Some r3ealtors need to learn to use their quiet voice.

I recently inspected a foreclosure that when I drove up to it I saw obvious moisture problems. A slab home with a poured concrete knee wall and a whole hill draining against it. When I got inside the home had freshly painted drywall with mold coming back through the paint. Moisture readings ranged from 13-38 percent on the whole wall of the house. The buyer wanted to walk so I pulled an air test for him. Came back as very heavy counts of Stachybotrys and Asperigillus/Penicillium. It was so heavy in the air you could taste it. Their Realtor seemed very thankful that they did not buy the house.
I got a call about a week later from another Realtor wanting me to inspect the same house. I asked her if she was told about the mold and she said yes. I told her I will do another inspection for half of what I previously charged (something told me she was not understanding the problem or was misinformed about the problem by the seller’s Realtor). Got to the house and I started to go over the major problems outside first then I walked inside and explained to them about the mold. When I told them about the mold being tested as “considered toxic” then the Realtor got a real mad look on her face and said why was I not told this by Danny (the seller’s Realtor). I responded maybe he was not told or never even seen the report. Well halfway through the inspection they decided to walk. I told the Realtor to make sure she tells Danny the mold is “considered toxic”’.
About another week passes get a call from the seller’'s Realtor. I met with Danny and later a gentleman from the bank that owned the property. The bank guy seemed to understand the situation and seemed very understanding about it.
But Danny basically called me a scam artist and a crook within four comments throughout our converasations. He questioned me on the foundation even leaking. He actually said that the foundation has tar on it so it is not leaking and he should know because he is a builder. After arguing with him I guess I finally conceived him because when the banker showed up Danny showed him the water drainage problem in the rear.
Danny chewed on my butt about a small cabinet being moved out of the corner because it did not cover up the mold. I told him that I did not move the cabinet and maybe you need to talk to the Realtor that was there. The Realtor was the one who unlocked and locked the door.
The stupidest thing Danny ever said is when I asked him if he saw the report? He said yes. I said "Why did you not tell the second buyers that the mold was “considered toxic”. The idiot responded with “Well I did not think it was important. Mold is just another big money maker just like radon was for you inspectors”. I was doing an inspection years ago when a little girl came up to me and said “You are bald”. I laughed. The mother responded to her “You cannot say things like that to people you do not know. Use your quiet voice.” I believe this Realtor named Danny was not taught this from his mother. This Realtor is nothing but a walking lawsuit waiting to happen.
Danny and the banker decided they was not going to have the mold cleaned up, mainly because it would be too costly. Sounds like they are going to try to get the new buyers to sign a mold waiver. Making money over endangering lives. It would not be the first time I have saw this. Amazing, Simply Amazing!


I appreciate your story.
I’m ignorant when it comes to mold. Do you have any documents you would share that have concrete evidence and acceptable/unacceptable mold limits.
Pictures of this property would also be great.

I did not take pictures. Never got that far with it.
There is not concrete evidence that mold causes health affects (just like there is no concrete evidence that Federal Pacific StabLok electrical panels causes fires) because doctors have not figured out what to look for.
My mother listened to some doctors that said that her deep hacking cough is rheumatism of the lungs and they put her on oxygen. A couple years later she was so weak she could not get out of bed. The doctors claimed that they could not do anything more for her. So I determined the doctors did not know what they was talking about. I ran air tests in her house and found only one spore of Stachybotrys and a moderate level of Asperigullis/ Penicillium. I finally found the mold between the mattress and the box spring. I took instruction from my Industrial Hygienist, who is certified in mold, how to clean it up. After the first clean up she was able to get out of bed, but the test showed some Asperigullis/Penicillium was left behind. So I went back and cleaned her bedroom again, then two days later she was able to get go outside and tend to her flowers without oxygen for a couple of hours. The test this time came back very good. She will always be on oxygen. I wish I knew about mold sooner for she did not have to suffer like she did.
I can tell you about several dozen cases I have experienced personally where mold has totally ruined families lives. When these people get out of the environment for a couple days they start feeling much better. In the cases that I have experience, the mold seems to wear down the immune system and as soon as their system is down it is almost impossible to recover. Most of my clients cannot even work. They had happy lives until one day a moisture problem caused some mold to grow.
I have only heard of one death in my area because of it and they said by time they suspected the cause of it was to late. An optopsy was performed and the coronor claimed he found mold in his blood system.
Congress is trying to pass legislation on making ever commercial building before it is sold checked for mold. And the very slow and hypercritical EPA is taking bids from mold organizations on setting up standards.

In Forida mold is a very real problem. I found mold on a commercial remodel I was doing a few years back and the building was shut down until the problem could be fixed. I also have a friend that was working on a house in Winter Haven when black mold and ended up in the hospital and was on steroids for months. Still today he has lung problems and will the rest of his life.

I had something similar happen to me. Realtor argued until he was blue in his face with me about mold and health effects. It promptly ended when I suggested that he buy the house and not worry about the non-existent mold or non effects of mold exposure and health problems related to this. He got a blank look on his face and for the first time, was quiet for about five minutes. I then explained something to him. The difference between “major” surgery and “minor” surgery. Another blank look from the Realtor. The difference I said is this…“minor” surgery happens to everyone else…“major” surgery happens to you. Since this isn’t “your” home, this is downplayed. If it WAS your home, you would be more concerned about it. Just because it doesn’t “happen” to you doesn’t mean it’s not important.

Very good point.
The EPA is the same way. They claim mold does not cause health effects and testing is useless. But in June, 2006 when the basement of their building in Washington D.C. got flooded. Clearance air samples was ran. They sure had a different opinion when it affected them.

With the simple fact that we do not know how much mold can cause a dangerous environment, or what specific mold may cause health issues with certain individuals, I think it is best to report on it, if you are qualified, then move on. You are not going to win an argument with someone who is ignorant on the issue.

when mold exists that can potentially be toxic, I think it is best to identify it as such (again, if you are qualified) and tell the client to seek medical advice if they have health concerns. end of story. you indentifed it as a potential problem and gave good advice. People get nervous and sensitive when you throw the “toxic” word around when talking about mold. Also remember that not all mold is a problematic for all people. We just don’t know when it will be and for whom it will be.

I also think that getting that specific with analyzing the mold/air should be a completely separate report/service if the client wants it and is willing to pay for it. this way it is totally differentiated from the home inspection. IF they didn’t want a seperate mold report, I would just tell them that there is mold present in the house and be done with it. That way you can stay out of trouble with the crooked scam artist realtor!