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Thread: mold question

  1. #1
    Debra Sabet's Avatar
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    Default mold question

    If mold is found in a basement but no visual mold signs of mold. No drywall, no ceiling tiles, pretty much empty, just a few small carpets.

    Where could the mold be in order to remidiate. How would one remidate when there is no mold.

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    Last edited by Debra Sabet; 09-23-2010 at 11:21 PM. Reason: privacy issues
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  2. #2
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    Default Re: mold question

    Wrong questions don't have right answers.

    Jim Luttrall
    www.MrInspector.net
    Plano, Texas

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    Default Re: mold question

    Quote Originally Posted by Debra Sabet View Post
    High mold count (32,0000) found in a basement but no visual mold signs of mold. No drywall, no ceiling tiles, pretty much empty, just a few small carpets.

    Where could the mold be in order to remidiate. How would one remidate when there is no mold.
    This is where you need to ask the person that did the mold testing! They should be able to tell you what is causing the mold. If they are just testing and not determining the cause of the problem then they are just selling snake oil!

    It could be the carpet, is it wet? If it it then get rid of it. Heck, even if it is not wet get rid of the carpet.

    Sounds like a mold charlatan at work, again!

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

  4. #4
    James Duffin's Avatar
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    Default Re: mold question

    Quote Originally Posted by Debra Sabet View Post
    High mold count (32,0000) found in a basement but no visual mold signs of mold. No drywall, no ceiling tiles, pretty much empty, just a few small carpets.

    Where could the mold be in order to remidiate. How would one remidate when there is no mold.
    Normally when a test result comes back high you test again to confirm the results. I would test again using a different company.


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    Default Re: mold question

    Quote Originally Posted by James Duffin View Post
    Normally when a test result comes back high you test again to confirm the results. I would test again using a different company.
    I wonder why the first test was even done ... oh, right, those Mold is Gold rip-off people.

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

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    Default Re: mold question

    See this Franklin Co. Ohio Web page - its a government site:FCBH - Mold in the Indoor Environment

    Unfortunately you've already been "tested". Realize you claim only suspicion was soot from candle burning (why wasn't the soot cleaned up then? House wasn't really "show worthy" yet?

    Guessing the Ohio home is unoccupied and has been closed up and not air conditioned, cleaned and kept clean, and/or occupied for some time, esp. this summer.

    Probably just needed to be aired out, cleaned, and then the A/C ran for a while to reduce humidity. If you left scatter rugs in the dark, cool, humid basement, especially if they were least bit dirty, they'd be the first to start smelling. If the home wasn't kept at reasonable lower realitive humidity, closed up, dirty, or if there is a water infiltration problem, or a leak, sure mold can flourish (not that it has, but it can).

    As you will read those "air samples" from indoors with a "control" "air sample" taken outdoors then taken to a "lab" and "encouraged to grow" are scientifically baseless for the most part.

    Talk to your Ohio attorney, shame you didn't consult him/her before you agreed to the testing, or had him/her review your relocation package, etc.. Take a look at the Franklin County (Ohio) page I linked to above, check out some of the links they provided at the bottom of the page.

    Good luck.

    Last edited by H.G. Watson, Sr.; 09-18-2010 at 10:06 PM.

  7. #7
    James Duffin's Avatar
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    Default Re: mold question

    Quote Originally Posted by Debra Sabet View Post
    The first test was done believe it or not because an appraiser thought candle soot on a bedroom ceiling was mold. So the relo company then ordered a no holds bare none mold test on our home and said if they find ANY type of mold we will no longer be able to be in the home buyout relocation part of our relocation package. We were stunned. So of course their inspector was set out to find mold----even though he didn't find any visual mold nor can the relo or him tell us where the bleep the mold is!!

    But they tell us we have to remidiate, but we are like what do we remididate? So now they will no longer purchase our home, we already purchased our new. Basically it's a nightmare and I'm trying to figure out what to do as far as this stupid report is concerned. I really don't want to do another air sample because I've read these are not very reliable.
    I'm not sure who told you that air test were unreliable but done properly they are accurate. The test are done the same as air test that are done after asbestos removal. You should get the test done by an industrial hygienist and not a mold removal company.


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    Default Re: mold question

    Mold readings?
    How much is Bad?

    Mold testing makes no sense without combined remediation.


  9. #9
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    Default Re: mold question

    All you can do is compare the inside air sample with the outside air sample and if the mold count is greater inside then you have a positive result. How it is dealt with is another issue completely.

    This is who I recommend to clients who have mold and asbestos issues. They do a good job but can be expensive.

    EEC, Inc. - Welcome

    Last edited by James Duffin; 09-19-2010 at 12:18 PM. Reason: Add web site

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    Default Re: mold question

    Quote Originally Posted by James Duffin View Post
    I'm not sure who told you that air test were unreliable but done properly they are accurate. The test are done the same as air test that are done after asbestos removal. You should get the test done by an industrial hygienist and not a mold removal company.
    Air sampling is not needed, and can give false results, and there is no "proper" way to do air sampling for mold - and to compare air sampling for mold to air sampling for asbestos is like trying to compare apples and oranges ...

    Lesson 3 | Chapter 3 | Mold Course | Mold | Indoor Air Quality | Air | US EPA

    "However, routine sampling for mold is not recommended."

    "Keep in mind that air sampling for mold provides information only for the moment when the sampling took place."

    A Brief Guide to Mold in the Workplace

    "
    If you are in doubt about sampling, consult an industrial hygienist or other environmental health or safety professional with experience in microbial investigations to help you decide if sampling for mold is necessary or useful, and to identify persons who can conduct any necessary sampling."

    Last edited by Jerry Peck; 09-19-2010 at 05:11 PM.
    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  11. #11
    Peter Drougas's Avatar
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    Default Re: mold question

    I have found myself having to help people when Appraisers say there is mold, simply by looking at something. Every time I have proven them wrong and wrote a letter to the Big Company that resulted in them backing down.

    One example was in the attic. Section of plywood stained grey (no fuzzy build up, nothing you could wipe), so the Appraiser called out mold. But it stopped at that piece. The next section over, and the rafters, were clean. So clearly the plywood was stained before it was even installed.

    One point I would like to make about Mold. Mold spores are everywhere. They can be reported on just like Pollen. Whenever you open the door to your house, mold spores can rush in.
    And since you would need moisture to make the mold grow and become a problem, you really would have a moisture issue first. Even if you saw the mold.
    And keep in mind remediation will only work if you never open another door or window, ever. Once you open the front door, mold spores will come in that are on you or flowing in the wind.

    I feel bad for you because somewhere there should have been someone to explain to the Jerk Company, that having mold spores in the house is no different than Pollen, dust, dander or any other particle. You live on planet Earth, you can't stop the spores. I would have also added a note about how unprofessional the Appraiser was to try to cover his as* by claiming mold, only due to staining. The stain only, could have been tested, but it still could be holding some spores.

    If you can't find a local Inspector who would stand up for you, the Attorney option seems to be the next best thing. Also using the links and information you have gathered here

    Good luck!


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    Default Re: mold question

    GREAT link, I had not seen this before. THANKS!

    Michael Thomas
    Paragon Property Services Inc., Chicago IL
    http://paragoninspects.com

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    Default Re: mold question

    Moisture is the cause of active fungus. Did anyone check the drywall walls with a moisture meter? There are species of fungus that conduct water from the humidity in the air. (Poria) It is possible that fungus is active in the walls. I have seen two cases of this in the last 38 years.


  14. #14
    Robert Pike's Avatar
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    Default Re: mold question

    Quote Originally Posted by Debra Sabet View Post
    High mold count (32,0000) found in a basement but no visual mold signs of mold. No drywall, no ceiling tiles, pretty much empty, just a few small carpets.

    Where could the mold be in order to remidiate. How would one remidate when there is no mold.
    More than likely the high spore count is from the carpeting.


  15. #15
    James Duffin's Avatar
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    Default Re: mold question

    The OP was looking for information as what to do about a sample with a high mold count. At this point the only thing she can do is hire someone more qualified (like an industrial hygienists) to conduct another test.

    If the first testing was done by an industrial hygienist then they should be able to come up with a mold remediation plan. But I would imagine the first tester was not really qualified so his results should be easy to disprove if there is no mold present.


  16. #16
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    Default Re: mold question

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Air sampling is not needed, and can give false results, and there is no "proper" way to do air sampling for mold - and to compare air sampling for mold to air sampling for asbestos is like trying to compare apples and oranges ...

    Lesson 3 | Chapter 3 | Mold Course | Mold | Indoor Air Quality | Air | US EPA

    "However, routine sampling for mold is not recommended."

    "Keep in mind that air sampling for mold provides information only for the moment when the sampling took place."

    A Brief Guide to Mold in the Workplace

    "
    If you are in doubt about sampling, consult an industrial hygienist or other environmental health or safety professional with experience in microbial investigations to help you decide if sampling for mold is necessary or useful, and to identify persons who can conduct any necessary sampling."
    The blanket statements that "Air sampling is not needed" and that "there is no proper way to do air sampling for mold" are not correct. Neither article sited (nor any other article I have read) makes those statements. They do say that "In most cases, if visible mold is present, sampling is unnecessary." The first article also says "Sampling may help locate the source of mold contamination, identify some of the mold species present, and differentiate between mold and soot or dirt. Surface sampling may be useful in determining if an area has been adequately cleaned or remediated. After remediation, the types and concentrations of mold in indoor air samples should be similar to those in the local outdoor air." In that I agree.

    Some of the mold organizations state that if visible mold is observed, a sample of each color of mold and a sample of mold from each surface is in order. That would be good to identify every mold present but would it accomplish anything? In most cases the answer is no. In addition, the cost of having all those samples analyzed at the lab would be outrageous.

    I do mold sampling but only recommend it when there is an indication that it will provide meaningful information. If I have a client that has a known mold alergy, they can have a need to determine if the mold concentrations inside the home are elevated. In that case, mold sampling would possibly be in order.

    It is true that results from mold sampling can very on different days and for that matter, at different times during an individual day. The information can be of very little use unless it is accompanied by a through visual inspection to determine if there is (1) visible mold growth or (2) indications of water intrusion that would support mold growth.

    I do mold inspections and sampling but lose a lot of business to others because I only do it when I believe that it will provide a benefit to the customer. I have had a number of people call me to do mold sampling and then contact another company because I would not just show up and take mold samples without doing a visual inspection first to determine if sampling was in order.

    The fact is that there is entirely too much hype about mold and that too often an inspector will show up just to take air samples when the likelihood of it answering any valid question is almost non existent. Air and surface samples can be useful to help identify the type and concentration of molds especially when there is an allergy related to a specific mold. That said, mold sampling should be reserved for those times that some meaningful information can be obtained and not used in every instance as a routine.

    To address the concern that started this thread, You need to contact someone who is more interested in finding the source of the problem than in just taking samples and stating that you have elevated mold. The problem could be located in hidden areas of the framing (especially along exterior walls), in crevices in the basement walls, around plumbing lines and drains etc. Only a good thorough visual investigation will find the problem (if it exists). If in fact you do have a problem, I would tend to lean toward it being in the carpet or the HVAC system.

    Robert Sole
    REM Inspections LLC
    www.REMinspections.com, Orlando, Oviedo

  17. #17
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    Default Re: mold question

    Quote Originally Posted by Debra Sabet View Post
    High mold count (32,0000) found in a basement but no visual mold signs of mold. No drywall, no ceiling tiles, pretty much empty, just a few small carpets.

    Where could the mold be in order to remidiate. How would one remidate when there is no mold.
    Debra, One single number is of little/no value. If a mold test is performed for the purpose of determining if there is abnormal mold or not, one must perform sampling of surrounding areas AND outside. In addition, the test results should disclose what type of testing was performed, duration, equipment used, environment, etc. Without that info the number 32,0000 is of no value.

    Ask for a copy of the full report and post it here for comments - I'll check back. Be sure to delete/obscure names, addresses, etc.

    Fred Comb, ACI
    Mahtomedi, MN
    www.homeinspectionsofmn.com

  18. #18
    David A. Rinaldi's Avatar
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    Exclamation Re: mold question

    Everything said below could be true, but I would look for an air infiltration pathway from a contaminated area. Example: half basement with a wet crawl space in the other half. David A. rinaldi, CIH


  19. #19
    James Duffin's Avatar
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    Default Re: mold question

    Quote Originally Posted by Debra Sabet View Post
    I'm still waiting for a copy of the serial numbers off the cassettes that I would think the lab should have?
    I'll try getting the report up. Also, company agrees to retest because of the inconclusive results.
    I bet they were suprised when you asked for serial #'s. Does the testing company do mold remediation too?


  20. #20
    Bruce Hutton's Avatar
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    Default Re: mold question

    Debra
    Make sure if they do the re-test based on inconclusive results, that the A/C system is up & running for 24-48 Hours before any additional testing. If you have a humidifier on the furnace (Doubtful in Texas)...Remove the humidifer cartridge as well...These can be contributors to mold.
    Can a tape lift on the candle soot be performed versus air sampling?
    Bruce


  21. #21
    James Duffin's Avatar
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    Default Re: mold question

    Quote Originally Posted by Debra Sabet View Post
    they were. they called me hard core (lol).
    I bet they called you more than that behind your back!

    Have they been able to show you any documentation as to why and how they are qualified to test for mold? Or did they just order what they needed on-line and started testing? If it is the later of the two you could have good case against them if push-comes-to-shove.


  22. #22
    James Duffin's Avatar
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    Default Re: mold question

    NC is the same way...anyone can be a mold inspector. My argument has always been that there are state licensed individuals (Industrial Hygienist) who are qualified to test for mold even though the state does not require them to be so why not use them? The reason is that they charge more. It sounds like you are at the point where you are going to have to hire your own expert to counter the other companies results.


  23. #23
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    Default Re: mold question

    Questions,
    Was the carpet new when installed or did it come from somwhere else?
    Check the drain in the basement.
    I've seen slime mold line the interior of the drain pipe from the floor to the waterline in the drain trap.
    As mentioned above You should compare the spores count to a control count taken from outdoors.
    Poria as mntioned above does not capture water from the air but needs a standing water source. It uses a capilary process to suck water from remote water sources but not the air.
    Carpets are like a sponge and can trap spores so even if no mold is present if it once was the spores could still remain in the carpet for very long times only waiting for moisture to give them an opportunity to become viable again. Short story is you need more info to come to a reasonable finding. The tester did not do well in the invetigation.


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