February, 2002
Inspection News and Views from the American Society of Home Inspectors

Response to Request for Interpretation of the ASHI Standards of Practice


From: ASHI Standards of Practice Committee
Request Date: 9/28/01
Response Date: 1/11/02
Response #: s010928
Section Number: 13.2B12

Question: Inspectors are not required to determine: 13.2B12, the presence of any environmental hazards including, but not limited to toxins, carcinogens, etc – Should we be testing for mold/mildew? Is this out of the scope of the above?

Committee interpretation (based on version effective since 1976):

No, testing for mold or mildew is not required. Yes, testing for mold or mildew is outside the scope of the Standards of Practice (SoP). However, such testing is not prohibited. SoP section 2.3.A allows home inspectors, at their option, to include other inspection services which could include testing for mold or mildew. If such voluntary, out-of-scope testing indicates safety concerns, such results must be reported to the client per SoP section 2.2.B.1.

Additionally, the SoP requires probing deterioration where visible. Deterioration
may result from fungi such as mold or mildew. If, in the professional opinion of the inspector, fungi deterioration that is found makes a component unsafe or non-functional, the component must be reported per SoP section 2.2.B.1. Since testing is not required, the inspector is not required to determine if the fungi itself is unsafe and, therefore, there is no requirement to report fungi or fungi deterioration as long as, in the professional opinion of the inspector, the components themselves appear functional and not unsafe.

NOTE: Specific factual situations vary. Interpretations are general in nature.