I called John to discuss a mold inspection. I told him I was helping someone buying a house and we wanted a home inspection and a mold inspection. I told him we already had a home inspector picked out and wanted a mold inspection done too. Immediately, he tried to convince me to use his wife to do the home inspection instead of the one we had picked out.
He quoted a price of $500. I told him that seemed high for a one hour inspection. I told him of another competing company that does a mold inspection for $95. He responded via e mail to go ahead and use that company then, but called me and proceeded to disparage that company’s reputation. He said he had to be careful on what he put in e mail.
In defending the $500 charge, he said the inspection would last for approximately 2 hours and we’d discuss the results of that inspection for another hour thereafter—approximately 3 hours total. The actual inspection was about 40 minutes. He was in and out of the home in 1 hour and 15 minute with his wife tugging on his sleeve to leave.
The dog is on a leash and supposed to sniff the perimeter of the home’s interior walls and sit whenever he detects mold. He is then given a treat and a poker chip is placed at that location. I asked John how do you know you’re not just training the dog to sit a lot? He said all he could say is the dog has a “100% success rate” in finding mold. (He previously claimed a 90% success rate.) I asked him what he meant. He said whenever the dog detects mold, an air sample could be taken (at an additional charge) and when that has happened in the past, air-borne mold spores were detected 100% of the time. Upon further questioning, he acknowledged that every home has air-borne mold spores and all will test positive.
Upon numerous instances during the inspection, we saw that the dog seemed distracted and was looking elsewhere with his mouth open and panting (not sniffing with a closed mouth) and he would sit for his treat and down would go a chip. On other occasions he would walk by a wall without sitting down only to be turned around to walk by that wall again. Sit he would and out would come a treat for the dog and down would go a chip on the floor.
I love dogs and have had numerous as a companions throughout my life. I can tell when one is intent on what he’s doing. I know what they look like when they’re tracking something with their nose. This dog did not seem to be looking for anything other than a treat. He knows if he sits a lot, he gets fed a lot.
Our “report” was 4 pages. It was poorly written with numerous grammatical errors. It was comprised of a cover page with a disclaimer, 2 pages listing the numerous locations of the chips, and a fourth page recommending obtaining “a complete set or air samples in all areas where the dog gave an alert.” The dog gave an alert in 36 areas. The cost of air samples is $100 each. Do the math.
When John had finally left, the rest of us were just looking at each other with “what just happened?” looks on our faces. I was embarrassed at having recommending the Mold Dog to my friend. I would not use John's services again. If you need a mold detection inspection done, I would encourage you to look at all your options and shop prices.