Shopping for an elegant, $ 2,000,000 home in Utah? It may have mold…
I did an inspection yesterday in a more upscale neighborhood of Holladay, and the experience was a little different than my typical inspection. The initial call came in, and the customer was concerned about a drain leak that had discolored some drywall. They had repaired the leak, but the wall paper on the wall was dark and discolored; they were concerned they might have a mold problem. During my inspection, I not only did a physical inspection, but I also collected air samples, which can conclusively determine whether or not something that appears to be mold, is in fact mold. In addition to the drain leak, I also noticed some discoloration on the ceiling, from what appeared to be an old roof leak. I made notes of this to include in my report.
When the air sample test results came back from the lab, they confirmed what I had seen and suspected: there were high levels of mold in the areas I inspected when compared with the outside samples taken. Up until this point, everything had gone normally. My conversation with the homeowner following the test results blew me away. First, the homeowner had been doing ‘research’ on the internet, and he had convinced himself that the mold could just be treated with some magical chemical, like bleach only better. He knew that such a product existed! I told him I would buy some if I knew where to get the product, it just doesn’t exist. He also couldn’t understand why I was concerned about previous damage from the roof leak. He told me over and over again that the roof leak had been fixed, and that his issues were related to the drain leak. I referred him to the Restoration Industry Association, and to basic guidelines from the EPA. Even their loose standards don’t recommend any of the things my customer was talking about.
Why do people with good information make bad decisions? I don’t know, that’s the million dollar question I guess. Or in this case, the two million dollar question.