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Marc

Mold reporting in Louisiana

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First of all, I don't have a facebook page and don't want one.

I never agreed with the initial language of the Bill and it was made clear to me that the language would evolve via amendments as the Bill made it's way through the legislative process.

I no longer support attacking collusion from the agent side of the practice. Home inspectors shouldn't be permitted to solicit agents for any doggone reason.

If this works out as intended, no mold testing will be required, anymore than it's required on aluminum wiring, PB pipe and hundreds of other stuff we currently report.

This Bill began with a consumer who's health was badly damaged by mold. I met and spoke with him myself.

I'm not in the driver's seat here, just helping out in respect for the gentleman, and others, whose health has been badly damaged.

Marc

Mike O, home inspectors here who offer mold inspections are vehemently against this requirement to report mold. But they are the ones insisting that if this Bill does becomes law, all home inspectors will need training on inspecting mold, taking samples for lab tests, etc. It's outrageous but the battle is ongoing.

This is turning out fairly well so far but there's a ways to go. I've spent at least 60 hours so far on this thing trying to influence it in a good way. I never figured legislative procedure would take this much time but I'll give another 120 hrs if that's what it takes.

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Be careful.

What you think you are requiring can be interpreted in vastly different ways by lawyers and the general public (Jury) who are fed a steady diet of hype and hyperbole.

I can see reports having general CYA verbiage that all homes have mold and to have a mold "expert" follow up.

Just what the mold inspectors want.

It becomes very easy to spend other peoples money just so they don't take yours. The bottom line is a negative for the consumer and no one wins except the mold is gold crowd.

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Be careful.

What you think you are requiring can be interpreted in vastly different ways by lawyers and the general public (Jury) who are fed a steady diet of hype and hyperbole.

I can see reports having general CYA verbiage that all homes have mold and to have a mold "expert" follow up.

Just what the mold inspectors want.

It becomes very easy to spend other peoples money just so they don't take yours. The bottom line is a negative for the consumer and no one wins except the mold is gold crowd.

That is pretty much the theme of my testimony this afternoon. The fate of this Bill will likely be decided today. They won't table it a 2nd time.

I'm the sole HI supporting this Bill that has appeared before Committee and testified. Dozens are countering me. The very few others who support it won't even give their names though they called the Senator who authored the Bill to voice their support.

An amendment will be introduced to improve the language and I'll have a suggestion or two of my own.

I'm aspiring to end 38 years of HI's not reporting mold growth because of misinformation. It was first excluded in 1976 by ASHI.

It's exhausting.

Marc

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My crystal ball says:

1. There will be a lot of lawyers suing home inspectors down there for not finding mold growth if this thing passes.

2. The "Mold is Gold" crowd will love it and try to spread it to other states.

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Erby, inspectors will just report there is mold. nothing abt why or how to deal with it.

I have followed Marc on this and he is on the right track, but gets no support.

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Erby, I agree that it is nonsense. But to blame attys is no solution nor is the solution to ignore what the public wants. education is the answer and that ain't easy!

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My crystal ball says:

1. There will be a lot of lawyers suing home inspectors down there for not finding mold growth if this thing passes.

2. The "Mold is Gold" crowd will love it and try to spread it to other states.

How would that be different from the hundreds of other things that we look for and report?

Why all the special treatment given to mold?

Liabilities stem not so much from what we report but from how we report what we see. Reporting outside of our qualifications leaves us susceptible to claims of damage in the future regardless of whether it's mold or something else.

Just my opinion.

Committee meeting went well. The Bill passed quickly with amendments. I don't have access to the amended version yet.

Next is the full Senate, then the House committee.

Marc

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SB 66 has just passed the full Senate 39 yeas to 0 nays.

It's headed for the House now. One more testimony and I'm done.

Looks like it's gonna work. Becomes Law on 1 August if it passes. HI's will be required to report visible mold growth.

A licensed home inspector shall include in his written report of the home inspection the presence of suspected mold or microbial growth if during the course of inspecting the systems and components of the structure in accordance with the provisions of this Chapter and board rules and regulations, the licensed home inspector discovers visually observable evidence of suspected mold or microbial growth.

The part on collusion between inspectors and agent was watered down by an amendment. It's worthless now.

Marc

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I guess I'm not following.

What happened and what does it mean in real time? Can it be described in 25 words or less?

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The Sheriff of a Parish next door became aware of mold growth in a house he had just bought. The HI didn't report it. The Sheriff became very sick, nearly died at one point and complained to his state senator about it, who responded by authoring a Resolution that requests the Louisiana HI regulatory body to research improvements to the SOP, particularly in the area of mold reporting. The Board responded with a lengthy report saying that 'all was well' and that no improvements were needed. I filed a rebuttal with the Senate Secretary who forwarded it to the Senator. We met, after which he filed SB 66 mandating the reporting of mold growth. We've been working at it since.

Kurt, if this Bill passes, Louisiana HI's will be no longer be allowed to ignore any mold growth that they observe. They must report it.

Marc

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How obvious was the mold? Is there any documentation or pictures indicating severity of the mold?

IOW, how stupid was the HI? Is it something he should have seen and reported on, or was it hidden?

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I don't have access to such details but perhaps before this is over, the good Sheriff will share with me the results of a mold inspection that was done on the house subsequent to the home inspection. Perhaps that mold inspection will have photos.

Marc

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OK, because until I know some details, I find this kinda scary.

If there are obvious conditions the HI should have seen, OK.

If there was nothing showing and the house was in otherwise decent looking shape, and the good Sheriff was one of those genetically predisposed to extreme sensitivities, then the HI may be getting held liable for something thats' not at all their fault.

Because, as we all know, mold testing always produces mold results. Are you setting up the Louisiana inspectors for mandatory mold inspecting?

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OK, because until I know some details, I find this kinda scary.

...

Are you setting up the Louisiana inspectors for mandatory mold inspecting?

Sure sounds that way.

Seems like a lot of people took a lot of action for not having any details of the particular incident.

The lawyers and mold labs will love it anyways.

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OK, because until I know some details, I find this kinda scary.

If there are obvious conditions the HI should have seen, OK.

If there was nothing showing and the house was in otherwise decent looking shape, and the good Sheriff was one of those genetically predisposed to extreme sensitivities, then the HI may be getting held liable for something thats' not at all their fault.

Because, as we all know, mold testing always produces mold results. Are you setting up the Louisiana inspectors for mandatory mold inspecting?

I don't know if litigation is involved. I don't know how that particular HI could be held liable because the SOP was perfectly clear at the time of the inspection...mold reporting is excluded. But then, who am I to comment on legal matters?

Am I setting up LA inspectors for mandatory mold testing? The legislature is in the driver's seat, not I.

Do I support mandatory mold reporting? You betcha. Shoulda been done a decade ago when scientists had done cleared away much of the confusion about mold. CDC and IOH both have information in layman terms that explain mold well. We just need to point the client in that direction and we're done with that write-up. ASHI had a good excuse to exclude it back in '76 when no one knew how to handle it but that excuse is gone now. Times have changed.

Marc

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OK, because until I know some details, I find this kinda scary.

If there are obvious conditions the HI should have seen, OK.

If there was nothing showing and the house was in otherwise decent looking shape, and the good Sheriff was one of those genetically predisposed to extreme sensitivities, then the HI may be getting held liable for something thats' not at all their fault.

Because, as we all know, mold testing always produces mold results. Are you setting up the Louisiana inspectors for mandatory mold inspecting?

Listen to the Sheriff's testimony here. Maybe he'll answer some of your questions. I dunno. Can't hear it myself.

The testimony on SB 66 starts at about 30 minutes into the session. The Sheriff comes up first then myself.

If you listen to my testimony, I'd like to know if you can understand any of it. I tried hard but still don't know if I spoke clearly enough. I had notes but the Senator convinced me to scrap it minutes before the session and just wing it. Don't recall ever being so dang nervous in my life.

Marc

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I hope this does not pass and become law in Louisiana. This could have far reaching ramifications to the profession.

Does this law offer any protection to the inspector if they note the presence of mold?

What if they note mold and it turns up being soot or simple ghosting?

What type of protection is the home inspector offered if they miss ID mold because no testing was done?

I hope problems like this were considered.

This sounds more like a knee jerk reaction to a localized problem that will have far reaching consequences.

Marc, you are involved with this. Can you share the details of the bill? It seems like you are for it but don't know much about the bill?

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I hope this does not pass and become law in Louisiana. This could have far reaching ramifications to the profession.

I agree. It could spread like wildfire.

Does this law offer any protection to the inspector if they note the presence of mold?

No. Why would we need any more protection than what we already have for everything else we report?

What if they note mold and it turns up being soot or simple ghosting?

That can happen with foundation failure, a roof covering at the end of it's life and hundreds of other things we report. Our reports are opinion reports. Little that we report is identified beyond all doubt.

What type of protection is the home inspector offered if they miss ID mold because no testing was done?

Nothing beyond what we already have. Why the special treatment in regard to mold?

I hope problems like this were considered.

This sounds more like a knee jerk reaction to a localized problem that will have far reaching consequences.

Could be, but why does it matter? It's time to begin reporting mold growth, to tell the buyer what he wants to know. We've no longer an excuse to omit it. Mold isn't a mystery anymore. Scientists have learned a lot since '76. Keep your reporting within your qualifications and your liabilities will be at a minimum, whether its mold or something else.

Marc, you are involved with this can you share the details of the bill? It seems like you are for it but don't know much about the bill?

What would you like to know?

Read the latest text, digests and amendments here.

Marc

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1) Mold is absolutely NOT like anything else. It's a highly specialized environmental and medical consideration about which the most studied medical professionals can't find consensus. It's not a roof or a furnace or a broken deck.

2) Because of #1 , the field is open to every manner of shysterism claiming all manner of concerns, from rational to ridiculous.

3) the legislation seems to put HI's directly in the path of responsibility for everything. It essentially demands input from the mold whores.

I've spent my entire working career trying to make this thing we do a scientific and rational discipline. The legislation does the opposite.

It's the stupidest ****ing approach to an issue as I can imagine. I won't ask what you were thinking because I don't think you were.

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Marc,

You and I have had discussions abt this in the past and I guess I didn't really understand this proposed regulation.

Also, would you please explain to me why you persist in bring ASHI into this discussion ala 1976. Some of us have been around nearly since 1976 and until the "other" organization came around I regarded mold objectively. I have lived through uffi, lead, radon, iag, asbestos, formaldhyde, eifs, etc. Mold is, and should be, scary for inspectors. It is my opinion 99.9% of the discussions abt mold I have in a normal day is refuting BS.

If you think it is the mold you see that is the only problem, we got some explaining to do!

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Did anyone involved in this poorly written and thought out Bill consult with experts from the medical/scientific professions, IAQ profession, insurance profession, home inspector profession, or even the home inspector profession licensing board?

I don't have a problem with reporting on mold when I see it. But making it a "requirement" that is punishable under law for missing some mold in a crawlspace under some insulation or under the carpet on the tack strip or wherever it could be difficult to locate is absurd.

Environmental issues like mold should be excluded from a home inspector license law, as it has been done in several states already. If inspectors must report on mold why not other environmental concerns, like lead or formaldehyde off gassing?

I hope it is not too late to stop this action. I will be on the phone shortly trying to let folks know about this and hopefully getting a few more involved to voice opposition to this poorly thought and conceived legislative action requiring home inspectors to add mold reporting to their report.

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