May 052013

Spring came late to the GTA and with it came unusually humid weather following an unusually moist and precipitous winter. Along with this weather and influx of home sales, already reaching multiple bid proportions, came the unusually high call for Air Quality, Asbestos and Mold Inspections. Home sellers and buyers inspectors were making note of  particular concern in basements, walls and attics alerting realtors and clients to costly remediation. Better to catch the issue with sampling and testing, before an Inspector does, during a Pre-purchase buyers condition. The dealings get tricky as to who pays for what and some in order to save a few dollars will compromise due dilligence,  sometimes costing more in the long run.

Some buyers inspectors  note possible mold or asbestos but they do not perform testing. Iron View Inspections has recently been called in to perform a second  inspection  for mold or asbestos. We have had  verbal reports from clients and realtors that the first visual inspection indicated possible mold or asbestos. Some inspectors have made a claim that there is a definite presence so clients have called in remediation. We at Iron View recommend testing before any definitive conclusions or costly remediation or renovations be performed.

If a seller suspects mold or asbestos it is recommended they have Pre-listing  inspection and testing performed before a prospective buyer has their inspector detect possible mold or asbestos, putting into motion delays in the selling process and possibly reaching costly and unnecessary conclusions for remediation and replacement of structural areas in the home. The last few weeks of April and May  have drawn our attention to  the importance of doing things correctly so all parties have Peace of Mind and deals are made in ethical fashion with out compromise.

We have worked with very understanding realtors, sellers and buyers wanting to be educated about the need for proper testing and identification and possible abatement and remediation that may be required. We have also encountered some clients and realtors willing  to compromise proper testing to save a few  dollars and still others who jump to demands for remediation and abatement without having all the necessary information to make informed decisions.  In the scheme of things spending early on  in the buying/selling process for proper identification  by testing methods is worth the minimal expense to do things correctly.

Iron View  Mold and Asbestos Inspections include a full home inspection that involves testing via; A. air sampling (taking 2-3 air tests) and B. lift or bulk sampling. Once the samples make it to an independent lab the real testing begins.

Mold or Spore Trap Analysis  testing results indicate airborne spores that are present per m3 and identify what types of mold are airborne in the living environment. Be aware that mold is every where and is present in all environments. The levels of spores present  in air are indicators of problems or not. But the air samples do not indicate whether the mold is active or not. The lift sample results come from a Direct Microscopic Exam and determine the types of mold present that are active or not and  cause for concern for future mold growth and whether the mold contains types of spores that are considered a risk for health issues.

Asbestos  air sample  testing results indicate particles or fibers that are presently airborne in the living environment and are measured by their Level of Quantification (LOQ) via visually estimating asbestos/non-asbestos fibers under a microscope as well as identifying non-fibrous materials and other building material particles that may be present. Lift or bulk samples of building materials like insulation, pipe wrap or tiles etc. are also tested under a microscope to determine the Level of Dispersion (LOD)  using a staining method.

Any client or realtor who is asking for only one of the above tests, to save costs, is compromising testing and conclusive results. Anyone recommending abatement  or remediation without proper testing and results may also be compromising and possibly costing the buyer or seller more than  necessary.

Be Aware that mold and asbestos cannot be properly identified by visual inspection. An inspector who is making a definitive claim visually, without proper testing or recommending proper testing, is doing an injustice to all involved. Iron View has encountered blackened attic sheathing, once tested proved not to be mold at all but did prove to be  a discolouration due to aging.  Had the buyer followed the claims made by the first inspector with out testing, huge expenses to replace roofing would have been incurred.  Iron View has encountered situations where a white film of insulation dust on sheathing has been misidentified as mold or asbestos. Iron View has also encountered situations where the mold is not easily identified visually because it is so deep in the material the material is rotting from the inside out, usually called dry rot or the area is so wet mold cannot be determined without a test and the entire attic needs remediation and  the roof replaced. In the case of Asbestos. A home owner had grave concern learning that the insulation put into his home before he purchased it  a year prior, was possibly Asbestos. He learned that the previous owner was in a court battle due to an inspector that definitively claimed it was asbestos insulation without proper testing. Iron View tested the material and air with results showing the material had no asbestos fibers present. If an inspector is noting in reports that there is possible mold or asbestos and recommends further investigation, he/she has done due diligence … You’ve got a good one.

Iron View Inspections can offer one better… we can also send in some samples for  independent lab testing at the same time as  performing a regular Pre-Delivery, Pre-Listing, Pre-Purchase or Maintenance Inspection.

~Be As Informed As You Can Be~

 

 

 

 

 

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