Mold testing by H.I.s ?

Are home inspectors allowed by law (in Florida) to conduct mold testing (under an HI license only) if we are doing so during a routing home inspection. Thanks


Problem is, even if a HI can take a mold sample (and the ruling is not out yet), a HI can not make one single comment about mold. You can’t identify it, say it is mold, mention the word mold, recommend any treatment/mitigation, comment on health concerns, comment on how the mold was formed or the extent of it. A HI can not recommend removal of flooring, drywall or any structural component. I would not want to be a HI involved in a lawsuit who does not have authority to conduct mold sampling per the FL DPBR/CILB. Without having authority from the DBPR as a Mold Assessor or CGC, I don’t know how a lab can accept, analyze or issue a report to the HI as the HI is not qualified to discuss the report.

Until this is clarified, in my opinion, a HI should stay away from mold and at the most, maybe sell the HO a cannister type kit which they use and send to the lab themselves; of course, these kits are basically worthless.

I applaud Nick’s effort to allow HI’s to conduct mold sampling and I think they should be able to with training and I read he is willing to defend FL Hi’s in any legal issue. I hope that doesn’t ever occur.

A HI wants to sell mold sampling to provide a complete service to the client and add a revenue stream but HI’s, particularly newer HI’s, should be cautious and really think about this as experienced mold assessors and contractors know finding and eliminating all detectable mold sources can be a challenge. There are many lawsuits over mold which pops up months after remediation and clearance. HO’s and insurers are not happy to find out the new drywall put in 9 months ago now has to be torn out again and now the HO remembers that the baby has been sick for months and it is probably the result of the incomplete mold job. The Dad is irritable and Mom has lost any interest in cosortium. The 14 month old baby will never be a world class pianist due to breathing mold. The home is sick and has lost 90% of its resale value.

And your defense is, I belong to InterNachi. No, I don’t qualify to take the State of Florida Mold Assessor test. No, I don’t have E&O insurance to conduct mold assessment. No, I don’t have any experience or background in mold assessment, sampling or remediation. No, I can’t really explain why I took the sample there or there or at that height or duration. Why did I tell the client they needed a mold screen? It looked like mold and I wanted to make $50.

A word of unsolicited advice: If you take mold samples and you forward the results of the lab to the client, you should very clearly advise the client to seek the services of a licensed Mold Assessor if your sample shows detectable levels, disengage yourself and move on. do not discuss the why’s and whyfore’s as you don’t know.

Well said, well put together and I applaud your statement. I just hope it does not fall on deaf ears.

I have no state laws dictating to me, on way or the other, anything concerning mold — but I still leavethe exploitationof the presence of mold to others.

I am a home inspector and the presence of any organic substances, wood destroying insects, rot, rodents or other symptoms of failure are reported (when observed) in relation to the conditions that promote their presence and in terms of how it affects the structure.

I don’t identify the particular species of termite. I don’t identify the type or species of organic substances. None of this is relevant to the condition of the home and… frankly, doesn’t really matter, in my opinion. Those are issues that the peson hired to remediate the conditions need to identify and apply.

Home inspectors who get into trouble and cause problems for their clients are (from my years of observation) those who step away from simply being home inspectors and, for their relatively low fees and limited knowledge, attempt to be entomologists, forensic scientists, engineers, architects and other such specialists.

When a short cycling HVAC system is failing to remove humidity and mold is found growing in the corners of the room … that is all I need to report. Whether the client wants to hire a “mold expert” to identify the substance and charge thousands to remove it … or if he wants to clean it up, himself, with a spray bottle of water and bleach … it has nothing to do with me.

The elected legislators of the state of Florida disagreed with the silly assertion that a home inspector is unqualified to take a mold sample and mail it to the lab… so much so, that they changed an existing law to permit it.

Couldn’t agree more. Home Inspectors should just do Home Inspections. I mean why would anyone want to do stupid stuff, like…well, Energy audits or something stupid like that?

Why is it what everybody else does is wrong and what you do is right? I believe that the person has the experience and knowledge and professionalism to perform ancillary inspections they should do so. I do not believe when I see mold to call a mold remediation company. My feeling is that while the home was being inspected I tried to protect my client in every unbiased way possible. I do not leave things vague, questionable or up in the air. I try to give them as much information as possible to make an informed decision.

What you call exploitation, I call protection. It would be like me saying that your energy audits are useless and exploiting your services. If it works for you then go ahead and do it, as long as you have the clients best interest at heart, then so be it.

My job is not to let the client assume what can be done. My job is to educate the client in the most professional unbiased manner possible. If you feel that removing the house filled with mold with a spray of bleach is acceptable means of removing mold, well I feel that you’ve done the client a disservice and even blantantly careless.

Weren’t you th guy who always said you charge exactly what you’re worth? And also weren’t you the guy giving home inspections away for free last year? I guess that’s the whole story in a nutshell.

Well said, well put together and I applaud your statement. I just hope it does not fall on deaf ears.

blush…jeepers, Russell, I just don’t know what to say. I feel like Sally Field at the Academy Awards…“They love me, they really love me”

Seriously, I’m glad we agree on this and, like you, I hope our fellow HI’s take time to really consider this.