mold issue

I did a pre listing inspection back in end of september. The homeowners had a offer and the buyer had a inspection company do the inspection. They noted that there was mold in the crawlspace and the deal might fall through. The realtor called me to let me know that the homeowner might call me and I was wondering if anyone had any ideas on how to handle when they tell me how come I did not see the mold which I did not see when I crawled the entire crawlspace, How long would it take for mold to start?

Depends on weather or condtions, Things can change in the time sense you did the inspection , dryer vent disconnected pipe leaking new mulch around vents and so on. Did you go check if not i would ( not all inspectors can be trusted) Ducking the stones now but it is true. Vents could even been closed. They may have been a small amount that you didnt catch. Besides that you are not a mold nspector

I dont have alot of information about the so called mold, I was wondering so if and when they call me I could be prepared.

Only a couple days. Is the crawlspace vented properly? Does it have a proper moisture barrier? If not, did you note it in your inspection report? Has there been any water losses since your inspection?

Yes proper vapor barrier, the only thing I noted in the crawlspace was that the insulation was coming loose and was starting to hang in certain areas.

Was you hired to do a mold inspection also? If not and there is just a small amount of mold it could be easily missed and you should not be held responsible because it is beyond our SOPs. Believe it or not a proper visual mold inspection takes just as long as a regular home inspection. Some inspectors purposely look for mold for they can collect the testing fees.

Was not hired to look for mold, I guess I might be making to much of this it is just that I never had someone complain about an inspection before and I just want to cover my own A**.

If the seller does give you a call, schedule a time to look at the crawlspace, take pictures and document it, just in case. Figure out what happened and explain to the seller why you feel you are responsible or not. I am leaning towards the not.

thanks, will wait for the call and thank you for the advice.

Also after it is all over. Give the documentation to the Realtor for he/she knows you got it handled and you can be counted on to do so in the future.


If the conditions are right, Mold can grow within 24-48 hours.
Your inspection was a picture in time! What if the water heater failed within 3 months? Would you be held accountable or worse negligent? I think not.
Did you document the insulation issue or the crawl space?
BTW Was the crawl space vented?

I noted that the insulation was hanging, vapor barrier was loose in one area and that the dryer vent terminated in the crawlspace.

Just the vapor barrier being loose and/or the dryer vent terminating in crawlspace can cause mold in those areas.

ditto,food source, moisture, humidity

Read YOUR forms and reports. Make sure everything about mold/environmental is in place, and documented/nariated properly. I am with James. Take another look. Have you read “Inspect and Protect” by Dr. Swift? A must read. Remember, it only takes 24 to 48 hours for mold to form. I have seen pictures in New Orleans from Hurricane Katrina. Homes got consumed with inches of mold in walls and ceilings in just days after the hurricane hit. It does not take long.

You could also have construction mold from 15 years ago.

Lets run though this by the numbers.

  1. Are you a certified OR licensed mold inspector in your state?

  2. Were you hired to do a MOLD inspection?

  3. Its the sellers house good, bad or indifferent. He can’t say he would not have bought it if he’d known there was MOLD there.

  4. Has the buyer had it tested to see what type, counts, etc?

  5. If so and its BAD stuff - Its HIS bad stuff. He would have had to deal with it either with you OR with the new guy.

  6. Don’t get pulled in to HIS problem AND let HIS problem become your problem.

  7. Finally if YOU weren’t hired or paid to do a MOLD inspection who cares.

I ASSUME your agreement says you DON"T do mold …

:frowning: Every home inspection, even if your not (paid) inspecting for Mold or Termites, you have to inspect for them both. If you do not, you will end up in trouble. I have found that 90% of attics, basements, and crawl spaces have some form of Mold. All crawl spaces that are not sealed correctly will have Mold. I have found homes that are under construction have mold within the basement areas. All I can say is good luck if you did not mention in your report to have a licensed contractor investigate for mold before closing. It is better to be over protective than not.

I would review the report and contact them.