LESLIE: Now we’re going to tackle a mold situation in Texas with Ed. What can we do for you today?
ED: I can’t find the mold anywhere. I’ve gone through – even pulled cabinets back from the wall; looked underneath the, you know, washing machine, dryer; making sure there’s nothing leaking in the washer. I just don’t know where else to look and I was wondering if there was a device that we could go get somewhere or something that would help be able to point in that direction.
TOM: Ed, why is it that you think that you have a mold problem?
LESLIE: Yeah, are you smelling something?
ED: Yeah, plus the only thing I’m really allergic to is mold …
ED: … and I’m having some major allergy problems in the house. When I go outside the house I get better after a couple of hours but the minute I walk into the house I get just miserable.
LESLIE: What are you doing for moisture control in the house?
ED: Nothing really.
TOM: Ed, this may be a good situation where you be wise to hire a mold investigator because there are very subtle signs of mold in different places that may not be obvious to you. I’ll give you a quick example.
I did a mold investigation several years ago as part of a television show that I was involved with as an expert and going into the house we had absolutely no indication that there was a mold problem except that the kids in the house got sick a lot. And after taking a whole bunch of samples in the house we ended up finding mold in the most unusual place which was embedded in the fiberglass insulation.
LESLIE: Which normally wouldn’t grow mold.
TOM: Because it’s nonorganic. In this case what happened was there was dust that got up in the insulation and the mold actually fed on the dust and wrapped around the fiberglass like – kind of looked like ivy on a tree trunk. And so that is something that only a specialist would be able to find. So if you’re having medical issues, I’d recommend that this might be a good time to find a mold investigator. If you can’t find one locally you might want to get on the phone and call some home inspectors because in your part of the country those guys really know who’s doing the best work when it comes to mold investigation and they could probably get you in the right direction.
If you want to find some good home inspectors go to the website for the American Society of Home Inspectors at ASHI.org. You put in the zip code; they’ll shoot you a list and I bet you if start calling around you may find the same name coming up from two or three different guys and that would be the guy that I would call.
ED: Thank you very much.
TOM: You’re welcome, Ed. Good luck with that problem and thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.