Dark discoloration. Mildew. Fungus. Are these not thinly disguised synonyms (just go with me here) for a term that strikes panic into Realtors’ hearts: MOLD?! Do you too try to soft-sell that four-letter word by saying, “Until it’s tested we don’t know for sure”? (When you’re working for the seller, that is?)
In our real estate practice, we must tiptoe around “dark discoloration” so as not to disturb those insidious little spores that could become airborne. But when we’re at home, well, we can just say whatever.
When I see fuzzy stuff on my window sill, do I call the men in hazmat suits? No! I shoot it with Clorox!
When my shower reminds me it’s been neglected, do I reward its thoughtfulness by annihilating every living organism within 20 feet with powerful chemicals? No! I lovingly swab it with grout cleaner.
Brace yourself: I have found fuzzy, light discoloration on my bran muffins. Did I treat it like a rare form of highly toxic vegetable life? No! I remind myself that were it not for a young bacteriologist named Sir Alexander Fleming discovering mold on his bread in 1929, the home inspector you punctured with your pen because he said The Word without testing it would not have had penicillin to treat his wound. And would not have survived. And, whoa! then you’d see how truly inconsequential mold is in the grand scheme of things.
Household dark discoloration can take on many hues, all pleasing to the eye if you don’t jump to conclusions: red, green, blue-green, and the ordinary brown and black. If you don’t ever want to deal with it, just be sure your decorating palette includes those colors…in your own home. But be alert for camouflage in sellers’ homes, because a Realtor can never be too cautious when anticipating things that can go wrong in real estate, n’est-ce pas?
When you’re at home, chill! You need not report these occurrences to a higher authority. When dark discoloration or any color that you don’t recognize pops up, embrace it! Why? Because you can!