Where can I get information about hiring a mold consultant?

QUESTION: I am representing a buyer who is moving here from out-of-state.  She says mold is a big issue in the place she is moving from and has informed me that she intends to have any property she puts under contract here inspected by a mold expert.  Can you provide me any resources on the subject?

ANSWER: NC REALTORS® has developed Buyer and Seller “Advisories” designed to help guide buyers and sellers in the purchase and sale of their properties. Links to both Advisories are available in the Legal & Ethics section of the NCR website at www.ncrealtors.org under Risk Management Tools/Manuals.  The Advisories contain the following information regarding the subject of mold, which includes a link to information about hiring a mold consultant or contractor:

Mold. Molds are one of a variety of biological contaminants which can be present in human structures, including in residential housing. Mildew is perhaps the most common and best known of the molds. Less well known, and far less common, are certain molds identified as possible contributors to illness, particularly in people with allergies. Such cases usually involve property with defective siding, poor construction, water penetration problems, improper ventilation or leaking plumbing. In a few cases, these problems have led to the growth of molds which caused medical conditions in some people. If you are concerned about potentially harmful molds, you should arrange for inspection by a qualified professional. Information on moisture intrusion and mold problems associated with human structures can be found on the EPA website here.

A Fact Sheet on mold prepared by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences is available on its website here.

Inspection, discovery and evaluation of specific water intrusion or mold problems requires specialized training and is well beyond the scope of a real estate agent’s expertise. You are therefore advised to hire appropriately trained professionals to inspect the property if you are concerned about the possibility of harmful molds. Information on how you should go about hiring a mold consultant or contractor is available on the website of the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services (Epidemiology Section) here.

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