Feb 8, 2024

It is Worse than I thought!

In a recent blog post entitled: ‘A Disturbing Trend’ I mentioned how some inspectors and restoration companies were being deceitful for landlords/property owners when it came to tenants who were being affected by mold issues in the rental property.

I had done recent inspection for a tenant finding there was significant moisture levels up to 99% in several walls of the master bedroom and walk in closet. The elevated moisture makes the property UNINHABITABLE per CA Health and Safety Code 17920.3 because it leads to mold/bacteria growth in just a few days. In addition, mold testing for the air in the master closet showed the presence of Stachybotrys (aka: Toxic Black Mold) which was not present in the outdoor sample showing mold growth was taking place due to the moisture present.

To make long story short the landlord hired an inspector to take air samples but apparently spent a long time (like 20 minutes) taking the outdoor sample which is normally only 5 minutes per air sample. That inspector’s report apparently stated the property was habitable. That is in direct contradiction of the actual conditions present.

It is just appalling that such open deception is taking place. Realistically, this inspector is likely of a lower credential otherwise he would not risk perjuring himself and manipulating results in this way. Certainly the results would not stand up in court if his report and mine along with testimony from both of us (assuming he actually would testify) were compared to actual evidence produced.

To explain more simply, taking some 20 minutes for an outdoor air sample will make that sample contain a larger number of mold spores compared to the indoor air sample, in most cases. That would then be ‘alleged evidence’ to say the indoor air sample was normal since the indoor sample would then be ‘lower’ than the outdoor sample in mold spore numbers and considered normal. That is only part of the criteria for evaluating mold spores in the air. The CMC and CIH is aware of this but not the lower credentialed people.

The point of this blog is to further highlight that there is apparent flagrantly deceptive companies that will in effect ‘lie’ for a landlord to try and ‘fight’ the evidence a legitimate inspector provides in a professional report. As long as the tenant stays by the evidence he/she can force the matter to court and the ‘deceptive company’ and landlord would be exposed for their outright falsification of evidence and reap the consequences. In most cases, however, the landlord will want to settle out of court, especially eviction court since he/she would loose the case and possibly be order by the judge to do the repairs (and remediation) per the ‘True’ report.

Steve Mullins (i.e. Mold Detector)
Certified Microbial Consultant, CMC
Moisture and Mold Detection, Inc.

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