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mold_on_wall(MCT)—Q: We have moisture in the crawl space under our house in Rehoboth Beach, Del. The exterminator has been telling us this for about three years, and each year the report gets worse. My husband has faith in the builder of the house, who lives in the neighborhood. Three years ago the builder told us that the exterminator was wrong, so we ignored the warning. Now there is mold growing and other issues.

We were told that the grading of soil needs to be corrected and that we need a French drain for our outside shower that is up against the house. My husband is taking too long to get started hiring someone to do the job. He does not feel that there is any urgency. I want it fixed now. Of course, he is thinking about the expense, but I am thinking about the long-term damage.

What do you think is the prudent thing to do?

A: First, if the builder lives in the neighborhood, he probably built more than just two houses, so it might be worth your while to ask your neighbors if they are having similar problems. My other question is about the qualifications of an exterminator to make these determinations. I think you need a second opinion from a contractor qualified to deal with these issues and then present the report to the builder.

I don’t think your husband should wait when he receives evidence that there is a problem when it is provided by someone with expertise in this kind of a situation. When money is involved, we tend to procrastinate, but if the problem is getting worse, not taking care of it will likely result in more extensive damage and a greater expense. And knowing how home insurance companies react to the word “mold,” I suggest nipping the situation in the bud when the expert recommends it.

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