, paint and baseboards. I was pleasantly surprised at how affordable baseboards and trim can be. Like anything else, you have the option to spend as much as you want!

Next time: Goodbye Swamp Cooler, Hello A/C


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Compass is a licensed real estate broker. All material is intended for informational purposes only and is compiled from sources deemed reliable but is subject to errors, omissions, changes in price, condition, sale, or withdrawal without notice. No statement is made as to the accuracy of any description or measurements (including square footage). This is not intended to solicit property already listed. No financial or legal advice provided. Equal Housing Opportunity. Photos may be virtually staged or digitally enhanced and may not reflect actual property conditions.