Mermin inspections Blog

Posts Tagged ‘mold inspections’


Saturday, January 21st, 2012


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 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/


Tuesday, December 6th, 2011

Can I Use Home Mold Test Kits Instead of A Mold Inspection?

We advise AVOIDING mold test kits. Unfortunately, home mold test kits are a waste of money. Here are several reasons to consider…

5 Reasons Mold Test Kits Waste Your Money

The most important part of a mold inspection is the inspection, not the mold samples.
Mold samples can be misleading, are sometimes incorrect with both false positive and false negative results occurring, and can only be accurately interpreted in conjunction with a well thought out sampling plan and visual inspection. The visual inspection requires an understanding of building construction, water sources, and other factors that may not be apparent to many people, such as condensation occurring in a poorly ventilated attic, poor drainage on the exterior of a building, or cracks in the foundation.

Consumer Reports rates home mold test kits “Not Recommended”.
In 2006, Consumer Reports evaluated four different types of home mold testing kits and rated all of them “Not Recommended,” including typical comments like this one for the Pro-Lab MO109 mold test kit:

“In some samples, the vials with media leaked over entire kit. In one, an unopened kit was moldy. No expiration dates on the kit; old media could affect the accuracy and reliability of the results. Label claims that kit can identify toxic mold, but the report the lab sends can’t tell you this. One unused plate came back positive for mold growth, indicating contamination at some point; not very reassuring for post remediation use.”

Mold test kits do not provide meaningful answers.
The primary issue with these kits is they essentially only test for the presence of mold in the home. The mold testing kits that we are aware of are simply “gravity” or “settling” plates which consists of putting an open Petri dish in the home for some period of time. This is about as useful as setting out a plate of fruit and finding out whether mold will grow on them. Given enough time, of course it will! If you leave moist food on the kitchen counter for a few weeks, no one is surprised when mold forms on that food, and finding mold on that food does not mean that the home has a mold problem.

It’s important to understand that mold is ubiquitous – it’s everywhere. ALL homes have mold in them. Mold is present in homes, buildings, and the outside air. Mold spores are in the air, on surfaces, on the furniture… all over the place. If you open a Petri dish and take a sample, it is likely that you will get mold growing on the Petri dish. That’s not helpful information!

Mold test kits cause fear to make money for mold test kit manufacturers.
The question with mold inspections is not: “Are there mold spores in the air?” Unless it is something like a hospital operating theater, we already know the answer. It’s “Yes.” Setting out a petri dish almost never provides useful information. It merely confirms what we already know – that there are mold spores in the air – and only serve to line the pockets of the companies that produce them and to cause fear in the people who use them, which causes further sampling or work for the companies that produce home mold testing kits.

The mold industry advises against home mold test kits.
All credible organizations in the indoor air quality community advocate against using these types of samples. In fact, a well-recognized book in the mold industry “Bioaerosols: Assessment and Control” by the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH) advises against using the types of samples included in these home mold testing kits.

The Bottom Line: These mold test kits generate money for the companies selling them and generally, just cause fear in the person taking the sample with no real added value. Further, the most important part of a mold inspection is not the mold sample, but rather the inspection of the building for sources of moisture and evidence of mold. Often, mold testing is not even necessary.

This posting courtesy of EM Laboratory.


Sunday, December 6th, 2009


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 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………..


Tuesday, March 17th, 2009

The inspector’s corner is now alive and well and living in Cape Coral Florida. I have been told that Cape Coral Florida is the Foreclosure capitol of the world. One of my main issues, what I tell everyone I meet is “Do not buy or sell a home without a Home and Mold Inspection.” Sometimes people get it and sometimes they don’t. One foreclosure buyer asked me, “If it is being sold as is, why do I need to have a home inspection?” Here is the most simple answer I can give you. Because, a certified home and mold inspector can tell you if the foreclosure is a money pit. There are so many foreclosures in this foreclosure capital of America, just go find another one. Why would you want to be caught up in  a money pit.

So this is your Welcome Aboard from the Inspector. In the Inspector’s Corner we are going to talk about things just like this. Your inspector in this corner is a certified home inspector, mold inspector, air quality inspector, and air conditioning technician and inspector. Anything and everything about these types of inspections will be discussed. Indoor air quality is my passion. I do all types of mold and air testing for clients all around SW. Florida. In a couple of weeks a colleague and I will be announcing a new affordable Chinese Drywall test  for homeowners. This information will be coming soon. Right now my inspection company Jacob Mermin Inspections is doing visual Chinese Drywall inspections. Just visit my website at and see the inspection available. It could be the best $99.00 you have ever spent. Realtors are recommending that clients have this done before you commit to purchase  a home from 2004 to 2006. Hey kids, there are plenty of homes for sale down here ,why buy one that was built with Chinese Drywall.

I plan on making this blog  a very important source of information.  My web cohorts are planning on having a U Tube screen so we can show you things you should know about. I plan on a regular post about the bad indoor air quality of restaurants called, “Never mind the air you’re breathing, what just fell in your food.” I think you will find the pictures very interesting and enlightening.

I plan on having regular contributions from Realtors, contractors, bug guys, water guys, lawn guys and anyone else I can get to write something for free. Most of all what I would like is to here from people in the form of questions and comments. I want to talk about things that people are not doing correctly. Like did you know that you have to get a permit to change your air conditioning and duct work. Do you know the difference between different filters. Whats the scoop on these air purifiers. If you are a professional with knowledge to share, we want to hear from you.

Together we can make this blog more than just a place for me to write. I want it to be a place where ideas are shared. We can change lives. We can make things better for people. It’s amazing how these posts get around the blogesphere. Your ideas can be read by thousands of people. So it’s time to participate.

The Inspector’s Corner is open and the Inspector is in.