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  1. #1
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    Default Mold Testing Survey Results 1-16-13

    MOLD TESTING SURVEY RESULTS AFTER ONE WEEK

    The following are the poll results on mold testing as of today, January 16, 2013. The survey was taken at two home inspector discussion forums. The Inspector's Journal had 190 views and Inspection News had 328 views. Each forum responded with 47 votes for a total of 94. I rounded off the replies to the nearest 1/100 percent.

    The TOTAL:

    1. I usually test for mold. Zero votes (0%)
    2. I sometimes test for mold. Six (6%)
    3. I never test for mold. Forty-two (45%)
    4. I never test for mold and I do not recommend testing. Forty-six (49%)

    The breakdown per site:

    InspectionNews: Q1. 0 (0%) Q2. 5 (11%) Q3. 26 (55%) Q4. 16 (34%)
    TIJ: Q1. 0 (0%) Q2. 1 (2%) Q3. 16 (34%) Q4. 31 (66%)

    Side note: in 2007 the InspectionNews ran a poll as to what kind of services HIs offer besides the basic home inspection such as lead testing, water testing, radon, etc.

    259 people responded. 85 respondents or 33%, said they offer mold testing as an extra service which was second only to water testing which came in at 35%.

    Similar Threads:
    F.I.R.E. Services

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Mold Testing Survey Results 1-16-13

    Those are interesting outcomes between the two discussion boards.

    Thanks for posting the results.


  3. #3
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    Stephen G Guest

    Default Re: Mold Testing Survey Results 1-16-13

    I dont offer mold testing....


    If you asked that question up here you may get WETT certification (wood stoves, pellets stove etc) as the add on business...


  4. #4
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    Default Re: Mold Testing Survey Results 1-16-13

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Lamb View Post

    1. I usually test for mold. Zero votes (0%)
    2. I sometimes test for mold. Six (6%)
    3. I never test for mold. Forty-two (45%)
    4. I never test for mold and I do not recommend testing. Forty-six (49%)

    Side note: in 2007 the InspectionNews ran a poll as to what kind of services HIs offer besides the basic home inspection such as lead testing, water testing, radon, etc.

    259 people responded. 85 respondents or 33%, said they offer mold testing as an extra service which was second only to water testing which came in at 35%.
    Your questionaire did not ask if inspectors OFFER mold testing, You asked if they do/do not test for mold. You are not comparing the same questions.

    I used to OFFER radon testing as an add-on service. "I" did not perform radon testing. I sub-contracted the work.

    My company currently OFFERS mold testing. "I" don't test for mold but there are specified people in my company that do perform mold testing when requested by a client. So if answering your existing poll do I chose Never test or Sometimes test? "I" never test but my company sometimes tests. Depending on who answers the question in a multi-inspector firm you may get different data.

    Just saying the available answers to a poll limit how people respond. You may not be collecting the data you think you are collecting.

    "The Code is not a peak to reach but a foundation to build from."

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Mold Testing Survey Results 1-16-13

    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce Ramsey View Post
    Your questionaire did not ask if inspectors OFFER mold testing, You asked if they do/do not test for mold. You are not comparing the same questions.

    I used to OFFER radon testing as an add-on service. "I" did not perform radon testing. I sub-contracted the work.

    My company currently OFFERS mold testing. "I" don't test for mold but there are specified people in my company that do perform mold testing when requested by a client. So if answering your existing poll do I chose Never test or Sometimes test? "I" never test but my company sometimes tests. Depending on who answers the question in a multi-inspector firm you may get different data.

    Just saying the available answers to a poll limit how people respond. You may not be collecting the data you think you are collecting.
    I understand. I sometimes subcontract radon testing myself. Not usually, but sometimes. I guess in your situation, the best answer would be you sometimes test for mold.

    Anyway, the point of this whole survey was in response to a deceptive and false statement in a Chicago Tribune article: “Testing for mold, radon and carbon monoxide are among air quality issues usually addressed by home inspectors.”

    This isn't just wrong; I believe it’s carefully and deliberately deceptive. First, testing for mold isn't something home inspectors usually do. Secondly, mold testing is being grouped with radon and carbon monoxide which have decidedly quantifiable levels of danger. Too much radon can cause cancer and kill you. Too much carbon monoxide can turn you into a vegetable or kill you. The implication is clear.

    I'm sure most are familiar with this CDC statement:

    http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/topic...d.html#4
    CDC does not recommend routine sampling for molds. Generally, it is not necessary to identify the species of mold growing in a building. Measurements of mold in air are not reliable or representative. If mold is seen or smelled, there is a potential health risk; therefore, no matter what type of mold is present, you should arrange for its removal. Furthermore, sampling for mold can be expensive, and standards for judging what is and what is not an acceptable or tolerable quantity of mold have not been established.

    When I sent a letter to the editor of the Tribune, Brenda Richardson, asking what was the source for the comment about mold testing “usually being addressed,” by home inspectors, she turned the question over to not the author, John Handley, but to Jack McGraw, the director of ASHI education, who happened to be featured in this very same article. There's a very large photo of him kneeling on top of a roof.

    This was his response:

    “If the home inspectors have taken a course on mold inspection and testing, through ASHI School, then the HI's can make a qualified assessment, whether to test or not. The most important aspect of the building sciences field we are in is the inspection part. Before any testing for mold is to take place, there must be qualifying data objectives that warrant testing. These would be signatures of moisture intrusion in its many forms, such as excessive relative humidity, and what we call "Symptom Red Flags". Those are the indicators of whether the environment (house) is creating and (sic) ill response in its occupants (sick building syndrome).

    Finally, you are correct that no agency, EPA, CDC, NIH, OSHA, has created TLV's (threshold limit values) for mold. They do not exist. The closest testing to setting TLV's, would be through the EPA's ERMI test, a.k.a. Environmental Relative Moldiness Index. The ERMI is simply an index that relates how moldy a home is. The ERMI is based on a comparison of homes with known mold problems, to homes without known mold problems”


    This did not answer my question. I shot him an e-mail asking directly if he usually tests for mold. He did not respond. Since no one yet has cared to take responsibility for the sentence in question I will have to draw my own conclusions.

    By the way, ASHI has a class for mold testing that runs $795.

    Last edited by Mike Lamb; 01-17-2013 at 10:52 AM.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Mold Testing Survey Results 1-16-13

    Mike, you can add Health Canada to the list
    Mould: Get Rid of It! - Air Quality - Health Canada

    and

    Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp.
    Fighting Mold — The Homeowners' Guide | CMHC

    and more bull
    Mold Inspector Training Canada


  7. #7
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    Default Re: Mold Testing Survey Results 1-16-13

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymond Wand View Post
    Mike, you can add Health Canada to the list
    Mould: Get Rid of It! - Air Quality - Health Canada

    and

    Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp.
    Fighting Mold — The Homeowners' Guide | CMHC

    and more bull
    Mold Inspector Training Canada
    Thanks.


  8. #8
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    Default Re: Mold Testing Survey Results 1-16-13

    From the Tribune:

    Mike, your email to editors was referred to me. I've reviewed your concerns with the standards editor and spoken with experts in the field. I'm satisfied that the types of issues we described in the home inspection story reflect the general areas that home inspectors address.

    Thank you for your interest in the Chicago Tribune.

    Brenda Richardson | Real Estate Editor
    Chicago Tribune | 435 N Michigan Ave 5th Floor | Chicago IL 60611
    312.222.4239 | brichardson@tribune.com | chicagotribune.com/homes


    Three times I asked for the source of the contention that, "the testing for mold is something usually addressed by home inspectors." Three times the Tribune has offered back mealy-mouthed meanderings refusing and unable to supply a credible source, survey, or any statistic to back them up, even after I have supplied sources and surveys flatly contradicting the assertions of their "experts."

    No more letters for me. I'm sure the Tribune and the "experts" by now consider me nothing more than an uninformed flea.

    However, if anyone else out there who disagrees with the Tribune's assertions about mold testing and would like to send a letter to Brenda and the opinions editor of the Tribune, these are the emails:

    brichardson@tribune.com
    dhofstetter@tribune.com

    Here is a template you can use if you wish:

    Dear Brenda and the Chicago Tribune,

    I have been a home inspector for X years and do not agree with the statement that testing for mold is something home inspectors usually address. What are your specific sources for asserting this in your January 6, 2013 article, "Sizing up your home?"

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    Mike Lamb
    Inspection Connection, Inc.
    http://www.inspection2020.com/

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