What is it?

Based on some discussion in another thread, here is a simple poll to see how many are calling out mold or not.

These photos are from today’s inspection. This substance covered the bottom of the back of drywall along a 30 foot basement wall and extended 1-2 feet up the wall.

Why would you report the way you do?

P.S. Just for Bob, I took these with an Ipad mini. :mrgreen:

Not enough information to make a judgement from your macro shot and not seeing conditions first hand.

Perhaps a real camera would have helped more.
Off hand my guess would be that is your hairline.:slight_smile:

Seriously do not like multiple choice on limited information but will attempt
an appropriate response (what other thread)?

Suspect organic growth observed which should be tested for mold.
Recommend correction of conditions responsible and remediation.

Looks like a ASEXUAL spore production.

None of the above.

Organic growth.

Mold present-potential health concern-needs removal/correction

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From the CDC…

If that is the case which type of mold are you going to call it ?
Hence, I call it organic growth .

If you call it mold most people freak out. There minds go full tilt to “Toxic”.
Which most likely it isn’t nothing more that common household Cladosporium, Penicillium, Aspergillus, and Alternaria.

However, when found just put your standard narrative in the report .

Of what though?

If it has hyphae, it’s mold or sometimes mildew. There’s no reason to try and report on a type, it wouldn’t matter anyway. People freak out, but it’s because of ignorance. Who better to educate them than their home inspector?

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Would you call this mold or mildew ?
I say mildew.


I would call that moisture drainage near electrical components. There’s no real reason to get into whether something is mold or mildew or algae on the exterior of the house.

Regardless they are both evidence of moisture problems and can both affect the health of people who are sensitive or allergic to them. If the growth is raised and visible hypha are present, most of the time it is mold.

Hep! I agree.
I call is out as moisture on electrical and recommended kickout flashing.

As a former law enforcement official, words such as “apparent, appears, suspected, purported, alleged etc.” are used to indicate observations rather than technically exhausted evaluation or specific fact used in the court of law to indicate suspected information that is to be followed up upon and supported later in the case.

Mold is mold. It is a member of a large group of specific molds that have a specific name.

Fear to use the word “mold” is unsubstantiated. If you see this stuff, it is quite apparent that it is in fact a mold. Simply using the word “apparent” allows you to use the word “mold” without being called out for stating it is, what it may not be.

On unidentifiable substances that cannot be classified as mold should use other words avoiding the word “mold” because you really don’t know what it is. It’s just a stain!

But we all know what mold looks like, and we know whether or not they are separate from plants, animals, protists, and bacteria. So why not call it what it is? You’re going to recommend further evaluation as to the substance and its cause, so what difference does it make if you’re right or wrong in the use of wording?

Just place a word such as “apparent, appears, suspected, purported, alleged etc.” in front of it.

I would feel rather stupid when clients and realtors say “so what you’re saying is it’s probably mold?” to all of your “avoidance words”…

The definition of “mold” is a classification of a wide assortment of organisms. You’re not identifying which one, you just identifying the substance which is quite apparent. Hopefully you will not only identify the existence of mold, but the moisture issue contributing to the colonization.

When dead obvious (you gotta be there) I call it Mold and the few times someone said are you sure ? ,my reply was go ahead and waste your money proving me wrong .

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I think a good extension of the thread would be when to recommend professional remediation vs just clean the crud out .

Below is example of what I personally say when finding that ever present black staining in tub lines.
Non HIP users the words in brackets are not seen by clients…

[MOLD]][Caption]]Signs of organic growth should be removed and tub area re-grouted.

That was easy but how about like in Camerons case which could also be extended to foreclosures (ever see them without it ) ?
Is there a difference between foreclosure type mold and that caused by active leaks ?
Do you strictly follow standard guidelines (yes there are guidelines) of 10 sq feet equals call a pro.

OK, lets say you follow guidelines now when it comes to the above rule what if Mold (visible) is just under 10 sq feet but various locations in patches ?..ah ha.


Do you call rat crap rat crap or rodent droppings if you don’t see a rat?
The attic was infested with this… The whole attic smelled like a s h i t house door on a shrimp boat.
Trails everywhere.
Someone had thrown a cat up there and when I open the access it jumped out on me and I nearly had a coronary. At the minimum of 16 ft to the access on my ladder. My heart pounded for 30 min after. I was the only one these and it was dark and spooky. It was an 1890 home. It had been vacant for 2 weeks.
I never seen one single rat… rodent.