Winter Haven, FL Dream Home turns into nightmare after buyers skimp on home inspector

Winter Haven, Florida home falling down after buyers (Garrison’s) skimp on home inspection and hire an uncertified inspector.

There are 1,090 certified inspectors in Florida. The Garrison’s should have been able to find a certified inspector.

Thanks for the heads up, I will order reprints.

Wow, I can’t believe how much misinformation is in that article, 4 years after the fact and an engineer can tell how old the mold and rot is! Liability insurance… the ATTORNEY means Errors and Ommisions insurance (I believe). It really does sound as though conditions such as crawlspace venting and ductwork issues were not addressed by the inspector but I would have to wonder how these concerns slipped by the code enforcement process and the other inspections done for resales on this home. I’m simply not comfortable throwing this inspector under the bus based upon what was written in that article.

I am. He’s stealing work from the 1,092 legitimately certified home inspectors in Florida. Non-members should not be performing home inspections.


Certified ? stealing work?
Those that spend at least two years becoming certified for mold may feel the same about NACHI “mold inspectors”.

We just had a project where a local NACHI home inspector found a small mold problem and since “he is an aggressive mold tester” (his description) kicked the wall during the air sampling. Turns out it was “stachy” and now instead of containing the area and cleaning the small spot, the whole house needs to be cleaned. (about $15,000) stachybotrys chartarum**,** is a heavy or sticky mold that usually doesn’t go airborne unless it is disturbed or there is a drastic humidity change.
The “aggressive tester” may not have caused it but he certainly should not be doing mold assessment.

Last week another inspector “admitted to the lawyers during deposition” that he tested his own home to clear a clean up project for another house.
Monday, 2-8-10, we cleared another home that was labeled as having a “mold problem” by a NACHI home inspector.
Week after week and year after year this has gone on. Some say I am critical, but you should hear the 6 to 10 homeowners that home inspectors mislabel homes for every month. It’s not a pretty picture and it continues.
We have three homes this week to inspect behind home inspectors, I’m beginning to think homebuyers could flip a coin and get the same results as hiring a home inspector for mold.

I am one of the people that think the new Florida mold law will help.

Life is very good in South Florida but sometimes frustrating.

I have to agree with Doug on this one. INACHI offers a tremendous amount of education, better than I have seen anywhere and it is very useful, accurate and informative. Nick is busting his azz to get a good law written re the licensing of HI’s in FL and hopefully it will be a good law. The upside of a good law will be more business for INACHI members as it will separate the wheat from the chaff and perhaps even help lower the cost of E & O ins.

My observation is that most HI’s have a background in construction or some other related trade, myself included. However when you venture into mold and radon you are opening up a Pandoras Box of trouble if you do not have a good background in both. A good home inspection should include a limited IR scan to help detect hidden moisture problems, confirm it with a good moisture meter and then report the presence of moisture which is a source of mold which should be referred to a qualified mold inspector. The HI did his job and the liability is now moved to the potential homebuyer “ caveat emptor”

As an example. I worked on surface search radar systems in the Navy. It is all about electronics. Does that mean an electrician can work on the system.ABSOLITELY NOT! The Navy even has a separate designation for both. Electronics tech or electricians mate.

We have cardiologists, orthopedic, ear nose and throat, and many other types who are all classified as doctors. If I had a heart attack I do not want a proctologist to do the surgery.
Just my 2 cents.

If a mold problem that requires a $15,000 cleanup can be caused by merely “kicking” a wall… the inspector deserves praise for finding finding it in the first place. He saved his client’s butt. And don’t even get me started on what a blower door would do in this case.

Ask for your tuition back in full. You deserve it, every penny. I have strong ties to the world’s largest mold laboratory, co-authored a book on performing mold inspections, founded an indoor air inspection association, have taken many, many mold courses, and have never learned anything that isn’t found within InterNACHI’s two mold courses (developed with the help of the nation’s leading mycologist): and

Our two courses lack absolutely nothing. Let’s keep it real, doing an initial mold inspection isn’t rocket science.

Anyway, despite the Garrison’s owning a property management company, they failed to hire a certified mold inspector or a certified home inspector. Now they are crying to the press.

Again, non-members should not be performing home inspections, and consumers should certainly not be hiring non-members to do home inspections.

When I was young they said that was pounding sand up someone’s you know what.
I think NACHI training is great but somewhere something is lost. $15,000 is a small cleanup in SW Florida. Our Certifications which by the way meet the ANSI approved standard for IAQ certifications do not require classes (tuition).

Time to hit the road, everyone have a great day.

Reputable Mold Mitigation Companies are not the problem - it’s the companies that scare the pants of homeowners - perform $40K cleanups and NEVER TAKE A SAMPLE, and do not follow established protocol!

I had a client who called one of the National Companies after her guest bathroom sprang a leak in the wall – the company removed and replaced a 25-foot long wall up 4 feet in the living room adjacent to the bathroom and closet They cut a access and fixed the leak from an adjacent closet – where is where the client first found moisture (wet carpet)

NEVER closed off HVAC unit and never took any samples – before, during or after.

I also have an Insurance Company that hires independent site sampling of specific areas identified by Mitigation Companies – to verify the existence of true microbial growth.