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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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So there's myth #72... You must reinvent and scientifically prove testing methods in every single home.

I'm going to bury these other labs for leaving the industry in this condition. The home inspection profession deserves better.

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Nathan
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Joined: 06/17/2014 09:32 PM EDT
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I'm steaming.

All these nuanced arguments that Cameron is putting about as elegant as anyone ever has, are all planted. They're completely false and misleading...to give anyone the idea that 150 liters of air in a room won't accurately represent what is in the rest of the air, to suggest that every home needs new testing protocols invented and tested as if it's a theory...all of these things are just completely disproven nonsense that someone is injecting into this industry and preying on the curiosity and paranoia of home inspectors. I think I have a pretty good idea of who it is too.

I'll be outranking them on Google for their own name with a website that is nothing more than a video with myself and 2 or 3 people way more qualified than this "consultant" telling anyone who searches his name how stupid he is.

Got a few things in line before it, but this is why I'm going on your talking about mold right here.

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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Joined: 09/27/2014 09:37 AM EDT
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Location: Peoria, IL
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Nathan wrote:I'm steaming.

All these nuanced arguments that Cameron is putting about as elegant as anyone ever has, are all planted
. They're completely false and misleading...to give anyone the idea that 150 liters of air in a room won't accurately represent what is in the rest of the air, to suggest that every home needs new testing protocols invented and tested as if it's a theory...all of these things are just completely disproven nonsense that someone is injecting into this industry and preying on the curiosity and paranoia of home inspectors. I think I have a pretty good idea of who it is too.

I'll be outranking them on Google for their own name with a website that is nothing more than a video with myself and 2 or 3 people way more qualified than this "consultant" telling anyone who searches his name how stupid he is.

Got a few things in line before it, but this is why I'm going on your talking about mold right here.

Excuse me?? Are you accusing me of something?

You missed the point entirely. You don't have to "scientifically prove your testing methods" in each residence, you use scientifically proven testing methods to verify your results. A test here, a test there and one outside for a control is not a scientifically proven method for accurate spore counts. The only people who support that are those who profit from it. Sorry, that's just not a trustworthy source to me. If you claim you have a better or newly invented system, show us a peer review of it. We as inspectors have been given years of media hype and alarmism to sift through. We want to know we can trust the information we are fed. A small amount of research on mold sampling produces a wealth of information from many reputable organizations and also tons of misinformation from mold invested groups, schools, contractors and inspectors. I'll go with the reputable organizations pooling the experience and education of hundreds of people smarter than me.

This message was edited 3 times. Last update was at 11/22/2014 04:22 PM EST

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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:
Nathan wrote:I'm steaming.

All these nuanced arguments that Cameron is putting about as elegant as anyone ever has, are all planted
. They're completely false and misleading...to give anyone the idea that 150 liters of air in a room won't accurately represent what is in the rest of the air, to suggest that every home needs new testing protocols invented and tested as if it's a theory...all of these things are just completely disproven nonsense that someone is injecting into this industry and preying on the curiosity and paranoia of home inspectors. I think I have a pretty good idea of who it is too.

I'll be outranking them on Google for their own name with a website that is nothing more than a video with myself and 2 or 3 people way more qualified than this "consultant" telling anyone who searches his name how stupid he is.

Got a few things in line before it, but this is why I'm going on your talking about mold right here.

Excuse me?? Are you accusing me of something?

You missed the point entirely. You don't have to "scientifically prove your testing methods" in each residence, you use scientifically proven testing methods to verify your results. A test here, a test there and one outside for a control is not a scientifically proven method for accurate spore counts. If you claim you have a better or be system, show us a peer review of it. A small amount of research on mold sampling produces a wealth of information from many reputable organizations and also tons of misinformation from contractors and inspectors. I'll go with the reputable organizations pooling the experience and education of hundreds of people smarter than me.



Not accusing you, what I was referencing is that these arguments exist in the industry, they're based on nothing, but they make the assertion that the testing is ineffective or illegitimate, and it couldn't be further from the truth.

The test here, test there, and one outside control is absolutely scientifically proven method for spore counts to determine elevated levels. Anyone who says otherwise that I've ever seen had lacking qualifications, and candidly I've seen this in action first hand on the laboratory and field sides.

You refer to a "wealth of information" from reputable sources, but none of them actually have ever said what you're saying. You're repeating misinterpretations of ill-informed inspectors of those organizations...not that the U.S. Navy has anything to do with anything here.

If you're looking for the reputable organization with people smarter than you:

#1 Vendor in the history of home inspection with over 20 years experience in mold testing
#1 Mycologist in the history of the industry, with even more experience than that
The first and only guarantee in mold testing ever
The first and only definitive test
The first and only risk elimination for home inspectors

Nobody else has said anything definitive, ever. So what are you "going with" exactly from these organizations and smart people? Nothing, because they've said literally nothing on this topic. They and every lab before me have left this industry uninformed and out in the cold- never sticking their neck out or saying anything definitive ever.

Like I said in the thread title...it's a good thing I'm here. If this stuff can be interpreted this way by a smart guy like Cameron, just imagine what the average guy out there thinks. It's no wonder 50%+ of all inspectors don't offer mold testing and are afraid of their own shadows on this.

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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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I'm going to offer a mold scholarship here to Cameron Anderson:

- Round Trip Airfare to InspectorLab in Fort Lauderdale, Florida
- 2 hours in the lab, live during sample analysis
- 2 hours with Doctor Shane to close the loop so to speak on these issues


Then come back here and tell us all about your experience.

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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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, your posts are great and they're immensely helpful. I'm going on a 50 city tour this year with a two hour CE approved mold class, and this stuff comes up.

Thank you, Sincerely.

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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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
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Cameron Anderson
P. Diddy
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Joined: 09/27/2014 09:37 AM EDT
Messages: 602
Location: Peoria, IL
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Nathan wrote:I'm going to offer a mold scholarship here to Cameron Anderson:

- Round Trip Airfare to InspectorLab in Fort Lauderdale, Florida
- 2 hours in the lab, live during sample analysis
- 2 hours with Doctor Shane to close the loop so to speak on these issues

Then come back here and tell us all about your experience.

That's a generous offer(and knowing you, I know it's genuine), but not one I can accept. Besides the fact of not being in a position to pause life and take a trip to Florida, there's absolutely no need to. Anything I could learn there can and should be shared here to benefit everyone.

There's a lot to respond to in all you wrote, it will take some time. I'm certain I won't convince you and you won't convince me, but I don't mind being prep for your tour.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 11/23/2014 12:53 AM EST

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Cameron Anderson
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Before I take the time to respond to Nate I wanted to respond to William's post. There was some really good info there.
William Chandler wrote: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.

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.

I really appreciate your post, because you brought up several important points. I don't argue with you success, but I would like to reconsider the true source of it.

I hear similar stories all the time. A HO has health complaints, inspection reveals suspect areas, a mold test reveals an elevated number, some destructive investigation occurs which finds mold, and the HO is healthy after cleanup occurs. This sounds like it supports the benefits of testing, but in reality it does not.

The fact is you could remove the testing from that and most other stories and the end result would be the same. Consider what was really accomplished by performing the test. The test didn't determine where to pull drywall. It didn't tell the extent of the physical mold growth. It didn't reveal the location of the moisture problems or the source of the moisture intrusion. It didn't determine the source of the client's health issues. It didn't provide a quote for the cost of cleanup and reconstruction. A $25K cleanup will obviously have mold somewhere. Assuming, against all odds, it was all hidden with not one visible water stains, not on square inch of moisture damage or literally no visible growth, a small sample of drywall or a borescope could have found it the very day you were there, all for the same price.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying the test was totally useless, it just wasn't a necessity. I agree the test provided a piece of information, but ironically it is the one piece of information no one used. The type of mold.

Without consulting a doctor there is absolutely no solid proof that the mold was the problem. Had her physical health been evaluated and the type of mold present found to be a trigger for her, then you would have some scientific validation of the test result as it played into the situation. It may very well have been the Chartomium causing her issues, but it's only an association in this story, it's only an anecdote. There are many different health related triggers which would be addressed by correcting moisture problems, thoroughly cleaning an area and replacing materials in a home. We already know a dry, clean home is a healthier home and one that will typically have lower levels of mold, dust mites, allergens in general, bacteria, dust, etc.

Your story places credit in the wrong location. An air sample didn't change her life, you did! Taking years of hard earned experience, you evaluated the construction for suspected areas, performed thermal scans to reveal exact locations of problems, confirmed it with a moisture meter and advised her on how to proceed. The test was not her hero, you were. Literally, had the winds blown differently that day the test may have told you nothing. Or you could have skipped the test entirely and performed some more intrusive evaluation with the same result: finding mold. Let's be honest with ourselves, the testing wasn't a can't-live-without component of that situation, you were. I would place all the credit in that story on that your shoulders.

This is the issue, credit is often ascribed to testing where testing plays a minor role or where it's absence wouldn't change the outcome at all. This leads to all manner of exaggerated claims regarding the benefits of mold testing. Yet nearly every uncompensated individual or organization recommend no testing at all in most situations. I will post some of those claims in a coming post, they are not only incorrect, but some are just comical.

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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Testing has a minor cost. $75-$500. It's miniscule. The Return on Investment is enormous for the client.

It's not like we're talking about healthcare issues where a largely health 30 something gets a $3000 heart scan for no reason...this is a couple hundred dollar test Cameron.

The way you talk, you'd think it is $5000.00.

If there's a $25,000 mold job, and I'm the homeowner or client, I want to see the $300 mold test results of what's in the air before and after.

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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Nathan
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Joined: 06/17/2014 09:32 PM EDT
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In fact, I'd go so far as to argue the Return on Investment of a mold test is roughly equivalent in results to that of a home inspection.

By your logic, no one should get a home inspection.

If they have a $25,000 issue, it's going to be noticeable.

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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www.RecallChek.com
www.InspectorLab.com
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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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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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My words = bold
Nathan wrote:In fact, I'd go so far as to argue the Return on Investment of a mold test is roughly equivalent in results to that of a home inspection. That's your assumption.

By your logic, no one should get a home inspection. And that's your conclusion based on your above assumption. It's not my logic at all.
If they have a $25,000 issue, it's going to be noticeable.

The ROI for the client depends on what information the test actually produces and if the client needs it. Maybe what would help is a specific list of the factual information Inspectorlab would state a mold test provides. I'll start the list, delete or change my additions as you see fit.

Mold testing...
1. Tells you the type of mold or mold spores present at the time and location of the test.
2. Mold testing tells you the difference between the types of mold or mold spores located at the interior and the exterior.
3.
4.
5.
6.



This message was edited 2 times. Last update was at 11/24/2014 07:58 PM EST

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Nathan
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Just because you don't understand what information a mold test provides doesn't make it an unfair assumption- I can almost guarantee you that the average dollar return on investment for testing versus ultimate repairs performed far exceeds your average home inspection.

Does that make your inspection worthless?

I can tell you with a mold test report from InspectorLab lots of things. Whether or not you have elevated levels, what types of molds are present, what levels of moisture may have been present during a previous moisture/water intrusion event, we even find mold issues behind walls regularly (as in multiple times per week).

I could list dozens more.

Did you take my mold class on www.HomeInspectionUniversity.com Cameron?

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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Cameron Anderson
P. Diddy
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Joined: 09/27/2014 09:37 AM EDT
Messages: 602
Location: Peoria, IL
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Nathan wrote:
I can tell you with a mold test report from InspectorLab lots of things. Whether or not you have elevated levels, what types of molds are present, what levels of moisture may have been present during a previous moisture/water intrusion event, we even find mold issues behind walls regularly (as in multiple times per week).

I could list dozens more.

Okay, good. So far it's:

Mold testing...
1. Tells you the type of mold or mold spores present at the time and location of the test.
2. Mold testing tells you the difference between the types of mold or mold spores located at the interior and the exterior.
3. Can tell you what levels of moisture may have been present during a previous moisture/water intrusion event.
4. Can tell you if your levels are elevated. (Some clarification would help here. I'm assuming mold spores in the air)
5. Can help find mold issues behind walls. (Again, some clarification about the "How" of this would be helpful.)
6.
7.
8.
9.

Any others worth mentioning?

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
Messages: 5215
Location: Carmel, IN
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Cameron Anderson wrote:
Nathan wrote:
I can tell you with a mold test report from InspectorLab lots of things. Whether or not you have elevated levels, what types of molds are present, what levels of moisture may have been present during a previous moisture/water intrusion event, we even find mold issues behind walls regularly (as in multiple times per week).

I could list dozens more.

Okay, good. So far it's:

Mold testing...
1. Tells you the type of mold or mold spores present at the time and location of the test.
2. Mold testing tells you the difference between the types of mold or mold spores located at the interior and the exterior.
3. Can tell you what levels of moisture may have been present during a previous moisture/water intrusion event.
4. Can tell you if your levels are elevated. (Some clarification would help here. I'm assuming mold spores in the air)
5. Can help find mold issues behind walls. (Again, some clarification about the "How" of this would be helpful.)
6.
7.
8.
9.

Any others worth mentioning?


Sure, dozens. Have you taken the course at Home Inspection University yet? It might offer some clarity. Especially on the behind the wall topic.

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
[Email] [WWW]
Cameron Anderson
P. Diddy
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Joined: 09/27/2014 09:37 AM EDT
Messages: 602
Location: Peoria, IL
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Nathan wrote:Sure, dozens. Have you taken the course at Home Inspection University yet? It might offer some clarity. Especially on the behind the wall topic.

No, I do my CE and research elsewhere. Besides, this is about providing info for everyone, not just me.

So what are the other notable ones from the dozens to choose from? Just fill in the blanks.
Mold testing...
1. Tells you the type of mold or mold spores present at the time and location of the test.
2. Mold testing tells you the difference between the types of mold or mold spores located at the interior and the exterior.
3. Can tell you what levels of moisture may have been present during a previous moisture/water intrusion event.
4. Can tell you if your levels are elevated. (Some clarification would help here. I'm assuming mold spores in the air)
5. Can help find mold issues behind walls. (Again, some clarification about the "How" of this would be helpful.)
6.
7.
8.
9.

Cameron Anderson
Illinois Licensed Inspector
homeinspectionpeoria.com
Inspecting since 2004
309-712-1556
Peoria, Illinois
[WWW]
 
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