Mermin inspections Blog

From The Inspector

THE CONCIERGE CORNER: By Jacob Mermin

Saturday, January 21st, 2012

WELCOME ACTION AUTOMATIC DOOR & GATE

Jacob Mermin Inspections would like to welcome Action Automatic Door & Gate to our Concierge Listing and Networking Group. I am very familiar with this company as several years ago I purchased a new garage door opener for my home. I saw the commercial with the Home of The Talking Door and had to call them when I discovered that the garage door opener needed replaced. I found out first hand how reasonably priced their openers were. I have been recommending them for years so it made perfect sense to invite them to join our Concierge Listing. We have already introduced Action Automatic Door & Gate to one of our home inspection clients and I am sure they will be as happy as I have been with their products and services.

Since 1974 Action Automatic Door & Gate has been providing service, sales,and installation of garage doors, automatic openers,and automatic gate systems. Though there products have expanded over the years customers can still count on reliable, quality service. Customers also appreciate same day and emergency service. Parts are available for all brands of garage doors, openers, and automatic gate entry systems. With two of the largest garage door showrooms in Naples and Ft.Myers customers can stop in to pick up an item at the parts counter, or view our products in person before they buy. For more information on all products and services please visit www.ActionDoor.com. You can also find them on Facebook at http://facebook.com/ActionDoor.

Please stay tuned for Action Automatic Door & Gate’s Blog By Lisa Ebel Called “THE GARAGE DOOR CORNER” located within THE INSPECTOR’S CORNER at www.jminspector.com/blog/

THE INSPECTOR’S CORNER:

Saturday, January 21st, 2012

WIND MITIGATION

Jacob Mermin Inspections would like to announce that Jacob Mermin President of Jacob Mermin Inspections Inc. has completed the Advanced Wind Mitigation Inspection Training Course. This training course was set up by Inspection Depot, Inc. following the Citizens Insurance guide lines. The course is recognized as the Department of Business and Professional Regulation,(DBPR) Home Inspector Licensing Board Course No. 0000018. Jacob Mermin successfully completed the eight (8) hour Continuing Education training course and passed the proctored exam. This training is now required by the state of Florida for all Florida Licensed Home Inspectors to perform recognized Wind Mitigation Inspections. With the completion of training and passing of the proctored exam, Jacob Mermin will be complying with Citizens guide lines for Wind Mitigation Inspections. This would include the correct use of Form Number OIR-BI 1802 Uniform Mitigation Verification Inspection Form.

Jacob Mermin Inspections Inc. will be performing wind mitigation and four point inspections based on the training and the proctored exam required by Citizens Insurance. We will be performing wind mitigation inspections and four point wind mitigation inspections in Cape Coral, Ft.Myers, Naples, Port Charlotte, Punta Gorda, Labelle, Alva, and many other areas in SW. Florida. We do have pricing on the website at www.jminspector.com. We have package discounts so if you need a home inspection and a wind mitigation inspection we will be glad to earn your business with discounts. We will also have discounts with a four point and wind mitigation inspection that your insurance company is telling you that is needed to write your home owner’s policy. We have the new form 1802 that we can fill out and send to your insurance company with the attribute pictures they require for you to receive your insurance discounts. So if you live in Lee County, Collier County, Charlotte County or Hendry County make sure to call Jacob Mermin Inspections 239-243-7322 for all your inspection needs. We are one of the few inspection companies that is a Florida Licensed Home Inspector #HI975, Florida Licensed Mold Assessor # MRSA684 with a EPA certification in air conditioning meaning the Freon Card. We are a true one stop shop for all types of inspections and consulting, and we now have completed the Citizens Insurance and Proctored Exam for Advanced Wind Mitigation Training.
Thank You,
Jacob Mermin FLHI/FLMA/IE/

THE INSPECTOR’S CORNER

Monday, November 21st, 2011

HOOTERS ANNUAL CHARITY GOLF TOURNAMENT

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On Saturday 11/19th at Palmetto Pines Golf Course in Cape Coral The Jacob Mermin Inspections Golf Team was the proud winner of the Annual Cape Coral Hooters Charity Golf Tournament. Jacob Mermin Inspections along with many Cape Coral businesses helped raise thousands of dollars for the tournament benefactor – Moffit Cancer Center of Sarasota Florida. Hooter’s sponsors many golf tournaments year round throughout the United States.
Jacob Mermin Inspections team scored a 12 under par round of 60 to win the day.
From left to right are Jacob Mermin, Kevin Henry, Ian Flynn and Curtis O’Brien.
Jacob Mermin was heard to say “I can’t believe we finally won one of these things!” We plan to defend next year!
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PROJECT MONITORING AND DOCUMENTATION

Tuesday, April 19th, 2011

Jacob Mermin Inspections has done thousands of Chinese drywall and mold inspections. We have performed them from Marco Island in the south to St. Petersburg and Tampa to the north. We have traveled from Sanibel Island in the west to Ft. Lauderdale and Miami to the east. We have always done what ever our clients needed to protect their families’ health and their major investment of a dream home. We have found all types of molds, Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC’s) and small to large amounts of Chinese drywall.

Now we have been asked to monitor and document a major Chinese drywall remediation project. This is the third such project and by far the largest. Prior to this we have done a 1700 square foot house in Cape Coral Florida and a 2000 square foot house in south Lee County Florida. This latest project is a very large house in a very upscale development in south Lee County Florida. It is my policy that the development name and client name will not be mentioned. We feel that it is not necessary to invade the privacy of our clients. In the case of this home we have determined that a majority of the drywall in this home was imported from China. It is common knowledge now what Chinese drywall can do to items in a home. I am not going to take the time in this posting to explain what Chinese drywall is and how it affects the building materials in the home. For all those who do not know what Chinese drywall is, all you need to do is Google Chinese Drywall and you will have all the definitions that you need.

I have become very good friends with the owner of this home, just like we do with most of our clients. As I have previously stated I will not disclose the development or the client’s name. For the purpose of this posting lets just call him Mr. Jones. Mr. Jones has given me permission to use his remediation project as a series of blog postings at www.jminspector.com. He feels very obligated to show the millions of homeowners who access the World Wide Web what he has been going through in hopes that it may make it a bit easier for those who may have to experience the same tragedy. I am not going to get into the politics of this Chinese Drywall issue. Both Mr. Jones and I believe that President Obama and the United States Congress should step in and do the right thing and help the American Home Owner. General Motors received a bailout because they were too big to fail. I believe the American Homeowner is too big to fail. I guess we will see.

This is going to be a series of postings covering the remediation of this home. We will call it the Jones Project.My first visit with Mr. Jones was January 6th 2011. I am planning to post about once per week or so to give everyone a chance to experience this remarkable remediation. There will be many trades on this project that I will be working closely with. Again I do not plan to reveal their names either. I am not doing this series as a way to advertise for these trades. I can say that Mr. Jones picked the best sub contractors possible and did not make decisions based solely on price alone. Mr. Jones hired a project manager but also acted as his own General Contractor. This is a very common practice by homeowners who know what they want and what they are doing.

THE HOUSE

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In the next posting I will show the start of the demolition and show the different Chinese drywall labels and stencils. I will explain how the documentation of each sheet of drywall was done. I will post pictures of items of the home that were affected by the chemicals associated with Chinese drywall.

In future postings I will show the completed demolition and how the house was treated with a special chemical that is used against Chinese drywall. I will show plumbing, electrical, insulation, HVAC, better known as Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning. In future posting I will show some of the surprises I found after the demolition.

Every time I go to this home I feel like I am in an episode of This Old House. I am very surprised that there hasn’t been any programming on the so called home improvement shows on such net works as TLC, House and Garden Television, or the Discovery Channel. This project has just as much drama if not more than any episode on all of these Home Improvement Shows combined. My client the homeowner has gone through a major life changing experience. He has told me on several occasions that sometimes he can’t even go into the home because it makes him sick to his stomach. I believe that most people would feel this way, I know I would. This is Mr. and Mrs. Jones dream home. People work very hard all their lives to save up enough money to purchase a home that they can both grow old in. My job in all this is to make sure every thing in this  hole process is documented and the work monitored for the future. This home now has Chinese drywall attached to it. I am here to show all those interested that Mr. Jones removed that tag line, to prove that the remediation was done and it was done properly.

I value all those readers that may have questions and comments. I will post those and answer those that pertain to the Jones Project. Remember your comments and or questions that do not pertain to the Jones Project will not be posted. So it is my suggestion to not waste your time. My blog posts including THE INSPECTORS CORNER and other guest posts have generated 12,000 comments. I believe that this is a serious subject and I would like to hear from serious people. I believe that we are not only helping Mr. and Mrs. Jones but we could be helping thousands of people not only in the state of Florida but all over the United States. Remember the time period generally associated with Chinese drywall is 2003 to 2007. It is in direct response to the housing boom and natural disasters such as Hurricane Katrina. No one is to blame but the Chinese. All the distributors and small drywall companies in all the states where Chinese drywall was found did not know what they were distributing and what they were using. They know now and should honestly help all those they sold to.

Until the next posting remember you can not expect what you don’t inspect

Thank You,
Jacob Mermin FLHI/FLMA/IE

Jacob Mermin has been awarded a State of Florida Home Inspector License and a State of Florida Mold Assessor License.

Friday, March 18th, 2011

Jacob Mermin President of Jacob Mermin Inspections Inc. has received his State of Florida Home Inspector license and his State of Florida Mold Assessor License. These Licenses have been required by the Sate of Florida since March 1st 2011. Because of the vast education, certifications, and experience Jacob Mermin was grandfathered in as a State of Florida Licensed Home Inspector, license # HI975, and as State of Florida Licensed Mold Assessor license # MRSA684.

Jacob Mermin has over 20 years experience in Indoor Air Quality as it pertains to HVAC, Heating, Ventilation, & Air Conditioning. Jacob Mermin received is EPA certification for the use of Freon in HVAC systems from the ESCO institute in 1994. This program was developed for the HVAC industry by the Environmental Protection Agency in 1993 in direct response to the Clean Air Act dictated by the Montreal Protocols for Indoor Air Quality.

Jacob Mermin is a graduate of the Penn Foster School of Home Inspections in 2007 and has been a Member in good standing with The International Association of Certified Home Inspectors since 2007. Jacob Mermin has done more than 1500 home inspections and more than 500 Visual Chinese Drywall Inspections since 2007.

In 2008 Jacob Mermin completed training and examination requirements through Mold, Inspection, Consulting, and Remediation Organization, known as MICRO and was awarded the Certification of Mold Inspector.

In 2010 Jacob Mermin completed required training to be a Certified Indoor Environmentalist through Indoor Sciences Inc. an IAQ Training and Consulting Company, Internationally known and located in Chicago Illinois. Because of this training and his Mold Assessor License and experience Jacob Mermin has done several thousand mold related inspections, and tests. These tests include: air testing, swabs, sticky slides, ERMI DNA testing, Chinese Drywall, and VOC’s, known as Volatile Organic Compounds.

Jacob Mermin has been a member of many organizations such as the National Association of Certified Home Inspectors, The International Association of Certified Indoor Air Consultants, Indoor Air Quality Association, Indoor Air Quality USA, and Women’s Council of Realtors, Realtor Association of Greater Ft. Myers and the Beach and finally the Christian Chamber of Commerce.

THE INSPECTOR’S CORNER

Sunday, December 6th, 2009

FROM THE INSPECOR: JACOB MERMIN

St. Pete Road Trip, “A desperate call for help”

This blog is a true story and occurred on the dates stated. I am writing this blog because this family was at the end of their rope. They had spent thousands of dollars trying to make this their dream home, only to feel like they are allergic to it. I believe that this is happening all over Florida. A lot of people do not know why they don’t feel well. Hopefully it will encourage someone to make that “Desperate call for help” and start living healthy again.

This blog post will be in five parts.

Part one is an introduction to the situation I encountered.

Part two is the Chinese drywall visual inspection and the indoor air quality inspection.

Part three is the testing that was required for these homeowners.

Part four is the testing results.

Part five is the recommended remediation and conclusion

After each section I will give a tease of the next section. This blog posting will start on my Active Rain blog and continue to my blog at my website at www.mermininspetions.com. All those starting at my Blog on Active Rain please follow the link to my website and click on the blog button and go to “The Inspector’s Corner” From the inspector. It will be titled “A St. Pete road trip, A desperate call for help”

Part one:

The initial introduction:

I received a request from a homeowner to perform a Chinese drywall visual inspection and a HVAC and indoor air quality inspection of their home located in St. Petersburg, Fl. During the week of the 23rd of November this homeowner called me and expressed her concerns that she may be suffering from the effects of the chemicals associated with Chinese drywall. Though the home was built prior to 2003 which is thought to be the beginning of the time period when Chinese drywall was first used, she was concerned that Chinese drywall may have been used in the recent remodeling.

I then proceed to ask her about the condition of the HVAC system and if she new any of its background. She explained to me that the entire duct system had been replaced but the original air handler was still being used. This air handler was located in the attic above the garage. They then took a few pictures of the inside of the air handler and sent them to me for my opinion. I inspected the photos and found that the blower wheel was infested with major microbial matter. Other pictures showed that the interior of the air handler

was full of microbial matter. I suggested to them that the Chinese drywall was the least of their worries and that I would concentrate on the indoor air quality of their interior environment. The homeowner relayed a story to me about a trip to Atlanta where she felt so good she was able to take a nap. She explained to me that she was never able to take a nap at the St. Pete home. I conveyed to her that this was a common thing. A lot of people have expressed that they felt a lot better health wise when they left their home.

I then suggested to the homeowners that they contact a local Certified Mold Inspector to come in and inspect their home for indoor air quality issues. I also recommended that they have a visual Chinese drywall inspection just for their peace of mind. I let her know that I would be available to answer any questions they may have over the telephone because my office is in Lee County Florida just south of them. A few days later the homeowner called me back and explained that she couldn’t find an inspector that she felt comfortable with. At this time she requested that I come up there and do an investigation. Even though it was a two hour drive to St. Petersburg I felt obligated to make the trip and help them anyway I could. We decided that I would go up there on Monday the 30th of November.

I proceed to perform a complete visual Chinese drywall inspection using the checklist I developed almost 10 months age. The conclusion of my visual Chinese drywall inspection was that there were no visual signs of the effects caused by the chemicals generally associated with Chinese drywall.

Next posting:

I inspected as much duct work as I could get to…….

The blower wheel inside the air handler was completely impacted …….

I would like to give the HVAC contractor the benefit of the doubt………..

FROM THE INSPECTOR

Wednesday, September 23rd, 2009

Chinese Drywall Update

I was recently in a development in South Ft. Myers doing a Visual Chinese drywall inspection. I was very saddened to discover that this very nice complex was suffering from the effects of the chemicals associated with Chinese drywall. I spent some time there speaking with residents of this development and found out that many of the units were being rented. I talked to one owner that recently moved his tenant out at his expense. He informed me that there were many empty units in the development.

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As you can see the development that I did the visual Chinese Drywall Inspection was Avalon Preserve. Feel free to go to my blog at my website at www.mermininspections.comand click on the blog button which will take you to the INSPECTOR’S CORNER. Look for the “From the Inspector” posts and you will find all the previous Chinese Drywall update posts. You will find pictures of the visual evidence found in the unit I inspected in Avalon Preserve.  You will also see all the other corners that are made available for guests to write postings. There is a Realtor’s Corner that I allow Realtors to write interesting posts. Just send a post to me at jacob@mermininspections.comand I will look it over and if it fits into the whole concept of separate corners I would be happy to post it. I am looking for current events of the real estate business that you feel would be of interest to Realtors and sellers and buyers. No listing please, they will not be posted. Be looking of a Jacob Mermin Inspections monthly newsletter. It will cover all types of inspections.

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risser-frank-016risser-frank-011  risser-frank-017                                                    These pictures are common visual evidence of the effects of the chemicals associated with Chinese drywall. Solid copper ground wires in a electrical outlet changes to black. Chrome plumbing fixtures become black, corroded and pitted. Copper air conditioning lines will turn black as well as the evaporator coil. And you will get blackening on the edges of a bathroom mirror.

I have seen these effects all over SW Florida and it always effects people. I have done these inspections just before a closing and feel very bad because their dream home is no longer a good investment. Every time I have to show my clients this kind of visual evidence they are sad at first and then they shake my hand and thank me for saving them thousands of dollars. When I hear this it makes me feel better and I realize I am doing what I am meant to do. I do full service home inspections that include a Chinese drywall inspection. I tell everyone that I meet no matter what get a home inspection before you commit to purchasing a home.

Jacob Mermin CHI/CMI/EPA Type ll

The A/C Corner: Jacob Mermin

Saturday, July 25th, 2009

I have been in the air conditioning business since 1988 and in 1994 I became an EPA Certified Type ll air conditioning technician. I did this for two reasons, one because it gave me more knowledge and two because it was a new law that required all air conditioning technicians who were going to work with Freon comply with that law.

 

I believe that laws governing the HVAC industry are very important. These laws protect the homeowner in Florida. It amazes me that so many air conditioning contractors do not pull permits on their air conditioning and ductwork installations. What amazes me more is that the homeowner doesn’t care or doesn’t know that these permits need to be pulled and posted on the home in a place that can be seen from the street. This not pulling permits epidemic that has infected the air conditioning business in SW. Florida comes from the small mom and pop operation to the large corporate contractor. There are companies that sometimes pull permits and sometimes don’t. When the home is off the beaten path there is a good chance that a permit is not pulled. It costs about $100.00 considering the cost of the permit and the cost to post it to do business legally.

 

It is mind boggling that the County and City building departments do not have an advertising campaign to let homeowners know that it is the law that a permit must be pulled and posted for air conditioning and ductwork installations. Why don’t contractors go to the trouble of pulling and posting permits? One reason is that it can be a long ordeal at the building department to apply for these permits. It is a process that could be made easier and quicker but that is secondary to the requirement of following the law.

 

I believe that the companies that are not pulling permits are not doing the best work possible for the homeowner. When you pull a permit the contractor becomes responsible for any code violation issues that are at the home prior to the air conditioning installations. For example if the prior contractor who put in the previous air conditioner removed a portion of a roof strut to make that air handler fit in the attic it is the responsibility of the new contractor to fix that problem when they install the new unit. The present contractor has to bring the home to code with regards to their installation. The most important reason for pulling and posting a permit is that the work will be inspected by the appropriate building department to make sure that the job is safe and is up to code. Hopefully the code violations caused by previous contractors who did not pull a permit will be discovered by the building inspector. There are a few homeowners that have done previous work themselves that does not meet code. They do not want a permit pulled in fear that this work will be discovered. In my opinion there is no excuse for not pulling a permit. Homeowners should want the work they are paying for to be to code.

 

Many homeowners want the cheapest price possible and do not really care if it is done to code. I learned something recently that really made me think. I heard a statistic from the National Better Business Bureau. It stated that there were more than 10 million complaints last year against contractors. 80% of these complaints were filled against contractors who submitted the lowest bid. This means that homeowners are doing business with companies that are doing the cheapest work. I wonder how many of those companies did not pull permits on those jobs.

 

I am aware of many air conditioning companies that do not pull and post permits for air conditioning systems and ductwork. In my HVAC design work I will not do business with these companies when I represent one of my clients. I supervise each job and insist that these companies pull permits. I am aware of one local air conditioning company that has pulled less than 10 permits for air conditioning installations in the last two and a half years. I know of approximately 200 of their customers that permits were not pulled. This company is under investigation by all  the local building departments and the State of Florida and I am not at liberty to disclose the name of the contractor or the homeowners names. As soon as this information is public knowledge I will be reporting it in this blog.

 

Here is something I have heard, “Mrs. Jones since you already have an air conditioner I don’t have to pull a permit on your job, only when you don’t have air conditioning do we have to pull a permit.” Do not let contractors lie to you. If they are not pulling a permit it could mean they are cutting corners because they know that the building department is not going to do an inspection and will not see those short cuts that could be going against codes.

 

Remember if you do not see a permit posted on your house when the job is completed the contractor is breaking the law. Unfortunately the homeowner is also responsible for this permit and could also be liable for any fines the building departments may levy. It is your property and it is your family. Do not be apart of a code violation or a safety issue that could threaten your investment or your loved ones. I am a certified home inspector, mold inspector, air quality inspector, and air conditioning technician. I have seen problems during my inspections that I would not wish on anyone. Do not be a statistic or become a news report because shoddy work has affected your home or family.

 

Stand up for yourself with your contractors.

 

Jacob Mermin CHI/CMI

www.mermininspections.com

jacob@mermininspections.com

239-243-7322

From The Inspector

Tuesday, June 9th, 2009

Grandma Why are you always sick?

Recently I was asked by a long  time Friend’s son for help. I have known this kid since he and my daughter were in baby carriers watching their young fathers play on a church softball team. He says ” Jake you know all about that IAQ stuff right”. “Yes Ronald I know all about Indoor Air Quality”. He then proceeds to tell me that his girlfriend’s grandmother is always sick, and that he noticed all this black junk on one of the air conditioning grills the last time he was over there. He asked me to go take a look at it and tell grandma what I thought and what she should do. Well I am going to show all of you a picture of what I saw, and I hope it doesn’t look familiar to anyone who maybe keeping up with the Inspector’s Corner.                                               

I get there and rem0141ove the filter from in front of this coil and I can’t believe my eyes. I put the filter back in front of the coil and went out to my truck. I found my rubber gloves and my respirator and had one hand on my hazmat suit. I didn’t want to scare poor grandma so I left it in the truck and told myself to be careful. You must understand that I see this almost every day and each time I do I still don’t understand why. There are people out there breathing this in, making themselves sick and not even realizing it. This includes this grandmother.

 

 

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Showing the progression of Microbial Matter is very important in explaining a client’s indoor air quality issues. For those who don’t understand the process the blower motor pulls the cold air off an evaporator coil and sends it through the supply plenum to the duct system. The air handler is center stage when it comes to the average indoor environment. While the system is running air is continuously re-circulating from the return into and out of the evaporator coil to the blower and out the duct system. It is a vicious circle that needs to be broken.

 

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The evaporator coil, blower motor, and the unit’s insulation are full of Microbial Growth. As a National  Certified Mold and Air Quality Inspector I do not like it when I hear about others calling this mold. This word is thrown around by air conditioning companies to get home owners upset and worried and I guess in the mood to buy what ever is presented.

After I do a visual inspection I need to decide whether to recommend to my client to have lab testing done. In this case there is so much Microbial Growth that lab testing is the next logical step. We need to know if there is something in this home that could be dangerous. Most people do not realize that there are thousands of different molds with many sub species that look so much alike under the microscope that they are just lumped into one category. The EPA has developed a testing system called ERMI/DNA Mold Testing. This is the only mold testing developed by the EPA. It is very technical, it goes directly to the mold DNA where they can separate out the sub species. It is very CSI like, and very expensive. It is not every day mold testing. This type of mold testing is for Law suites and litigation or for insurance purposes. Mold effects us in different ways. Some people react to it from as far as 100 feet away where some can stand over it and not be bothered. It is well documented that mold usually effects the young and the old and those with breathing issues and immune system deficiencies. Molds that produce Mycotoxins usually effects everyone. Molds like the “Black Mold” which is actually called Stachybotrys.

In the case of grandma I took a swab sample of the evaporator coil, blower motor wheel, and a supply vent. Results came back from the lab with four different types of mold. It also came back with something called back ground particulate. Which is dust, dirt, pollen, pet dander, dead skin cells, bug parts and etc. etc. etc. Back ground particulate can be considered food for mold along with paper, drywall, dead plant material, etc. etc. etc. Another item came back in the test results called Hyphae which is the feeding apparatus of the mold. This usually means that there is a growing and feeding mold colony in the area where the testing was taken. Mold needs only two things to grow, moisture and a food source. Well we have already discussed the food source. Mold will grow in 70% humidity. There is always 70% humidity in Florida. I have seen it 65 degrees outside and 90% humidity.

An air conditioner’s air handler is a prime area fod mold growth. An air handler can be it’s own environmental system. The air conditioner is a dehumidifier with cold air being a by product. Remember the evaporator is exposed to the air in your house and then removes your home’s humidity. Combine that with the dust, dirt, pollen, etc. and you have the two items needed for mold to grow and start a living feeding colony. This is my passion. I want everyone to have good quality air. If you see dirt on the air conditioning supply grills in your home you may have a growing, feeding mold colony inside your air handler. You might want to call a Certified Mold Inspector and find out if you may have a problem with your indoor air quality. If you have kids that seem to always be sick. People have told just when they thought they were better they were sick again. If your nose starts running and your eyes keep watering you may have allergies or you could have mold in your house. People are allergic to mold. Florida is the number one state for breathing problems. In closing I would like to share the most stupid thing anyone has ever said to me about these issues. It was from one of those know it all wise guys we have all met. He actually  told me, “Mold is not that bad once you get use to it”. My answer to him was, “Well it’s obvious you do not care about your indoor air quality, how about your wife and kids”. My motto is “without air quality, we cannot have quality of life”.

Jacob Mermin CHI/CMI

www.mermininspections.com

jacob@mermininspections.com

239-243-7322

From The Inspector: Jacob Mermin CHI/CMI

Sunday, May 31st, 2009

Chinese Drywall Update.

I was out to the River Hall development near Alva, Fl. again last week. I was asked by one of the residents to do the $99.00 visual inspection that I am advertising on my website and other outlets. My client wanted to know where they stood. This home is a second residence and occupied several times of the year. A second air conditioning evaporator coil was replaced one day before my arrival. I requested that my client ask the air conditioning company to leave the coil so that I could include it in my inspection and investigation. Unfortunately the a/c company said they couldn’t do that as it was to be sent to the manufacturer for warranty. Couldn’t postpone that one day, go figure. I asked if my client could do part of my job by taking pictures of the contaminated evaporator coil before it was taken away.

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AIR CONDITIONING

As you can see in this picture the old evaporator coil with it’s blackened copper tubing is in stark contrast to the new shinny copper tubing of the new evaporator coil. This is definate evidence that this home maybe suffering from the effects of the chemicals associated with   Chinese Drywall.

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ELECTRICAL

My visual investigation continued by inspecting several electrical outlets and switch plates. As you can see in this picture there is a wire that is connected to a ground screw on the left side of the electrical outlet. I found several electrical outlets that had this blackened copper ground wire.

 

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PLUMBING FIXTURES

All types of plumbing fixtures are a good area to find if there is visual evidence of the effects of the chemicals associate with Chinese Drywall. As you can see with this sink plug it is very corroded and pitted. Stainless steel or chrome are very effected and visual evidence is usually easy to see. Your darker bronze type fixtures are the most difficult to see.

 

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This matching faucet in the same guest bathroom is also effected by the chemicals that are associated with Chinese drywall.

 

 

 

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DRYER PLUG

In this close up picture of the home’s dryer electrical plug you can see that the brass elements are just starting to turn black. On several occasions I have seen the brass elements of the common dryer plug become completely black in color with no sign of that shinny copper color. This dryer plug may eventually fail due to Chinese Drywall.

 

 In this Chinese Drywall update I have given a few examples of the evidence that I have found during my many inspections. There are plenty of other household locations that can be effected by the chemicals associated with Chinese Drywall. These include mirrors, refrigerators, freezers, and main panel electrical breaker boxes that are found inside condominiums instead of the garage. These are usually in the laundry room and can be a major problem if the copper wire is effected.

Again the latest developement is the River Hall community on State Road 80 near Alva, Florida on the way to Labelle. This home was located in the Cascades section of the development. Remember earlier I was asked to inspect on of the model homes now owned by Bank of America. All inquires should be sent to them as they have taken over the responsibility of River Hall when Levitt and Sons went bankrupt.

Bulk drywall testing is available through my company Jacob Mermin Inspections. I use Assured Bio in Oakridge Tn. a nationally certified laboratory with extended experience. You can referr to an earlier post that has a message from the laboratory manager Lyn Pope. I have been instructed by Lyn Pope to take my drywall samples for testing from a wall that has an electrical outlet that has that blackened copper wire. She has told me to take a sample from every wall that has that effected electrical outlet. That many tests may prove to be too costly for the average homeowner. Beware there are inspectors who are not qualified to perform this testing. I recommend that my clients have as many samples done as they can afford. My policy is to give my clients the most for their money and if neccasary spread fewer tests out around the home.

Do not take the builders word for testing. Many builders have claimed that they performed testing in their homes and no Chinese Drywall was used. Ask for the test results. Ask for the visual inspection report. In many cases these builders were taking samples of drywall no where near any evidence of Chinese Drywall. For example, I take drywall samples next to electrical outlets where I found blackened copper ground wires. They do not. They take samples on walls where the electrical outlets showed no evidence of the blackening of copper ground wires. I do not mean that all builders are not being honest about their inspections and testing. I have not heard of very many builders bragging about independent visual inspections and testing. I would count DSD Homes of Lehigh Acres, Fl., Desoto Holdings of Ft. Myers, Fl., and the folks out at the models in the RiverHall development as those companies who want independent inspections and testing.

Final thought. You must find an inspector you can trust. Those concerned will not take your word for anything. You need a Certified Inspector to visually inspect your concerns and produce a report. Also get your Certified Inspector to get your testing done. Don’t take the builder’s word for it. Every attorney that I have talked to wants this report and testing for any type of litigation or class action lawsuit. I would advise you have all your eggs in a basket for them ahead of time. This way you are in control of it and not the lawyers. Remember your homeowner insurance company is also going to want this information. You definitely don’t want to use their inspections and testing.

From the inspector

Jacob Mermin CHI/CMI

www.mermininspections.com

jacob@mermininspections.com

239-243-7322