Best of the Year: Brett Gordon on Mold and Radon
-This is a transcript from Go Gaddis Radio to listen to the episode click here-> https://on.soundcloud.com/8epc1
Welcome back to Go Gaddis Real Estate Radio, right here on AM nine 20, the answer. I appreciate with you sticking with us through the break in this segment. Mold and radon. What do you need to know? Is mold a problem and is radon a problem? Maybe it's just a fluke. We're gonna find out more during this segment.
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Brett Gordon, who's the president and c e o of world-Class Home inspections and world-class property services. How are you Brett? Good. Thanks for having me back, man. It's really, really good to see you. And we're gonna talk about a topic that most people do not want to even think about. We're gonna talk about two topics that most people don't wanna think about, but if you have a house or you rent a house or anything, you need to be thinking about both of these topics.
And the first one is mold, and the second one is radon. So I'd like to start out, if you don't mind, Brett, with just a general description of not the difference in. White mold and black mold, but what is the difference? What is mold? It is a fungus. What is it? Talk to us about what mold is. Mold is actually a fungus.
It grows everywhere. Um, and when it gets in your house, that's where it can actually cause respiratory problems and all kinds of health problems. So, so you wanna be careful when it's actually in your house. So when you say it grows everywhere, what are you meaning? It really kind of grows everywhere outside.
It's in the air, it's on the plants, it's in the pine straw, it's on the driveway. Uh, correct. Okay. So even if you test it outside, you're gonna get probably a thousand different types of mold That's actually on the outside. Um, when it gets in the inside, that's when it can, you know, become a problem. So the two basic ones that you end up having in inside the house is gonna be black mold.
Okay. Which is usually due to water damage. That's the statu ous mold. Okay. Um, that can, that's actually what they call the toxic mold. Okay. So that, that's a black mold. Okay. Um, and then also you have the white mold, which a lot of times that's due to high humidity. So it's gonna be like on the surface.
Interesting. So black mold, water damage, actual water intrusion coming in, causing the problem. White mold, high humidity still caused by water, but water in the air instead of water coming in in the form of water. I know water in the air is also in the form of water, but it's just a little bitty droplet, so that's interesting.
Is all black mold dangerous? I would say yes, cuz usually that's the toxic mold. Um, and usually that's on drywall stuff, so it needs to be cut out. If it's on drywall, it needs to be cut out. You can't just actually clean it up like with bleach or something like that. It's n that's not gonna end up killing it.
Interesting. So you're, you're distinguishing that it's gonna be on like drywall and let's just say as compared to a countertop. So, uh, and maybe that's not a, not a good example, but I'm guessing that a countertop generally does not have a food source for the mold, so it's more likely to grow on the wall than it is to grow on something like a countertop or a, or a, a fully stained cabinet door or something like that.
Is that correct? Correct. Yeah. You're gonna end up usually finding it on drywall or sometimes even like on floor joice. Uh, like in a, on a ba in a basement? Yeah. Or, or in a crawlspace, you'll end up seeing it there. Um, when it's on a floor dress or something, usually it has to be sanded or it actually has to be sprayed with special chemicals to get rid of it.
To get rid of it. To get rid of. Well, I would assume that, you know, um, Now, I thought at one time that the EPA had said if it was under a certain amount of square footage, you could clean it up with regular soap and water. Not bleaching water, but soaping water. And I don't know if that's still the case or not, but it sounds to me is is it still the case?
Yes. Yes it is. It is. It is. Um, and that's less than, less than like, excuse me, sorry for interrupting. But it's less than like two feet or something. It's not a big right amount of space. Right. So if you have just a little spot, anything bigger than that, you actually get a professional to try to help you out.
Okay. Because a lot of times you have to end up cutting it out. You have to, he avac it. You have to disinfect it. So there's a process to it. So if someone had a little bitty area, let's just say they walked to the bottom of their stairs and you know, they look right in front of 'em at the bottom of the wall, the front foundation wall, there's just a little black spot now.
They shouldn't just clean up the mold and think they've solved the problem because if you've got water getting in there, you need to stop that water. But provided they stopped the water, so there's no source of water coming into the home, someone could just use soap and water and clean it up and then I would assume they would.
And, and just a little bit, we're talking about less than two square feet, and I'm not encouraging people to do that. I'm just saying the EPA says that it's possible and then I would assume they need to dry it out really good, like put a fan on it and just leave it there for days and days. I mean like dry it out.
Correct. Yeah, you, you need to dry it out thoroughly because if not, mold can grow within 24 to 48 hours. Wow. So maybe even a dehumidifier in the area. I don't know if that'd be helpful, but what That would be wonderful. Yeah, so put a fan on it and a dehumidifier down there. I haven't had a dehumidifier in my basement for years and years and years.
What are some of the health problems that are associated with mold and, and I'm assuming that maybe worse with black mold. I have a client. Who had a daughter who moved to New York. Now she actually got bitten by Tick, so she had Lyme disease, which I think started her autoimmune problems. But then she moved to New York and was exposed to black mold and it.
Ruined her autoimmune system. The poor girl still suffers today. And that was five or six years ago. Uh, so what are some of the common problems that you see or you're aware of with people who are exposed to black mold or mold? You can have, um, like red eyes, you can have lung, uh, lung problems, uh, respiratory problems, sinus infections, nose bleeds.
I mean, there's all kinds of different things that actually it can cause. Rashes. Yeah. Wow. Well, I know when I go into a home that has the smell of mold or mildew, it just smells very musty, almost a little, I'm gonna say stingy, like meaning, it's a, it's a sour stingy type smell that I'm gonna tell you one of the be biggest things for me is I swear I can taste it.
I can literally taste those when I'm walking out. I'm like, yuck. Yep, yep. This is, this is disgusting. Uh, and, and so I know that I am, uh, very, very, um, I'm gonna say allergic to it, but I certainly, well, that's not true because I, I do, uh, sneeze a good bit, so I'm probably allergic to the mold spores. If someone wanted to reach you, they have a little area of mold or even a big area of mold that they want to get a, a.
Uh, kind of a quote to see what would happen. I'm, I'm guessing that you might very well go out and take a look for free and give them a quote without a charge. I don't know if that's true. Correct. But how would they, how would they reach you? They can go to our website. It's uh, worldclass ps.com or actually give us a call at six seventy eight.
2, 5, 0, 6, 6, 5 3. Perfect. So if you've got mold, little bit of mold, lot of mold, black mold, white mold, and you want to understand what is it? Because I assume you can test to tell exactly what it is and what do you need to do in order to solve the problem. And then even more importantly, what do you need to do in order to prevent it from happening again?
Cuz that would be the real key. Reach out to Brett Gordon and he and his world class home inspections. Uh, company will come out and do what they need to do. If it's okay with you, Brett, let's switch gears over to radon. Uh, so my question for you is, number one, what is radon? And number two, is radon prevalent in the state of Georgia?
Well, radon is actually everywhere. It's actually in the atmosphere. It turns around and, um, it, it actually is tasteless. It's odorless. And it's a gas that comes up from the earth. Yeah. And it's the number two leading cause of cancer, believe it or not. I, I do believe that, and it's my understanding that that radon is caused by decomposing organic material underground.
And when you have a place that has so much granite underground that in our case, it's that granite that's actually putting off a lot of that radon, I don't know if my understanding of that is correct or not. Leave it or not, the closer you are to Stone Mountain, cuz the granite in Stone Mountain, the higher the radon usually is.
Yeah. So that makes sense. And when you think about it, I mean, we're at the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains, so you have a lot of rock underground. Whether it's the right, you know, the, the granite that we have underground and we've quar people have quarted out some of the most beautiful granite that was used all over the country from the state of Georgia.
So, um, How do you, how do you test a home for radon? Like how does that work? I'm thinking if I were buying a new home, and especially if I had kids, I'd have the home tested for radon. I might very well have it tested. I'm gonna be buying a new home later this year and I might wanna go ahead and have it tested anyway.
But how does the test work and then, uh, what do you do if you need to mitigate it? Well, what we do is we actually have a machine that we'll actually put there for 48 hours. That's a true rate on test. I mean, obviously you can buy 'em on Amazon stuff. The self test. Yeah. But what we would do, or a home inspection company would actually put a monitor there for 48 hours.
Okay, we'll give you a reading and if it's 4.0 or above, that's like smoking two packs of cigarettes day being in the house. That's how dangerous it could. So you want it actually below 2.0. Um, now for the remediation of it, a remediation company would come out. We don't personally do that, but a remediation company would come out.
They'll put actually a vent into the slab and actually vent it to the outside, which actually gets the gases out of the house. So interesting. I mean, they drill a hole. In the basement slab and then they have a little fan on the, the, the piping and it creates negative pressure under the slab. Correct. And it basically sucks anything that would come up through the slab, through cracks in the slab through where the slab meets the foundation walls or any of that.
It basically doesn't allow the gas to come up through there and it takes it and blows it out into the atmosphere, which is where it would've gone anyway, had we not put a house on top of that area. That was actually correct. Uh, secreting radon. That's kind of a gross way to think about it, but the earth is secreting radon and we need to be careful.
How much does a radon inspection cost and can it be done as part of a regular home inspection? We've got about a minute and a half left in this segment. Yeah. Radon inspection. Um, we end up charging about $150, which is 48 4 48 hour test. Okay. Uh, we do a rate on screening with our home inspections, which is actually free of charge.
That's just giving the average while we're there. So if it comes back high, then we recommend obviously a true 48 hour test. That's interesting. So someone could not pay for the radon. You'll come out and do a little while we hear radon test, and then you can let 'em know if it makes sense to do a full test for radon.
Correct when we're doing a home inspection? That is correct. Yeah. I don't think I knew that. So, and then the additional cost of the radon test is 150 bucks, and I assume it's some type of electronic equipment that you leave in the house, correct? Yeah. We'll leave the electronic equipment there for 48 hours.
We'll come back and actually see what the reading is. Last thing before we take our break, I understand that on days when barometric pressure is high, that sometimes radon levels can be a little bit higher as a result. So when you have overcast guys in rain, sometimes radon can be a little higher. Is that correct?
That is correct, and also they actually recommended to actually, uh, test it different times of the season Also. Because obviously if it's raining, it may be a little bit different. It may be different if you had your windows open for that day and are, you know, open and closing doors. So you wanna make sure everything is closed up.
Perfect. Brett, thank you so much for coming on. You have been a valuable source of information. We're gonna take a quick break when we come back. Tyler Perry is donating 2.75 million to help older homeowners in Atlanta and is having a backup buyer. Is that really a good idea? Stick with us. We've got those subjects and more, we'll be back.
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