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  1. #1

    Default Mould remediation 101 - New video

    Hello Gents!

    We have once again become involved in a case where an unscrupulous (and incompetent) Certified Industrial Hygienist frightened a property management company into an unnecessarily complex and extremely expensive mould remediation projects. Using bogus, junk-science “samples” and “mould tests,” the CIH violated ABIH Code of Ethics and recommended an unnecessary remediation complete with “containments,” meaningless sampling and bogus testing, respiratory protection, anti-microbial agents and other unnecessary gimmicks.

    I have embedded a video of the property in my mould remediation web discussion, here:

    Mould (Mold) Remediation

    This video shows the entire area of mould colonization that was observed (only visible after a mop-board had been pulled back.) Bids for the “remediation” ranged from $20,000 to $57,000, and was anticipated to take approximately one week to complete. In the video, I show how to easily and safely remove the mould in under one minute for less than five dollars. No biocides, respirators, moon-suits, negative pressure machines, or “Post-remediation clearance testing” is required.

    I’m thinking of going into the training business, and this will be our first course. Having viewed the video, sit down at your computer and certify yourself as a “Certified Mould Remediator,” or some other fancy title.

    Cheers!

    Caoimhín P. Connell
    Forensic Industrial Hygienist
    Forensic Applications Consulting Technologies, Inc. - Home

    (The opinions expressed here are exclusively my personal opinions and do not necessarily reflect my professional opinion, opinion of my employer, agency, peers, or professional affiliates. The above post is for information only and does not reflect professional advice and is not intended to supercede the professional advice of others.)

    AMDG

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    Default Re: Mould remediation 101 - New video

    Caoimhín
    Have you any compassion for the young Innocent children that might go hungry on account of you exposing their daddy for being the fraud and con that he is?
    If Daddy can no longer cheat old ladies and misinformed people out of their money just how do you think these children will survive?
    Mold is a vital part of many peoples livelihood.
    Without the public's fear of all things mold, many mold testers and remidators may as well just get a job selling vacuum cleaners door to door.




    ' correct a wise man and you gain a friend... correct a fool and he'll bloody your nose'.

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    Default Re: Mould remediation 101 - New video

    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Cantrell View Post
    Without the public's fear of all things mold, many mold testers and remidators may as well just get a job selling vacuum cleaners door to door.
    Rick,

    Not sure that very-nearly-a-pun was intended ... but it's there.

    "selling vacuum cleaners door to door"

    Insert HEPA filter and that's basically what they are doing.

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

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    Default Re: Mould remediation 101 - New video

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Rick,

    Not sure that very-nearly-a-pun was intended ... but it's there.

    "selling vacuum cleaners door to door"

    Insert HEPA filter and that's basically what they are doing.
    Nope, was not intended.
    Sometimes I'm funny even when I don't know about it.

    ' correct a wise man and you gain a friend... correct a fool and he'll bloody your nose'.

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    Default Re: Mould remediation 101 - New video

    Earlier this week I visited a nice older lady(think of Ms Claus, white hair and baking home made Snickerdoodle cookies...) who called me to look at her crawlspace. She was nervous and upset because the local Orkin branch office said she had a big mold problem under her home and it was dangerous. Orkin wanted $33,460 to take care of the mold and encapsulate the crawlspace on this 2000sf home. This was a very nice home in an upscale area and she was ready to write a check to Orkin when her niece told her to call me.

    It took me around 10min to find any visible mold and that was on a couple joist near a vent in a low area of the crawl. This mold was the type that looked like "coffee grounds" on the joist. The crawl had a full vapor barrier on top of crushed rock, it was a clean and dry crawlspace.

    I called a local pest control contractor that also treats crawls and he said he could spray the crawl with a borax product for around $600.......

    It just irks me to no end to see and hear about "mold experts" taking advantage of folks from fear induced junk science that is used to line their pockets with gold.....

    Scott Patterson, ACI
    Spring Hill, TN
    www.traceinspections.com

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    Default Re: Mould remediation 101 - New video

    Caoimhín,

    We are all - okay, at least most of us probably are, I'm sure a few are glad you have not - looking forward to your reply to this article: http://www.inspectionnews.net/home_i...an-howard.html

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

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    Default Re: Mould remediation 101 - New video

    I was on an inspection with an Orkin guy who immediately found termite damage at the front door. Unbeknownst to him, I am an actual honest to goodness entomologist. It took me less than ten seconds to recognize dry rot.......not termite damage. Maybe in other parts of the country, an Orkin guy can easily make an honest living, but around here we see few termites, rarely roaches, and only, occasionally a severe mold issue; it's a tough business to make an honest living.

    If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice.

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    Default Re: Mould remediation 101 - New video

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Caoimhín,

    We are all - okay, at least most of us probably are, I'm sure a few are glad you have not - looking forward to your reply to this article: http://www.inspectionnews.net/home_i...an-howard.html
    Jerry, what is your reply to that "article?"

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

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    Default Re: Mould remediation 101 - New video

    I'm confused about the video and statements made. You stated, "This video shows mould colonization that was observed behind a mopboard following a water loss"

    The video shows you wiping off the surface growth and proclaiming it to be remediated.

    Then you go on to say, "Finding hidden mold is difficult and expensive. An exhaustive search is justified only if there are good reasons. If there are no smells (sic), no complaints, and no indications of significant moisture damage, we can be reasonably sure that there is no problem and no reason for further investigation."

    By your own statements and actions wouldn't a more extensive search for "hidden mold" be prudent? You've got visible growth from a "water loss", ie moisture damage, on the face of the drywall why would you not want to investigate the interior of the wall? I'm not saying to tear out the drywall, but you could certainly go in with a bore scope next the the electrical outlet to get a visual.

    MinnesotaHomeInspectors.com
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    Default Re: Mould remediation 101 - New video

    Since it is impossible to remove all mould from any occupiable space, and all structures contain mould, and there is no evidence to demonstrate that “hidden” mould generally creates a problem; the legitimate remediation question becomes “How much mould should be removed and how much mould can be left behind before the area is ‘clean’?”



    Hidden Mould

    We frequently hear complaints from contractors who claim that they must perform air sampling to identify “hidden” mould. The “hidden mould” argument is mostly an excuse to begin a fishing expedition into the client’s walls (and wallet) and is virtually never based in sound science. Generally, searches for hidden mould in a structure are not considered acceptable practice:

    Finding hidden mold is difficult and expensive. An exhaustive search is justified only if there are good reasons. If there are no smells (sic), no complaints, and no indications of significant moisture damage, we can be reasonably sure that there is no problem and no reason for further investigation. 4a
    This is reflected by other AIHA authors: 4b
    Special requirements for remediation of hidden mold are triggered only when there is a reason to investigate more aggressively.

    Researchers with the Wisconsin Department of Health and Family Services investigated the relationship between mould on surfaces of oriented strand board siding and mould levels inside the home; the results of the study indicated mould levels in the affected homes were not significantly higher than those measured in non-exposed homes. 7 Studies and investigations performed by FACTs, consistent with other researchers, have not observed a correlation between mould hidden in walls and a degradation of indoor air quality or a correlation between mould hidden in walls and an increase in spore counts in occupied spaces. Regarding hidden moulds, the American Industrial Hygiene Association Field Guide for the Determination of Biological Contaminants in Environmental Samples, explicitly states: 8
    In order for airborne microbial contaminants to be dispersed from the amplification sites to other locations, there must be a significant driving force present.

    Elsewhere, the AIHA states: 9

    Not all hidden mold growth results in fungal exposure; each situation represents a unique combination of proximity, pressure relationships, and other factors that determine potential exposures.
    So, even if mould is present in wall cavities, there are no forces known to reasonably exist in homes with sufficient force to result in significantly dislodging colonized mould from surfaces. We have seen structures with tens of thousands of square feet of mould hidden in walls cavities, whose air tests have revealed no increase in spore counts in the occupied space. If it is not a problem, (i.e. you can’t see it, and you are not exposed to it) why waste the time and effort to address a non-issue?

    Caoimhín, any problem with me adding the link to this article from your site to my sites link page?

    This is excellent info for those who take advantage of lay people.

    Thanks!



  11. #11

    Default Re: Mould remediation 101 - New video

    Good morning, Gents on this fantastically beautiful Saturday morning!

    Rick:
    Ah yes... the children….sigh…

    Scott:
    About three weeks ago, I was asked to evaluate a HUD foreclosure for methamphetamine contamination. When I arrived, I saw that “mould remediation” had occurred, and the walls had been stripped down to the studs. The contractor had (of course) sprayed fiberlock or some other useless sealant over all the studs.

    See here: http://forensic-applications.com/moulds/IMG_3016.JPG


    We explained to the buyer that the practice is used almost exclusively by poorly trained remediation companies and “get-rich-quick” companies, who increase their fees by applying these products.

    Every structure has the ability to “breathe” and sequester normal loadings of water within the structure. The ability to safely sequester moisture within that structure is called the “hygric buffering capacity” of that structure.

    Structures with large hygric buffering capacities can safely absorb large volumes of moisture before the moisture becomes a problem – structures with smaller hygric buffering capacities, cannot absorb moisture and even small amounts of moisture lead to mould growth and indoor mould problems. Encapsulants dramatically reduce the hygric buffering capacity of the structure by preventing the building materials from absorbing or releasing moisture.

    The application of sealants onto the structural timbers such as has occurred in this residence dramatically reduce the hygric buffering capacity of the residence, and results in the probability that moisture problems will now occur in the unit. With those moisture problems, we anticipate an higher probability of mould problems and odor related problems.

    Worse still, encapsulants can trap moisture in dimensional timbers; the trapping of moisture and water in building materials can facilitate the growth of rapid wood destroying organisms such as Serpula lacrymans, Coniophora puteana (the common cellar fungus) and C. marmorata. Sealing the wood in this way creates an ideal environment for these highly destructive and rapidly invasive fungal organisms.

    We have seen many situations where the application of these sealants has lead not only to the proliferation of indoor moulds, but also catastrophic structural failure of load bearing members due to invasive wood destroying organisms.

    Sealing building materials under these circumstances has never been an accepted practice in the fact-based scientifically valid mould remediation industry and is an hallmark practice of the get-rich-quick “Toxic Mould is Gold” practitioner.

    Such sealants are virtually worthless in the realm of indoor mould remediation. The application of such products is almost exclusively within the realm of the “toxic mould is gold” industry intended to significantly increase the costs of the “remediation,” but otherwise not found within the legitimate water restoration/mould abatement industry. We strongly recommended to the client that the encapsulant material be sanded off all surfaces to prevent future moisture and/or structural problems.

    Jerry:
    Haven’t read it…. But I will put it on the list.

    Ken:
    That was not my statement, that was a quote from another author, and I completely agree with the quote.

    Quote
    By your own statements and actions wouldn't a more extensive search for "hidden mold" be prudent?

    Response
    No. The apartment in question as a catastrophic water loss that was immediately identified and immediate drying action were implemented. Following the drying process, a toxic-mould consultant came in and could not find any visible mould or any indication that the flooding resulted in a mould problem. Therefore, the mould guy did what any good gold-digger would do- he started to pull back mopboards to look for mould (because there is always a good chance of finding it). The mould thus discovered behind the mopboard was not a result of the flooding, but had probably been in the apartment for years. There was absolutely no reason to pull the mopboard back in the first place. There were no odors, there were no complaints, there was no visible mould, and the indoor air quality had in no way been compromised.

    Therefore, the mould guy’s “fishing-expedition” paid off. Ken, give me a house I WILL find mould – absolutely, positively 100% of the time, guaranteed.

    Quote:
    You've got visible growth from a "water loss", ie moisture damage, on the face of the drywall…

    Response:
    Nope… presumed. The water damage was corrected immediately. The growth had probably been in the apartment for years.

    Quote:
    why would you not want to investigate the interior of the wall?

    Response:
    Why would you? It can’t be seen, so it can’t be an aesthetic issue. It can’t get into the air, so it can’t be an exposure issue. It doesn’t damage the material so it can’t be a building damage issue. Essentially, such hidden mould is little more than a hidden cosmetic issue – so if it’s hidden… who cares? Would you similarly tear out walls to find pencil marks, or scuff marks on the inside of wall cavity drywall and recommend cleaning those pencil marks? If not why not.

    Raymond:
    Of course, Brother!


    Rushing off to see a zombie movie… sorry for the grammatical errors!


    Caoimhín P. Connell
    Forensic Industrial Hygienist
    Forensic Applications Consulting Technologies, Inc. - Home

    (The opinions expressed here are exclusively my personal opinions and do not necessarily reflect my professional opinion, opinion of my employer, agency, peers, or professional affiliates. The above post is for information only and does not reflect professional advice and is not intended to supercede the professional advice of others.)

    AMDG


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    Default Re: Mould remediation 101 - New video

    Ok, now I'm even more confused. You stated,
    Every structure has the ability to “breathe” and sequester normal loadings of water within the structure. The ability to safely sequester moisture within that structure is called the “hygric buffering capacity” of that structure.
    then stated,
    Quote:
    why would you not want to investigate the interior of the wall?

    Response:
    Why would you? It can’t be seen, so it can’t be an aesthetic issue. It can’t get into the air, so it can’t be an exposure issue. It doesn’t damage the material so it can’t be a building damage issue. Essentially, such hidden mould is little more than a hidden cosmetic issue – so if it’s hidden… who cares? Would you similarly tear out walls to find pencil marks, or scuff marks on the inside of wall cavity drywall and recommend cleaning those pencil marks? If not why not.
    If every structure has the ability to breath, wouldn't hidden mold (ie mold inside walls) have the ability to effect the indoor air quality?

    There are numerous conditions that would effect the ability of the interior of that wall drying. From the information you've written and provided in the video, we don't know if that wall is above or below grade, we don't know if it's an interior or exterior wall, we don't know if it's insulated.

    If that is a below grade exterior wall insulated with rolled fiberglass insulation it's most likely wet if there was a flood. What may be a little surface mold now might turn into a much larger issue down the road if the interior conditions aren't confirmed.

    I agree every structure should have the ability to breath. But many don't. Others create their own moisture. When Sunshine Drives Moisture Into Walls | GreenBuildingAdvisor.com So unless the wall structure can be confirmed you really shouldn't assume it can breath.

    I've been in many finished basements with a fresh coat of paint that smell like you're standing in a mushroom field. Are you saying that since the surface mold is no longer visible that the hidden mold on the inside of the drywall isn't a problem?

    I guess my point is mold isn't the problem, but the result of dampness and rot. The wall in question should be confirmed to be dry and rot free.

    Last edited by Ken Rowe; 04-13-2013 at 04:28 PM.
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    Default Re: Mould remediation 101 - New video

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Lamb View Post
    Jerry, what is your reply to that "article?"
    I'm still recovering from the injuries I incurred when I fell on the floor laughing and crying at the same time, laughing at the silliness of the article, crying about Brian putting it up as he did ... owww ... I think I ruptured something in my back and my gut ...

    No need for me to reply when we have someone much more knowledgeable than myself who can provide a much better response.

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

  14. #14

    Default Re: Mould remediation 101 - New video

    Good morning, Ken!


    Question
    If every structure has the ability to breath, wouldn't hidden mold (ie mold inside walls) have the ability to effect the indoor air quality?

    Response
    Ignoring for a moment that the question is a non sequitor, many, many, many studies had demonstrated that mould hidden in walls do not impact indoor air quality – that is a myth perpetrated by unscrupulous mould remediation companies, and poorly trained consultants such as “certified mould remediators” who claim that testing is justified since they can’t otherwise find a problem.

    Comment
    There are numerous conditions that would effect the ability of the interior of that wall drying.
    From the information you've written and provided in the video, we don't know if that wall is above or below grade, we don't know if it's an interior or exterior wall, we don't know if it's insulated.

    Response
    None of the above would matter… however, the wall in question is a north wall on the third floor of a condo structure. The wall is an hollow cavity drywall structure with aluminum studding. The wall is a fire wall – on the other side of the wall is an hallway (partially) and an adjoining unit.


    Comment
    If that is a below grade exterior wall insulated with rolled fiberglass insulation it's most likely wet if there was a flood.

    Response
    As I mentioned in my post – drying actions were taken immediately, and drying was effected almost immediately, resulting in completely dry conditions. Also as I mentioned in my post, due to the very fast and effective drying that occurred, the presence of the mould was almost certaininly not a result of the flood that occurred. The mould would have been present for many years prio to the flood and was merely discovered when a “toxic mould” charlatan became involved and went on a fising expedition to find mould.

    Comment
    What may be a little surface mold now might turn into a much larger issue down the road if the interior conditions aren't confirmed.

    Response
    That would be biologically impossible.

    Comment
    I agree every structure should have the ability to breath. But many don't.

    Response
    Not true. Al buildings “breathe.” The degree to which they “breathe” is either adequate or inadequate.. There is no such thing as a perfectly tight structure.

    Comment
    Others create their own moisture.

    Response
    All building create their own moisture. There are none that don’.

    Comment
    When Sunshine Drives Moisture Into Walls So unless the wall structure can be confirmed you really shouldn't assume it can breath.

    Response
    Unless the wall is constructed exclusively of metal, and every composite material in the wall is also metal and the wall is ENTIRELY devoid of wood, paper, cellulosic, mineral, fiberglass, concrete, or stone – then the wall can breathe. I have never seen such a structure, ever….anywhere.

    Comment
    I've been in many finished basements with a fresh coat of paint that smell like you're standing in a mushroom field. Are you saying that since the surface mold is no longer visible that the hidden mold on the inside of the drywall isn't a problem?

    Response
    No. Stinky paint is not a mould problem. Stinky paint is a stinky paint problem.

    Comment
    I guess my point is mold isn't the problem, but the result of dampness and rot.

    Response
    I would disagree – but I would agree that a good generalization is that :Mould is not the problem – moisture is the problem. There is never a mould problem without a moisture problem.”

    Furthermore, moulds are not rots are not moulds. The organisms I mentioned in the above post are rots, not moulds.

    Comment
    The wall in question should be confirmed to be dry and rot free.

    Response
    As I mentioned in the above post – drying was effected almost immediately. He wall was dry; that’s how we know drying was effected almost immediately.

    Cheers All!

    Caoimhín P. Connell
    Forensic Industrial Hygienist
    Forensic Applications Consulting Technologies, Inc. - Home

    (The opinions expressed here are exclusively my personal opinions and do not necessarily reflect my professional opinion, opinion of my employer, agency, peers, or committees. The above post is for information only and does not reflect professional advice and is not intended to supercede the professional advice of others.)

    AMDG


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    Default Re: Mould remediation 101 - New video

    Ken,

    Without trying to put words into Caoimhin's mouth, I think he misunderstood your comment:

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Rowe View Post
    I've been in many finished basements with a fresh coat of paint that smell like you're standing in a mushroom field. Are you saying that since the surface mold is no longer visible that the hidden mold on the inside of the drywall isn't a problem?
    Earlier, you made this observation:

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Rowe View Post
    ...If there are no smells (sic), no complaints, and no indications of significant moisture damage, we can be reasonably sure that there is no problem and no reason for further investigation."
    I may be wrong, but I think you answered your own question. It seems to me that if you smell mold/mould, then you have a responsibility to comment on it. At least to protect yourself from a lawsuit. I don't know about regulations in MN, but in CA, while WDO are the responsibility of a pest inspector and mold/fungus/mildew are generally contractually excluded, home inspectors are required to comment on conditions that could affect the habitability/desirability of the building. That can be interpreted to include a "musty" odor. I am not qualified to comment specifically on mold/fungus/mildew, but I do have a nose and believe I am qualified to comment on a "musty" odor or black growth on a wall. If I don't, then I am a nice target for a lawsuit.

    Caoimhin may well be correct in his assessment that the vast majority of mold remediation is excessive or unnecessary. My inspection is not invasive, so I don't know what is inside the wall cavity and I am not qualified to comment on whether or not it will be a health concern. The real problem for us is that lawsuits, to some extent, drive what we say in a report.

    This has been a very interesting discussion. At this point, it will not affect how I write reports, but I will verbally advise my clients to be cautious about whom they hire, if remediation is considered.

    Department of Redundancy Department
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    Default Re: Mould remediation 101 - New video

    It sounds as if Caoimhin just wants to be argumentative. The fact is he never stated in his video or original post that the interior of the wall was confirmed to be dry. He now states:
    drying actions were taken immediately, and drying was effected almost immediately, resulting in completely dry conditions.
    So apparently someone, somehow confirmed the interior of the wall was dry. He doesn't tell us who or how it was confirmed dry. I guess we were just to assume that the wall in the video was a third floor, interior, hollow wall. I know that's where I see the most moisture and mold problems.

    The video shows him wiping mold of the wall and claiming it to be removed. People with wet finished basements are going to watch this thinking all they have to do is wipe it off. He doesn't mention you need to get rid of the source of moisture to prevent the rot to the structure.

    Caoimhin seems to have his sights only on mold and it's health risks (or lack of) and not the structural damage to the building that's often associated with it.

    falcon_article1_img1.jpg

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    Default Re: Mould remediation 101 - New video

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Rowe View Post
    Caoimhin seems to have his sights only on mold and it's health risks (or lack of) and not the structural damage to the building that's often associated with it.

    Well, yeah. He is an industrial hygienist after all.

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    Default Re: Mould remediation 101 - New video

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Rowe View Post
    It sounds as if Caoimhin just wants to be argumentative. The fact is he never stated in his video or original post that the interior of the wall was confirmed to be dry.
    Ken,

    Sounds like YOU are the one who just want to be argumentative.

    Caoimhin stated this in post 11, you had 2 or more posts AFTER that - did you 'just not read' what he posted?

    Response

    No. The apartment in question as a catastrophic water loss that was immediately identified and immediate drying action were implemented. Following the drying process, ...


    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
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    Default Re: Mould remediation 101 - New video

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Rowe View Post
    Caoimhin seems to have his sights only on mold and it's health risks (or lack of) and not the structural damage to the building that's often associated with it.
    Quote Originally Posted by Gunnar Alquist View Post
    Well, yeah. He is an industrial hygienist after all.
    Ummm ... Ken ... Caoimhin has been trying to tell the home inspectors that they need to NOT WORRY about the *mould* ... that they should be reporting THE MOISTURE problems ... which, by the way ... LEADS TO THE STRUCTURAL DAMAGE - which should be reported by the home inspector.

    Why do some just 'not get it'? It IS NOT THE MOULD ... IT IS THE MOISTURE AND THE DAMAGE the moisture causes - you know, that thing you are calling "structural damage" ... yea, that, THAT is what you should be reporting.

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

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    Default Re: Mould remediation 101 - New video

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Caoimhin stated this in post 11, you had 2 or more posts AFTER that - did you 'just not read' what he posted?
    Correct, post 11. Not post one, and not in the video. And, not until post 14 did he state:
    resulting in completely dry conditions.
    He never did state who or how this was confirmed even after I stated it needed to be done.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Ummm ... Ken ... Caoimhin has been trying to tell the home inspectors that they need to NOT WORRY about the *mould* ... that they should be reporting THE MOISTURE problems ... which, by the way ... LEADS TO THE STRUCTURAL DAMAGE - which should be reported by the home inspector.
    Really? Because his video doesn't even mention home inspectors or structural damage or that the water problem needs to be addressed for mold cleanup to be affective. He purposely is trying to downplay mold issues when most of the time it's not as simple as wiping it off the surface.

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    Default Re: Mould remediation 101 - New video

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Rowe View Post
    He purposely is trying to downplay mold issues when most of the time it's not as simple as wiping it off the surface.
    Sheesh, Ken........most of the time, it is as simple as wiping it off. Rarely, is mold pervasive and intrusive. It requires chronic dampness to promote a severe mold problem.

    You appear to be an alarmist bomb tosser and can't stand it when someone diffuses your bomb. In this business, it behooves you to be able to recognize molehills from mountains and more importantly, refrain from trying to grow molehills into mountains.

    If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice.

  22. #22

    Default Re: Mould remediation 101 - New video

    Hello Gunnar – Thanks, I may have misunderstood Ken paint question.

    So, to address it from a different way. Yes, sometimes painting over a mould surface is perfectly acceptable; if and only if: 1) The moisture intrusion has been identified and corrected; 2) the surface is otherwise suitable for painting and no other issues compromise the building materials. Very, very often, we find that when people report “mouldy orders” in their property, it is due to Streptomycetes, Cyanobacteria and other soil dwelling organisms that are giving off geosmins (typified by 1a, 10ß-dimethyl-9a-decalol) and MIB (2-methylisoborneol) and having nothing to do with moulds or indeed even a water intrusion issue.

    Hello Ken –

    Quote:
    The fact is he never stated in his video or original post that the interior of the wall was confirmed to be dry. He now states:

    Response:
    You are correct – my apologies. I had a similar discussion on another board, where I had exhaustively reiterated this, and I confused posts. My apologies.

    So here is “the rest of the story” (although it really doesn’t matter). Immediately following the catastrophic water loss, the water was shut off and drying efforts were started. Chattels were immediately removed from the wet areas (along with carpeting) and flood cuts were placed in the drywall. During the water damage restoration, worker pulled back some drywall (not pictured) and saw a couple square inches of black mould and, due to the science fiction surrounding moulds, panicked and dropped tools.

    An unethical Certified Industrial Hygienist went into the apartment and, in violation of the ABIH Code of Ethics and contrary to good Industrial Hygiene, he collected junk-science meaningless air samples. The air samples were completely contradictory, and exhibited extremely poor precision and accuracy, and at the very worst, indicated the spore loadings in the apartment were completely normal; mysteriously, the CIH then developed an asbestos abatement scope of work for the project, except, wherever the word asbestos appeared, he removed the word and replaced it with the word “mold.” A mould remediation company bid on the unnecessary scope of work ($20,000).

    A second (even crazier) “Certified Mould Remediator” went into the property and was unable to locate any mould, and also was unable to locate any residual moisture and so started pulling back mopboard until he found mould. Since flood cuts had been placed in the wall, the wall cavities were readily accessible and visible and a child of ten could look at the wall cavities and see that there was no growth.

    Therefore, since the apartment was dry, and there were no odors, and since there was no visible mould, naturally the “Certified” mould consultant did what any “toxic mould for gold” contractor would do – he collected air samples and went on a fishing expedition. Naturally his air samples were completely different than those collected by the CIH (as one would expect), and yet his recommendations were essentially the same only more extreme, and his bid was $57,000

    We arrived and found exactly what the other two “consultants” would have seen 1) A completely dry apartment – we were the only consultant who actually measured the moisture content of the building materials, The other consultants ignored the most fundamental aspect of a water restoration project – water. We found that all of the building materials were completely dry. 2) There was no visible mould in the apartment. 3) The exposed wall cavities (exposed by the flood cuts) indicate the hollow walls were completely and entirely devoid of growth. 4) The only mould growth was found behind the (sealed) base boards) and consisted primarily of organisms that take many weeks to grow and could not have been due to the recent water loss. 5) There was no need to pull back the mopboards in the first place. 6) The dry, clean apartment was not in need of any kind of mould remediation, sampling, fishing expeditions or fear-mongering tactics, and the only corrective actions was to get the contractor back into the apartment and finish the job.

    Quote:
    He doesn't mention you need to get rid of the source of moisture to prevent the rot to the structure.

    Response:
    Not correct – the video is embedded in, and references, a larger discussion that very much addresses moisture.

    Quote:
    Caoimhin seems to have his sights only on mold and it's health risks (or lack of) and not the structural damage to the building that's often associated with it.

    Response:
    Again – not correct. We deal with the entire water damage issue including structural issues – for you viewing enjoyment, here is a video of a case I worked on, that deals with moulds and rot, and the problems caused by sealing agents, and catastrophic structural failure due to rot, and the investigation process.

    Rot_sealant - YouTube

    Enjoy!

    In conclusion – Ken, Jerry and Lon are, IMHO, correct. In my experience of performing over 800 mould related projects, in the overwhelming, vast majority (certainly greater than 90% of the time), the most extreme “remediation” action is merely wiping the material off. Frankly in a huge majority of the cases we investigate, NO action is required. In about a quarter of the cases we investigate, there isn’t even a mould problem – the “problem” arises only when a poorly trained consultant gets involved and misidentifies something as mould (when it is not), or collects bogus samples and uses the laboratory report to frighten a property manager or homeowner with fear-mongering tactics about toxic mould.

    Almost always, good common sense water restoration corrective actions by “Joe the Handyman” or a legitimate flood and fire restoration company correct the problem without ever having to even use or consider the “M-word.” On some very, very, rare occasions mould needs to be considered for mould’s sake – but those projects (even when mould is found on site), are very seldom, and almost rarely seen.

    Since the overwhelming driving factor regarding moulds is health related concerns (however unwarranted), the foundation for addressing the nonsense and putting the restoration industry back on track is rooted in addressing the health issues. So, as an Industrial Hygienist, that is what we do. Even in the video referenced in this post, the greatest problem on site wasn’t the catastrophic failure of load bearing members… it was constantly combating the nonsense and fear that the toxic mould con-artist kept trying to raise. It is not surprising that the remediation company he tried to bring in later got smacked with 64 federal indictments.

    This is the nature of the toxic-mould remediation industry.

    Cheers!

    Caoimhín P. Connell
    Forensic Industrial Hygienist
    Forensic Applications Consulting Technologies, Inc. - Home

    (The opinions expressed here are exclusively my personal opinions and do not necessarily reflect my professional opinion, opinion of my employer, agency, peers, or committees. The above post is for information only and does not reflect professional advice and is not intended to supercede the professional advice of others.)

    AMDG


  23. #23
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    Default Re: Mould remediation 101 - New video

    Rotting particle board, Masonite (like in some paneling), and even OSB to an extent will smell like something dead and decomposing. Really smells bad.

    I still regularly receive calls for mold testing and spend the time asking questions and trying to educate the caller. If they have respiratory problems when in the house, I recommend they get an Industrial Hygienist to test the overall air quality in the house. There are more contaminates possible than just mold that can cause problems.

    I had one lady call to look at a bathroom in a house she had recently purchased. The dark stuff in the base board crack was dirt not mold.

    In the middle of flu & cold season this winter, a lady called for mold testing because her son had started coughing and sniffling and it had been going on for a couple of weeks. I wanted to chuckle but didn't.

    The above statements are expressed solely as my opinion and in all probability will conflict with someone else's.
    Stu, Fredericksburg VA

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    Default Re: Mould remediation 101 - New video

    Quote Originally Posted by Caoimhín P. Connell View Post

    So, to address it from a different way. Yes, sometimes painting over a mould surface is perfectly acceptable; if and only if: 1) The moisture intrusion has been identified and corrected; 2) the surface is otherwise suitable for painting and no other issues compromise the building materials.
    ------------
    You are correct – my apologies. I had a similar discussion on another board, where I had exhaustively reiterated this, and I confused posts. My apologies.

    So here is “the rest of the story” (although it really doesn’t matter). Immediately following the catastrophic water loss, the water was shut off and drying efforts were started. Chattels were immediately removed from the wet areas (along with carpeting) and flood cuts were placed in the drywall.
    -------------------
    Since flood cuts had been placed in the wall, the wall cavities were readily accessible and visible and a child of ten could look at the wall cavities and see that there was no growth.
    Thank you. This is the information you should have listed in your first post and at the beginning of your video.

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    Default Re: Mould remediation 101 - New video

    Quote Originally Posted by Lon Henderson View Post
    Sheesh, Ken........most of the time, it is as simple as wiping it off. Rarely, is mold pervasive and intrusive. It requires chronic dampness to promote a severe mold problem.

    You appear to be an alarmist bomb tosser and can't stand it when someone diffuses your bomb. In this business, it behooves you to be able to recognize molehills from mountains and more importantly, refrain from trying to grow molehills into mountains.
    Around here 90% of the time I see or smell mold I also find an active source of moisture. Be it active roof leaks or the more common issue of finished basements without adequate water control for the foundation. And you're not going to dry out a wet / moldy drywall on an basement foundation wall just by stopping the source of water, at least not when they're insulated with fiberglass batts like the majority of them around here.

    You see Lon, when I do an inspection I don't just see mold and tell my clients to simply wipe it off. I put in the extra effort, find the source of moisture, find the rot and deterioration associated with the moisture and advise them what it will take to correct the issues.

    Since you decided to make this personal with your alarmist comment, let me say this. It would behoove you not to be a slave to the realtor and actually recognize that the simple spot of mold you tell the clients to wipe off might just be the tip of the iceberg leading to extensive rot and moisture related problems. If you see a spot of mold, check the area with your moisture meter or thermal camera. Oh, I'm sorry, that's beyond the scope of your inspection.

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    Default Re: Mould remediation 101 - New video

    ... and pray tell what makes you think Lon is a slave to the Realtor?


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    Default Re: Mould remediation 101 - New video

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymond Wand View Post
    ... and pray tell what makes you think Lon is a slave to the Realtor?
    The better question is What makes Lon think I'm an alarmist?

    You see Raymond. I could care less about mold's health effects or lack of health effects. But mold growth is always an indication of a larger problem when growing somewhere in the house. Let me repeat that...mold growth is always an indication of a larger problem when growing somewhere in the house. Now, that problem may be small and easy to take care of. But it also may be huge. That's where a diligent home inspectors comes in.

    A great example of what I'm talking about is Caoimhín's video and this thread. The video shows him wiping away visible mold growth from drywall while claiming that's all that needs to be done. A diligent home inspector (that's me) thinks "wait, there's a larger problem here". Upon investigation (questioning Caoimhín in this thread) we find out there was a flood. Upon even further questioning we found out that the walls were cut open, dried, and visibly confirmed to be dry and have no growth inside the walls. Now I'm satisfied that the problem which caused the mold to grow in the first place has been taken care of.

    In my experience people don't fix the problem which caused the mold then leave the mold visible. However, people will remove the visible mold without addressing the moisture problem. Around here we call them "flippers".

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  28. #28

    Default Re: Mould remediation 101 - New video

    Good morning, Ken –

    I’m afraid that you still misunderstand, and need to pay attention to the details.

    The video I posted does NOT show mould growth as a result of the flooding. In fact, my post explicitly makes this very clear that the mould growth seen in the video (which I am wiping away) had nothing to do with the flooding, and neither did it indicate a “larger” problem.

    As stated in my post, the mould growth existed in the structure BEFORE the flooding problem occurred and remained in the structure as a non-issue for probably years before the flood.

    Also, your post contains a statement that you cannot confirm which is

    Quote
    Let me repeat that...mold growth is always an indication of a larger problem when growing somewhere in the house.

    The quote raises two issues:

    1) How do you know the mould is actually in a state of growth, as opposed to merely being present from an historical perspective?

    We see many, many, many houses (in fact, probably all to some extent), with mould growth in the structure as a result of the colonization being on the building materials when the structure was made; and/or colonization occurring on building materials as a result of those building materials simply being exposed to the elements during construction.

    The presence of the colonization does not necessarily indicate any kind of problem, and is, on the contrary, quite common and indeed, expected.

    Without subsequent observations over the course of time, how are you determining that the mould is necessarily in a state of growth? And where? For example, if you go into an attic, or crawlspace, and you observe colonization, how are you determining that the colonization is in a state of growth?

    2) Next, without defining “problem” we have no way of knowing the context of your statements. For example, active mould growth in a residence may very often occur in the bathroom, kitchen and around windows, without necessarily indicating a moisture problem. Rather, reasonable condensation may occur during normal use and normal, everyday housekeeping activities are adequate to control the issue.

    If you give me an house, I WILL find mould. Absolutely, positively. Finding mould colonization in an house does not necessarily indicate a “problem” as the word “problem” is normally understood. And it is for that reason that maybe somebody could misinterpret your comments to be alarmist, if it is your position that the presence of mould MUST indicate a problem.

    I don’t think that is your position, but you tend to miss the point of some of the arguments being made. And I think that the only thing missing from your arguments is a sense of context and proportion – otherwise, I suspect there is more agreement here than disagreement.

    Cheers!
    Caoimhín P. Connell
    Forensic Industrial Hygienist
    Forensic Applications Consulting Technologies, Inc. - Home

    (The opinions expressed here are exclusively my personal opinions and do not necessarily reflect my professional opinion, opinion of my employer, agency, peers, or committees. The above post is for information only and does not reflect professional advice and is not intended to supercede the professional advice of others.)

    AMDG


  29. #29
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    Default Re: Mould remediation 101 - New video

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Rowe View Post
    Since you decided to make this personal with your alarmist comment, let me say this. It would behoove you not to be a slave to the realtor and actually recognize that the simple spot of mold you tell the clients to wipe off might just be the tip of the iceberg leading to extensive rot and moisture related problems. If you see a spot of mold, check the area with your moisture meter or thermal camera. Oh, I'm sorry, that's beyond the scope of your inspection.
    I don't have sufficient information to know if you are a follower of all environmental alarmism, but you do appear to be mold alarmist. You have clearly are ignorant of what's the scope of my inspection, but I have all the tools and knowledge to use them to investigate these things and do. In fairness, I concede that I seem to know more than you know about this topic, because I have training and education that you don't seem to have. I am an entomologist, and to get there, I had to study microbiology, plant and microorganism pathology, plant physiology (both photosynthetic and non-photosynthetic), and much, much more. So, I knew what Caoimhin speaks of, before I ever read a word of his. So, while I am not the expert in this area that Caoimhin is, I am just a few ticks below him. I can talk with authority about mold issues because of my extensive education, not obtained from a three hour class taught by some guy invested in the business who managed to pass a certified hygienist test.

    If you took my comments personally, they weren't meant to be offensive but rather a friendly shout out to take a fresh look at the things you believe about mold from someone who has expertise on the subject.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Rowe View Post
    The better question is What makes Lon think I'm an alarmist?
    You see Raymond. I could care less about mold's health effects or lack of health effects. But mold growth is always an indication of a larger problem when growing somewhere in the house. Let me repeat that...mold growth is always an indication of a larger problem when growing somewhere in the house.
    Here again, you are just flat out wrong. Holy cow! Comments like that confirm that you are an alarmist. Mold growth in houses is rarely an indication of a larger problem. The evidence is found in further investigation, which I have done over and over. I am one of those "flippers" and I often, maybe always find some mold in my flips. I always dig deep to find if I need to correct a chronic moisture problem, remove and replace structural damage, or even more extreme remediation. Not once in fifteen flips, have I found mold deeper than the surface (with the exception of dry rot in some decks and exterior wood trims). As an inspector, I have found severe mold problems, but I have looked at a lot of houses in fifteen years, so the odds favor me to find some problem homes. Severe mold problems are rare enough, that I can remember most of those houses.

    I realize that I won't convince you. You are too invested in mold alarmism, but hopefully, someone else reading this thread will see the logic in what I am saying and the glaring illogic in your commentary. By your comment, one might think that you believe that mold in the grout and caulk around a tub "is always an indication of a larger problem when growing somewhere in the house. " I hope that you don't believe that, but from your statement, you might.

    I like this forum, because I continue to learn things. I've changed my mind about some things based on evidence presented at this forum. But I am the kind of guy who will always examine new evidence when I get it. But one thing I have observed that all kinds of personalities somehow make a living in this business. Some of the hostility that arises in discussions here amazes me. Some guys have very thin skins and others just got up on the wrong side of the bed, (and maybe the latter describes me today). But whether my comments are personal and directed or not, they are intended to educate those that are interested in learning.

    For those in that category, my experienced words of wisdom are this...........whenever you take a class on any subject, always factor in where the instructor sits as he is telling you where he stands. People invested in a particular business, usually are not objective. When did you last hear a preacher speak objectively about atheism? It's no different for radon or mold mitigators. I like Caoihmin for two reasons. He isn't invested in just environmental remediation but rather environmental investigation. The difference is huge and frankly the same for me. I, too, am only invested in the investigation. Whether mold is superficial or a major problem requiring remediation doesn't matter to me. I get paid regardless of how I diagnosis the issue.

    The other reason I like Caoimhin, is that we agree for the most part. I have independently reached conclusions about these environmental issues before I ever heard of Caoimhin. He eloquently and convincingly, lays out the facts that lead to conclusions that we agree on. That there are those who disagree with us, is no surprise. There may be someone reading this, that may change their mind. Maybe they just decided that I am a horse's rear. Maybe I am. Maybe they think you're right and I am full of it.

    If someone presents great contrary evidence to what I espouse here, then I'll modify my conclusions. Otherwise, this horse looks beat to death for now.

    If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice.

  30. #30
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    Default Re: Mould remediation 101 - New video

    Quote Originally Posted by Caoimhín P. Connell View Post
    The video I posted does NOT show mould growth as a result of the flooding. In fact, my post explicitly makes this very clear that the mould growth seen in the video (which I am wiping away) had nothing to do with the flooding, and neither did it indicate a “larger” problem.

    As stated in my post, the mould growth existed in the structure BEFORE the flooding problem occurred and remained in the structure as a non-issue for probably years before the flood.
    Why do I find it hard to believe that you or anyone else confirmed that the mold behind the baseboard wasn't there before the flood and has nothing to do with the flooding? Do you perform some test to determine the age of the mold?

    If it were there before the flood, what would have caused it?

    Quote Originally Posted by Caoimhín P. Connell View Post

    2) Next, without defining “problem” we have no way of knowing the context of your statements. For example, active mould growth in a residence may very often occur in the bathroom, kitchen and around windows, without necessarily indicating a moisture problem. Rather, reasonable condensation may occur during normal use and normal, everyday housekeeping activities are adequate to control the issue.

    If you give me an house, I WILL find mould. Absolutely, positively. Finding mould colonization in an house does not necessarily indicate a “problem” as the word “problem” is normally understood. And it is for that reason that maybe somebody could misinterpret your comments to be alarmist, if it is your position that the presence of mould MUST indicate a problem.
    You failed to read the entire statement. Let me highlight it in a different way. I said:
    mold growth is always an indication of a larger problem when growing somewhere in the house. Now, that problem may be small and easy to take care of.
    Mold growth in the shower - pretty normal but still a problem. The problem is it isn't getting cleaned frequently enough.

    Mold growth on building materials - pretty normal also. The problem is the supplier and/or the builder isn't keeping the materials in a dry state. The owners of the house don't want to see it.

    Mold growth around windows, kitchen etc. from condensation - also pretty normal. The problem is high humidity levels. Humidity levels need to be reduce, exhaust fans used etc. Not cleaning up the condensation from your wood window? Over the years it can rot the windows away.

    Note, I did not say whether or not the mold is causing a problem with the air quality. As I said before, I don't really care about that. I don't test for air quality, I'm not an industrial hygienist or entomologist. I'm a home inspector.

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    Default Re: Mould remediation 101 - New video

    Unfortunately, the public has been programmed to believe mold is evil and deadly for everybody due to sensationalized media reporting. That is a lot to overcome in a 3-4 hour inspection no matter how you try to explain things. And there are some people who have had their doctors tell them that they are very allergic to mold. Show a buyer roof decking that has turned black with mold due to improper ventilation and all they will hear from you no matter what you say is "mold mold mold mold mold......". Some people are scared to death of mold and all the science in the world will not sway their opinion.

    Last edited by Nick Ostrowski; 04-17-2013 at 08:43 AM. Reason: correct typo
    "It takes a big man to cry. It takes an even bigger man to laugh at that man". - Jack Handey

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    Default Re: Mould remediation 101 - New video

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Nick Ostrowski View Post
    Unfortunately, the public has been programmed to believe mold is evil and deadly for everybody due to sensationalized media reporting. That is a lot to overcome in a 3-4 hour inspection no matter how you try to explain things. And there are some people who have had their doctors tell them that they are very allergic to mold. Show a buyer roof decking that has tuned black with mold due to improper ventilation and all they will hear from you no matter what you say is "mold mold mold mold mold......". Some people are scared to death of mold and all the science in the world will not sway their opinion.
    Agreed.

    Last edited by Mike Lamb; 04-16-2013 at 09:02 PM.
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    Default Re: Mould remediation 101 - New video

    Quote Originally Posted by Nick Ostrowski View Post
    Show a buyer roof decking that has tuned black with mold due to improper ventilation and all they will hear from you no matter what you say is "mold mold mold mold mold......".
    And is the mold in the attic the problem...no. The problem is what caused the mold in the attic. 50 people wiping it off with paper towels won't do you any good if you don't fix the problem which caused it in the first place.

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    Default Re: Mould remediation 101 - New video

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Rowe View Post
    And is the mold in the attic the problem...no. The problem is what caused the mold in the attic. 50 people wiping it off with paper towels won't do you any good if you don't fix the problem which caused it in the first place.
    There are two problems here as I see it. Stopping the moisture that is causing the mold. This is the easier of the two to correct.

    The second is stopping the public's medically unfounded fear of mold, perpetuated by a willing media, and unscrupulous mold testers.

    Last edited by Mike Lamb; 04-17-2013 at 03:08 AM.
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    Default Re: Mould remediation 101 - New video

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Rowe View Post
    And is the mold in the attic the problem...no. The problem is what caused the mold in the attic. 50 people wiping it off with paper towels won't do you any good if you don't fix the problem which caused it in the first place.
    And that's my point. You can still talk about the lack of ventilation as being the root cause and what needs to be done to correct the situation but many buyers are focused on the mold only. Sometimes our message falls through the cracks. And unfortunately the way some sellers are, the buyer may need to pay to have mold testing done to prove to the sellers that the substance is mold before the sellers will agree to do anything.

    "It takes a big man to cry. It takes an even bigger man to laugh at that man". - Jack Handey

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    Default Re: Mould remediation 101 - New video

    Direct quote from the EPA's website on the basics of mold Mold Basics | A Brief Guide to Mold | US Environmental Protection Agency

    If there is mold growth in your home, you must clean up the mold and fix the water problem. If you clean up the mold, but don't fix the water problem, then, most likely, the mold problem will come back.
    Caoimhín's video doesn't mention anything to the fact that the water problem has previously been addressed or needs to be addressed. But yet he's titled the video Mould Remediation 101. To me he's just as guilty of spreading falsities about mold and mold remediation as media outlets are regarding the health issue of mold.

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