Dr. Shane says every home should be tested for mold.


Hello Mr. Gromicko-

Testing every house for mould is like testing every house to see if it contains air. The answer is “Yes.” One doesn’t need to “test” to answer that question.

Perhaps more prudent than “Dr. Shane” would be what the US Department of Health and Human Services, Center for Disease Control tells us:

Sampling for mold is not part of a routine building assessment. In most cases appropriate decisions concerning remediation and need for personal protection equipment (PPE) can be made solely on the basis of visual inspection. (sic)

Sampling, by “mould inspectors” and other “instant” mould consultants is usually performed as a way to “puff up” a report with fancy Latin names and numbers, but does little to provide any real data and virtually no information to the homeowner. The CDC recognized the frivolity of sampling (in the absence of data qulaity objectives) in the same document when it stated:

Other than in a controlled, limited, research setting, sampling for biological agents in the environment cannot be meaningfully interpreted and would not significantly affect relevant decisions regarding remediation, reoccupancy, handling or disposal of waste and debris, worker protection or safety, or public health.

Or perhaps if we look at April, 2000 publication titled *Guidelines on Assessment and Remediation of Fungi in Indoor Environment **(*prepared by the New York City Department of Health, Bureau of Environmental & Occupational Disease Epidemiology) viewed as many as a reflection of state-of-the-art in microbial investigations and remediation which states:

*A visual inspection is the most important initial step in identifying a possible contamination problem. *

Sampling during normal or preliminary assessments is not considered appropriate by the majority of bona fide mould experts. The New York City guidelines address air sampling thusly:

Air sampling for fungi should not be part of a routine assessment. This is because decisions about appropriate remediation strategies can usually be made on the basis of a visual inspection. In addition, air-sampling methods for some fungi are prone to false negative results and therefore cannot be used to definitively rule out contamination.

Similarly, the International ASTM Standards currently under development for the assessment of indoor moulds in buildings, specifically excludes all sampling during preliminary mould inspections; thus reflecting current thought. [FONT=TTA2032BC8t00]In that guide, which reflects State-of-the-art and standard industry practices, and is being developed by an international committee of recognized indoor mould experts, sampling (even properly conducted sampling) is discouraged and is considered by the cognizant community as superfluous, and misleading.[/FONT]

These reflect the general standard operating approach reputable industrial hygienists have maintained for decades. With the onset of the high media profile of indoor mould, many self-certified mould “experts” have made sampling a common practice regardless of it’s lack of value or scientific foundation. Those individuals, in my opinion, do a disservice to their clients by providing worse than no information – bad information.

But that just me. (I have recently landed a new litigation case as an expert witness. I will be going up against someone who ignored good science and collected samples. I will impugn their data, and they will loose, and their client will NOT be pleased with their services.)

Caoimhín P. Connell
Forensic Industrial Hygienist

(The opinions expressed here are exclusively my personal opinions and do not necessarily reflect my professional opinion, opinion of my employer, agency, peers, or professional affiliates. The above post is for information only and does not reflect professional advice and is not intended to supercede the professional advice of others.)




Great to see you back. It’s great you try and set the record straight once in a while for the folks who enjoy ripping people off…:smiley:


Thanks for posting.

As a former REALTOR (a buyer’s agent) for a decade, I will tell you that I need paper. I need paper to compel a seller to remediate for my buyer and I need paper to get a $ credit for my buyer and I need paper to get a reduction in the price of home for my buyer and I need paper to get my buyer out of an executed agreement of sale that has an inspection addendum (contingency).

I have no options without an inspection report and/or mold report.

My members are home inspectors and most of the work they do involves a real estate transaction at a point in the transaction where most of the negotiations take place. How do I advance my client’s interests without paper, a mold report, which can only come from the combination of an inspection and testing?

Mr. Connell

I would like your opinion please on this job that I’m doing today.
This is a clients house [rental property] Do you think this is an issue?
Or do you think my clients are foolish to spent $ on this remediation and repair?

Before you answer I would just like to say that the gentelman that rented this house is a single Dad with two young girls.His daughters have never been ill and within 12 months of living at this house have been diagnosed with respiratory problems.

And as you all know, REALTORs and Lawyers need something on paper to fight for their client’s interests. The combination of a home inspector’s mention of the visual evidence of mold and a lab report from a mold test is what is needed for real estate transactions.

Mold dogs are great, but you still need to distill something to paper, and that means a home inspector and a lab report.

Good morning, Gents:

Mr. Gromicko asks:

“How do I advance my client’s interests without paper, a mold report, which can only come from the combination of an inspection and testing?”

It’s easy. The premise of your statement has no foundation since you presume incorrectly that a mould report can only come from the combination of an inspection and testing. Simply not true. Look, for example, at the post by your member, Mr. Mario A. Kyriacou, above on this very thread of discussion.

Mr. Kyriacou, armed with only a camera and his observational powers has made a visual inspection. Without so much as the results from one single “mould test,” Mr. Kyriacou has very adequately and in a very convincing manner provided the results of a mould inspection of a property and has adequately and conclusively documented a that the property has a serious moisture instruction issue that has resulted in mould growth. There is your “paper;” you have the report, opinion, and supporting photographs from a competent HI indicating that there is a moisture problem resulting in a mould problem - without a single sample.

Anyone…ANYONE in the property business, in the lending business, in the financial real estate business, or who is a landlord could read Mr. Kyriacou’s report, look at his photos, and, without the benefit of a single lab sample, be lead to conclude exactly the same thing that Mr. Kyriacou has demonstrated in his two paragraph post:

  1.  The property has a serious moisture intrusion issue
  2.  The moisture intrusion has resulted in widespread growth of mould
  3.  There is a need to address 1) the moisture and 2) the mould.

If Mr. Kyriacou can do that on this message board with four photographs, two paragraphs, AND NO SAMPLES, why do you think that your other members cannot do likewise?

I personally have tremendous faith in the technical competency of home inspectors and have ALWAYS hired my own HI when purchasing an house. I’m not sure why you would think that without Dr. Shane, [FONT=Arial]Mr. Kyriacou in particular, and your membership in general is incapable of determining when a property has a moisture intrusion problem or a mould problem. Mr. Kyriacou has nicely demonstrated here how entirely [FONT=Arial]unnecessary “mould tests” were.[/FONT][/FONT]

I recommend that the next time you need “paper,” you contact Mr. Kyriacou and have him perform your inspection. It seems to me, based on his post, he has done his client an excellent service, and he has performed the mould inspection and reported on it here without a single lab result.

Good job, Mr. Kyriacou. I agree with you, the property has a serious moisture intrusion issue which has resulted in the growth of mould. The mechanics of the moisture intrusion should be identified and corrected; and the mould should be remediated.

Based on the photos you provided, it would be impossible for me to identify the actual mechanics of the moisture intrusion (and thus suggest a solution), but here are my thoughts.

  1.  Without knowing the details about the construction, the distribution of the mould follows the distribution of the moisture and appears to suggest a condensation pattern.
  2.  Although entirely unimportant, and unnecessary to any decision making process,  the primary genera present appear to be *Stachybotrys, and *either *Chaetomium*, and/or *Memnoniella* with a smattering of the *Cladosporia* etc.

Good luck with your project.

Caoimhín P. Connell
Forensic Industrial Hygienist

(The opinions expressed here are exclusively my personal opinions and do not necessarily reflect my professional opinion, opinion of my employer, agency, peers, or professional affiliates. The above post is for information only and does not reflect professional advice and is not intended to supercede the professional advice of others.)


Humm. Sounds like one of my wife’s dinner recepies :shock:


That was one long post just to say that a home inspection and a mold test is a mold test too much. I think I’ll err on the safe side and do the test too.

I think that if I am either

  1. a home inspector selling mold inspection services for an additional fee.
  2. a buyer’s agent negotiating on behalf of my client.
  3. or a lawyer trying to defend either of the above…

I would want the lab report attached to the home inspection report.

Nick, if a lawyer is involved you already lost.

I’d read all of his posts on this board before thinking your idea might work…:smiley:

Oh, and NOT having the lab report improves your chances?

You’d better either have a lab report, or the document linked from here: http://www.nachi.org/moldwaiver.htm

Oh for gods sake, you’d defend NACHI’s bed partner PROLAB till your blue in the face…:smiley:

Read all of Caoimhín’s posts, you’ll learn something…:smiley:

No, just defending my members with http://www.nachi.org/moldwaiver.htm which doesn’t mention any lab.


I did took samples,I will receive the results soon.I want this documented.

Humm… Well that’s not what he says in the Pro-Lab “Mold Training for Home Inspectors” (Live Video Presentation) 2nd Edition.

Dr. Shane
“You don’t want to test as a mater of course. Every place does not need to be tested. Have a reason to test. You know, You do not want to go to a physician and have them run every battery of tests there is on you when there is no reason.”

I would agree that the should be a reason to test. Because the client is willing to pay is not enough of a reason for me. I need more of a reason than that to sleep at night.

Mr. Connell

You are correct about moisture and water intrusion. The window is about 1" above grade [concrete].I will replace window and raise the sill.I will also stud exterior walls,insulate, drywall and paint.

I have told my clients that it is “suspected” mold and will confirm with lab reports.

Mr. Connell you remind me of a Doctor I had, he is a Dr. of medicine yet when I had a problem and needed medication he would prescribe herbs and ****t.I have a new Doctor now.One that doesn’t tell me to gurgle with salt and warm water when I have a chest cold.

You are a scientist you of all people should agree that everything should be documented. I think[correction] I know Nick is correct in saying having “paper” can cover your six.The pictures I took for this house are part of my report.

Thanks for posting.


I think we know where you stand on mold and mold sampling. That’s O.K. you believe what you like. Personally I feel I’m providing a service to my clients. They pay, they refer me to others and they are very happy.

What a combination!!!:smiley:


I’m in total agreement with your above statement.However not everyone will buy into it, Why? It’s beyond me.


NACHI Members are already protected by the NACHI SOP Section 3.2 Exclusions
I. The inspectors are not required to determine:
J. The presence of mold, mildew or fungus. and
K. The presence of air-borne hazards.

The Mold Waiver is ok if the Inspector Offers Mold Inspection, to me it seems to be as much a scare tactic as a Waiver.

I am ASA Mold Certified, basic, advanced, and allergen and I have an unused Pro Lab Test Machine sitting under my desk, I decided that if during a Home Inspection I found no evidence of Mold or conditions conducive to mold growth that I did not want to Hard Sell the customer into paying for a Mold Test, if I did find mold it doesn’t make much sense to me to sell them a test to Identify the type of mold, if it’s mold it needs remediated plain and simple. I identify it as possible organic growth and refer identification and remediation to a Qualified Licensed Mold Inspector/Remediator, I also make note of Sect 3.1 , J

Your action of posting an article that says Mold Inspections SHOULD be done during EVERY Inspection undermines NACHI Inspectors and the NACHI SOP, a lawyer that knew about the Founder of NACHI saying, in essence, that the NACHI SOP is wrong, could use your statements against members who do not offer Mold Inspections.