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1 An Annotated 4-Hour PowerPoint presentation by Susan C. Cooper, Ph.D.
The Truth about Mold An Annotated 4-Hour PowerPoint presentation by Susan C. Cooper, Ph.D. From The Truth about Mold, by Dr. Susan C. Cooper, published by Dearborn.

2 Course Content 1. What Is Mold?
2. How Does Mold Reproduce, and When Does It Thrive? 3. Why Has Mold Become a Problem? 4. Adverse Effects of Mold 5. Remediation 6. What Is the Solution? 7. How the Real Estate Professional Can Reduce Liability Course content: based on the book, The Truth about Mold Chapter 1. The Problem: introduction to the course—what are fungi, and what is mold? Chapter 2. How mold reproduces and what it needs to grow. Chapter 3. Why mold has become a problem and what different organizations are doing about it. Chapter 4. Adverse Effects of Mold: especially the health effects of non-toxic and “toxic” mold Chapter 5. Remediation: how to clean up a mold infestation--and when to call in professional help. Chapter 6. The Solution? Some proposed and enacted legislation. Many of the possible solutions to the mold problem are not known as yet. Chapter 7. How the Real Estate Professional Can Reduce Liability: how to decrease your liability in a real estate transaction

3 Is it something new? Just what IS it?
1. What Is Mold? Is it something new? Just what IS it?

4 Mold: General Stuff Mold: 4 million years old
Considered harmless nuisance until now Insufficient research to answer all our questions Many diverse opinions, especially online #4: Anyone can put anything on the Internet, so some is valid, some is not so valid, and some is downright fallacious.

5 What Are Fungi? Fungi (fun’-ji, plural; singular: fungus, fun’-gus)
Classified as a separate kingdom, like plants and animals (formerly considered to be plants) Over 100,000 to 1.5 million species Includes mushrooms, puffballs, yeasts, molds Fungus, singular (fun’-gus); fungi, plural (fun’-ji) Fungi now have their own kingdom because of their method of dealing with food.

6 Mold Is Everywhere! Found everywhere
Essential for life on earth—nature’s garbage disposal Feeds on dead plants and animals and their wastes Essential for the growth of some plants-helps some plants take in nutrients and water Mold: everywhere on earth.

7 Benefits of Molds Food: cheeses (e.g., Roquefort, Camembert, Gorgonzola) Drugs/medicines Penicillin discovered from a mold One chemical from mold used to prevent rejection of organ transplants One chemical from mold used to reduce high cholesterol Research—genetics, etc. Mold: also used in the Japanese paste called miso.

8 Common Household Molds
Number of species not known—at least 20,000—may be as many as 100,000 or even 250,000 species of molds Only about six common household molds Aspergillus Penicillium (produces penicillin) Fusarium Alternaria Mucor Cladosporium Some sources say there are more than 20,000 species, but who wants to count them? Note: “species” is a scientific term for a specific type of organism; members of a given species can interbreed. For example, in spite of the number of breeds existing, all dogs are members of ONE species. Pronunciations of common household molds (also provided in the Glossary): Aspergillus: as-per-jill—is; Penicillium: pe-ni-sil’-lee-um; Fusarium: fu-sar’-ee-um Alternaria: al-ter-nair’-ee-ah; Mucor: myoo’-cor; Cladosporium: clad-o-spo’-ree-um

9 The Structure of Mold Simple organisms Key terms:
Mycelium: the whole body of the mold Hyphae (hi’-fee, plural): tubular, branched strands (hypha, hi’-fa, singular) Mold, fungi: simple organisms, with a simple—but effective--structure and life cycle. Pronunciation: mycelium: my-see’-lee-um

10 2. How Does Mold Reproduce, and When Does It Thrive?
Specialized methods of reproduction Specialized conditions needed for growth

11 How Does Mold Reproduce, and When Does It Thrive?
Specialized methods for reproduction No male and female molds out to have a little fun! … So how do they reproduce? … Specialized conditions needed for growth Mold doesn’t grow everywhere or all the time … What does it need to grow? … Use of ellipses (…) indicates that this topic is covered in more detail in subsequent slides.

12 How Does Mold Reproduce?
Asexual reproductive organs—specialized hyphae Specialized hyphae: spores form in spore cases (sporangia) at the ends of the hyphae or Spores form unenclosed along the sides and/or ends of the hyphae Sporangia (plural): spo-ran’-gee-a (singular: sporangium). Form on “sporangiophores.” Conidia (plural: co-ni’-di-a) (singular: conidium): form along “conidiophores.”

13 Spores Very small and light Produced in large quantities
One puffball: produced 8 trillion spores! When ripe, distributed to the world at large: Discharged to the air OR Brushed off by critter or human and carried to new location on fur, feathers, clothing, etc. OR Picked up by breeze (outdoors) or air currents (indoors) Spores--microscopic

14 Spores—the Critical Factor
Spores: highly resistant, unlike mycelium Mycelium: can be destroyed with detergent and water Spores: resistant to nearly everything in dormant state; remain viable for years Start out in dormant (inactive) state Remain dormant until activated by presence of ALL conditions required for germination and growth

15 What Do Spores Need to Become Activated and Begin Growing?
A food source What do they eat?

16 What Do Spores Need? 1. A Food Source
Spores (and mold) usually feed on organic, nonliving material. Spores of common household molds: need cellulose-containing materials

17 The Function of Digestion
No living organism (animal or fungus) can use large molecules of food directly. Each animal—or fungus—produces digestive enzymes (proteins) that break down food into small molecules that can be utilized by its body. Food consists of large, complex molecules that cannot be used by the body directly. Large molecules must be broken down into small molecules before they can be processed.

18 The Digestive Process Animals: internal digestion—
Digestive enzymes (stomach and small intestine): break large molecules down into small ones Small food molecules taken to rest of body via bloodstream Fungi: external digestion—an “out-of-body stomach”! Digestive enzymes secreted through hyphae into food Break starch (cellulose) down into sugar in the food source Sugar taken up into mycelium through hyphae Sugars used in mold’s body for growth and normal functions. Animals: break large molecules down into small ones. Fungi: hyphae penetrate the food source (cellulose) and break it down into sugars, which are taken up into the mycelium through the hyphae.

19 Photosynthesis in Plants
Plants don’t digest food: they have a building up process Produce food from very simple molecules— Use carbon dioxide (released by animals) and water Produce sugars Build sugars up into complex starch molecules—cellulose (you will hear this word again!)

20 Characteristics of Common Household Molds
Feed on cellulose-containing building materials There are NOT the molds that grow in your neighbor’s refrigerator! “Refrigerator molds”: not hidden (except in recesses of refrigerator)—not a problem Never in large quantities Become obvious when furry and smelly enough Do not live on cellulose-containing building materials Cellulose: the starch in plants formed by their building up simple molecules into sugars and then building the sugars into starch.

21 Common Cellulose-Containing Building Materials
Ceiling tile Dry wall Wallboard Wood Fiber board Wall paper Natural fibers Paper Cardboard Carpeting Paint Dust Cellulosic insulation Others? Common household mold doesn’t generally feed on such materials as metals, glass, plastic, or ceramic.

22 Mold Can Be Part of a “Biofilm”
Biofilm: a thin layer of a biological growth (e.g., mold) growing upon a thin film of cellulose-containing material that overlies something that mold cannot eat. Example: concrete block or ceramic tile with an overlying biofilm of molds growing on such thin layers of materials as: Wallpaper Wallpaper paste Paint Dust A biofilm may overlie something like concrete or other non-cellulose-containing material, with the biofilm consisting of mold living on a thin cellulose-containing material such as paint, dust, etc.

23 What Else Do Spores Need to Germinate? 2. Moisture
Moisture—the second critical component. Requirements for moisture vary with the species of mold Usually, standing water and/or a relative humidity of at least 70 percent Absolutely critical for activating spores Continuing source of moisture and presence of food? Infestation! Moisture: critical for the germination of spores. Example: standing water + food source may result in mold. Get rid of standing water—mold can continue to grow if relative humidity is at least 70 percent.

24 Where Molds Are Usually Found Because of Moist Conditions
Damp basements and crawl spaces Bathrooms and laundry rooms Humidifiers and air conditioners Water reservoirs of humidifiers Drip pans Un-vented clothes dryers Upholstered furniture, carpeting Garbage containers Potting soil of over-watered house plants

25 Common Causes of Moisture
Flooding followed by insufficient or late drying out Leaking pipes (maybe hidden) Leaking roofs Leaking windows, doors Sewage backups Toilet or tub overflows if not cleaned up quickly Condensation forming on or around a window sill or door or other areas—localized areas of high humidity, condensation Bathrooms, laundry rooms Pet urine Poor housekeeping Flooding: possible mold infestation if flooded area is not dried out immediately or if it is not dried out thoroughly. Areas of poor ventilation or insulation often cause very localized areas of condensation or high humidity where mold might grow (e.g., on window sills).

26 Humid Regions More at Risk
Humid regions: higher relative humidity Harder to dry out after a leak Favors mold growth How minimize the problem? Open windows, circulate air Lets mold out and fresh air in

27 How About Dry Climates? Not as big a problem as humid climates, where the relative humidity is always high Still a problem in arid climates—all it takes is a leak where there’s a food source. Example: public library in Santa Fe, New Mexico: closed down for about 9 months, $1.2 million to remediate for mold Arid climates: “all it takes is a leak where there’s a food source”—and food sources are nearly everywhere! Example: 5-year-old home in Rio Rancho, near Albuquerque, NM (high mountain desert): March 2002—family vacation—gone for a week to 10 days Family returned to find ceiling on the floor of the kitchen, mold throughout the home Line to icemaker broke.

28 What else do they need to germinate?
So Mold Spores Need-- FOOD MOISTURE What else do they need to germinate?

29 What Other Conditions Do Spores Need?
Non-critical conditions: different molds can tolerate a wide range in these conditions Oxygen: most spores and molds need some oxygen to grow, but oxygen is nearly everywhere. Temperature: most spores and molds can grow under a wide range of temperatures but usually prefer a range of about degrees Darkness: most spores and molds do best in dark areas Temperature: a few species of mold can grow at temperatures of 122 ºF, and other species can grow below freezing, but most prefer the same kinds of temperature ranges that we like.

30 The Last Condition Needed for Spores to Germinate: Time
Time is needed—but not much! When conditions are right, spores begin to germinate (or grow), like seeds Most spores germinate in 4–12 hours. After they germinate, they colonize: they produce new hyphae and either conidia or sporangia with spores Spores of most species can colonize in hours Some species: can complete a full life cycle in 1-3 days! Colonization: production of new hyphae and spores and subsequent release of spores, which will begin a new life cycle. Example: Real estate agent took client to see a home on Saturday morning. Water was flowing from under the front door. (Agent did NOT show the house!) Agent called plumber, who shut off water. Looked like a swimming pool in living room—water 3 inches deep. Agent tried to call owner of home; finally reached him Saturday night and urged him to have it fixed immediately. Owner agreed. Sunday afternoon: excess water had drained away—no cleanup activities, however. Owner and insurance appraiser finally looked at house on Tuesday—massive infestation. What happened? Constant source of food (building materials containing cellulose); constant source of moisture. So the cycle of colonization, forming spores (sporulation), and germination of spores began again--- And again— And again. Result: infestation in just a few days!

31 3. Why Has Mold Become a Problem?
What has happened? What’s different NOW? Get some stories about mold problems in your community, with photographs, if possible, to add impact to your presentation.

32 Why the Concern with Mold and “Toxic Mold”?
Mold is not new! Several problems surfacing at the same time Energy-efficient building practices … Poor design and/or construction defects … Changing weather patterns … Growing public awareness through attention by the media and implications of health issues … Well publicized court cases involving mold, some involving large amounts of money … Why is there so much concern with mold now? Why are we hearing about it NOW, when it’s been around for millions of year? Each of these topics is broken down and discussed in the next series of slides. Court cases involving large amounts of money? $32 million is enough to get anyone’s attention!

33 Energy-efficient Building Practices
Caused by increased prices of gas and oil in 1970s Construction methods: conserve energy and prevent exchange of indoor and outdoor air Double/triple-paned windows Caulking Windows that do not open at all Results: Lack of adequate ventilation Concentrates mold inside and keeps fresh air outside Energy-efficient building practices: trend to build “tighter” buildings began in the 1970’s because of fuel shortages and high cost of fuels.

34 Age of Home Not just older homes! New homes Tighter construction
Poor workmanship/construction defects e.g., no flashing around windows Wallboard instead of plaster Wallboard: plaster sandwiched between two sheets of heavy paper Wet wallboard? Molds feed on wet paper of wallboard. Plaster: not a good food source. One example: new home in Albuquerque: mold infestation developed. All the piping was defective and had to be replaced.

35 Exterior Insulation and Finish System (EIFS)
“Artificial stucco” If EIFS applied before the framing members are dry, moisture trapped inside—may result in mold infestation. Controversy: manner of application defective product Some law suits: concluded that EIFS product not at fault Other law suits: claim defective product.

36 Concern: Home Builders and Remodelers
International Builders Show, 2002: concluded that mold is the biggest challenge currently facing the residential construction industry 28% of attendees: knew of mold problem in at least one home under construction during last year 18% of attendees: knew of mold problem in at least one occupied home Lawsuits: being filed against (1) homeowners’ and condominium associations: suing contractors for construction defects, inappropriate selection or installation of building materials resulting in mold, or breach of contract or warranty; (2) developers: being sued for excessive flooding of streets and yards, resulting in basement flooding and resulting mold; (3) architects: being sued for defective design leading to mold.

37 Changing Weather Patterns
Global warming from increase in greenhouse gases (carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, and fluorocarbons) Result over the last 100 years: Average surface temperature of the earth: increased by 0.5–1.0°F Sea level: has risen 4–8 inches Precipitation over land: has increased by 1 percent, with increased flooding events and elevated humidity

38 Growing Public Awareness—and the Media—
The media love “toxic mold”--it sells! Have flooded newspapers and magazines with stories The media nearly always mention “toxic mold,” Stachybotrys or ”black mold” although: “Non-toxic” mold also has proven adverse health effects There are other “toxic molds” besides Stachybotrys “Black mold” is not a name specific for Stachybotrys The number of articles written about “toxic mold” has doubled from 2000 to 2001. The term “toxic mold” is really a misnomer. A number of different species of mold can produce toxins under certain conditions (see also Chapter 4). However, the media LOVE the term “toxic mold” because it gets results: it causes fear and interest. If you need more information to present, you can purchase a copy of either or both of two presentations that have been aired on CBS’ 48 Hours from CBS/CNN.

39 The Media Have Publicized:
Stories about people suffering health problems allegedly caused by mold A few cases involving famous personalities Law suits and litigation, often with cases involving millions of dollars Health problems: most lawsuits were filed because of health problems suffered by the people living in the infested homes, health problems allegedly caused by mold. Ed McMahon has filed a law suit for $20 million because he said that mold killed his dog and made his whole family sick; Erin Brockovich is trying to salvage her home, at an estimated cost of $600,000. Litigations involving millions of dollars: several of these will be discussed here.

40 Mold in Schools Many schools: evacuated and closed in a number of cities and small communities throughout the country Such a concern that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has fact sheets on the topic and has made available an Indoor Air Quality Tools for Schools kit. There are many cases discussed on the Internet of schools that have been evacuated and closed. Many have follow-up law suits. Since 1999, the EPA has sponsored an annual Indoor Air Quality Tools for Schools National Symposium which focuses on a number of indoor air quality problems of schools, including mold infestations. The National Clearinghouse for Educational Facilities (NCEF) has a webpage dedicated to mold in schools (http://www.edfacilities. org/rl/mold.cfm).

41 Mold in Public Buildings
Many courthouses, libraries, office buildings, fire stations, etc. “Sick building syndrome”—more people become sick than usual Sometimes caused by mold Hundreds of people affected Problem: often poor ventilation Office buildings with large climate-control systems used incorrectly, especially systems designed to recirculate air to conserve on air-conditioning bills, are particularly susceptible to mold infestations “Sick building syndrome” can be caused by many problems with the air quality of a building. Mold—or a combination of mold and other contaminants—are often the cause.

42 A “Sick” Government Building
Government building in Atlanta, GA, where too many employees were getting sick (based on statistics) Environmental specialist called in from Acme Environmental in Albuquerque, NM Discovered several “red flags,” including stain on wall Mold discovered in building (behind a filing cabinet and behind a door) Source: disconnected pipe “Sick” government building, too many employees were getting sick too often. Building manager called in an environmental specialist who works with mold to look at the problem. “Red flags”: signs that something may be wrong. Stain on the wall? Environmental specialist suspected mold. He found it! See the following pictures. Source: disconnected pipe behind a wall. Photographs: taken by David Charlesworth, Acme Environmental, Albuquerque, NM. Photographs on next few slides

43 Stain on Wall of Government Building l
Environmental specialist suspected mold behind the wall and began looking for it elsewhere in the building.

44 Mold Found behind Filing Cabinet
This mold was found behind a filing cabinet.

45 Mold Found on the Wall behind a Door
This mold was found behind a door that usually stood open. No wonder people were getting sick!

46 Source of the Problem: a Disconnected Pipe .
Water was being released continuously!

47 An Example of People Living in Mold-Infested Homes
Steve and Karen Porath Bought repossessed home in Foresthill, CA Did some fixing up and moved in, April 1999 Immediate health problems, whole family Son Mitchell born 2 weeks later In 2 days, Mitchell violently ill Vomited more than 50 times per day Mold finally diagnosed when he was about 1 year old See also Supplement B for additional cases.

48 Follow-up, Steve and Karen Porath
Mold found in home; family advised to vacate home immediately and leave everything behind. Options: spend $75,000 to fight mold or have home burned down. No money left—had to have fire department burn down their home on February 14, 2001 One of the mold cases reported where a family couldn’t afford to have the mold cleaned up in their home—and couldn’t sell it—so had the local fire department burn it down.

49 Many Well-publicized Court Cases
Some: directly impact real estate professionals Some: directly impact those in the homeowner’s insurance industry Note: in discussions of the surge in lawsuits pertaining to mold, some authors refer to mold as “the mold rush” and “mold is gold” for attorneys. Much of the impact on the real estate industry is because of law suits that have been filed against agents, brokers, and property managers. (See also Appendix A for more examples of court cases.)

50 Examples of Law Suits Impacting the Real Estate Industry
The Mazza family vs. Partridge Point Apartments … The Evans family and their very first home … All these cases involved health problems, allegedly coming from mold. If you don’t have time to cover all four, you might just stick with the Mazza (Ma’-tza) and the Evans families. There are more court cases described in Supplemental Information, Part B, of the Instructor’s Manual.

51 The Mazza Family vs. the Partridge Point Apartments
Mazza family: moved into Partridge Point apartments in Sacramento, CA About 6 months later: all three members became ill from mold Repeated hospitalizations Incurred about $125,000 in medical expenses Requested reimbursement of possessions damaged by mold and for relocation expenses All they asked was to be reimbursed for their relocation expenses and the possessions that had been damaged by mold. Continued on next slide.

52 Follow-up to the Mazza Family Case
Apartment complex said “no.” Mazza’s sued apartment complex. Tried to settle out of court. Mazza family awarded $2.7 million (under appeal). Bad decision!

53 The Evans Family and Their Very First Home
Terrell and Candrell Evans bought their very first home in Las Vegas, NV, in November 1995 In September 1997, they were forced to vacate the home because of illnesses in all members of the family. Mold found in home. Filed suit against their agent and everybody else they could find for “insufficient disclosures” City has padlocked the home. Their VERY FIRST HOME! The American Dream! They TRUSTED their agent…”

54 Law Suits Impacting the Homeowner’s Insurance Industry
Several well-publicized cases A few cases involving well-known personalities Heavy fines from court cases and increased number of claims have caused serious impact on insurance companies, especially in Texas. The number of lawsuits against homeowner’s insurance companies has escalated at a phenomenal rate, particularly in Texas, where mold has not been excluded. (Homeowner’s insurance policies in Texas cover nearly everything—including mold—because Texas gets so many different types of disasters.) The number of claims has also grown tremendously. This can-impact everyone in the real estate industry: if a buyer cannot get insurance on a home, what then? Court cases involving large amounts of money? As indicated above, $32 million is enough to get anyone’s attention!

55 Melinda Ballard and Her Family
Melinda Ballard and husband, Ron Allison—bought multi-million dollar home near Austin, TX Leak developed, mold set in Health problems developed in Melinda, Ron, and their 4-year-old son Reece Filed suit against Farmers Insurance company for not providing money to clean up leaks soon enough Awarded $32 million by jury Court of Appeals reduced award from Farmers to about $8.5 million. In Dripping Springs, Texas.

56 Major Impact on Insurance Companies
Losses of lawsuits involving mold (such as Ballard case) Increased number of claims involving mold, especially in Texas About 1,000 claims in first quarter of 2000 Over 14,000 claims in fourth quarter of 2001 Average claim: has risen from $500 to $15,000 per claim Result: three primary homeowners insurance companies in Texas stopped writing and renewing homeowners policies Agreement made between insurance companies and State of Texas Top three homeowners’ insurance companies in Texas, All State, Farmers, and State Farm, pulled out. Insurance companies now write and renew policies in Texas and cover mold but can exclude some expensive costs. See separate section in Instructor’s Guide about insurance.

57 Effect of Insurance Company Problems on Real Estate Industry
More difficult to obtain new homeowner’s insurance policies Especially hard for homes with claims of water damage and/or mold May kill the sale if homeowners insurance coverage is required for the sale and the cost of insurance has become prohibitively expensive Price of homeowners insurance has risen by more than 30 percent in some areas Buyer may not be able to buy insurance on a home if a claim has been made on the seller’s insurance policy within the last 3 years—especially if the claim was for water damage and/or mold. If buyer CAN find insurance, it may be prohibitively expensive and offer minimal coverage. Price of homeowners’ insurance has risen by 30 percent or more in some areas.

58 4. Adverse Effects of Mold
Two major types of effects of mold: Structural damage Health effects Most of the information readily available pertains to the health effects of mold rather than structural damage.

59 Effects of Mold—Structural Damage
Effects on structural materials Molds digest the cellulose in wood-based building materials Weakens and eventually can destroy building materials containing cellulose

60 Effects of Mold—Health
Health effects: the major concern with mold A potential problem with virtually ALL molds Health effects from “toxic molds” more widely publicized Possible health effects from “toxic molds” not well substantiated to scientific community Few, if any, scientific studies of health effects from “toxic molds” have been carried out, and little data are available in the literature. See Supplemental Section A that discusses the controversy over health effects from “toxic molds.”

61 Health Effects of Molds
Unpredictable responses Responses vary with Individual … Exposure to mold … Type and severity of mold infestation .. This is true for toxic and non-toxic mold.

62 Variability of Responses of Individuals
A function of: Age … Exposure and sensitivity to mold … Physical condition … Susceptibility to disease … Health effects of mold often caused by weakened immune system …

63 What Is the Immune System?
Our primary defense system against foreign materials (antigens) invading our body Health immune system: an antigen (such as mold) stimulates white blood cells to produce antibodies. Antibodies engulf or neutralize antigens. Neutralized antigens: then discarded by the body as waste. Antigens: invade body, especially through the respiratory system. After antibodies neutralize antigens, the antigens are then eliminated from the body.

64 Who Has Weakened Immune Systems?
Infants and small children—immune system not yet fully developed Elderly—immune systems weaken with age Sickness, recovery from surgery, AIDS, chemotherapy—immune system depressed Also, respiratory diseases, multiple allergies, asthma—depressed immune systems

65 Day-to-Day Variability of an Individual
Everyone, even individuals with strong immune system, can have varying responses to molds Bad days: stress, illness, lack of sleep—more susceptible than on “good days”

66 Repeated Exposure to Mold
Individual may become hypersensitive to mold from repeated exposure to an antigen such as mold Examples: farmers who work with moldy materials routinely; employees who work in a building contaminated with mold or other disease-causing materials (e.g., mold-contaminated office building)

67 Variability of Mold Molds produce different chemicals, which result in different health effects. Different chemicals are produced under different conditions.

68 Primary Health Effects Caused by Common Household Molds
Irritations … Allergies … Infections … Irritations, allergies, infections—result from common household molds. Scientific community doesn’t seem to object to this: these are well known and documented responses.

69 What Is an Irritation? Usually a minor health effect
Soreness, inflammation, redness, pain, swelling May be localized to a small area of the body, like a skin rash Most common: soreness and inflammation of eyes and respiratory system May be coughing, nasal congestion, post-nasal drip Extreme cases, highly susceptible individuals: more severe symptoms (flu-like symptoms, headaches, dizziness, decreased attention span)

70 What Causes Irritations from Molds?
Molds produce volatile organic compounds (VOCs) as wastes Over 500 VOCs identified from molds Many VOCs are solvents; some are hazardous (acetone, benzene, hexane, methylene chloride) May be responsible for musty odor characteristic of mold as well as irritations. Volatile: vah’-lah-tel: “easily airborne” or evaporating readily.

71 Allergies and Allergic Reactions
The most common reaction to mold Allergen: small amount of material (mold, pollen, etc.) that may cause allergic reaction. Repeated exposure usually necessary—sensitizes individual to allergen (mold, pollen, etc.) Cell wall of all molds contains large molecules called glucans—cause allergic-type reactions and suppress immune system Glucans: glue’-cans

72 Allergies from Molds Most common in people with existing sensitivity to molds or other allergens Weakened immune systems or Sensitivity from exposure May be minor symptoms Limited exposure or people insensitive to mold Mild and transitory symptoms, like hay fever: runny and/or stuffy nose, wheezing, sore throat, coughing, itchy eyes

73 More Severe Allergic Reactions
From sensitized people or those with asthma, multiple allergies, or other respiratory problems May cause asthma, serious allergies, fever, shortness of breath, or inflammation of the lung, which can develop into chronic lung disease; sinusitis Sinusitis: si-nah-si’-tis. One of the few articles published in the literature that provides a solid scientific basis for diseases caused by mold is one that was published in the Mayo Clinic Proceedings in September The authors of this article suggest that fungi may be the cause of almost all cases of chronic sinusitis. Sinusitis is the most common chronic disease in the U.S.: an estimated 37 million people suffer from this illness, which usually is associated with chronic headaches, a runny nose, nasal congestion, and a decreased sense of taste and smell. The inflammation of the sinuses is believed to result from an immune response to the fungi: the immune system sends specialized white blood cells to attack the fungi, and it is the white blood cells that irritate the membranes in the nose and sinuses. (Antibiotics are typically used to treat chronic sinusitis although they are often found to be ineffective. This suggests that the Mayo Clinic researchers may be correct since antibiotics are usually designed to combat bacteria, not fungi.)

74 Infections from Mold Usually, common household molds act as saprophytes: feed on non-living or dead organic material . When molds cause infections, they act as parasites and feed on living organisms. Infection: invasive growth of parasite into human tissues Rare Saprophytes: sa’-pro’fites Non-living organic material—like the cellulose produced by plants and contained in most building materials. Seen very rarely—condition requires people with certain types of health problems (see next slide).

75 Aspergillosis Infection caused by a few Aspergillus species
Healthy individuals not believed to be at risk regardless of level of exposure Three types of people susceptible to aspergillosis: Those with chronic sinus infections … Those with immune system deficiencies ... Those with obstructive lung disease … Infection caused by Aspergillus is called aspergillosis (ass-per-jill-o’-sis).

76 Aspergillosis and Chronic Sinus Infections
Chronic sinus infections: creates lung damage, cavities in lungs Mold grows in mucus lining walls of larger airways of lungs, in cavities Mold growth—induces inflammatory and allergic changes in lung Can lead to fibrosis and loss of lung function Fibrosis (fi-bro’-sis): formation of fibrous tissue in the lung, which decreases the flexibility of the tissue and its functionality.

77 Aspergillosis and Immune System Deficiencies
People with immuno-suppressed or immuno-compromised systems They inhale spores (as we all do) Their immune systems: not capable of neutralizing spores with antibodies Mold grows in lungs.

78 Aspergillosis and Obstructive Lung Disease
Obstructive lung disease: causes narrowing or obstruction of airways in lung Two most common forms of obstructive lung disease: Emphysema Chronic bronchitis Either condition makes individual susceptible to aspergillosis Condition exacerbated by smoking

79 What about “Toxic Molds”?
Most notorious of the “toxic molds”: Stachybotrys chartarum or atra. At least 17 species of Stachybotrys known—only this one species is known to be “toxic” Stachybotrys: blackish green mold, slimy to the touch Called “black mold,” but there are nontoxic black molds, too Found in only about 2–5 percent of homes investigated Stachybotrys chartarum: stack-ee-bah’-tris char’-tar-im; Stachybotrys atra: stack-ee-bah’-tris ah’-tra. The toxic species of Stachybotrys has been called either of these two scientific names, but Stachybotrys chartarum is used more frequently.

80 What Does Stachybotrys chartarum Need?
Conditions needed: Water-saturated food with high cellulose content Standing water or relative humidity of at least 90 percent to germinate and grow (can continue to grow if humidity drops to 70 percent) Needs more moisture than other species of mold.

81 And Stachybotrys chartarum Needs Time!
Needs more time to colonize than other molds. Mucor and Rhizopus: 1–2 days Aspergillus and Penicillium: 2–3 days Stachybotrys chartarum: 8–12 days

82 Other “Toxic” Molds? Common household molds: May be others, too
Aspergillus Fusarium Penicillium Alternaria May be others, too (But media usually mean “Stachybotrys” when referring to “toxic molds.”) After all, penicillin is a toxin to certain bacteria or it wouldn’t work as an antibiotic! Penicillium produces penicillin—which is, indeed, toxic to certain bacteria!

83 What Makes Some Molds “Toxic”? Mycotoxins
Mycotoxins (“myco” = mold, “toxin” = poison): chemicals produced by certain molds under certain specific conditions Hundreds of mycotoxins known Carried on spores and fragments of mycelia Fat soluble: can be absorbed by: digestive system (if ingested) airways in lungs (if inhaled) skin (if touched) Mycotoxins: my’-ko tahk’-sins

84 When Are Mycotoxins Produced?
Example of conditions needed by Stachybotrys to produce mycotoxins: At least 55 percent relative humidity Production favored by fluctuating temperatures Mycotoxin production: believed to be triggered by presence of other microorganisms (other molds and/or bacteria)—may require competition Mycotoxin production: triggered by presence of other microorganisms—probably to give it an evolutionary advantage to compensate for having a longer colonization period.

85 Health Effects of Mycotoxins
Very controversial Many of these health effects: not yet proven to the satisfaction of the scientific community Most: anecdotal and based on only one or a few cases; not backed by scientific studies Health effects depend on type of mycotoxin, so they vary. See Supplement A in Instructor’s Manual for more information about this controversy.

86 Implicated in Infant Deaths
Death of 9 of 36 infants in Cleveland suffering from acute pulmonary hemorrhage (bleeding from the lung) Water damage in homes from flooding; Stachybotrys implicated . Condition appears to be exacerbated by cigarette smoke. Water damage from flooding and the presence of Stachybotrys found in each infant’s home.

87 Some Health Effects Alleged to Have Been Caused by “Toxic Molds”
Same health effects as from non-toxic molds Coughing up chunks of blood; nose bleeds Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea Headaches, fatigue, general malaise Damage to internal organs (liver, kidney, blood, lungs) No controversy over “toxic molds” causing same health effects as other molds, particularly of allergic reactions and infections. Coughing up large chunks of blood often reported from particularly serious cases. Headaches, fatigue, general malaise—general feeling of exhaustion and feeling “blah.” Damage to internal organs: similar effects to those reported in experiments done on animals with Stachybotrys mycotoxins.

88 More Alleged Health Effects of Toxic Molds
Central nervous system damage, including short-term memory loss, tremors, attention deficit Personality changes Suppression of the immune system Cancer Bleeding in the lungs Bleeding in the lungs: includes coughing up blood; also includes the condition of the infants studied in Cleveland after the flooding. Variability in responses to Stachybotrys: example, home in Albuquerque: Stachybotrys detected. No adverse health effects detected. Why? May have been another species of Stachybotrys (not S. chartarum) Conditions may not have been right for mycotoxin production Sufficient mycotoxins may not have been produced to cause health effects Family members may have been resistant.

89 Recovery from Mold-Induced Illness
Mold-induced Illness: sometimes reversible. Recovery may be possible if: if sensitive individual is removed from mold source and if not too much damage has been done Many cases: people living in mold-infested home go on vacation and feel fine; come home and are sick again. Example: Woman’s teen-aged daughter: very sick with asthma for over a year Lived in apartment with leaks that were not fixed properly Mold found in wallpaper peeling off wall of daughter’s bedroom, right next to the head of the bed. Doctor prescribed humidifier! The woman bought a home and moved into it with her daughter. Within a few months, her daughter had recovered completely—no more signs of asthma. The family dog had been ill also and recovered after moving to new home. (The mother suffered no health effects.)

90 Health Problems from Mold: Why They Are Hard to Diagnose
Wide range of symptoms Lack of awareness of the problem by many doctors No clinical tests available to demonstrate the presence of molds or mycotoxins (other than species-specific tests for some mold run by allergists) No “biomarkers” known for mold—chemicals in body that indicate whether a person has been exposed to a specific disease-causing organism Allergists can run tests for mold, but the tests are “species-specific”—if a person is allergic to Species A and is tested for Species B, it will show up as a negative result, and the conclusion may be drawn that the individual is not sensitive to mold.

91 5. Remediation Does your home contain mold?
What can you do if you have an infestation? Remediation (ree-mee-dee-a’-shun): cleanup.

92 Does Your Home Contain Mold? Probably!
Study of 160 homes in 7 cities: 100 percent contained mold. Four possible conditions for mold in a home at any time: Low levels of mold spores; mold not visible and no problem as long as there’s no moisture problem Small areas of mold visible and easy to detect; not a problem if cleaned up Mold hidden (e.g., behind a wall) and a problem that can get even worse Mold visible, easy to detect, and a definite problem Mold hidden and a problem that can get even worse? May be caused by a leak, such as from the roof, that is causing water to drip inside the walls or above the ceiling. Mold that is visible and easy to detect: such as small patches of mold that show up occasionally in bathrooms. Last case: worst case, where there is a serious infestation.

93 If You Have Mold, What Should You Do?
Don’t panic! Use common sense. Find the source of the moisture first, or the mold problem will remain—and fix the leak. If it’s a small amount of mold (less than 10 square feet) and you’re not hypersensitive to it, you may be able to clean it yourself. .

94 How Should I Clean Up Mold in My Home?
The EPA recommends using water and detergent. Wear rubber gloves and an N-95 respirator. If the mold has penetrated porous material (like ceiling tile), replace the material. Get the EPA’s brochure, A Brief Guide to Mold, Moisture, and Your Home from . The EPA’s brochure can be ordered from the EPA. They come in bundles of 100 and are free of charge. Suggestion: give each student one of the brochures.

95 Sampling and Testing Testing—use nose and eyes to detect mold.
Visible mold: do you need to test? Probably not—you KNOW it’s there! No health/safety standards to go by When to test: When someone in family is—or may be—sensitive to mold (e.g., unexplained health problems) When requested by a buyer To determine if mold problem has been eliminated after remediation of a mold infestation Note: even testing may not reveal the presence of mold. It may be hidden, or it may be present, but spores may not have been released yet. Need to compare indoor with outdoor samples for comparison. If outdoor sample results are relatively high and of the same order of magnitude as the indoor results, there probably is no mold infestation.

96 Test Kits Available for less than $10 online and in hardware stores
Many types: depend on spores floating in air and landing on medium in sample container—but spores may not land there— May give “false negatives” (indicate absence of mold where it actually exists) May give “false positives” Indicate presence of mold where it doesn’t exist Need indoor and outdoor samples for comparison

97 Need to Test? Have testing done by a professional with experience in mold Can explain and interpret the laboratory results! Warning! Even a professional may not be able to detect it if it is hidden (e.g., inside walls). But a professional with experience will know where to look.

98 Porous vs. Non-Porous Materials
If mold is on non-porous materials: Wipe the mold off with detergent and water. If mold is on porous materials (e.g., ceiling tile, carpeting, wood) Replace the contaminated material. Mold gets into the pores and cannot be removed by cleaning Mold-contaminated structural material that is porous should be replaced!

99 Will the Mold Come Back? If you clean up a mold infestation, it will probably come back if you: Don’t remove any porous material infested with mold Fail to stop the leak Why will it come back? The food source is still there. If you don’t stop the leak, the water is still there. If you leave porous material with mold, lots of spores will remain. You’ve probably killed the mycelium—but dormant spores remain.

100 There is no solution yet.
6. What Is the Solution? There is no solution yet.

101 There Is No Solution Yet…
Too much still needs to be learned about mold and its effects upon human health. Major problem: mold as a moving target because of its variable effects on people and different chemicals, etc., from different molds . Mold as “moving target”—hard to set health standards Mold as a moving target: not just its variable effects on people, but much variability in the molds themselves. Different species produce different chemicals which have different effects on people—and different species produce variable chemicals under different conditions. Problem with mold as a moving target: hard to set health standards—what is a “safe” level of mold?--and really hard to do a disclosure statement without such standards since mold is always present!

102 Federal Organizations—Center for Disease Control (CDC)
Recognizes mold’s contributions to respiratory problems (allergies and asthma) and infections in susceptible people Does not accept health effects often attributed to mycotoxins because of lack of scientific evidence and studies

103 Federal Organizations–Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
Recognizes health problems of mold in general Takes same stance on mycotoxins as CDC Has developed two documents on mold: Brochure for consumers … Includes information about cleaning up small areas of infestation Document on cleaning up larger infestations… Brochure for consumers: general information about mold for the homeowner and how to clean up small areas of mold: A Brief Guide to Mold, Moisture, and Your Home, at or call , and request EPA 402-K Information about how to clean up larger areas of mold, Mold Remediation in Schools and Commercial Buildings, at iaq/molds/mold_ remediation.html, or call , and request document EPA 402-K

104 Efforts of National Association of REALTORS® (NAR)
A national organization, not a federal one NAR’s Risk Management Committee: recognized the problem in spring 2001 Published several articles in its monthly magazines and on its website Established a Mold Working Group to: evaluate the information available develop recommendations for NAR

105 Report from NAR’s Mold Working Group
Recommendations made: Seller disclosures need to be refined. Laws needed to lessen liability Need to maintain E&O insurance coverage;. Educate real estate licensees about mold. Need for information brochure about mold Need to watch for water damage Let the buyer decide! Look at your errors and omissions (E&O) insurance: most such policies exclude mold and other toxic substances. So, in this area, you are essentially self-insured. Let the buyer decide! It’s GOT to be the buyer’s decision.

106 Problems Recognized by NAR Working Group
Mold is everywhere—and mold problems can grow quickly. . Inaccurate tests Problem with disclosures because of lack of standard and lack of determination of a “safe” level Lack of standards for a “safe” level of mold A home can become infested in just a few days. Inaccurate tests: may get false positives (showing mold where there was none, or the level was at the same level as outdoors) or false negatives (showing no mold where mold was present). Standards: Unlike radon and lead, there are no standards for mold—there has been no determination of what a “safe” level of mold is. Unfortunately, disclosures are based on a standard set for a “safe” level. Without such a standard, making disclosures is difficult since mold is everywhere.

107 Lack of Health Standards—Why?
Because of the way in which health standards are determined: Documented injuries, sickness, deaths in the work place Studies of doses required to produce sickness, death Neither of these exist for mold Because of the variability of responses to mold and the variability of mold itself …

108 Variability Factors No established level of mold is known to cause adverse health effects because of the: Variability of human response to mold Variability among different species of mold Variability in chemicals produced by mold living under varying conditions

109 What Is Being Done at the State Level?
California: Toxic Mold Protection Act Requires setting standards if feasible Requires disclosure of mold to buyers or renters unless the mold problem was remediated. Other states with new or pending legislation regarding mold: Arizona, Connecticut, Georgia, Indiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Texas California’s Toxic Mold Protection Act of 2001: note that standards will be set if feasible and that disclosure of a mold problem is not required if the infestation was remediated.

110 General Issues Addressed in These Bills:
Requests or resolutions for research to determine health risks, standards Regulation of mold assessors and remediators Procedures for insurers to use in handling water-damage claims Requirements for insurance companies regarding mold coverage Issues related to schools Issues related to schools include: (1) requirements for plans for testing and/or remediating mold in public schools, (2) requirements for studying mold/fungi in public schools and for developing remediation plans, and (3) providing reimbursement for remediation of mold and other air-quality problems in public schools

111 Legislation Proposed at the Federal Level
U.S. Toxic Mold Safety and Protection Act (Melina’s Bill) Proposed to House in 2002 because 7-year-old daughter of a staff worker for Rep. John Conyers (D, Mich.) lost 70 percent of her lung function because of mold Re-submitted to the House in 2003 .

112 If Melina’s Bill Is Enacted as Proposed, It Will Require:
The CDC, EPA, and NIH (National Institute of Health): perform a study of health effects of mold HUD (Dept. of Housing and Urban Development): Study and report on impact of construction standards on indoor mold growth Promulgate regulations of mold hazards in HUD housing offered for sale or lease Prepare procedures to minimize hazards of indoor mold, including Pamphlets about mold hazards Periodic risk assessments Mold inspections, assessments, and testing Mold abatement Other requirements of the Melina’s bill as proposed: (1) formation of a standards-development organization to develop standards for building products to retard development of mold; (2) EPA: promulgate national standards for mold inspection, remediation, toxicity testing, and certification of people involved with mold testing, remediation, and inspections; (3) grants for remediation of mold in public buildings; and (4) a program to allow people to buy insurance against losses from mold hazards.

113 7. How the Real Estate Professional Can Reduce Liability
General Suggestions Working with the Buyer or Seller

114 Listing a Home Walk throughs … Educating your seller …
What if you spot mold … Disclose … The CLUE database and homeowner’s insurance …

115 Listing a Home—Walk Throughs
Look for signs of mold and/or water infiltration (or penetration) in ceilings, walls, floors, carpets Look around pipes and examine walls in bathrooms and the kitchen where pipes may be hidden Look for visible mold, especially in bathrooms Look for other red flags Blistering paint Wallpaper or tiles pulling away from the walls Be aware of odors: a musty smell may indicate mold. Your eyes and your nose are good tools for detecting mold—use them. You can’t always detect mold problems this way, but sometimes it works. Note: the terms “water infiltration,” “water penetration,” and “water intrusion” are all used as synonyms here to indicate events that can cause water damage.

116 Listing a Home—Educate Your Seller
Discuss mold with your seller—but make sure he or she knows you’re not an expert! Give him or her: The EPA brochure Any fact sheets prepared by your state Information about reliable websites, e.g., EPA, CDC, NAR Educate all your buyers and sellers! Give them an EPA brochure, any fact sheets from your state, and the addresses of any relevant government (federal or state) websites, especially those of the EPA and the CDC (Center of Disease Control). Don’t give out ALL websites—anyone can put anything on the Internet, and some of what’s there is misleading or downright fallacious! You might also give them the address of mold-related information from NAR that is available to the general public.

117 Listing a Home—and You Spot Mold
If it’s a small patch (10 square feet or less), refer your seller to the EPA brochure The mold can probably be cleaned with detergent and water, but let your seller decide who should clean it up. If the mold is more extensive, refer your seller to the EPA brochure and suggest using a professional to clean up the mold.

118 Finding Mold in Your Listing:
If the mold is in the bathroom or kitchen, make sure there’s a functional exhaust fan and/or windows that can be opened—and recommend that the fan/windows be used after moisture has accumulated If the mold might be growing because of a leak, make sure the seller fixes the leak right away.

119 After the Seller Has Cleaned up the Mold—
Check with your seller after the mold has been cleaned to make sure it hasn’t reappeared. If the mold reappears, infested porous building materials should be replaced, if they haven’t been replaced already

120 Listing a Home—Disclose, Disclose, Disclose!
Discuss with your seller the importance of filling out the disclosure statement as accurately and completely as possible. This is YOUR best protection from liability This is YOUR SELLER’S best protection from liability.

121 Questions to Ask Your Seller
Ask questions like: Have you had any water leaks or water damage from flooding, breaking pipes, damaged ice maker lines? Are you aware of any roof leaks? Have you had any leaking pipes? Have you had flooding from any of your water-using appliances? Have you had problems with toilet/tub overflows?

122 Ask Other Questions of Your Seller
Ask about any mold in the home or if any tests for mold were done. Forgotten events: may need to jog seller’s memory—ask questions Ask about water infiltration events: Was the water leak fixed? How soon? How extensive were water penetration events? How quickly were they cleaned up? Was an insurance claim filed? Was any mold detected? Any testing done?

123 Document Your Conversations!
To verify the completeness and consistency of your seller’s disclosure statement In case your seller forgets a point of conversation later

124 Read Your Seller’s Disclosure Statement!
If it’s old, have it updated. Make sure it contains a reference to any problems that you’ve discussed. Ask questions to make sure that any water penetration problems are included. The disclosure statement must be as complete and accurate as possible. Have seller revise the statement if necessary

125 Comprehensive Loss Underwriting Exchange (CLUE) Database
Ask if any insurance claims were filed in the last 5 years. Any claims filed may make it difficult or very expensive for the buyer to obtain homeowner’s insurance on the home. Tell your seller about the CLUE database. Ask your seller to order a CLUE report. This can be very important. Filing claims on a home within the past 3-5 years, especially if they were for water damage or mold, may make the home virtually uninsurable, at least at reasonable rates.

126 What Is the CLUE Database?
A shared industry database Contains about 90 percent of the claims filed within past 5 years Now used frequently by homeowner’s insurance companies in determining whether to accept or reject a request for insurance

127 Ordering a CLUE Report Can be ordered only by the owner of a home
Order online, ($10–15) Order by phone, (about $8). Advantages of ordering online: receive the report within a few minutes; ordering by phone: may take several weeks

128 When Should the CLUE Report Be Ordered?
Ask your seller to order the CLUE report right away. Any claims filed within the last 3–5 years: May make it difficult, very expensive, or even impossible for the buyer to obtain homeowner’s insurance on the home This may kill the sale.

129 Important Information about CLUE Reports and Insurance Companies
The insurance company can deny an insurance up to 60 days after closing. A telephone call to a homeowner’s insurance company can show up as a claim in the CLUE database, even if a claim was not filed.

130 Working with a Buyer Walk throughs … Finding mold … CLUE reports …
Homeowner’s insurance … Educating buyers … Inspections … Testing …

131 Educate your buyer just as you educate your seller
Working with a Buyer Walk throughs: do the same things you would do for a new listing—use your eyes, your nose, and your experience Educate your buyer just as you educate your seller Again, your eyes and your nose are good tools for detecting mold—use them. You can’t always detect mold problems this way, but sometimes it works.

132 What If You Find Mold after Seller Moves Out?
Check disclosure statement. If there is nothing there about water/mold problems, try to get more information from seller or seller’s agent. Has the leak been fixed? If not, suggest a different home to your buyer. Educate buyer on his/her option to have the home tested. Depending on your state rules, get an extension of the Right to Terminate the Contract while mold issues are investigated. If you find mold after the seller has moved out—don’t panic!

133 Working with a Buyer—CLUE Report
Have buyer request a copy of the seller’s CLUE report early in the transaction May make contract contingent upon receipt of a satisfactory CLUE report on the property If CLUE report indicates claims filed, buyer may not be able to find reasonably priced insurance If buyer owns a home, have him/her order a CLUE report for himself/herself. If the buyer owns a home and has filed claims on it in the last 3-5 years, the buyer may have trouble getting homeowner’s insurance on another home.

134 Working with a Buyer—Homeowner’s Insurance
Have buyer begin looking for homeowner’s insurance early Preferably when looking for financing Request range of reasonable insurance estimates for price range and location of homes being considered When writing offer: suggest including clause that the sale is subject to buyer’s ability to obtain insurance that doesn’t exceed a certain amount. Most insurance policies no longer include mold remediation in their coverage except—if available at all--as a very expensive rider. High-risk insurance is usually available, but it is very expensive and provides minimal coverage.

135 Consistent Treatment of Everyone
Fair Housing Act: must treat everyone the same Tell everyone about mold—then, let them decide! Not legal to treat buyers with asthma or other respiratory problems any differently than anyone else

136 Inspections? Buyer may want to check (or write in) “mold inspection” if concerned Try to have buyer present during inspections so inspector can explain any problems directly to your client Ask inspector to pay particular attention to signs of water damage and/or mold or “unusual discolorations” that might be mold Ask same things of termite inspector since mold favors same conditions as do termites Ask your buyer if he/she wants to have a mold inspection done. If your buyer declines, write in “no” after “mold inspection” or “mold testing.” (You may have to write in “mold inspection” yourself on the form.) This may protect you if a problem with mold develops later. Request that the general and the termite inspectors look carefully for signs of water infiltration and/or damage. Termite inspectors are particularly good for this because, in looking in areas preferred by termites, they are also looking in places that also favor mold infestations.

137 Testing for Mold? May be needed if someone in buyer’s family has respiratory problems or if family has an infant or an elderly member May be needed if home has had a mold infestation Air testing—need outdoor and indoor samples for comparison Agents should be careful to not treat anyone differently here to avoid violating the Fair Housing Act.

138 Who Should Test for Mold?
Avoid test kits—not a do-it-yourself project! Hire a professional with experience in mold and good references: Environmental engineer … Certified Industrial Hygienist (CIH) … Certified Residential Mold Inspector (CRMI) … See Chapter 5 on remediation for a discussion of test kits. Environmental consulting firm: environmental engineer with experience in mold; (2) Certified Industrial Hygienist (CIH): CIH has at least a bachelor’s degree in a relevant discipline, passed an intensive examination, at least 5 years of demonstrated experience; (3) CRMIs: documented experience, demonstrated proficiency with equipment, skills required to interpret results of tests, attendance at a 2-day review course about mold, passed closed-book comprehensive exam. (To find CIHs in your area, go to:

139 What Experienced Professionals Can Do with Their Instrumentation
Determine amount of moisture in a ceiling or wall through probe inserted through small hole Run indoor air test to find possible contaminants, such as mold Insert small camera through little hole in wall or ceiling to look at what’s inside

140 Experienced Professionals—
Understand when tests should be run and when they aren’t necessary Know what tests to run and what areas they should test Understand the need to take outdoor air samples to compare with indoor air samples Can interpret laboratory results Know when the homeowner should hire professional remediators Knowing what tests to run and what areas to test: if have large, slimy mass of mold on windowsill, sampling the mass can reveal the type of mold; sampling air quality may result in nothing more than outdoor levels of spores if the mass of mold has not yet released its spores. The results from samples of indoor air must be compared with those from outdoor air to establish whether indoor levels really are high or merely reflect relatively high readings from outdoors.

141 In Any Transaction, Remember—
Disclose, disclose, disclose. Recommend a mold inspection and write “no” if the buyer doesn’t want one. Remediation is almost always possible except in the worst cases. Treat everyone equally. Present the information, and let the buyer decide.

142 Protecting Yourself as an Agent—
Educate all buyers and sellers about mold Remember—even if mold is detected, remediation is usually possible. Be able to recommend good, reliable local specialists for testing and cleanup. Look for evidence of water damage in the home, and ask inspectors to look for water damage. Include disclosure statements and information about water damage and mold with standard documents.

143 What a Home Inspector Needs to Know—
Watch for signs of water damage Water stains, negative drainage, dampness, other signs of water penetration Include in report; photographs if possible Consider learning how to perform limited screen tests for mold Contact the IESO for training to EISO standards Cost-effective screening tests to help determine whether a high level of mold is present indoors; can use with inspections Recognize conditions conducive to mold growth Negative drainage; leaking foundations or roofs; damp/wet basements, crawl spaces, attics; leaky plumbing; improper flashing allowing water to trickle inside walls; improperly installed synthetic stucco; hail damage Could be held liable if home buyer becomes ill because of mold and home inspector had not reported evidence of water damage. In report: inspectors should include a statement that he/she has inspected only what was present and viable at the time of inspection. Also: list inaccessible or limited-access areas and include photographs, if possible. Report: include a detailed description of any conditions observed that may suggest a problem.

144 What an Appraiser Needs to Know:
Appraiser: at risk in much the same way as is the home inspector— Personally inspect each property; take photographs; include statement that you’re not an expert on mold Include waiver that an appraiser inspects only visible and accessible areas since mold may occupy areas that appraiser cannot see Several claims made against appraisers in mold-related lawsuits To reduce liability: personally inspect each property, bring camera: take pictures of anything that looks like mold, showing its extent on day of inspection; include pictures in report. If you don’t know why mold is growing, include such a statement in report, and include a statement that you are not an expert in mold and recommend additional inspection by a qualified professional. Claims against appraisers made in lawsuits: often, plaintiff accuses appraiser of negligence in failing to discover or disclose a condition that allows mold to develop; law suits often filed months or even years after performance of the appraisal.

145 More Suggestions for Appraisers
How mold affects property values: Very few reports currently available Each appraiser should research his/her market for homes with mold that sold

146 What a Home Builder or Remodeler Needs to Know
Mold problems: may arise from using faulty construction materials Watch for moldy materials, and discard them After a rainstorm, allow building materials to dry out before enclosing the building Building “green homes” with bales of straw: let the bales to dry thoroughly before installing them in home

147 Disclosure is the Key! Key to protecting yourself as much as possible: disclosure, disclosure, disclosure Greatest liability to real estate professional: usually result from failure to report a condition or fact that is known or suspected and then disclaiming knowledge of the information Exception: if you actually contributed to the mold problem in some way Probably the greatest liability for anyone working in the real estate industry: knowing or suspecting a problem--and then denying such knowledge.


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