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  1. #1
    M Penry's Avatar
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    Default Any way you can test for a mold cover-up?

    This is a bank-owned home, so no disclosure info from previous owner. The interior has new paint and 3 to 3-1/2 foot high wainscoting. The house is vacant but heated and does not have a musty or moldy smell.

    Is there any way an inspector can test behind wainscoting for mold or at least moisture? I ask because there are some minor (I think) problems with the exterior wood composition siding. Can that get so bad as to reach the interior walls? I'd like to think this was a decorating choice rather than covering up a problem. Also, do I need a specialty inspector for mold?

    Thank you in advance!

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Any way you can test for a mold cover-up?

    The only thing that I can think of would be to contact an industrial hygienist to to air testing. You might want to search for posts by Caoimhín Connell. He is our air quality expert.

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  3. #3
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    Default Re: Any way you can test for a mold cover-up?

    Be very careful if you hire someone to test the house for mold. There are plenty of people out there with some fancy sounding credentials but a lot of them are not experts in mold. Your best bet would be to employ an industrial hygenist for mold testing.

    An inspection with an infrared camera may be able to identify moisture in the walls. If you have an infrared inspection you should make sure the inspector is trained in the use of an infrared camera, Level I certification at a minimum. (Infrared training is needed so the IR camera user can better interpret what he sees with the camera.)

    "Baseball is like church. Many attend but few understand." Leo Durocher
    Bruce Breedlove
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  4. #4
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    Default Re: Any way you can test for a mold cover-up?

    Great minds think alike, right Gunnar!

    "Baseball is like church. Many attend but few understand." Leo Durocher
    Bruce Breedlove
    www.avaloninspection.com

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Any way you can test for a mold cover-up?

    You could start with a home inspection, which covers all the major systems and is the best bang for your buck. This will give you the overall picture, and may uncover hidden defects you are not yet aware of.

    Then if the home inspector identifies possible moisture concerns that could have lead to mold (mould) growth, then go to next stage with a specialist.

    If you specify your location it may help you find the right inspector.


  6. #6
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    Default Re: Any way you can test for a mold cover-up?

    Start with good moisture meter as a preliminary examination.


  7. #7
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    Default Re: Any way you can test for a mold cover-up?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce Breedlove View Post
    Great minds think alike, right Gunnar!
    How funny. Both at the same time.

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  8. #8

    Default Re: Any way you can test for a mold cover-up?

    Some times you can remove electrical outlet or switch cover and see if mold is visible?/ other than that call mold specialist!

    Rolland Pruner

    Livermore, ca


  9. #9

    Default Re: Any way you can test for a mold cover-up?

    I would also start with a moisture meter, like the others have typed. Remove the outlet and switch covers and look behind. Or hire environmental professional with proper certifications to perform invasive testing.

    Michael Carson
    Inspect It Right Home Inspections L.L.C.
    www.inspectitrighthomeinspection.com

  10. #10
    M Penry's Avatar
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    Smile Re: Any way you can test for a mold cover-up?

    Thank you all for your advice. Great first experience here!


  11. #11
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    Default Re: Any way you can test for a mold cover-up?

    Hi, All &

    * Call for a Mold-Dog ! *


    CHEERS...

    -Glenn Duxbury, CHI

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Any way you can test for a mold cover-up?

    Quote Originally Posted by Glenn Duxbury View Post
    Hi, All &

    * Call for a Mold-Dog ! *


    CHEERS...
    Like they say in Florida, "Mold is Gold" and dogs work for biscuits! Mold Detection Services


  13. #13
    chris mcintyre's Avatar
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    Default Re: Any way you can test for a mold cover-up?

    "Mold Dogs", that's the a new on me.
    Interesting reading, thanks for the link John.


  14. #14
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    Default Re: Any way you can test for a mold cover-up?

    "Mold Dogs" are an off-shoot of "Termite Dogs".

    Mold dogs is just another way to make a buck and rip people off.

    Not sure I would trust the termite dogs either, but they have been around longer and are at least looking for something legitimate.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  15. #15
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    Default Re: Any way you can test for a mold cover-up?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    "Mold Dogs" are an off-shoot of "Termite Dogs".

    Mold dogs is just another way to make a buck and rip people off.

    Not sure I would trust the termite dogs either, but they have been around longer and are at least looking for something legitimate.
    Take a look at these dogs, Jerry. Now if you can't trust man's best friend, who can you trust?

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  16. #16
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    Default Re: Any way you can test for a mold cover-up?

    Quote Originally Posted by John Kogel View Post
    Take a look at these dogs, Jerry. Now if you can't trust man's best friend, who can you trust?

    John,

    It's not the dogs which are not to be trusted ... it's the owners, handlers, trainers who are not to be trusted.

    Just like drug sniffing dogs, they will find the drugs, you just need to make sure the drugs were not placed there "by others" in a set-up.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  17. #17
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
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    Default Re: Any way you can test for a mold cover-up?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    John,

    It's not the dogs which are not to be trusted ... it's the owners, handlers, trainers who are not to be trusted.

    Just like drug sniffing dogs, they will find the drugs, you just need to make sure the drugs were not placed there "by others" in a set-up.

    Uh Oh...

    Trouble in Florida ?????

    That sounded like experience talking


  18. #18
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    Default Re: Any way you can test for a mold cover-up?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Menelly View Post
    Uh Oh...

    Trouble in Florida ?????

    That sounded like experience talking
    Not for me, but for some.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  19. #19
    Robert Pike's Avatar
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    Default Re: Any way you can test for a mold cover-up?

    Quote Originally Posted by M Penry View Post
    Thank you all for your advice. Great first experience here!
    Bruce said "employ an industrial hygienist for mold testing". You could also do a simple air sample in several areas - that will show you the different mold spores that are in the air one would be breathing.

    A moisture meter will show areas of dampness and an inspection with an infrared camera may also be able to identify moisture in the walls.

    Bruce -"If you have an infrared inspection you should make sure the inspector is trained in the use of an infrared camera, Level I certification at a minimum. (Infrared training is needed so the IR camera user can better interpret what he sees with the camera.)" He is correct.

    If we suspect moisture problems we use our moisture meter and the infrared camera than recommend to our client, if moisture counts are too high, to have several air samples or tape lifts, or bulk samples taken.__________________


  20. #20
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    Smile Re: Any way you can test for a mold cover-up?

    Not really M. If the house has been conditioned and does not show any signs of mold, moisture or bad air quality "smell" at the time of the inspection then there should be no need of testing. I'm sure there will be sny remarks for this statement but, from another home inspector and certified mold specialist stand point, I simply do not recommend any further tests if I do not see signs of moisture or mold present at the time I do an inspection. I guess I could recommend tests on every inspection on mere suspicion of a cover up and that sure make my bottom line better, but I do not. If I do sample I send my samples to SAN AIR Technologies for a certified third party analysis’s and have a minimum of three, 2 air samples outdoors and one inside depending on stories the house, one for each floor. I only charge $75.00 per sample and that includes the lab fee but as you can see that can add up. On the house you describe if you suspect the siding is damaged put it in your report. A good moisture meter will help you to confirm suspensions on the interior and yes a thermal imaging camera, I wish I had one would also help.
    Ps, just taking one sample on the siding will not help because it will surely test positive, the ones inside are for comparisons, If mold sample is higher inside than outside then you have a problem.



  21. #21
    M Penry's Avatar
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    Smile Re: Any way you can test for a mold cover-up?

    WOW! You folks are great. I can't believe how much information you have given me. I had the house inspected today and asked the inspector to check behind outlets and seriously probe the outer wall of this room. He did find some siding damage, but no indication of an inside problem. I also have a "built-in" mold detector called my nose, throat, and sinuses. I was in the house for 2 hours and never a sniffle. So my concern re. hidden mold, at least in this case, seems solved.

    I just looked at another house with a definite mold problem, but I'll start a new thread on that one since it's a completely different scenario.

    In case you are wondering about my moldy streak, these houses are on the coast of Washington state, so inside mold (mould?) and siding rot are common problems -- major problems if the houses are not heated or maintained regularly. Lots of part-time residents.

    Thanks again!
    Marlene


  22. #22
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    Default Re: Any way you can test for a mold cover-up?

    TOO LATE!


  23. #23
    john_opwin's Avatar
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    Default Re: Any way you can test for a mold cover-up?

    You should consult with air quality expert.


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