What Do Yoy Tell Your Client

Once you get the results back, and your customer asks you to explain what all the numbers mean, and to interpret the labs report, how in depth do you go?


I actually write a letter that goes ahead of the lab results explaining the results and what the next actions, if any, should be taken, but my training is more extensive than the average home inspector. I would think a regular home inspector would just hand off the lab results and that is it. Interpreting lab results can hold a lot of liability if the inspector is not trained on how to interpret them correctly. Interpreting lab results is usually the hardest part of my job.

Better be some simple testing. Different molds mean different things. :smiley:

What did the tests come back with?

I use EMSL and their reports are fairly detailed. My question is how far do you go with trying to explain to the client what all the different results and test levels mean ? I am not talking about trying to find the source of the moisture causing the molds, I am referring to only the actual report findings?


Are you certified as an Industrial Hygienist?

No but he works with one every week. :roll:

If not a CIH
you should not be interpreting laboratory results…

If you do
and you are not

you better have E&O
and then
that may not protect you…

I tell them if the result for any mold count is higher indoors than outdoors then mold growth indoors can be assumed and a more thorough investigation by a mold remediation specialist or IH should begin.

I do not get into the hazards associated with particular molds…I refer them to the report for that (I use EMSL also).

I would refer them back to the lab that did the test

Thanks everyone for the help, I was just feeling that I was not going into enough detail regarding the actual definitions and side effects. A special thanks to Sean Fogarty who took the time out to call me on the phone and give me some much needed advice and guidance.


Actually an Industrial Hygienist has only eight hours of education in mold when he gets his degree. My Industrial Hygienist, who is the top mold expert in the Missouri, use to teach that class in an university. The word “industrial” is a giveaway what an Industrial Hygienist really is. I honestly believe a regular home inspector who just takes the NACHI mold courses knows more about mold then the average Industrial Hygienist. I have taken a lot of classes with Industrial Hygienists and I can say that most IHs have no idea what they are doing when it comes to mold. Sad but true.

James K. -

YOU should not be detailed / just explain basics - Then refer to others UNLESS you are competent to write and dictate protocols for others which you’ve already shown you’re not by simply asking (most are not).

Sample cover letter attached. The lab reports are very EASY to read.

James K. -

YOU should not be detailed / just explain basics - Then refer to others UNLESS you are competent to write and dictate protocols for others which you’ve already shown you’re not by simply asking (most are not).

Sample cover letter attached. The lab reports are very EASY to read.

August 4, 2010

To: Joe Blow
XXXX Belleview #346789
Kansas City, MO 64111

Re: Mold / Air Sampling @ XXX McGee @ Kansas City, MO 64111

Dear Joe:

Per your request, on 8/2/10 we took certain air samples at the above referenced property and submitted them to “Pro-Lab Company” for evaluation. The purpose was to determine within reasonable limitations if there were traces of mold spores present, and how that compared to the outside air. Copies of their reports are attached. The samplings we took were as follows: (1) an Air Sample of the Outside Air to function as a benchmark; (2) an Air Sample at the unfinished basement; (3) an Air Sample at the 3rd floor apartment; and (4) a Swab Sample at the SW Basement Wall area with stains. There were water stains at the basement and a mildew / mold odor present at that area.

As you can see in the lab report following this letter, there was definite evidence of ELEVATED or UNUSUAL MOLD SAMPLES present inside at both levels sampled (Penicillium / Aspergillus). Although Penicillium / Aspergillius is often a simple Allergenic Mold, with the extremely high counts present it should be considered a significant concern. Mold clean-up should be dealt with by Professional Mold Contractors.

We recommend contacting a specialist dealing in mold clean-up or removal for service and guidance in the , remediation and correction of these issues. The yellow pages has many of these type of companies listed. Two companies we’ve frequently seen are Air Quality Assessment - (913) 962-1028 (Chris Bieber) and Mold Busters & Analysis - (816) 516-554-6653 (Pat Murphy)

The Air / Mold Sampling we performed only screened the air at specific locations. The sampling was not intrusive or destructive. It did not include concealed areas or latent growth inside walls, etc. It is not intended to replace medical advise or to make claims about your future health in the property.

Dan Bowers

Dan Bowers, CRI

Enclosure: (1) The Lab testing results of the mold/air samplings

Thanks Dan, that is pretty much what I have been doing, I wanted to see if I was in the norm regarding the depth of lab interpretations others give to their clients.


I limit my liability by generalizing and not stating anything that’s not in the lab report. "The living room area was air sampled and show elevated levels of …

James - Here is the problem I have with just sending out the results with no explanation. Is it fair to the consumer who paid you for you just to send results? A lab cannot give a logical of even accurate diagnosis without seeing the building the tests were taken from.

I have had mold samples come back relatively clean and there was significant visual mold behind certain items such as base boards, pictures and headboards. So with a “clean” air quality sample should a “remediation” take place or are you letting a lab decide?

I personally dont feel its fair to leave people hanging. So you tell them to call a remediation company, who does what when they get an unprofessional referal? They RESAMPLE! So the client wasted their money on the first sample.

When you take a sample and submit a report do you offer any type of warranty or have any liability? Probably now because you dont have the proper insurance and do not have the proper training.

When you get a “clean” report, what does that mean? No problems?

Would it not be easier to offer a service and provide a comprehesive report with educated protocol and professional advice? Not only easier, more PROFESSIONAL…

You statement is correct, but most HI’s don’t have the training as listed previously.
I am going into a year and a half with my mentor. It took a long time for him and the lab to trust my sampling and reports. I still feel that I have atleast another year working with him before I could even start writing Protocol. Training and education are the key, for the benifit of your client and your protection.