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[:-crazy]Anyone have an opinion of the best mold inspection and remediation certification training? Who? Where? When?

Any mold inspectors/remediators out there have any advice to provide? Are you doing well with mold inspections? How is the liabiliy aspect? Any lawsuits over any mold inspections?

I am a new inspector in Missouri. Considering doing mold inspections and remediation. Want any legitimate advice, both good and bad.

Dan[:-crazy]

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Personally I think the only legitimate advice regarding mold testing by home inspectors is "Don't". When people ask me about it on those intial calls, I tell 'em I already know there's mold in that house they're looking at. There's also some in mine, yours, and everybody elses' who doesn't live in an operating room. Big deal. Very few kinds are actually toxic, and others only affect certain people. The type of testing inspectors do won't produce one shred of useful information. It's a ripoff.

Don't be a ripoff.

Brian G.

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Dan,

Go to www.mayindoorair.com

Buy one of the books and read it carefully.

If you can do the kind of work these guys do, they get into mold testing. If you can't do what they do, steer clear. You'll thank me some day.

If you do get into trouble with mold testing, Jeff, or someone like him is likely to be the Plaintiff's expert. You don't want to be in the ring with Tyson until you're ready, do you?

There are better ways to lose an ear,

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Hi Dan,

I think the best training for mold certification and remediation would be to go to college, get a degree in mycology, work as an assistant to an established mycologist or industrial hygienist for a few years and then strike out on your own doing mold inspections and testing. Maybe by then, the research in mold toxins being conducted EPA and CDC will catch up to the hysteria and they will have established thresholds of toxicity for mold spore that can be used to back up any of your findings.

No mold inspection course given over a few days to a couple of weeks can give you the tools that you need to be "qualified" to do mold inspections, testing and remediation, because there are no officially established standards and protocols. I think New York City established some sort of mold task force that set some parameters for testing, but last I heard that agency was a knee-jerk reaction to mold hysteria and is flying blind without any research to back them up.

IMO, doing mold inspections is playing with fire and not just the home inspector doing the mold inspection gets burnt - we all do, because without official backing mold inspectors are promoting junk science and it makes all home inspectors look bad.

We're home inspectors - basically construction technologists and consultants. We are not industrial hygienists or mycologists and we shouldn't be dabbling in areas that even the professionals in those fields haven't figured out yet.

Stick to doing home inspections. There's more than enough potential liability in an ordinary home inspection to wipe out even the most experienced home inspector under certain circumstances. Why stick your neck out for a few extra pieces of silver?

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

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That is enough advice for me to make up my mind. I kinda thought that one would have to have some kind of biology degree/background or have extensive research and experience in environmental work in order to tackle mold inspections, etc. and know what they are talking about.

Thanks for the insight guys. I will take heed to the good advice.

I am just thinking of ways to make my business more appealing to clients and to generate more inspections. I know the key thing is to just concentrate on doing a high quality inspection and get a good reputation by doing so, but while trying to get my name out there and established, I am starving!!!

I see a lot of home inspectors advertising and they are advertising the whole conglomerate of services from whole house inspections to septic tank servicing!! :)

Just wanting to get a small piece of the pie and looking for ideas to do so without starving to death beforehand.

Thanks again,

Dan

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Dan,

If you want to learn about mold, take a class from a school approved by an organization like IAQA. Don't take the 2 day "we certify anyone" B.S. class they just want your money and don't offer enough training information or hours. I know some Inspectors who do mold testing, my opinion is they are just "asking for it", in fact one is being sued right now. Bummer for him. I am a CMR (Certified Mold Remediator) and I do NOT do testing. I wanted to be able to speak on the subject of mold with some authority and understanding of the problem. I think we should all become better informed about the subject and not just ignore it. Everyone has their own opinion and their own way of dealing with the discovery of mold, and each person is right (for themselves).

Texas legislature is now writing and will soon adopt a bill that defines and qualifies how to and whom may remediate mold. Watch other states follow their lead soon thereafter.

More information and knowledge makes ME a better Home Inspector for my clients. I have a Very long list of things I need to learn more about to better serve the public. Knowledge is money. I attend a class or seminar once every 2 months or so, sometimes more often. Be comfortable in how you perform inspections and what you are willing to speak about with your clients. If you B.S. them they will know it and call you on it later. Maybe in court.

Brian wrote:"There's also some in mine, yours, and everybody elses' who doesn't live in an operating room. Big deal. Very few kinds are actually toxic, and others only affect certain people."

Actually there are mold spores in the operating room as well, they don't use air scrubbers, maybe HEPA filters and they don't have a "clean room" with negative pressure.

"Very few kinds are actually toxic,..." Not so Brian, all are toxic, it depends on what level you are refering to and to whom or what. Molds are toxic even after they are dead. Some release their toxins after they are no longer viable.

"others only affect certain people." Mold exposure effects everyone! Some may be more sensitive than others, children, elderly, asthmatics or persons with a compromised immune system. Mold spores are so small that they can go to the bottom of your lungs and never come back out.(like asbestos) Some people acutally grow mold inside their lungs. (shudder)

Do what feels right for you. Bottom line, think twice before you do mold inspections.

MY opinion

Ron

CMR

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Originally posted by Renron

"Very few kinds are actually toxic,..." Not so Brian, all are toxic, it depends on what level you are refering to and to whom or what. Molds are toxic even after they are dead. Some release their toxins after they are no longer viable.

"others only affect certain people." Mold exposure effects everyone! Some may be more sensitive than others, children, elderly, asthmatics or persons with a compromised immune system.

Okay, point taken, but you know what I meant. The few bad boys like Ole' Stachy are actually pretty hard to find. I've never seen any that I know of. Mold as most of us know it has been around forever, doing no more harm than pollen, bacteria, or any one of a thousand other things found in our enviroment.

The United States is the most neurotic and letigious country in the world. People eat mold and bacteria every day..we call it cheese, mushrooms, and yogurt.

Brian G.

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The American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH)Has set and published a standard for testing mold.

The Indoor Environmental Standards Organization (IESO) has based their standards on those adopted by the ACGIH.

If you wish to have insurance that covers you for sampling (and only sampling)the easiest method is to become a member of the Environmental Standards Organization (ESA)

I am a certified Residential Mold Inspector (CRMI) I have over 150 hours of Class room schooling on mold and sampling techniques.

I can tell you what is and is not defensible in court.

I can tell you that Stachy is not the worst common mold, it is just the one that gets the most press. It's kind of like pit bulls and poodles or Sheppard's. More people git bit every year by poodles and Sheppard's than pit bulls but the pit bulls make the papers.

I can tell you that Stachy is difficult to catch with a spore trap (Air test) because it is usually very damp and therefore heavy.

I can tell you that if I knew in the beginning what I know now I never would have started sampling. Most of the people that want it don't need it and most of the people that need it can't afford to pay for it.

What I do is similar to a nurse taking a blood sample. I've been trained where to take the sample, How to take the sample and where to send the sample.

I am not qualified to interpret the results any more than a nurse is qualified to read a blood screen. I know some things to look for that are red flags, like a nurse, but I am not a doctor or a microbiologist.

The quickest way to end up in trouble is to try to do something your not qualified to do.

I get 3-4 calls about mold a week, I perform sampling about once a month.

Now the big thing is allergen screening, for $250 I can take samples from your house and check for lots of allergens including but not limited to , dog & cat hair, Cockroach feces, dustmites... ... There are already threshold limit values for these items so there is a standard,

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If you have these in your house the recommended treatment method is to have the ducts and carpets professionally cleaned.

When people call me for an allergen screen I say, "Please allow me to save you some money. The screening costs start at $250.00, take that money and apply it to the carpet or duct cleaning.

Sometimes I will have a client that had aspergilliosis (Mold growing in the lungs)and they want to know if the area has been properly cleaned before they take possession of a property, then I may do some sampling but it's rare.

If you are a moral person it is very difficult to make money sampling for mold or allergens.[:-banghead]

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Originally posted by Renron

90+% of all citric acid produced comes from mold.

Ron,

That I didn't know, but I love a good basket of fried mold mushrooms.

Brother Warga,

Thank you for your well-informed opinion. It sounds like the first step to mold testing is mastering alphabet (org) soup.

Jerry,

That stuff is Stachy? How come all of the little aquatic creatures aren't dying in those ponds? Don't they have lawyers?

Brian G.

Don't Test For Mold, Eat & Drink It! [:-chef]

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In my wanderings I ran across this at the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). I think it's going to be my insert whenever I find mold / mildew during an inspection, and it gets a link on my website. Very sensible, hype-free information from an excellent source. Be sure to check out #14 & #15.

http://www.cdc.gov/nceh/airpollution/mold/stachy.htm

Brian G.

Moldy-Wan-Kenobi [:-masked]

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As far as dust mites, there is a study that now shows the cleaning ducts does absolutely nothing for reducing the amount or number of dust mites in the average home ductwork.

Dust Mites require about 40% humidity to survive, therefore we don't have a problem with them here in the valley of the sun.

The duct and carpet cleaners get really upset when I tell clients that. The lab wasn't thrilled either when I said I would not recommended people do allergen testing.

Oh well, I sleep real good at night.

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