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Weird Mold Myths in the Home Inspection Industry! It's a good thing I'm here...  XML
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Joe Svehla
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Joined: 06/18/2014 09:22 PM EDT
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What a great thread..

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Cameron Anderson
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Joined: 09/27/2014 09:37 AM EDT
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Location: Peoria, IL
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nathan wrote:
Here's my main points of difference, at least to your points above:

1. I don't know any inspector that can't look at mold, see that it's mold, and call it mold. If seeing an old loaf of bread once counts as education and experience, we're on the same page.
2. There aren't rare times when testing is necessary. It's never necessary! It's not necessary to get glasses if you have bad eyesight either, you can just live with the consequences. It is however most often recommended to make a buyer's point to the seller in the inspection response stronger and ensure the client is taken care of properly. After all, that's what we're here to do!
3. Health issues are not rare. The number one reason minors hit the emergency room in this country is breathing issues- Asthma, Allergies, etc. All things that can be affected by elevated levels of mold.
4. It's not mitigation, it's remediation
5. Your client would have been even better off with a lab test signed off by a PhD showing the ineffectiveness of that remediation firm. They apparently weren't taking the issue very seriously, which goes back to my point #2.
6. Yes, mold growth is a symptom of the real problem of moisture, but it is also a problem itself.


I'm not very educated, just opinionated about mold.

1. Water stains beside the chimney, mineral stains in red oak, drywall atomizing overspray, manufacturer's printing on lumber, etc.; I am actually surprised at what inspectors call out as mold sometimes. We agree, I don't think it takes much to recognize mold, but probably more than once.
2. I don't think we really disagree on this point all that much. For those sellers in denial or uneducated professionals who require a stronger response, testing would provide it and I happily do testing for that purpose. But if the client doesn't need it to successfully negotiate a transaction, I personally don't believe I'm taking care of them by doing preemptive testing. When my car won't start I don't replace the engine, I check the battery first.
3. It all depends on how you define "health issue". I don't discount the reactions people can have to mold, but there is no evidence it is the smoking gun for every malady to which it is attributed. If it lived up to even a small percentage of the reputation it has gained, people would be dropping like flies with bleeding lungs every day around us. I have yet to see an inspector vigorously push testing for dust mites, pollen, pet dander, etc., all contributors to asthma, allergies, etc. The difference is mold has notoriety on which it can produce income.
4. "It's not mitigation, it's remediation." Potato, potatoe, let's call the whole thing off. IMO, mitigation makes more sense. Mold remediation is really not a remedy to the problem, it only mitigates the symptoms.(see #6) Regardless, I'll call it whatever helps the discussion.
5. Testing was already performed and passed the house I referred to. Then my client's inspector identified and documented the mold the testing failed to find.
6. We will have to agree to disagree on that one. Mold is everywhere. That would mean everything has a problem. God help us if someone finds a way to make money testing for mold in nature.

This message was edited 8 times. Last update was at 11/22/2014 01:31 AM EST

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Cameron Anderson
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docshane wrote:
#6 Now days, mortgage companies are trying to spread their risk and insist on knowing what kind and how much mold is present.

This is not something a mold test can determine. Mortgage companies should be educated about this so they don't have that incorrect expectation.

Cameron Anderson
Illinois Licensed Inspector
homeinspectionpeoria.com
Inspecting since 2004
309-712-1556
Peoria, Illinois
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Nathan
King
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Joined: 06/17/2014 09:32 PM EDT
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Cameron Anderson wrote:
docshane wrote:
#6 Now days, mortgage companies are trying to spread their risk and insist on knowing what kind and how much mold is present.

This is not something a mold test can determine. Mortgage companies should be educated about this so they don't have that incorrect expectation.


Cameron, you are absolutely incorrect. I'm sorry, I can't change facts on that one!

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Nathan
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[quote=Cameron Anderson][quote=nathan]
Here's my main points of difference, at least to your points above:

1. I don't know any inspector that can't look at mold, see that it's mold, and call it mold. If seeing an old loaf of bread once counts as education and experience, we're on the same page.
2. There aren't rare times when testing is necessary. It's never necessary! It's not necessary to get glasses if you have bad eyesight either, you can just live with the consequences. It is however most often recommended to make a buyer's point to the seller in the inspection response stronger and ensure the client is taken care of properly. After all, that's what we're here to do!
3. Health issues are not rare. The number one reason minors hit the emergency room in this country is breathing issues- Asthma, Allergies, etc. All things that can be affected by elevated levels of mold.
4. It's not mitigation, it's remediation
5. Your client would have been even better off with a lab test signed off by a PhD showing the ineffectiveness of that remediation firm. They apparently weren't taking the issue very seriously, which goes back to my point #2.
6. Yes, mold growth is a symptom of the real problem of moisture, but it is also a problem itself.
[/quote]

I'm not very educated, just opinionated about mold.

1. Water stains beside the chimney, mineral stains in red oak, drywall atomizing overspray, manufacturer's printing on lumber, etc.; I am actually surprised at what inspectors call out as mold sometimes. We agree, I don't think it takes much to recognize mold, but probably more than once.
2. I don't think we really disagree on this point all that much. For those sellers in denial or uneducated professionals who require a stronger response, testing would provide it and I happily do testing for that purpose. But if the client doesn't need it to successfully negotiate a transaction, I personally don't believe I'm taking care of them by doing preemptive testing. When my car won't start I don't replace the engine, I check the battery first.
3. It all depends on how you define "health issue". I don't discount the reactions people can have to mold, but there is no evidence it is the smoking gun for every malady to which it is attributed. If it lived up to even a small percentage of the reputation it has gained, people would be dropping like flies with bleeding lungs every day around us. I have yet to see an inspector vigorously push testing for dust mites, pollen, pet dander, etc., all contributors to asthma, allergies, etc. The difference is mold has notoriety on which it can produce income.
4. [b]"It's not mitigation, it's remediation."[/b] Potato, potatoe, let's call the whole thing off. IMO, mitigation makes more sense. Mold remediation is really not a remedy to the problem, it only mitigates the symptoms.(see #6) Regardless, I'll call it whatever helps the discussion.
5. Testing was already performed and passed the house I referred to. Then my client's inspector identified and documented the mold the testing failed to find.
6. We will have to agree to disagree on that one. Mold is everywhere. That would mean everything has a problem. God help us if someone finds a way to make money testing for mold in nature.
[/quote]


In order:

1. We agree! What a concept on a message board!
2. We disagree to an extent, and that's the approach- the basic truths of visible mold we agree on. Fact of the matter is both your clients and your business would be better off if the default position was to give test results as backup to the response. This would deliver in 99% of situations a better result for your client, and that's what we're in the business of.
3. I'm pretty sure you went a different direction here than I did, what I was pointing to was respiratory issues in minors. They're rampant, I felt you minimized them initially, perhaps I misread. When I was personally selling mold test I sold 1-2 air quality deals PER DAY just to people concerned about the health and well being of their children. Don't underestimate it!
4. Mitigation is for Radon. You're an educated guy, I'm just helping you sound that way
5. Testing wasn't from InspectorLab, which I know for a fact even without knowing the address. How? Because I would have received a bill for the remediation under our guarantee. Don't worry, it's my purpose to make sure those inadequate, lesser tests are a thing of the past in short order.
6. We don't have to agree to disagree on that one yet- my statement assumed elevated levels or excessive mold. Now on the same page?


Let the great mold debate continue!

P. Nathan Thornberry
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Cameron Anderson
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Nathan wrote:
Cameron Anderson wrote:
docshane wrote:
#6 Now days, mortgage companies are trying to spread their risk and insist on knowing what kind and how much mold is present.

This is not something a mold test can determine. Mortgage companies should be educated about this so they don't have that incorrect expectation.


Cameron, you are absolutely incorrect. I'm sorry, I can't change facts on that one!


An air sample mold test produced an interior result of 300 spores per cubic meter of Penicillium and 1200 spores per cubic meter of Cladosporium. Exterior numbers are similar.

How much mold is present in the home?

Cameron Anderson
Illinois Licensed Inspector
homeinspectionpeoria.com
Inspecting since 2004
309-712-1556
Peoria, Illinois
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Nathan
King
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Joined: 06/17/2014 09:32 PM EDT
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Location: Carmel, IN
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Cameron Anderson wrote:
Nathan wrote:
Cameron Anderson wrote:
docshane wrote:
#6 Now days, mortgage companies are trying to spread their risk and insist on knowing what kind and how much mold is present.

This is not something a mold test can determine. Mortgage companies should be educated about this so they don't have that incorrect expectation.


Cameron, you are absolutely incorrect. I'm sorry, I can't change facts on that one!


An air sample mold test produced an interior result of 300 spores per cubic meter of Penicillium and 1200 spores per cubic meter of Cladosporium. Exterior numbers are similar.

How much mold is present in the home?


Feel free to go to that home, follow our protocols for air sampling, fill out our COC, send it to our lab, and we'll be happy to tell you.

Not going to chase you on hypotheticals that nearly never happen.

We'll also put a PhD signature on that report, invite any interested parties to call us, and guarantee the accuracy.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 11/18/2014 11:55 PM EST


P. Nathan Thornberry
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Nathan
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I like this conversation by the way. You're sharpening my skills for my 2015 tour

My schedule is filling up fast and my 2-hour mold course is getting CE approvals from just about everywhere. I think we're booked in 20+ cities already and it's not even Thanksgiving.


P. Nathan Thornberry
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Cameron Anderson
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Nathan wrote:

An air sample mold test produced an interior result of 300 spores per cubic meter of Penicillium and 1200 spores per cubic meter of Cladosporium. Exterior numbers are similar.

How much mold is present in the home?


Feel free to go to that home, follow our protocols for air sampling, fill out our COC, send it to our lab, and we'll be happy to tell you.

Not going to chase you on hypotheticals that nearly never happen.


It's not hypothetical, it's rhetorical. No one can answer it unless they have been in the home.

Cameron Anderson
Illinois Licensed Inspector
homeinspectionpeoria.com
Inspecting since 2004
309-712-1556
Peoria, Illinois
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Juan Jimenez
Seal Team 6
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I was disbeliever for a while. The fact is though that some people need mold testing to feel comfortable buying a house, and who am I to deny them.

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Nathan
King
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Cameron Anderson wrote:
Nathan wrote:

An air sample mold test produced an interior result of 300 spores per cubic meter of Penicillium and 1200 spores per cubic meter of Cladosporium. Exterior numbers are similar.

How much mold is present in the home?


Feel free to go to that home, follow our protocols for air sampling, fill out our COC, send it to our lab, and we'll be happy to tell you.

Not going to chase you on hypotheticals that nearly never happen.


It's not hypothetical, it's rhetorical. No one can answer it unless they have been in the home.



Actually, you're just playing semantics with the "how much mold". You know very well how that is quantified, but it's real simple now- a PhD can give a thumbs up or thumbs down.

Problem solved. www.InspectorLab.com

P. Nathan Thornberry
www.Nathan.tv
Take Your Career to the Next Level > https://youtu.be/hdBCJbl5byo
The #1 Vendor in Real Estate & Home Inspection
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Kevin Moore
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Juan Jimenez wrote:I was disbeliever for a while. The fact is though that some people need mold testing to feel comfortable buying a house, and who am I to deny them.


And if you can make a couple bucks while satisfying your clients needs, all the better

Kevin Moore
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Nathan
King
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Kevin Moore wrote:
Juan Jimenez wrote:I was disbeliever for a while. The fact is though that some people need mold testing to feel comfortable buying a house, and who am I to deny them.


And if you can make a couple bucks while satisfying your clients needs, all the better


Exactly, and the benefits of the tests are immense. Even in the case where the benefits are minor...guess what? The cost is minor too!

P. Nathan Thornberry
www.Nathan.tv
Take Your Career to the Next Level > https://youtu.be/hdBCJbl5byo
The #1 Vendor in Real Estate & Home Inspection
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Cameron Anderson
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Juan Jimenez wrote:I was disbeliever for a while. The fact is though that some people need mold testing to feel comfortable buying a house, and who am I to deny them.

As I said, mold's notoriety produces income.

Cameron Anderson
Illinois Licensed Inspector
homeinspectionpeoria.com
Inspecting since 2004
309-712-1556
Peoria, Illinois
[WWW]
Nathan
King
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Joined: 06/17/2014 09:32 PM EDT
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Location: Carmel, IN
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Cameron Anderson wrote:
Juan Jimenez wrote:I was disbeliever for a while. The fact is though that some people need mold testing to feel comfortable buying a house, and who am I to deny them.

As I said, mold's notoriety produces income.


I swear I'm going to write a book about it called "Mold is Gold".

I'm not saying you meant this Cameron, but in the industry there is this mindset that we're charging for something unnecessary or without a huge benefit as if we're making millions of dollars off of this.

Typical swab test- $75-$125. Typical IAQ $250-$375.

It's nothing. If the benefit is only 10% of what I claim it to be the ROI for the client is enormous and even the largest inspection companies in the country aren't doing 7 figures in mold testing.

P. Nathan Thornberry
www.Nathan.tv
Take Your Career to the Next Level > https://youtu.be/hdBCJbl5byo
The #1 Vendor in Real Estate & Home Inspection
www.InspectionSuccess.net
www.RWSwarranty.com
www.InspectorServicesGroup.com
www.RecallChek.com
www.InspectorLab.com
www.InspectionSuperConference.com

Find a Certified Inspection Expert exclusively at www.InspectionCentral.net
Get your E&O Insurance at 20%+ off your current rates at www.RWSinsurance.com
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