Re: HVAC Mold Inspections
Posted by Rem Dude on 4/16/08
1. You are responsible for your own health - period.
2. If you care about your health and IAQ exposure, then take matters into your own hands - remember
3. An IAQ inspection is harmless, does not cost a fortune, and takes less than a few hours -
remember point 1.
4. An annual inspection catches little problems before they become big problems - remember point 1.
5. Sitting on your ass waiting from someone else to rescue you only demonstrates ignorance -
remember point 1.
6. If your health and peace-of-mind is not worth the $250, then continue to ignore the issue -
remember point 1.
The solution is quite simple - become informed and proactive.
On 4/16/08, Mold Bleeder wrote:
> You're talking in circles. Lemme see if I understand you correctly:
> The standard you are holding up for tenants is that they are essentially required to test for
> something they are told can't hurt them because just in case the prevailing belief is incorrect and
> mold/mycotoxins DO end up hurting them, it's their fault for not having done the work the owner is
> supposed to do in return for the rent they are paying.
> Did I get that right? I mean it's only $250 and all, right? Everyone should know this, right?
> So, please remind me, how is it, again, that you think a prospective tenant should KNOW a)about
> IAQ/mold inspections and b) that they need to pay for what ought to be the responsibility of the
> owner ahead of moving in when the medical community insists that mold can't hurt you?
> Look RD, you seem like a reasonable person, but this belief is part of the problem that sustains
> wide scale ignorance of the danger because you are holding people accountable for information they
> have no way to access ahead of the risk they are getting into.
> The responsibility for ensuring a building is habitable at the time the tenant enters a lease is
> with the owner. To argue that it ought to be otherwise given the denial that there is any problem
> is nonsensical.
> Is it worth advising the public that they ought to pressure for regular checking or to do it
> themselves? Absolutely, but to hold a tenant responsible for the duties of the person who is
> receiving rent is simply not reasonable.
> In our case, there was no HVAC - the building was built in the early 1900s. Are you saying our
> building ought to have been tested by us annually as well? We lived in an extremely temperate
> climate very close to the ocean where our primary climate control was opening doors at either end
> the apartments to get a cross breeze.
> The owner learned there was mold infestation in the building during the inspection she was required
> to do while she was in escrow, although that information didn't come to light until recently.
> were several sources of water intrusion, apparently. Then, a couple years later there was a sewer
> pipe leak under the building that went untended for some time, which is what created the situation
> that we eventually discovered.
> In our case, we did, ultimately, fork out money to have testing done to the tune of $1500 to have
> three of the four units tested - primarily air sampling and a small handful of swabs. We'd called
> the city prior to that and the health department signed off that the mold had been addressed
> (although they never re-entered the property to *see* that this had occurred) and the department
> that deals with buildings never filed its report.
> The owner was sent the results of the enviro testing we did which indicated the building needed
> more serious testing given that it was likely there was mold in the floors, ceilings and walls.
> Four years later, no additional inspection has been done (we're still in touch with one of the
> tenants). Mold is still growing in the building and tenants come and go having had weird health
> issues crop up by the time they leave. This is 'income' property for the owner - she seems to have
> a pretty strict standard of what monies she'll out-go for it.
> During the few months when we began to realize that, perhaps, our freakish health symptoms were
> related to mold, our doctors swore there was no way they could be, until one of us got an asthma
> diagnosis. The mold kept getting wiped off of the surfaces and regrowing in a very short time.
> owner told the tenants in that unit where mold was visible to clean it with bleach, which we now
> know made the situation more dangerous since bleach and some mycotoxins mixed become a chemical
> substance similar to clordane (if I remember the name correctly) - a serious neurotoxin (as if
> Ochratoxin and Trichothecene weren't bad enough).
> You toss around $250 like it's no big thang. Maybe in your practice you offer a 'tenant move-in
> special' testing price, but after all we've been through in our specific situation, we spent a lot
> more than that to get information that was essentially useless while we were trying to assess the
> situation as tenants. I'm sure YOUR service for $250 may actually BE what every tenant needs, but
> ours was pretty shoddy. We hadn't known anyone else to have testing, so we didn't have anyone to
> turn to for a recommendation. No one was dead yet, so we didn't understand the stakes we were up
> against we so impossibly high. We didn't know that air sampling generally only catches 1&37; of
> in the air. We didn't know, that we should be testing for mycotoxins in addition to mold. We
> didn't know that we should be doing viable spore sampling in addition to non-viable. At this
> we've actually spent closer to $6000 dollars on testing to be able to show that what is in the
> tissues of my dead neighbor is on the premises. (We've even had air sampling done by Omni 3000.)
> THAT is really what you are holding tenants to in a situation where it's bad.
> At present, your industry has been a part of the problem because you don't offer real education to
> the public - what one finds when one goes looking for environmental testing is hyperbolic Ads that
> scare people and then don't give a realistic expectation of what will actually be tested (and more
> importantly, how much ISN'T). When the average person checks with their doctor to see if they
> *need* to know if this stuff is in the air or the walls, they are told not to waste their money.
> Honestly, whom are most people going to believe, the guy who advertises a $250 testing special in
> the phone book or the family doctor? I mean, it is not my intent to denigrate your industry, I
> think it's extremely important, but the guy who did the most recent sampling for us was INSULTED
> that we weren't going to have him do the actual testing - we needed him for chain of custody, and
> that's what we asked him to provide and he nearly refused us because he wanted to evaluate the
> building. The samples he took went to an M.D. with advanced training who'd done the tissue testing
> we needed to compare to whatever grew - but, goodness, the sampler whose feelings we hurt had a
> whole junior college degree AND a certificate for a number of hours of training...
> There is hubris and misunderstanding and misinformation all around - plenty to blame on everyone.
> But I'd really prefer to see collusion in the interest of education rather than amassing blame.
> Until that becomes the way this is handled, there had better be a court system, as skewed as it is
> against people who have been injured.
> On 4/16/08, Rem Dude wrote:
>> That is why an annual IAQ/mold inspection is so important - catch little problems before they
>> become BIG problems.
>>> The fact remains that very few people know that mold is a problem for which there is a need for
Posts on this thread, including this one