Purchased a house recently. Inspector said there was no mold and made no mention of mold in inspection report.

When weather warmed we had a suspicion there might be mold and brought someone in and sure enough there is lots of mold, very visible and clearly visible in photos taken at time of inspection.

ASHI and NACHI standards exclude “determining” if there is mold. However, under standard of care should inspector still have mentioned possible mold in report and recommended bringing in a mold person when it was clearly visible and there was evidence of major water intrusion and water staining?

No one here could possibly answer based on this question. Can you provide the original inspection pictures and inspection report? It is important to note that mold spores are present almost everywhere. It is when they have a medium to grow that they can become a problem. What they “look” like “before” there is a problem and what you may think you see “after” the problem arises because of changes in the environment after the time of the inspection may be subject to interpretation. Without knowing the certifications of the inspector, he should not make mold “speculation” comments at all, as this is a specialised area which requires training.

It is an important to note that an inspection is a snapshot in time and is not intended to predict future conditions. What may look like dirt , soot, scuff marks from plastic, spilled cleaning products, baby powder, oregano, etc. (you get the idea) on the day of the inspection cannot be predicted to be a future mold outbreak in a home you purchased “recently”. It is not a job for an inspector to speculate what these marks or smudges could be. there is an expense associated with sampling and testing these areas which you now say were “very visible” ( I charge a base of $195 for the first two samples and $60 for each additional sample, plus any associated express costs for quick lab turnaround.)

If they did appear to me to be a mold-like substance, I would mention them to you and ask if you wanted the additional testing. Beyond that, It is not required nor prudent to raise the specter of possible mold contamination where there is none.

Thanks and I hope this helped

Steve…but there was evidence (According to the buyer) of major water intrusion.

Good catch Marvin!
ps… how ya been up there?

Generally speaking, environmental concerns such as mold, radon, asbestos, and lead are disclaimed by inspectors for several reasons:

  1. In most states, analysis of samples from a licensed laboratory is required to confirm/disprove their presence in a sample.
  2. In the case of asbestos and lead, obtaining samples requires removal of materials from the property, which cannot be done without the permission of the owner. Radon testing has to be done over a period of time and, again, with the permission of the owner.
  3. Stating that there is mold at the property without confirmation by a lab puts the inspector at risk of lawsuit from the seller if they feel that the inspector has harmed them by making such an unsubstantiated claim.

If a buyer is concerned about any environmental issue that is disclaimed by the inspector, they should hire someone who can provide definitive examination and testing for that. While it may not be unreasonable to expect that an inspector would mention suspected mold if they were to encounter it, their disclaimer, if part of their pre-inspection agreement, might preclude your obtaining a remedy at law, if that is your intent.

What I am wondering is this; if mold was clearly visible in the photo provided with the inspection, why did that not raise an alarm for you at the time? Also, you say the inspector said there was “no mold”. Are you sure he didn’t say he didn’t notice any? Personally, I would never answer such a question in the absolute, but would say that I did not see any, since any inspector knows that mold (or lots of other defects) can lay hidden between walls or in other inaccessible areas.

Thanks for adding what is, for me, the key phrase “According to the buyer”. Without the report and photographs it would be reckless to make any judgement at all.