Originally Posted By: jfarsetta
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On the occasion when I am asked (pleaded with, really) to test, here's how I handle it...
I referr the client to the EPA and CDC sites and tell them to learn about mold. I tell them that most inspectors are neither qualified, nor insured to perform mold testing, myself included. I explain to them that if what they believe to be mold (visual), turns out to be mold,, they still need to follow the EPA and CDC recommendations. I tell them that they will be required to sign my mold agreement/disclaimer, which I insist they read and understand.
In that agreement, I spell out that I am not a mold tester. That they are paying me to taks a tape or swatch sample, ID it, seal it in an envelope, and retain chain of custody until I personally drop it off at the horticulture labs of Cornell University.
They understand that the lab will analyze the sample provided, but only for the purposes of identification; not as to health risk or habatibility. They understand that the cost of analysis is $25 per sample. They understand that my part of the transaction is to take the physical sample and to transport it. They pay the lab separately then my fees. The lab report goes directly to their address. I never see it. I also explain that Cornell is not in the mold business, and are completely neutral on the matter. They stand to make or lose nothing, either way.
For a lot of folks, the information on my website, along with the CDC and EPA recommendations are like a breath of fresh air. They begin the process of educating themselves. Its up to them to assess the risks, not for me to sway them one way or the other. They sometimes call me to tell me of the results, and ask fpr further advice. I'm really careful what I tell them. They appreciate my candor, 'cause I tell them up front that some lawyer may be licking his chops, and I aint about to be someone's meal ticket!
Educating the client and taking a common sense approach is the best position to take. Our jobs are hard enough as it is. I always tell the Client that the decision whether to buy or not to buy comes from the heart. Sometimes a house can be perfect, but the Client doesn't want it. Other times the house can be a disaster, and it seems that the more you find, the more determined they become. Go figure...
And, you're absolutely correct... Mold testing should be left to the experts. It should be performed when justified, not as a quick moneymaker...
- Joe Farsetta