Fraudulent Mold Testing is More Common Than We Realize

By
Real Estate Agent

A house inspection is a very important part of property buying and selling process. Without proper inspection you can become a victim of fraud and end up buying a property that would require you to spend thousands of dollars more on the repairs and reconstructions to get rid of the faulty things. Likewise, mold and mildew property scams are increasing at a rapid rate in the real estate market.

Dishonest mold inspections can alter the mold test lab results to justify the need for unnecessary mold removal. Most inspectors can easily make a small mold problem seem overly-exaggerated. Similarly, these inspectors can also modify the results to minimize the mold spore or counts to enable their seller, insurance company, landlord or employer clients to escape from the responsibility of providing the claim payment from the insurance company and other known benefits.

Biased or dishonest mold inspectors are equipped with number of sources to twist the mold test results. One of the ways is to submit the mold samples from low-mod environment to the mold and mildew analysis laboratory. These samples are from another home or building, and not from the actual one which was supposed to be tested responsibly. Since mold air tests are done with different methods, there can be many shortcuts used by the inspectors to stew the results by playing with the actual samples. For instance: air sampling pump connected to an air testing cassette, which requires a precise time to submit the samples, with recommended time duration of five minutes and 15 liters of air intake per minute. Dishonest inspectors can wrongfully decrease or increase collected mold spore counts by using certain fraudulent methods like:

  • Modifying the actual test time duration by making less or more than 5 minutes of recommended time.
  • Setting the air pump air intake rate less or greater than the recommended 15 liters of air per minute.
  • Partially covering the air intake chute of the air testing cassette.

In this article, we’ll focus on explaining the tips on how to protect mold and mildew property frauds suffered by real estate buyers, insurance claimants, rental tenants, and employees, sometimes done for insurance companies, landlords, and realtors. Insured policyholders, property managers, property owners and buyers, and rental tenants, can protect themselves against mold test frauds by following the five given steps:

1. Hire Trained and Experienced Professional

The first step is to find and hire only experienced and trained professional to do the job. Look for Industrial Hygienist, Certified Mold Inspector, or Certified Environmental Hygienist who has the experience and the expertise to complete his/her job successfully under all circumstances. Check your list of references from friends, colleagues and relatives. You can also check the records at Better Business Bureau for the company and specialist you are considering to buy.

2. Pay For Independent Professional Mold Inspection

To make sure you get the right results, it is advised to hire your own professional and independent mold inspection officer for mold testing. Also, never trust the results given by mold inspection officer hired by the other parties involved in the deal, especially the ones who have financial interest.

3. Hire Another Inspector To Keep A Check On Procedures

Whether hired by you or someone else, it is a smart idea to have another inspector from a different agency accompanying the inspector taking samples and transporting them to the lab for tests. He should make sure that the test time duration and air intake match the recommended entries of the mold samples logged.

4. Take Pictures Of The Inspection Procedures

While the inspector at its job, take many pictures as possible of the inspector taking and storing the samples. Take close up pictures of all discovered and documented mold damage and water intrusion to the building, as well as its contents.

5. Get Details On Main Laboratory Chain Of Custody

It is crucial to have the mold laboratory chain of custody prepared in front of you, so you and the inspector can jointly deliver the samples in a trustworthy environment. The chain of custody should be in a sealed Post office express or FedEx for direct delivery to the authorized mold lab address. To schedule your mold inspection and testing, look for firms that provide authentic and reliable services for mold inspection facility. Do not forget to do your part of research to get the best possible services at reasonable rates.


Daniel Spindler from MoldExpert.com offers reliable mold inspection and testing services in South Florida. If mold is found on your property, he can referr you to a mold removal company (Mold inspections companies cannot perform mold removal services by law). If you are not sure how much mold inspection costs, check out MoldExpert.com's mold inspection prices.

Comments (1)

John Pusa
Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Crest - Glendale, CA
Your All Time Realtor With Exceptional Service

David - I was not aware of fraudulent mold testing is common. Thanks for the information.

Feb 28, 2014 01:14 PM