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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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Nathan
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Joined: 06/17/2014 09:32 PM EDT
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Cameron Anderson wrote:
Nathan wrote:You're twisting.

We do mold testing every day for this purpose, and the "how much mold" is in reference to one of two things:

1. Exhibited growth in a surface sample.
2. Elevated levels in air quality tests.

I'm not twisting at all. A surface sample represents only the area which was sampled, usually less than 4 in.². An air sample represents only the time and location of that sample. I know that, you know that, labs know that, but many inspectors and almost every other laymen involved in the transaction won't know that. That's why a mold test does provide comfort as Juan pointed out. When a client doesn't know what it truly represents it's easy to sell them the idea that a couple mold tests will tell them "how much mold is present in my home".


This is such a backwards statement Cameron.

Our testing absolutely says whether there is a problem or not- and if we're wrong we pay to remedy.

You're discounting the meaningfulness of the test. You're mistaken.

We get retests on the same house all the time- it's proven.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 11/20/2014 02:27 PM EST


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Cameron Anderson
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Joined: 09/27/2014 09:37 AM EDT
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Nathan wrote:
This is such a backwards statement Cameron.

Our testing absolutely says whether there is a problem or not- and if we're wrong we pay to remedy.

That's just good business. If you say something you should be willing to back it up. Kudos for that. It's a good policy, but backing up what you say doesn't prove the legitimacy of a mold test interpretation. One could argue it hurts it; If a mold test provides factual evidence, why would it need to be guaranteed? Answer: Because it sells it.
Nathan wrote:You're discounting the meaningfulness of the test. You're mistaken.

We get retests on the same house all the time- it's proven.

Not discounting it, it already is mostly meaningless. Every house in the world will potentially test better after mold is cleaned up. It doesn't prove the original test was representative of the IAQ of the home or whether there was a mold/moisture problem present which has now been corrected.
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Nathan
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According to a few fools on the Internet, yes it's meaningless.

According to the scientific community and the #1 PhD Mycologist in the history of the profession- it's meaningful (and valuable).


Where do you get this bogus information? It's an InterNACHI message board thought regurgitated with nothing to back it up- simply saying something is meaningless over and over doesn't make it true.

P. Nathan Thornberry
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Nathan
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I'm 100% confident in the results and interpretations of our tests.

P. Nathan Thornberry
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Cameron Anderson
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Nathan wrote:According to a few fools on the Internet, yes it's meaningless.

According to the scientific community and the #1 PhD Mycologist in the history of the profession- it's meaningful (and valuable).
No, that is not correct. Unless they have abandoned the scientific method, the scientific community does not support the use of one or two interior and one or two exterior tests to make a determination on the IAO of a home, let alone a room. Spores counts are not static, why would anyone think an air sample measured in minutes can represent that?

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 11/21/2014 12:49 PM EST

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Nathan
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Cameron Anderson wrote:
Nathan wrote:According to a few fools on the Internet, yes it's meaningless.

According to the scientific community and the #1 PhD Mycologist in the history of the profession- it's meaningful (and valuable).
No, that is not correct. Unless they have abandoned the scientific method, the scientific community does not support the use of one or two interior and one or two exterior tests to make a determination on the IAO of a home, let alone a room. Spores counts are not static, why would anyone think an air sample measured in minutes can represent that?


Who are these people? I have the most qualified in the business from that scientific community on staff, and we pioneered a way to do this. Let me know who is feeding you such bad information so I can make sure to post here about how flawed their statements are and outrank them in Google. Wouldn't want anyone else to be so thoroughly tricked.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 11/21/2014 02:22 PM EST

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Nathan
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Cameron Anderson wrote:
Nathan wrote:According to a few fools on the Internet, yes it's meaningless.

According to the scientific community and the #1 PhD Mycologist in the history of the profession- it's meaningful (and valuable).
No, that is not correct. Unless they have abandoned the scientific method, the scientific community does not support the use of one or two interior and one or two exterior tests to make a determination on the IAO of a home, let alone a room. Spores counts are not static, why would anyone think an air sample measured in minutes can represent that?


Here's the other myth: "An air sample measured in minutes can't represent the air quality in the home"

Nonsense. This is exactly the air that someone would breath in, we're taking in 150L of air in a room and every drop of that air has enough spores to represent what is going on.

The statement you've made here is patently false, and you're getting bad information from somewhere on the internet! Tell me from who, I want to make fun of them publicly and squash them like the cockroaches they are.
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Cameron Anderson
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Well, off the top of my head:

American Industrial Hygiene Association
National Academy of Sciences
World Health Organization
Nearly every state health organization
Academic Universities
The U.S. Navy

Have at it.

Frankly, I'm not sure I understand why you're debating this. I'm suggesting we don't do enough testing.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 11/21/2014 04:48 PM EST


Cameron Anderson
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homeinspectionpeoria.com
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Peoria, Illinois
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Cameron Anderson
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Joined: 09/27/2014 09:37 AM EDT
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For those reading here's some additional information. Just what is 150 L, which is a typical air sample volume?

150 L = 5.29 ft.²

A typical room measuring 12' x 12' x 9' = 1296 ft.². So 150L = .41% of the room.

An average home measuring 2000 ft.² with 9 foot ceilings = 18,000 ft.². So 150L = .03% of the house.

So a typical air sample is less than 1/2 of 1/10th of 1% of the total air in the home. That doesn't represent much. And some inspectors only use a 75 L sample.


Cameron Anderson
Illinois Licensed Inspector
homeinspectionpeoria.com
Inspecting since 2004
309-712-1556
Peoria, Illinois
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Nathan
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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:Well, off the top of my head:

American Industrial Hygiene Association
National Academy of Sciences
World Health Organization
Nearly every state health organization
Academic Universities
The U.S. Navy

Have at it.

Frankly, I'm not sure I understand why you're debating this. I'm suggesting we don't do enough testing.



Those organizations do not take a stance like what you're suggesting- not even close. Also, none of them are involved in any facet of real estate transactions, so completely irrelevant.

The U.S. Navy? Seriously Cameron...

Any more testing than what we're suggesting in most all cases is completely unnecessary, gives repeatedly the same results (we've seen it, it's scientifically proven), and would create a negative ROI.


P. Nathan Thornberry
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Take Your Career to the Next Level > https://youtu.be/hdBCJbl5byo
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Nathan
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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:For those reading here's some additional information. Just what is 150 L, which is a typical air sample volume?

150 L = 5.29 ft.²

A typical room measuring 12' x 12' x 9' = 1296 ft.². So 150L = .41% of the room.

An average home measuring 2000 ft.² with 9 foot ceilings = 18,000 ft.². So 150L = .03% of the house.

So a typical air sample is less than 1/2 of 1/10th of 1% of the total air in the home. That doesn't represent much. And some inspectors only use a 75 L sample.



We promote the 150 L sample for starters, and scientifically speaking that air would have everything in common it needs to with the other air in the room to develop a meaningful test result.

What you're saying is factually inaccurate. Your math is spot on, but the idea that the test is anything other than incredibly meaningful and the ideal option is flawed.

This message was edited 2 times. Last update was at 11/21/2014 05:28 PM EST


P. Nathan Thornberry
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Take Your Career to the Next Level > https://youtu.be/hdBCJbl5byo
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Cameron Anderson
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Nathan wrote:
Those organizations do not take a stance like what you're suggesting- not even close. Also, none of them are involved in any facet of real estate transactions, so completely irrelevant.

The U.S. Navy? Seriously Cameron...

Any more testing than what we're suggesting in most all cases is completely unnecessary, gives repeatedly the same results (we've seen it, it's scientifically proven), and would create a negative ROI.

Scientifically proven by who? Testing multiple times to verify results is exactly how you scientifically prove something. You just made my point.

You asked for sources, I gave them. I know I'm poking your baby, but you're ignoring facts. Multiple tests to overcome natural variation or more often than not, NO testing at all, are the recommendations from nearly every recognized and professional organization or governmental body. That may not be good for business, but when it comes to mold, clients aren't worried about our ROI.

I think we will just have to disagree; No one is convincing anyone else tonight. I actually agree with you and Juan that some people just need numbers on paper to feel comfortable. I tell people all the time that when it comes to mold, people's perceptions are often more difficult to deal with then the mold itself. If the client is informed and wants that service, do the test. If $100-200 brings everyone to the table and gets clients into the home they want, do the test. Realtors often spend more on frivolous repairs to smooth out the tensions in a transaction.

This message was edited 4 times. Last update was at 11/22/2014 01:39 AM EST

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William Chandler
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Both of you have solid arguments and this is probably the best debate to date on this message board and I hope everyone who is learning about mold sampling is taking notes. I want to inject a point which is getting lost in the shuffle of science vs. practicality - and practicality is the world in which most IAQ professionals must deal with.

Air sampling is just that - sampling. The science, as Cameron pointed out, supports the need for multiple samples to establish a control by which we could quantify levels to determine if elevated levels of some specific mold exists. The fault with this is the lack of control in the environment. Outdoor air changes constantly and we can't control that. Indoor counts will also change unless we can seal the entire interior and we can't do that either, at least realistically. You can possibly seal a room but sealing the entire house is not practical. Simply opening an entry into a containment to take a sample changes the air as well - we are not operating in any level of a real controlled atmosphere.

Taking numerous samples is always cost prohibitive to the customer and even if they have Bill Gates money, comparing 100 samples would not realistically provide any greater authenticity to the findings.

One of the great debates involves the need to conduct air sampling in the absence of visible mold and I have struggled with that primarily because most of the people who do this know very little about what they are doing. Sampling for dollars is misleading. The purists in the mycology industry, many of whom are PhD's, say no. From a pure IAQ perspective, I agree. However, from an inspectors position, I have found benefit from this. An example is a recent condo where my Flir E40bx showed a suspicious area but there was only slightly elevated moisture in the drywall. Not really enough to determine a leak or even suggest ripping out the drywall. The temp/moisture difference could be related to many things. Still the HO kept saying she would get ill when spending time in that area. Air samples revealed high readings of chartomium. The drywall was removed, the insurance co was notified and it turned into a $25k remediation. Post clean-up, the HO is healthy and happy. This simple air sample changed her life.

Conducting routine mold sampling on AC ducts is the best way I know of determining if the ducts need cleaned or replaced. There is no better way to do it. Also is the best way to determine if the duct cleaner did his job.

In short, there are huge benefits to air sampling in the right hands. In the case of InspectoLab, what they are doing is unique and should not be dismissed. I will never agree with the absolute mandate to take outside control samples as to me, it is a waste of money. I understand why they are requiring it and it is probably best based upon the lack of knowledge of the inspectors. Being a CIEC and believing my knowledge is considered generally higher than most, I wish InspctorLab would require some training in sampling technology before they allow inspectors to use their service. This coupled with the home inspectors knowledge of a home would greatly enhance this program.

Last, but not least, every authority supports we are getting sicker and the fastest growing field of medicine is allergy/immunology. In Orlando, allergists are a close second to lawyers now and you generally have to book an appointment 3-4 weeks in advance. A simple allergy test costs nearly $500 and it tells you that you are probably allergic to pollen, cat hair, dust and grass. Really, how scientific is that and this person spent over 8 years in college! For less money, I have been able to identify mold due to water leaks, dirty/moist ducts, air gaps in flooring, etc. which when repaired, changed peoples lives without the need for expensive medications and doctors visits they didn't need to begin with. It all starts with a good visual inspection, the proper use of some common inspectors tools and a cheap air sample.

It works, it is useful and it is available as another tool in the inspectors bag. You just can't argue with success.

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Nathan
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Cameron's last post started off with a huge flaw-

He makes the statement that we have to scientifically prove our methods at each home, which is untrue. Scientifically proven by whom you ask?

Well, Pat yourself on the back. Millions and millions of tests submitted by home inspectors, analyzed by professionals.


How is this concept so hard to understand and why add in these conspiracy theories from no-names on the Internet to try to dispute the #1 Mycologist in the industry AND a lab owner with a background in risk management and actuarials that has put a written policy on that process. That's a great mix there- Science + Business + Numbers.

Indisputably valuable.

At least in a debate here we continually bring up new points. Even if they're not good, they're no stale or "bushy"

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 11/22/2014 08:11 AM EST


P. Nathan Thornberry
www.Nathan.tv
Take Your Career to the Next Level > https://youtu.be/hdBCJbl5byo
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www.InspectorServicesGroup.com
www.RecallChek.com
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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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William Chandler
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Joined: 06/23/2014 04:28 AM EDT
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Nathan wrote:Cameron's last post started off with a huge flaw-

He makes the statement that we have to scientifically prove our methods at each home, which is untrue. Scientifically proven by whom you ask?

Well, Pat yourself on the back. Millions and millions of tests submitted by home inspectors, analyzed by professionals.


How is this concept so hard to understand and why add in these conspiracy theories from no-names on the Internet to try to dispute the #1 Mycologist in the industry AND a lab owner with a background in risk management and actuarials that has put a written policy on that process. That's a great mix there- Science + Business + Numbers.

Indisputably valuable.

At least in a debate here we continually bring up new points. Even if they're not good, they're no stale or "bushy"


This is a "bushy" free zone!

Property360, LLC
www.TheBuildingInspector.net
www.360pestpro.com
www.inspectnewhome.com
www.property360concierge.com
www.mold360.com
homeinspectionflorida.us/
jacksonvillehomeinspectionguide.com
orlandohomeinspectionguide.com
thecommercialbuildinginspector.com
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Certified Master Inspector
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