Jump to content

Probably did not need a mold inspection


Recommended Posts

Today I did a structural inspection for a mortgage company. They had a mold inspection at the same time. I'm not sure who called for the mold inspection, but I think it was a waste of money. From their standpoint, maybe there was a need for it.

Click to Enlarge
tn_2015824211044_P8232608%20(512x341).jpg

50.98 KB

Click to Enlarge
tn_2015824211123_P8232715%20(512x341).jpg

38.34 KB

Click to Enlarge
tn_2015824211227_P8232677%20(512x341).jpg

25.18 KB

Click to Enlarge
tn_201582421143_P8232646%20(512x341).jpg

47.84 KB

Link to post
Share on other sites

Such regulation can be either good or bad IMHO, depending on the language. Texas has good such regulation. Mold inspectors don't meet the criteria there anymore. They're replaced by Mold Consultants who have a much higher level of education and can offer a more complete service, all the way from the initial examination to the protocol to the final testing after remediation.

Marc

Link to post
Share on other sites

It's the mold inspectors that are the snake oil salesmen. They take samples, send them to the lab, when the results are back they give it to the client. There's no useful service in what they do.

The consultants determine why the mold is there, supervise the remediation then test to make sure spore counts are normal. They solve the client's problem.

I'll grant you that Consultants wouldn't be needed in the vast majority of cases but with mold inspectors ripping off homeowners, something needs to be done. I don't see an alternative to regulation.

Heck, we're regulated ourselves in most states.

Marc

Link to post
Share on other sites

It's not always unnecessary. Certain levels of stress in certain species of mold can produce mycotoxins that can cause serious neurological damage in humans. Rare indeed but it happens and that's why we need a professional up front.

Mold consultants in my area are not charlatans. One of them taught a CE class for HIs a while back. Degreed in microbiology and very fluent in his subject matter.

It's insurance for the few who may come in contact with those mycotoxins.

Marc

Link to post
Share on other sites

It's not a bunch of crap. It's a teeny little bit of crap that's going to be extrapolated to a gargantuan pile of crap. We will wish it was only a bunch.

Certain species of mold can do certain things that can be damaging to certain people....yep. Of course. Along with a lot of other certain things in certain situations.

Those certain things are highly uncertain but those finding they can create a revenue stream from uncertainty certainly take advantage of moronic legislators and public hysteria. I'm sure they believe all the silly crap they spout about.

And now we have the State of NY legitimizing the revenue stream.

My condolences. I expect the same crap storm to hit Illinois any time now.

Link to post
Share on other sites

It's not always unnecessary. Certain levels of stress in certain species of mold can produce mycotoxins that can cause serious neurological damage in humans.

I've never seen any documentation to back up such a claim. (Unless we're talking about ingesting the mold.)

Do you have some kind of reference to back up that claim? (Not allergic reactions, but toxic reactions.)

Link to post
Share on other sites

I've run this by enough medical professionals specializing in allergenic and respiratory conditions to know for certain there is some small subset of individuals that can have heinous reactions to mold. It's true. Mold can really screw up some people. Allergic or neurological? I don't know that, but I've never been able to find anything that is credible.

That subset is extremely small and there's no substantiated connection between any specific mold and the same health effects in all individuals. By substantiated, I mean groups of researchers gathering data and collectively determining cause and effects.

There are a few lone practitioners that insist it's a problem, just like the guy insisting gluten is killing us and the other guy that says eating bacon actually is good for your heart. But, the larger medical profession views mold as one more thing among a mountain of things that can have all sorts of effects, most of which are barely understood, or not understood at all.

Since we know that different molds can put out dozens, or hundreds of different mycotoxins, or not generate any or a lot, there's no consensus regarding any specific mold and what it may or may not be doing.

Licensing this one thing out of the mountain, and providing lone wolf types the ability to broadly effect a large population with their individual beliefs is bad policy. Very bad.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I've run this by enough medical professionals specializing in allergenic and respiratory conditions to know for certain there is some small subset of individuals that can have heinous reactions to mold. It's true. Mold can really screw up some people. Allergic or neurological? I don't know that, but I've never been able to find anything that is credible. . .

If it only affects a small subset of individuals, then it's probably not a toxic reaction.

Toxic substances tend to create distinct predictable effects at a given dose. So far, I've seen absolutely nothing to indicate that breathing mold or mold by-products causes toxic effects in humans - at least not in levels that would be found in a house.

Mycotoxins evolved to be toxic to other organisms that might compete with the molds. The molds release the mycotoxin in the same way that a farmer might spray Roundup on a field - to kill competing plants and clear the way for the plants he wants to grow. Likewise, the molds produce mycotoxins and then release spores that have a "clear field." The fact that the word mycotoxin contains the word "toxin" doesn't mean that it's necessarily toxic to humans, especially in the tiny amounts that are released.

Allergic effects, on the other hand, can be huge and have very severe consequences.

Toxic effects? I'm still waiting to see evidence.

Link to post
Share on other sites

As HIs, we have the comfort of not having our hands tied like scientists, needing 'conclusive proof' before making a declaration. As an HI, I've seen enough and I've heard enough to convince me that it's best if I always recommend the removal of anything suspected of being mold growth if it's within the conditioned spaces of the home. That would be a bottle of Tilex if it's below the State SF threshold (I forgot what that number is). Above that threshold, I'm stuck with recommending a consultant and that, my friends, is as much about keeping my liabilities at bay as it is protecting my client should that growth contains any Stachybotrys or some other species that has been linked to neurological damage in some folks.

I don't have a particular case in mind but such cases do pop up now and then. Also, when I testified to a State Senate committee last year, I met two guys whose doctor strongly suggested their health was damaged as consequence of exposure to mold growth. Like Jim suggested, no 'conclusive proof', but what I saw and heard was enough.

If what I have in my hand looks and tastes like an apple, I'm going to call it an apple. I don't need a DNA test for that.

Marc

Link to post
Share on other sites

As HIs, we have the comfort of not having our hands tied like scientists, needing 'conclusive proof' before making a declaration.

That's a crock.

I'm not asking for "conclusive proof." Just any reliable documentation or reference. Surely if this stuff is as bad as all that, someone with real credentials will have documented it. So far, all I hear about is people who self-diagnose and unsubstantiated rumors. As home inspectors we do have a responsibility to not participate in perpetuating myths.

As an HI, I've seen enough and I've heard enough to convince me that it's best if I always recommend the removal of anything suspected of being mold growth if it's within the conditioned spaces of the home. That would be a bottle of Tilex if it's below the State SF threshold (I forgot what that number is).

You're deflecting the question. Of course people should remove mold. For chrissakes no one's arguing anything different. Stick to the point.

Above that threshold, I'm stuck with recommending a consultant and that, my friends, is as much about keeping my liabilities at bay as it is protecting my client should that growth contains any Stachybotrys or some other species that has been linked to neurological damage in some folks.

There you go perpetuating myth. There is no link. One researcher suggested that there might be a link and when it was carefully examined, the "link" evaporated. But morons all over the country just can't accept that.

I don't have a particular case in mind but such cases do pop up now and then. Also, when I testified to a State Senate committee last year, I met two guys whose doctor strongly suggested their health was damaged as consequence of exposure to mold growth. Like Jim suggested, no 'conclusive proof', but what I saw and heard was enough.

Never asked for conclusive proof. Just something other than "I met a guy who said that his doctor said that his health might have been damaged by mold." Really? That's the best that you've got?

If what I have in my hand looks and tastes like an apple, I'm going to call it an apple. I don't need a DNA test for that.

You have more intellectual rigor than that.

I'm not trying to argue that molds don't cause health problems. Clearly, they do. I'm arguing that the very specific term "toxic" should not be applied to them. Because, so far, there seems to be zero evidence to back that up.

Allergic, sure.

Infectious, sure, in some cases.

Toxic, no.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Originally posted by kurt

Allergic effects, on the other hand, can be huge and have very severe consequences.

Toxic effects? I'm still waiting to see evidence.

Me too.

And yes, the "links" that keep getting brought back again and again have been completely discredited. Why do we have to keep rehashing what science proved years ago? Because someone's "got a guy"?

Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm more worried about the finger pointing. There isn't a snowball's chance in hell this won't come back on us.

Now what?

Are we going to need clients to sign off for the purpose of holding us harmless? Do we strongly urge everyone to have testing done regardless of the conditions?

People tend to follow the loudest guy, with the brightest torch, and the biggest pitchfork. Somebody is going to get hung because of this. I don't want to be the first.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm more worried about the finger pointing. There isn't a snowball's chance in hell this won't come back on us.

Now what?

Are we going to need clients to sign off for the purpose of holding us harmless?

No.

Do we strongly urge everyone to have testing done regardless of the conditions?

Absolutely not.

People tend to follow the loudest guy, with the brightest torch, and the biggest pitchfork. Somebody is going to get hung because of this. I don't want to be the first.

Marc

Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm more worried about the finger pointing. There isn't a snowball's chance in hell this won't come back on us.

Now what?

Are we going to need clients to sign off for the purpose of holding us harmless? Do we strongly urge everyone to have testing done regardless of the conditions?

People tend to follow the loudest guy, with the brightest torch, and the biggest pitchfork. Somebody is going to get hung because of this. I don't want to be the first.

My nitpicking about toxicity aside, I don't see a big problem here for us.

If there's hidden mold, it's like hidden anything else. Hidden. We can't see it. No sense in fretting about liability associated with it because there's nothing we can do about it.

If there's visible mold, figure out the source of the water, then recommend fixing the water problem and cleaning up the mold. It's not different than any other problem that we find.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm much less worried about getting hung as I am about having to most likely increase my discussion of mold. I am sick and tired of talking about mold.

I thought I was sick of mold until the discussions about earthquakes started. Thank you very much New Yorker Magazine.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...