Whether you’re purchasing a personal home or investing in real estate, the importance of investigating the former owners and their use of the house is growing. While marijuana grow houses are nothing new, they are proliferating in states that have legalized medical or recreational use of the plant. Thousands of grow houses have been uncovered in California in recent years.

It’s easy to think, “no big deal, the plants are gone and I’ll just move in.” But actually, you probably can’t do that safely. Marijuana grow houses are notorious for growing something else: Mold spores abound in these humid, enclosed environments, and sometimes that mold can be seriously hazardous to your health.

Mold can vary from one house to another, so you can’t ever be completely sure of what you’re getting into. And each individual’s reaction to the mold can vary, too. Some people experience a minor allergic reaction, although it might not seem so “minor” when you’re sneezing, coughing, and experiencing headaches daily. You probably won’t appreciate the skin irritation and rash, either.

But some people can experience a much more severe reaction. In particular, people with asthma can get very sick or even end up in the hospital upon exposure to mold spores in the air. This could become a problem if you plan to lease the home to tenants, since you can’t be sure of their medical status.

In rare cases, mold can even be fatal.

Grow houses can also house strains of anaerobic bacteria that won’t harm you when inhaled, but can be deadly if accidentally ingested. Unfortunately, this type of bacteria can be resistant to the heat that often kills other pathogens.

If you’re in the market to purchase real estate, don’t believe everything you hear with regard to the history of the home. A professional inspection can help you to uncover the presence of dangerous mold, and if needed, we can offer our restoration services to help you eradicate the danger.