View Poll Results: What extra services do you offer?

Voters
264. You may not vote on this poll
  • Mold

    88 33.33%
  • Radon

    159 60.23%
  • Water

    94 35.61%
  • Lead

    38 14.39%
  • Energy

    27 10.23%
  • Other - Please post

    37 14.02%
  • None

    63 23.86%
Multiple Choice Poll.
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  1. #1
    Jason Welch's Avatar
    Jason Welch Guest

    Question Mold and/or Radon testing..

    I am curious..how many offer Mold and/or Radon as an ancillary service? Not sure how to set up a poll...

    Similar Threads:
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  2. #2
    Kevin Luce's Avatar
    Kevin Luce Guest

    Default Re: Mold and/or Radon testing..

    Radon Testing here.

    After all the cost in a year which also includes time, gas and estimated wear on vehicle, I come out making twice as much. This does not include the home inspection jobs that I get from offering this service. In short, I feel it's worth offering this service.

    If you are going to offer this service, good luck on the test. A little more than half the class passed it.


  3. #3
    Tim Moreira's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mold and/or Radon testing..

    I check for mold during the HI. If a client really, really, really wants me to do testing (swabs, air sampling, carpet sampling) I will but I don't push it. Waste of their money in my opinion.

    I for one think that mold testing and sampling is a total waste of money. If there is mold then you need to identify where it is coming from and correct the problem. The testing by a third party lab is a waste of the client's money in MHO.

    If there is mold, they need to get rid of it. Doesn't matter what strand it is.

    I do not do radon as it is not really an issue in my area. If a client was overly concerned, I would recommend they contact someone who specializes in that are for testing


  4. #4
    Bernie Katz's Avatar
    Bernie Katz Guest

    Default Re: Mold and/or Radon testing..

    Mold testing is not always a waste of time. If the client has Allergy or Health Issues, their Allergist may want to know what genus and species of mold are growing in the home. If you are doing commercial inspections then they will definitly want to know what genus and/or species they are dealing with for reasons too many to list here.

    If no one has initially tested then the Remediator may test to see what they are dealing with for removal.

    I totally agree that the source of the water intrusion must first be corrected, then the mold removed.


  5. #5
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    Default Re: Mold and/or Radon testing..

    I do a lot of radon testing. It is very common in my area, with some readings in the 40's - 50's.
    JF


  6. #6
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    Default Re: Mold and/or Radon testing..

    I offer radon testing as well. Had a reading yesterday of 23 pC/l and the home had a mitigation system in it. Discovered that Pine straw, dead bird and other assorted crud had clogged the end of the vent pipe. System was also installed improperly.

    The radon class is not all that hard if you pay attention, study and read all of the EPA handouts, etc.

    Before you offer radon testing you need to see if it is a problem in your area.

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

  7. #7
    Tim Moreira's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mold and/or Radon testing..

    Jason,

    Did you do the poll thingy or did Brian?

    If we can do it, how do you do it?


  8. #8
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    Default Re: Mold and/or Radon testing..

    Quote Originally Posted by Tim Moreira View Post
    Jason,

    Did you do the poll thing or did Brian?
    Brian did it.

    It is set up as an administrative function.

    See InspectionNews' Secret To Getting More Inspections

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  9. #9
    Bruce Thomas's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mold and/or Radon testing..

    We also do septic system dye tests and any thing else that is legal and not too fatening.

    Bruce


  10. #10
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    Default Re: Mold and/or Radon testing..

    I do a fair amount of radon testing. The average house around here has elevated levels of radon. It is not unusual to measure radon levels of 12 to 15 pCi/L. (EPA's action level is 4.0 pCi/L.) Some parts of town are typically in the mid to upper 30s. Further up in the mountains I routinely measure radon levels of 40 to 60 and as high as the upper 80s. I have heard of some measuring above 200.

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

  11. #11
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    Talking Re: Mold and/or Radon testing..

    No Radon or Mold testing for me

    Sprinkle Holy Water
    150. Upgrade

    Ghostbusting
    Pricing starts at 5K


  12. #12
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    Default Re: Mold and/or Radon testing..

    How about "None of the above"?

    Eric Van De Ven Magnum Inspections Inc. (772) 214-9929
    www.magnuminspections.com
    I still get paid to be suspicious when I got nothing to be suspicious about!

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Mold and/or Radon testing..

    "None" has been added.

    Thanks for pointing that out.

    See InspectionNews' Secret To Getting More Inspections

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  14. #14
    Jonathan Cartwright's Avatar
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    Cool Re: Mold and/or Radon testing..

    Other - Wood destroying pest and fungi inspections. I also do "wood burning device" inspections for the county however that has only to do with air quality and not with the function/safety of the device.


  15. #15
    Paul Tooley's Avatar
    Paul Tooley Guest

    Default Re: Mold and/or Radon testing..

    Try to stay away from the mold angle. In this area, it's much easier to forward that one off ot specialists. we do radon, termite/wdi, well potability, and septic dye's (never liked those and try to disuade clients from using them. I don't turn down the request though). also think about getting into pools as well.


  16. #16
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    Default Re: Mold and/or Radon testing..

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Tooley View Post
    In this area, it's much easier to forward that one off ot specialists.
    Paul,

    What area is that? Your profile does not tell us where you are located.

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

  17. #17
    Bruce Thomas's Avatar
    Bruce Thomas Guest

    Default Re: Mold and/or Radon testing..

    Paul,

    Why not become a mold expert?

    Just a thought.


  18. #18
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    Default Re: Mold and/or Radon testing..

    At the risk of opening up a can of worms here, can those that do mold inspections tell me what purpose (other than making money) do the mold tests serve? I can see a clearance test after remediation of a problem but I can't see the point of testing if you see mold or the need of testing if you don't see mold. Please enlighten me.
    Please guys (Jerry P. and others that have already voiced their opinion) leave room for some honest answers here before condemning the very idea. I really am interested in the mindset behind those who test. I have met several inspectors that do mold and don't think that all of them are greedy SOB's just trying to get money from their customers. It is apparent from the poll results that at least some of the inspectors that frequent this board do mold and I am truly interested in the reasons.
    Jim

    Jim Luttrall
    www.MrInspector.net
    Dallas, Texas

  19. #19
    Erol Kartal's Avatar
    Erol Kartal Guest

    Thumbs up Re: Mold and/or Radon testing..

    Just good old fashion home inspections for me. I have a list of subs that I can refer.

    Erol Kartal
    Pro Inspect


  20. #20
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    Default Re: Mold and/or Radon testing..

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Luttrall View Post
    At the risk of opening up a can of worms here, can those that do mold inspections tell me what purpose (other than making money) do the mold tests serve? I can see a clearance test after remediation of a problem but I can't see the point of testing if you see mold or the need of testing if you don't see mold. Please enlighten me.
    Please guys (Jerry P. and others that have already voiced their opinion) leave room for some honest answers here before condemning the very idea. I really am interested in the mindset behind those who test. I have met several inspectors that do mold and don't think that all of them are greedy SOB's just trying to get money from their customers. It is apparent from the poll results that at least some of the inspectors that frequent this board do mold and I am truly interested in the reasons.
    Jim
    Jim, I see you're in Dallas. I contacted the moldy people in Austin (actually the TDSHS). They told me that I would have to be licensed in TX to inspect for mold. Could I administer a test and send to a mold lab? Probably, but at that point it didn't seem worth it.

    Bruce


  21. #21
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    Default Re: Mold and/or Radon testing..

    JB or is it Bruce? I get calls for mold testing and just refer it if I can't talk them out of it... just quoting the EPA brochure on mold. I just don't see the reason for doing it. I asked one local guy why he did mold testing and he said "money". I hope he was kidding...

    Jim Luttrall
    www.MrInspector.net
    Dallas, Texas

  22. #22
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    Default Re: Mold and/or Radon testing..

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Luttrall View Post
    JB or is it Bruce? I get calls for mold testing and just refer it if I can't talk them out of it... just quoting the EPA brochure on mold. I just don't see the reason for doing it. I asked one local guy why he did mold testing and he said "money". I hope he was kidding...
    I normally tell people this, "If I find mold or mildew, do you really care what it's scientific name is? Or do you just want it gone?" 10 times out of 10 they just want it gone. And I didn't charge them a penny.




  23. #23
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    Default Re: Mold and/or Radon testing..

    Sorry, I didn't answer your other question. It's Bruce. I'm a jr. so I go by my middle name. When I registered I just put my initials.


  24. #24
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    Default Re: Mold and/or Radon testing..

    No mold, I did a few when I 1st started until I figured out how much trouble I could get into and decided it was not woth it. I have a pest control company and do the termite inspections and treatments in addition to the home inspections.

    Fritz, what sort of quick asbestos test are you doing on the ceilings? .

    If it weren't for lawyers, we would never need them.

  25. #25
    Brian Cooper's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mold and/or Radon testing..

    I do lead and water testing.

    On Mold, I feel like the cause should be repaired and the mold removed. The strand of mold is rather immaterial to most customers. They just want it abated.

    I have not been asked for a Radon inspection. If I were asked I would consider taking a course in testing for it, but not until then.

    I have many customers on wells, so I get a good number of water tests. I also do many lead tests due to the age of many homes I am asked to do.

    Of course, none of this is free...


  26. #26
    Jim Entwisle's Avatar
    Jim Entwisle Guest

    Default Re: Mold and/or Radon testing..

    I do Radon in air and Radon in water testing ..... where there is Well water I always do the Radon in water and add $50 to the potability test .... total $175... since the EPA and my state "CT" don't have mold health/safety standards I refer all suspect "mold" testing to other contractors who are willing to take on the liability.... as with asbestos I always use the words "appears to be mold" and I do include it in my report when seen, however, I don't think you can state that it is mold or asbestos without a laboratory test... and I don't want an irate seller to make an issue of it if he looses a sale because I stated that his house had mold..... some local HIs have all the air pumps and equipment and they do test but in my opinion all they can say is "yes there is mold and this is what strand it is".... they can't say if it is dangerous or a health issue because there are no standards... I also believe that all homes have mold and I try to put the mold concerns in perspective for my buyers... if they indicate that someone is sensitive then I always refer them for further professional evaluation and remediation if necessary ..... jim


  27. #27
    Peter Drougas's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mold and/or Radon testing..

    I take water samples to a lab. Recommend another company for septic and have them show up at the inspection. The client pays the septic company directly. I don't recommend Mold or Lead testing.
    Radon testing I do myself. I took the courses and the test. It's not that hard if you pay attention and want to learn it. Invested in all the equipment. Then I joined both NRPP (Radon proficiency) and AARST (Radon Technologist). I only know of 5 Inspectors in my state that have done the same (not required). So aside from simply knowing what I am doing, it sets me apart from other inspectors when people are "shopping" for an inspection.
    Clients seem to like dealing with as few people as possible. I have a better relationship with them if they know they can count on me to take care of their inspection needs.


  28. #28
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    Default Re: Mold and/or Radon testing..

    Quote Originally Posted by Peter Drougas View Post
    I only know of 5 Inspectors in my state that have done the same (not required).
    Peter,

    What state do you live in? Your profile does not tell us where you are located.

    What radon testing equipment do you use?

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

  29. #29
    Peter Drougas's Avatar
    Peter Drougas Guest

    Default Re: Mold and/or Radon testing..

    Sorry, I thought that was in there. Thanks for pointing that out.

    I am in New Hampshire and deep in snow.

    I use the E-perm system. Not trying to push it but here are some advantages.

    Unlike charcoal these canisters can sit for 2 to 7 days. It makes drop off and collection much easier to schedule around inspections.

    They sit in special boxes that can be locked and then secured to a post to prevent "relocation" or other tampering during the test.

    The canisters are not prone to humidity or temperature, so no readings are required. They are basically plastic, so are harmless to humans or pets. No power is required during the test.

    Getting certified allows me to take readings. This in turn means results are available the day the canisters are collected. So a fast turn around.

    The company is great to work with. I get the same person most of the time and they have no problem transfering you to an expert for advise.

    Now to go enter that missing info.


  30. #30
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    Default Re: Mold and/or Radon testing..

    Quote Originally Posted by Peter Drougas View Post
    I use the E-perm system. Not trying to push it but here are some advantages.
    You're preaching to the choir. I have used E-PERMS for 5 years and really like them. Once you pay the money up front your per-test cost is minimal. E-PERMS are very accurate, much more accurate than charcoal. Clients like the quick turnaround time, too.

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

  31. #31
    Don Belmont's Avatar
    Don Belmont Guest

    Default Re: Mold and/or Radon testing..

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Luttrall View Post
    At the risk of opening up a can of worms here, can those that do mold inspections tell me what purpose (other than making money) do the mold tests serve? I can see a clearance test after remediation of a problem but I can't see the point of testing if you see mold or the need of testing if you don't see mold. Please enlighten me.
    Please guys (Jerry P. and others that have already voiced their opinion) leave room for some honest answers here before condemning the very idea. I really am interested in the mindset behind those who test. I have met several inspectors that do mold and don't think that all of them are greedy SOB's just trying to get money from their customers. It is apparent from the poll results that at least some of the inspectors that frequent this board do mold and I am truly interested in the reasons.
    Jim
    Hi Jim,

    Instead of being called a greedy SOB I see offering mold inspections and testing for my clients who want them to be filling a consumer demand. At least 80% of the time I can show my clients that testing is not necessary to answer their concerns about mold. But about 20% of the time the clients that call me are quite adamant and insistent that they want something more formal when it comes to the mold status of a property. My choice as a businessman is to provide the service my clients want or not. At that point by offering mold testing I feel I'm helping my clients avoid being taken to the cleaners by someone who has a vested interest in mitigating a mold problem.

    I might add that I charge extra for this service since it does require additional work and increases liability.

    Another aspect that comes into play is the usefulness of my report. Commenting that "there was an apparent substance that might the mold" is different than stating definitively that mold was present, the sample was taken and here is the result from that sample.


  32. #32
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    Default Re: Mold and/or Radon testing..

    I have met several inspectors that do mold and don't think that all of them are greedy SOB's
    Quote Originally Posted by Don Belmont View Post
    Hi Jim,

    Instead of being called a greedy SOB
    Don, just to make sure, notice the bold in the quote from my original post.
    I know that there are some guy's following the "mold is gold" philosophy, but I DON'T think all are. I can see the need for some clients comfort as you mentioned... but I still can't see the economics behind it here in Texas, due to the cost of conducting business. I have lost one job (that I know of) due to my lack of ability to do mold testing. Most everyone else I have talked to understands my position and limitations as well as the limitations of mold testing.
    Thanks for your post.
    Merry Christmas!

    Jim Luttrall
    www.MrInspector.net
    Dallas, Texas

  33. #33
    Don Belmont's Avatar
    Don Belmont Guest

    Default Re: Mold and/or Radon testing..

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Luttrall View Post
    Don, just to make sure, notice the bold in the quote from my original post.
    I know that there are some guy's following the "mold is gold" philosophy, but I DON'T think all are. I can see the need for some clients comfort as you mentioned... but I still can't see the economics behind it here in Texas, due to the cost of conducting business. I have lost one job (that I know of) due to my lack of ability to do mold testing. Most everyone else I have talked to understands my position and limitations as well as the limitations of mold testing.
    Thanks for your post.
    Merry Christmas!
    Hi Jim,

    I think it's hard to find anything we do as home inspectors that doesn't have limitations. Inspecting and testing for mold is no exception. Personally I think the trouble starts when someone pushes anything as an absolute or perfect solution. In the case of mold we have the fear mongers in various professions (not just ours)who do their "chicken Little" imitation for their own purposes.

    Making the decision to provide a particular service based on the economic realities of your own business makes eminent sense. Unless you are running a charity

    In terms of economics I find mold inspections to be very rewarding as either an additional or as a stand-alone service. Of course the pricing varies for each since there are more costs associated with doing a stand-alone mold inspection. The key being to analyze those costs in both money and time to see if they make sense for your business.

    I ended up building an tool to make those cost analysis easy and quick. It MS Excel based so excel is needed to run it.

    If you're interested you can find a free, fully functional, 14 day trial version of the worksheet at Service Business Pricing Modeler and Breakeven Analysis

    I use this worksheet daily to simultaneously model various combinations and pricing schemes for all my services. Plus, it lets me keep my pricing current to my overhead so if costs change I can adjust prices in smaller increments which seems to be less of a shock to potential clients. So if my core inspection has to be a little on the cheap side due to competitive forces I can examine the pricing for the addon services to maintain my overall profit margin.


  34. #34
    Evan Grugett's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mold and/or Radon testing..

    For the last seven years or so, mold and buried oil tanks are the "hot" environmental concerns in Metro NYC for the Home Inspector. I agree with some of the previous posts from Inspectors about not being comfortable with testing for mold and drawing conclusions for the client. I always check for mold, and signs of oil storage tanks, during my visual inspection. The water/moisture source for the mold is squarely within the bounds of a visual inspection, so we indirectly have always checked for mold during a Home Inspection. Your report should tell the client where you saw the moisture/leak problems and how to fix them. The mold should be cleaned out or damaged materials removed and replaced.

    Many oil storage tanks were improperly abandoned (not drained of oil &/or removed) before 1990 in this area, and municipal enforcement/records were sketchy at best until recently. This includes UFT's and AFT's. Many Inspectors here will refer clients to independent oil tank tester specialists (not those who close or remove tanks as well) to search the yard with metal detectors for buried tanks. I don't know of any Home Inspection firm that directly tests oil storage tanks.

    Home Inspectors should recommend that the client have a buried oil tank leak tested and soil samples taken even if the tank hs been previously tested and insured (the owner can remediate under their insurance if the buyers test shows a problem).

    Many Inspectors here test for radon, take water samples for lab anaylsis (lead in water for municipal supplied systems and the FHA profile or beyond for on site well water supplys), and test septics. Of these, radon is the ancillary test that you must offer directly to satisfy the marketplace. The other "toxic concerns" may have the Inspector partnered with a qualified specialist, or just referring the client out to one.

    Evan Grugett

    Evan Grugett Inspections
    “Educating the Real Estate Consumer”

    PO Box 188
    Eastchester, NY 10709
    914-723-5795
    egrugett@optonline.net



  35. #35
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    Default Re: Mold and/or Radon testing..

    I offer mold sampling but I don't push it. when I am doing a HI and I see a surface that looks like mold I state it that way MOLD LIKE SUBSTANCE. I let the client make the deicsion to sample or not. Most of my sampling are renters because the landlord doesn't belive there is a problem. As for radon testing yes Well water I sample and a lab here in town test the water.Septic good money maker I subcontract it out He makes money and so do and I don't leave the office


  36. #36
    Greg D. Dames's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mold and/or Radon testing..

    Hi Tim - Mold is the dirty word when its not proven up. I have been using "Suspected Bio-Organic Growth" (BOG) for short. Just does not scare folks so much. Since all I do it MOLD and Thermographic work I try to keep things under control and logical.

    Anyway good luck.

    Greg D. Dames
    National ThermoGraphic Inspections
    Pacific Mold Assessment


  37. #37
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    Default Re: Mold and/or Radon testing..

    Tim & Greg,

    You both test or sample for mold or do mold "assessment" but are hesistant to say the word mold.

    Whats up with that?

    If I see mold, I say I see mold. Why beat around the bush.

    rick


  38. #38
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    Default Re: Mold and/or Radon testing..

    May not be mold Unless it is sampled you can not say it is mold Law suit


  39. #39
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    Default Re: Mold and/or Radon testing..

    As a consumer I would think if someone is in the mold assessment business they'd be able to at a minimum state something is mold.

    rick


  40. #40
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    Default Re: Mold and/or Radon testing..

    Quote Originally Posted by Timothy M. Barr View Post
    May not be mold Unless it is sampled you can not say it is mold Law suit
    Can you cite a case that a home inspector was sued because they said it was mold and later it turned out not to be mold? I have heard this before but I have never seen anything to back it up.

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

  41. #41
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    Default Re: Mold and/or Radon testing..

    Can not say I have heard of a case but then again I don't want to be the first. Say that you tell the client that it is mold ,the client backs out of the deal because of what you said. Home owner has it tested and finds that it is dirt .Somebody is going to be mad as a wet chicken. That is why I state it Mold Like Substance That way it take me out of the picture.


  42. #42
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    Default Re: Mold and/or Radon testing..

    Quote Originally Posted by Timothy M. Barr View Post
    Can not say I have heard of a case but then again I don't want to be the first. Say that you tell the client that it is mold ,the client backs out of the deal because of what you said. Home owner has it tested and finds that it is dirt .Somebody is going to be mad as a wet chicken. That is why I state it Mold Like Substance That way it take me out of the picture.
    Again, any home inspector worth their weight in salt will be able to tell the difference between dirt, eyeliner and mold. If you can't tell the difference then you might just deserve to be sued.

    Been doing this too long and I have seen too many homes with mold, it's just not that difficult to tell what you are looking at. The mold schools and labs have everyone scared and convinced that you must test the blasted stuff before you can call it what it is.

    It is what it is and nothing more, don't try to make it what it isn't.

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

  43. #43
    Greg D. Dames's Avatar
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    Cool Re: Mold and/or Radon testing..

    Rick + Scott - I have been around enough of the stuff to know it when I see it but its the folks I'm dealing with that need to be slowly brought into the real world. I don't like spending folks money needlessly and when I feel comfortable with the clients and the situation have no problems dealing with the issues. When I am dealing with someone that needs to be brought along and educated then I take the less abrupt approach and bring them around to a clear way of thinking about it not the "Media Hyped up Way" . There is no such thing as "Black Toxic Mold" that is pure media crap.

    Some of my commercial clients some of which are hospitals or health care facialities fall into the "I don't want to know and I'm scared catagory" they are the BOG folks. But then they want to know what it is and that is when I test. Air samples will give me the type but not the species.

    As far I am concerned the remediation contractors that don't want to know what they are dealing with even though it is open and obvious have an exposure when clearance testing is completed and the testing outside of containment shows that there is a contamination problem that they did not know about - then they can be blamed for the contamination. A simple test or two up front elimantes this surprise at the end of the remediation.

    It can be a real delema when testing at the conclusion of remediation turns out that the contained area passes but the remaindeer of the house or building fails.

    So call it what ever you want and feel comfortable calling it. Its your clients that need to be set on the right path. I just have found that when testing is not going to be done that BOG gets my point across and raises questions that I want asked.

    It is what it is - your perfectly correct, if that is what it is.

    Last edited by Greg D. Dames; 02-26-2008 at 01:24 PM.

  44. #44
    Greg D. Dames's Avatar
    Greg D. Dames Guest

    Default Re: Mold and/or Radon testing..

    It is what it is

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  45. #45
    Ben Christianson's Avatar
    Ben Christianson Guest

    Default Re: Mold and/or Radon testing..

    I also do septic systems which will allow me to conduct a water quality test. Per state regs, I cannot do just a water sample. It has to be in conjunction with a septic test/inspection.

    Ben


  46. #46
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
    Ted Menelly Guest

    Default Re: Mold and/or Radon testing..

    I do not do water testing, septic, mold, radon. Nothing but home and building inspections. I do not refer electricians, plumbers etc, etc. I am happy not to head further out in the country. If a septic system is older and does need checking they are much better off to get a septic company. Dumping dye in the water, Phooey. I do check if the aerobic systems are working. Check the sprinklers. I do pool and spa inspections.

    When you refer someone in Texas you are supposed to give folks a form stating whether or not you are making anything on the referral.

    I know several inspectors that refer alarm companies and actually get paid for the referral (15.00 or better).

    Close to a 100% of the clients are using Realtors and Realtors always have a list for their area.

    I will use my 4 years in Texas as an example. If, and I say a big if, I have lost 4 inspections because I do not do other inspections or refer other individuals from other trades, that would be stretching it.

    I do have a termite tech license (inactive but continuing ed up to date).

    I do set up the termite inspection (WDI) from an outside company for my clients and they know it is just a convenience for them. What the termite folks charge is what the customer gets charged and no more.

    Some one asked about doing mold tests in texas. No you can not and give anyone your findings unless you have past a mold course. I suppose you could but you could not charge them for it.


  47. #47
    Shawn Garza's Avatar
    Shawn Garza Guest

    Default Re: Mold and/or Radon testing..

    The company I work for, QuanTEM Laboratories, obviously has an interest in what tests are required by home inspectors. So, I'm sure many of you will recognize that we have a vested interest in promoting mold, lead and other testing. That being said, I would like to give our opinion on mold in particular.

    Some home inspectors don't want to test for mold and their disclaimers (along with most relevant state legislation) protects home inspectors from having to test for it. However, as there is no such thing a perfect pre-nuptial agreement, there is no such thing as a perfect disclaimer. Even if the law protects you from reporting mold, there are costs involved in getting an attorney just to get you removed from any tort action that may arise.

    We also believe that most home inspectors truly want to provide the best possible service they can to their clients. If a home inspector runs upon a mold-like substance, we believe it is in everyone's best interest to take a simple tape lift and have that substance tested. It's a cheap analysis and it gives the home inspector a better feel of what to recommend (if anything) to the client.

    Case in point: In Phoenix last year, one of the local news stations decided to investigate claims of fraudulant mold remediation companies. The station went into a house and smudged some everyday mascara along a baseboard in the bathroom. They then had the homeowner contact a number of mold remediation companies who all came in and estimated remediation costs of $1,000-$2,000. Only one company suggested testing the substance to determine if it was indeed mold.

    If a home inspector encountered a similar substance, we believe that he or she could say, "Hey, before you start panicking, let's test this and make sure we know what we're looking at." Then, the home inspector is better informed and can say that the homeowner has a substance that has tested positive for mold or he can say, "You need to keep your make-up away from your kids."

    We believe that by doing a simple, cheap test when encountering a mold-like substance, the home inspector can provide better information for the client, protect himself from liability issues, and, as an aside, maybe make a little extra money in the process.

    The story from Phoenix: 5 Investigates Mold Remediators - Phoenix News Story - KPHO Phoenix

    Thank you for the opportunity to respond.

    Shawn Garza
    Business Development
    QuanTEM Laboratories, LLC


  48. #48
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    Default Re: Mold and/or Radon testing..

    Quote Originally Posted by Shawn Garza View Post
    Case in point: In Phoenix last year, one of the local news stations decided to investigate claims of fraudulent mold remediation companies. The station went into a house and smudged some everyday mascara along a baseboard in the bathroom. They then had the homeowner contact a number of mold remediation companies who all came in and estimated remediation costs of $1,000-$2,000. Only one company suggested testing the substance to determine if it was indeed mold.

    I would have said to clean it off with some bleach and water mix, cost: $1 ... versus a rip off mold sample test of $250.

    NOW tell us where the "fraudulent" activities are.

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

  49. #49
    Shawn Garza's Avatar
    Shawn Garza Guest

    Default Re: Mold and/or Radon testing..

    $250????? Wow!

    At QuanTEM, analysis of a tape lift with a 24 hour turnaround is $25, or one-tenth of what you have just written, and that includes the sampling media.

    Also, would you have told them that they might want to look for a moisture problem, or to call in a mold inspector, or to just clean it up and hope that it doesn't return?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    I would have said to clean it off with some bleach and water mix, cost: $1 ... versus a rip off mold sample test of $250.

    NOW tell us where the "fraudulent" activities are.



  50. #50
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    Default Re: Mold and/or Radon testing..

    Quote Originally Posted by Shawn Garza View Post
    $250????? Wow!

    At QuanTEM, analysis of a tape lift with a 24 hour turnaround is $25, or one-tenth of what you have just written, and that includes the sampling media.
    You expect anyone, much less a home inspector to go out there and do a mold sampling test for $25???

    Also, would you have told them that they might want to look for a moisture problem, or to call in a mold inspector, or to just clean it up and hope that it doesn't return?
    That was not being addressed in your post, you were addressing selling unneeded services, which was the point of referencing and including that news story - selling unneeded services.

    Yes, looking for the moisture (the problem) causing the fuzzy stuff (a symptom) is what Home Inspectors do.

    THEN, once the problem is addressed, all you need to do is "clean it up". You don't need a mold test ... with a few exceptions, such as when a family member is allergic to it, in which case the family member should be tested to see what they are allergic to, then, and only then, do you call in ... and industrial hygienist to assess the environment - you do not call in a home inspector for that.

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

  51. #51
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
    Ted Menelly Guest

    Default Re: Mold and/or Radon testing..

    There was mold inside a bath cabinet on a fairly new home I inspected today. There had been a leak and it was repaired. I had absolutely no problem in the slightes in telling my client there was some mold under the bath cabinet that needed to be taken care of.

    I am a state license home inspector and I do not test for mold other than with the old (and getting older) eyeballs. In saying that I have absolutely no problem what so ever for telling my clients when I see mold and almost every single occasion I could tell them the cause and repair (leak, whatever). I guess I have been ripping myself off for ever for not doing the whole swab, canister, tape thing and charging good money for it.

    To me it is and always will be a freeby to the clients. Now if I see it in HVAC systems and I can tell for a fact it has been blowing thru the duct work I tell them to obtain and HVAC company to change out the duct work and clean up the system. I have no problem with telling them that either.

    The only time I could possibly see a need for an entire home and air sampling is like Jerry said about someone with a serious alergy problem. Then that touch of hidden mold may be of concern.

    There is mold (of some kind) in every home on the planet.

    Someone mentioned the histerical dye test for septics. Now that is histerical. I mentioned above that I have not lost jobs for not doing other tests. Well. I can think of one realtor that I was highly recommended to that was going to start referring me and the first job had a septic system. She asked if I did dye test and (this is another "Maybe I should not have laughed" I laughed and then explained the absolute meaningless nonsence for such a test. I told her if she wanted me to I would do a step and sniff test in the back yard and look for greener patches of grass. I told her that the property was only a few years old and the tank more than likely not even have to be pumped for several years. If she really wanted to she could have the client higher a septic company to pump the tank to check the inside and have them do a perk test at the leaching area. I told her I would test the pumps and airation system for them. She never referred me Don't know why

    Last edited by Ted Menelly; 05-08-2009 at 03:56 PM.

  52. #52

    Default Re: Mold and/or Radon testing..

    Hi Ted –

    Just to chime in – I regularly get phone calls from Realtors and home buyers asking about indoor “mould testing.” In over 90% of those phone calls, by the end of the call I have talked myself out of work, since we explain to the Realtor or home buyer, that their Home Inspector is perfectly qualified to make a statement about the presence or absence of mould, provided they do NOT do any testing, and they do NOT refer to themselves as a “certified mould inspector" (or whatever).

    We explain that if the Home Inspector DOES collect samples, or refer to themselves as a “certified mould” whatever, then that is their first indication that the Home Inspector does NOT know anything about mould.

    Just stirring the pot at 9,000 feet, Gents.

    Cheers!
    Caoimhín P. Connell
    Forensic Industrial Hygienist
    Forensic Industrial Hygiene

    (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


  53. #53
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    Default Re: Mold and/or Radon testing..

    Quote Originally Posted by Caoimhín P. Connell View Post
    Just to chime in – I regularly get phone calls from Realtors and home buyers asking about indoor “mould testing.” In over 90% of those phone calls, by the end of the call I have talked myself out of work, since we explain to the Realtor or home buyer, that their Home Inspector is perfectly qualified to make a statement about the presence or absence of mould, provided they do NOT do any testing, and they do NOT refer to themselves as a “certified mould inspector" (or whatever).

    We explain that if the Home Inspector DOES collect samples, or refer to themselves as a “certified mould” whatever, then that is their first indication that the Home Inspector does NOT know anything about mould.

    Just stirring the pot at 9,000 feet, Gents.

    Well said and well stirred, now let it simmer on low setting for, oh, about 2 weeks ...

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

  54. #54
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
    Ted Menelly Guest

    Default Re: Mold and/or Radon testing..

    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Menelly View Post
    There was mold inside a bath cabinet on a fairly new home I inspected today. There had been a leak and it was repaired. I had absolutely no problem in the slightes in telling my client there was some mold under the bath cabinet that needed to be taken care of.

    I am not a state license * "home" (should have said mold)* inspector and I do not test for mold other than with the old (and getting older) eyeballs. In saying that I have absolutely no problem what so ever for telling my clients when I see mold and almost every single occasion I could tell them the cause and repair (leak, whatever). I guess I have been ripping myself off for ever for not doing the whole swab, canister, tape thing and charging good money for it.

    To me it is and always will be a freeby to the clients. Now if I see it in HVAC systems and I can tell for a fact it has been blowing thru the duct work I tell them to obtain and HVAC company to change out the duct work and clean up the system. I have no problem with telling them that either.

    The only time I could possibly see a need for an entire home and air sampling is like Jerry said about someone with a serious alergy problem. Then that touch of hidden mold may be of concern.

    There is mold (of some kind) in every home on the planet.

    Someone mentioned the histerical dye test for septics. Now that is histerical. I mentioned above that I have not lost jobs for not doing other tests. Well. I can think of one realtor that I was highly recommended to that was going to start referring me and the first job had a septic system. She asked if I did dye test and (this is another "Maybe I should not have laughed" I laughed and then explained the absolute meaningless nonsence for such a test. I told her if she wanted me to I would do a step and sniff test in the back yard and look for greener patches of grass. I told her that the property was only a few years old and the tank more than likely not even have to be pumped for several years. If she really wanted to she could have the client higher a septic company to pump the tank to check the inside and have them do a perk test at the leaching area. I told her I would test the pumps and airation system for them. She never referred me Don't know why

    This is and older post. Another fine example of why I should check what I write on here.


  55. #55
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    Default Re: Mold and/or Radon testing..

    In most cases "mold" is simply a surface fungus caused by a moisture condition. Remove the water and the fungus is taken care of.


  56. #56
    Patrick McCaffery's Avatar
    Patrick McCaffery Guest

    Default Re: Mold and/or Radon testing..

    I do not test for mold, as I believe that most of us know what mold looks like. As many others have stated, the most important aspect of a home inspection is to determine the cause of the problem. I do not state that it is mold, but that it appears to be a mold like substance. Unless you test for it you cannot say for 100 % that it is mold.
    I do test for Radon, as it is colorless, odorless and tasteless.


  57. #57
    Ray LePera's Avatar
    Ray LePera Guest

    Default Re: Mold and/or Radon testing..

    I just saw an episode of "Holmes On Homes" on DIY. All the family, including their two small children were severely affected by mold in their house. Holmes brought in a mold expert/scientist. They did very extensive testing with certain equipment to find out exactly where the mold was coming from, how it got in, and how much of it there was in the whole house. Then the clean up and repairs were made. Very interesting. So, if mold is suspected by the inspector, I would note it in the report and recommend an expert come in to do the testing.


  58. #58
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    Default Re: Mold and/or Radon testing..

    Quote Originally Posted by Jason Welch View Post
    I am curious..how many offer Mold and/or Radon as an ancillary service? Not sure how to set up a poll...
    Mold is out the window for me. As of July 1st , 2011 Virginia will have a licensing program for anyone performing mold inspecting, testing, analysis, and remediation. I don't do enough to justify the cost of going to another certification course and I have enough CE requirements with HI and Radon. I don't need to add more. I don't have a problem with licensing. It's the cost vs. return issue

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

  59. #59
    martyall's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mold and/or Radon testing..

    Mold is the needs for extra service other than the original services. I really like to serve that kind of service.


  60. #60
    Tom Camp's Avatar
    Tom Camp Guest

    Default Re: Mold and/or Radon testing..

    I offer Mold and Radon, I have more calls for Radon testing in the Colorado Springs area and about 60 percent of the homes I test are above 4.0 pCi/L.


  61. #61
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    Default Re: Mold and/or Radon testing..

    I perform the HI and sub out radon, termite, mold, lead, and water. Septic, well, and pool inspections I leave up to the buyer to setup with a company of their choosing. I plan to start doing my own WDI inspections sometime this year. I regularly see evidence before my sub even gets to the house so I might as well take it on and collect the full fee for it.

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

  62. #62
    Michael Avis's Avatar
    Michael Avis Guest

    Default Re: Mold and/or Radon testing..

    We offer Mold, Radon, Termite (WDI) and Water Testing because we are in business to turn a profit while providing thorough, factual and sometimes scientifically proven information. We do not suggest these services unless it seems relevant to the home inspection or conditions. We have a conscience.

    Not a single post here mentions mycotoxins with regards to mold. Not all mold is bad fellas but some is really bad. Those species that produce mycotoxins can kill. You can't rely on your peepers to tell the difference. Those of you who profess to protecting your clients from frivolous lab fees are really doing your clients a disservice and yourselves a business disservice as well.

    If you find mold on a HI you should recommend testing by a simple tape lift to identify the species and its danger level. You should also charge for this at a level that returns a modest profit. You should do this for business reasons but you should also recommend this because you have a moral obligation to apprise your clients of the possibilities.

    Do you know if anyone living in the home is elderly, asthmatic or allergy prone? No you don't. Better to err on the side of caution and educate your clients.

    I see nothing wrong with protecting my clients and turning a profit at the same time. They are not mutually exclusive.


  63. #63
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    Dec 2010
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    Nazareth, Pa 18064
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    Default Re: Mold and/or Radon testing..

    Radon
    Septic Evaluations
    Wood Destroying Insect Inspection
    Mold
    Water Testing
    At the least, it doubles my income over just doing home inspections.
    I have a hard time understanding why all HI's don't do them as long as it's legal and you're insured and trained.

    Mold testing is not a waste of money. Many remediation companies in my area want independant testing done before they will even come out for and estimate to remediate. They need to protect their employees and need to know what they are dealing with. And at the end of the job they insist on independant clearance testing.

    However for each company that cares about their employees there are several who don't give a hoot. But that's another story.


  64. #64
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    Default Re: Mold and/or Radon testing..

    Moisture Assessments/Mold Testing
    Radon
    Energy
    Construction Management/QC
    Accessibility Assessments
    Rehab Consulting
    Litigation

    I broke down and got a mold sampling kit a few years back because of constantly being asked. I, too, tend to talk people out of testing, but do sell a lot of 'assessments' that look for the moisture source (eyeballs, moisture meter, and InfraRed). I charge a good fee for looking and reporting and offer the sampling as an option.

    I was fortunate in that I had the local public housing authority contract me to do an assessment and sampling on a foreclosed housing development that they were going to buy that had been left open to the elements. Paid for all of the mold kit and then some, so now it is a useful selling point for home inspections that I can 'test as necessary' as part of the inspection. Even better, I always tell them that I look for 'conditions conducive to mold growth' as part of a routine home inspection (i.e.: look for moisture) like we all do, but it makes it sound like I'm giving them a better inspection than the next guy.

    I also bought an infrared camera at about the same time and, while I don't get many energy assessments, I do use it a lot for subsurface moisture investigations. It hasn't paid for itself yet, but it has saved my ass by showing up moisture that I would have missed otherwise during a home inspection. Now I routinely scan all below grade areas and anything near plumbing. Adds 10 minutes to the inspection but more than worth it. And adds another selling point over the other guys.

    I do sample for mold when the call starts with medical concerns and there is no mold immediately evident. In fact, I want to market directly to the local docs since assessing the patient's home environment should be part of their diagnostic procedure. Anyone have thoughts on that?

    Mark Fisher
    Allegany Inspection Service - Cumberland MD 21502 - 301-722-2224
    Home Inspections, Mold Testing, Thermal Imaging

  65. #65
    Garry Blankenship's Avatar
    Garry Blankenship Guest

    Default Re: Mold and/or Radon testing..

    Just home inspections. I am in WA St and also carry a separately controled and issued Structural Pest Inspector license, but have never done an exclusively S.P.I. inspection. No radon either, but I am in the coastal reigon of Wa St which has reportedly low radon levels, while the Eastern part of the state has statistical areas of concern.


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