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The Critical Eye!

Michael Leavitt’s professional inspection related blog.

Say What? - Mold Smells

Say What? - Mold Smells

It is Saturday night and I am slaving over a report dealing with water entry. I am typing hundreds and hundreds of words identifying reportable conditions, conveying the severity, and providing clear courses of action. The entire time I am frustrated because there are others in my local area who put forth 20% of the effort and collect similar inspection fees. How can this be? Unfortunately many consumers just do not know any better. For example, while I was reviewing some online inspection reports of other local inspectors I found this one report that left me shaking my head wondering who trained this guy and to what inspection Standard of Practice is he preparing his reports. I felt sorry for the paying client when I read the following...


The inspector wrote, “We recommend sealing this basement hatch to the underside of the east porch to prevent mold smells from entering the house.”... Say what? I went through the entire report looking for more related information, but this one sentence and this one picture was all that was said about this issue. How could this be all he reported on a mold issue? If there is a mold smell, then doesn’t that mean there is some water entry and rot? How does sealing this hatch stop the smell from entering the house? Should anything be done about the mold? Is mold currently an indoor air quality health and safety issue? Is the water entry and issue? And is there any major rot? Unfortunately, the entire report was prepared this way.

Back in 1995, when I started, you could get away with this type of reporting. With our number 2 pencils and checklists, fragmented thoughts, fragmented sentences, and little or no recommended course of action was the norm. As the industry matured, so did our reporting style. The result is that our clients are better served. Unfortunately this inspector has left the client and others dealing with the transaction hanging on the edge with no idea what to do regarding the issue that was obviously important enough to include a picture and comment. They are left wondering if there is an obvious cause, what is the severity of risk, and who is best recommended to devise and implement the needed repair.

Michael Leavitt - Orem, Utah - - Michael Leavitt & Co Inspections, Inc.

What do you think the inspector was trying to say?

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