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Mold is Gold is Mold is Gold is Mold

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Well, before you go off half-cocked, to be fair, you should realize that these folks are not in "our profession." They are not home inspectors, never have been home inspectors, and they don't advocate that home inspectors get involved with mold testing - only that home inspectors become better acqainted with what mold is and leave it to those who are trained to deal with it.

The problem I see with the whole mold specialist business model is that finding anyone who's actually "qualified" to speak to the issue of mold is pretty difficult. After all, in the absence of definitive findings from EPA, CDC or others, who dedides what "qualified" is? My own policy is to recommend that, if my clients are concerned about mold, they DO NOT hire one of me - a home inspector - to deal with it, and hire a reputable indoor air quality specialist working for a reputable lab - one that's been around for a few decades. Personally, if I ever have a mold "problem," I'm going to hire Jeffrey May to assess it and decide what the best course of action is to deal with it.

If the Dobbs' want to try and promote their business model, and encourage home inspectors to use specialists who are not home inspectors to deal with any perceived mold issues, I don't have a problem with it, as long as they're using facts to make their case and aren't selling snake oil.

I'm keeping an open mind. In the meantime, myself and others at TIJ will be interested to see what you come up with.



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  • 2 weeks later...

Every home inspection is a preliminary mold evaluation. A proper mold evaluation is a forensic water intrusion inspection. Most of the inspection is visual, the same as a home inspection. The difference is in understanding the likely sources of both liquid and air borne water that could sustain microbial growth. Sampling the growths is the least important aspect of the investigation. A typical investigation takes 5 to 6 hours on the typical home and includes a detailed interrogation of the home's occupants and follows very specific guidelines for investigation and sampling.

Home Inspectors who just sample growths and then recommend actions based on those limited samples are doing a dis-service to their clients, and both the home inspection and the legitimate mold investigation industries.

As for qualifications, The Indoor Air Quality Association IAQA.org offers the following certifications: Council-certified Indoor Environmentalist "CIEC" and the Council-certified Microbial Consultant "CMC." Both certifications require 8 years of experience before they will let you take the exam. The exam is proctored by the Council of Engineering and Scientific Specialty Boards. This is same board who qualifies Certified Industrial Hygienists. The exam is a bitch. In effect the IAQA is producing “Residential Hygienists.â€

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