Inspect for Mold Where It Grows
Have you recently had a mold inspection done yet you strongly suspect the mold inspector did a sloppy job and missed mold? Do you still smell mold or are still getting sick? Did a previous inspector rely heavily on air samples and neglect to conduct an inspection?
I once conducted an inspection for the source of mold odors in a 4000 square foot home in Cutler Ridge, South of Miami and East of Kendall, Fl. This was not the first mold inspection at this property. The clients had previously hired a mold inspector to conduct the mold testing and inspection a month earlier before they purchased the house.
That initial inspector did pick up elevated spore levels with his air sampling equipment but failed to detect the mold odors with his nose, and he failed to visually locate the source of the mold during the an investigation.
As stated above that previous mold inspector found elevated spore levels but he could not tell the clients where it was coming from. This caused much unnecessary distress with the home buyers.
|During my inspection I discovered that the property had mold in two locations; one was in the AC closet on one end of the house. The other area was in an appliance in the laundry room on the other end of the house. In both locations the mold was visible and the odor was easily detected.|
| AC closets are notorious for having mold and moisture damage because most AC units leak condensation water some time in their lives, and these leaks often go unnoticed for weeks or months before they are discovered and corrected. The damage and odor was not hard to find, so it is unfortunate that the initial mold inspector did not simply open up this AC closet, get on his knees and inspect for mold under the AC unit. |
The other mold problem was on the rubber gasket inside the front end loading clothes washer on the opposite end of the home. This Cladosporium mold growth caused the entire laundry room to smell moldy and have elevated spore levels that sometimes were present and sometimes were not.
The amount of mold growing in any washer is not likely to be excessive. It is not as much a health concern as the above mentioned mold found in the AC closet where the moldy air is pulled into, then distributed by the AC unit; however, in the washer the mold growth was heavy enough to create quite a noticeable foul odor in the laundry room.
More recently I found the exact same mold problem on the gasket in a front end loader washer in a 6000 sf home during a 2011 mold inspection in Boca Raton Florida.
|In a room with mold odor, anything wet should be inspected for mold, including something as seemingly innocent as a clothes washer. I can honestly understand if an inspector neglects to open a front end loading washer to inspect for mold. This is a unusual place for an inspector to look, but mold inspectors often feel that they are testing your air for mold and not inspecting for mold.|
In reality we should be testing your air for mold but more importantly we should be inspecting anything that could conceivably be a breeding ground for mold, including the rubber door gasket of a front end loading washer, the moldy clothes in a closet in a Miami Beach, Florida condo, the interior of your AC unit that is inside your 110F attic, or even the crawl space under your home after dark because the client ordered a late inspection.
And if a mold inspector must lay on his back to do an inspection for mold on the bottom side of evaporator coils in an AC unit then this is what must be done. These are all places very commonly overlooked by many mold inspectors, but are all places where mold very commonly grows.
Such measures are often needed because mold will grow anywhere leaking moisture contacts a surface, or anywhere warm humid air contacts a cool surface.
Regarding the clients with the mold in the washer, they are not the only people with a moldy clothes washer. This is in fact a chronic problem with some front end loading washers. Below is information from a blog at: http://blogs.consumerreports.org/home/2008/08/mold-on-washers.html :“Front-loaders don’t have a spotless reputation. We’ve received myriad comments from readers about water left behind at the end of the wash cycle, bleach spotting, excessive vibrations, unhelpful service reps, and other complaints common to all washers. But one issue seems unique to front-loaders: mold buildup in the rubber gasket of the door and the resulting odor on clothes. The mold problem is so widespread that class-action suits are targeting LG, Whirlpool, and Sears, whose Kenmore front-loaders are made by Whirlpool. The Maytag Neptune front-loading washer line has been part of a similar lawsuit, for which a settlement was reached. One Consumer Reportsreader had a Whirlpool Duet for four months when it and her family’s clothes began to smell of mold. She contacted the manufacturer, which she says told her to clean the machine twice a week with bleach, wipe the door down after each wash, and leave the door open to dry it out. “I work full time and have five children—four who do their own laundry,” says Merryl Nall of Collierville, Tennessee, says. “Needless to say, that would not work.” Whirlpool took back the washer, and Nall has switched to a top-loader. (You'll find more discussions about mold in washers in this forum.)Mold, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, can cause symptoms that include nasal stuffiness, eye irritation, wheezing, or skin irritation, fever, and shortness of breath. For people with chronic lung illnesses, mold infections can develop in their lungs. And exposure to mold can also bring on asthma attacks.”