Author: Dan Howard (page 1 of 2)

16 Symptoms of Immune System Problems or Autoimmune Disease


When your immune system is on point, it’s a lifesaver. But as good as it may be, it’s not perfect. Sometimes, this group of special cells, tissues, and organs doesn’t act the way it should.  This is an auto-immune system disease.

If it kicks into action too often, you may get a condition like allergies, asthma, or eczema. Or if your immune system starts to attack your body instead of safeguarding it, you could have an autoimmune disorder like rheumatoid arthritis or type 1 diabetes.

At least 80 illnesses are caused by immune system problems. They can all cause inflammation. But do you know the other warning signs?

Keep in mind that these possible clues can happen for many other reasons. To figure out what’s going on with your health, you’ll want to see your doctor.

Auto Immune Disease Can Devastate a Family

Auto Immune Disease Can Attack All Ages of People

  1. Cold Hands

If your blood vessels are inflamed, it can be harder for your fingers, toes, ears, and nose to keep warm. The skin in these areas may turn white, then blue, when you’re exposed to the cold. Once blood flow returns, the skin may then turn red.

Doctors call this “Raynaud’s phenomenon.” Immune system problems can cause it, but so can other things, including smoking, some prescription drugs, and conditions that affect your arteries.

  1. Bathroom Problems

Diarrhea that lasts more than 2 to 4 weeks can be a warning sign that your immune system is harming the lining of your small intestine or digestive tract.

Constipation is a concern, too. If your bowel movements are hard to pass, very firm, or look like they’re made up of small rabbit pellets, your immune system may be forcing your intestine to slow down. Other possible causes include bacteria, viruses, and other health conditions.

  1. Dry Eyes

If you have an autoimmune disorder, that means your immune system attacks your body instead of defending it. Rheumatoid arthritis and lupus are two examples.

Many people who have an autoimmune disorder find that they have dry eyes. You might feel a sandy, gritty feeling like something is in your eye. Or you may notice pain, redness, a stringy discharge, or blurred vision. Some people find they can’t cry even when they’re upset.

  1. Fatigue

Feeling extremely tired, like you do when you have the flu, could mean something’s going on with your body’s defenses. Sleep is unlikely to help. Your joints or muscles can ache, too. Again, there could be many other reasons why you feel this way.

  1. Mild Fever

If you’re running a higher temperature than normal, it could be that your immune system is starting to overwork. That can happen due to an oncoming infection or because you’re starting to have a flare of an autoimmune condition.

  1. Headaches

In some cases, headaches can be related to the immune system. For example, it could be vasculitis, which is inflammation of a blood vessel caused by an infection or autoimmune disease.

  1. Rash

Your skin is your body’s first barrier against germs. How it looks and feels can reflect how well your immune system is doing its job.

Itchy, dry, red skin is a common symptom of inflammation. So is a rash that is painful or doesn’t clear up. People with lupus often get a butterfly-shaped rash across their nose and cheeks.

  1. Joints Ache

When the lining inside your joints becomes inflamed, the area around them is tender to the touch. It might also be stiff or swollen, and it can happen with more than one joint. You may notice that it’s worst in the morning.

  1. Patchy Hair Loss

Sometimes the immune system attacks hair follicles. If you lose hair on your scalp, face, or other parts of your body, you could have a condition called alopecia areata. Strands or clumps of hair coming out can also be a symptom of lupus.

  1. Repeated Infections

If you need to take antibiotics more than twice a year (four times for children), your body may not be able to attack germs well on its own.

Other red flags: Chronic sinus infections, being sick with more than four ear infections in a year (for anyone over the age of 4), or having pneumonia more than once.

  1. Sensitive to Sun

People with an autoimmune disorder sometimes have an allergic reaction to ultraviolet (UV) rays called photodermatitis. You may get blisters, a rash, or scaly patches after being in the sun. Or you may get chills, a headache, or nausea.

  1. Tingling or Numbness in Your Hands and Feet

It can be completely innocent. But in some cases it can mean that your body is attacking nerves that send signals to your muscles. People who have Guillain-Barre syndrome, for instance, may have numbness that starts in their legs then moves up to their arms and chest.

Chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy has symptoms similar to the demyelinating form of GBS, (called acute inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy, or AIDP), but while GBS lasts two weeks to 30 days. CIPD lasts much longer.

  1. Trouble Swallowing

If you have a tough time getting food down, your esophagus (the tube that carries food from your mouth to your stomach) could be swollen or too weak to work well. Some people feel like food is stuck in their throat or chest. Others gag or choke when they swallow. One of the possible causes can be a problem with your immune system.

  1. Unexplained Weight Change

You find yourself gaining extra pounds even though your eating habits and workouts haven’t changed. Or the number on your scale may drop for no clear reason. It’s possible this is because of damage to your thyroid gland from an autoimmune disease.

  1. White Patches

Sometimes your immune system decides to fight the skin’s pigment-making cells, called melanocytes. If so, you’ll start to see white patches of skin on your body.

  1. Yellowing of Your Skin or Eyes

Called jaundice, it may mean that your immune system is attacking and destroying healthy liver cells. That can lead to a condition called autoimmune hepatitis.

WebMD Medical Reference Reviewed by Jennifer Robinson, MD on August 05, 2016


If you have an autoimmune disease, contact    to locate a professional to test your home for potential triggers that could affect the disease


University of Rochester Medical Center, “Disorders of the Immune System.”

Office on Women’s Health, US Department of Health and Human Services, “Autoimmune Diseases Fact Sheet.”

American Academy of Allergy Asthma and Immunology, “Recurrent Infections May Signal Immunodeficiencies.”

National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases, “Autoimmune Diseases.”

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “Hygiene-Related Diseases: Diarrhea.”

National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, “Vasculitis Syndromes of the Central and Peripheral Nervous Symptoms Fact Sheet.”

Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health Pathology, “Autoimmune Disease Research Center: Frequently Asked Questions.”

The Johns Hopkins Lupus Center, “Signs, Symptoms and Co-occuring Conditions.”

University of Washington Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine, “Fatigue.”

National Fibromyalgia and Chronic Pain Association, “Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.”

National Institutes of Health, “Red Itchy Rash? Get the Skinny on Dermatitis.”

World Allergy Organization, “Diagnostic Approach to the Adult With Suspected Immune Deficiency.”

University of Maryland Medical Center, “Photodermatitis.”

University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, “Guillain-Barre Syndrome (GBS.)”

University of Florida Health, “Raynaud’s Phenomenon.”

University of Michigan Health System, “Difficulty Swallowing (Dysphagia.)”

The IBS Treatment Center, “Constipation.”

National Eye Institute, “Facts About Dry Eye.”

NIH News in Health: “Dry Eyes and Mouth?” March 2012.

Review of Optometry, “When Autoimmune Disease Initiates Dry Eye.”

Lupus Research Institute, “Lupus and Your Skin.”

Arthritis Foundation, “Rheumatoid Arthritis Symptoms.”

© 2016 WebMD, LLC. All rights reserved.


Stopping the Spread of Colds, Flu and Other Communicable Diseases Because of Touchpoints

Identifying and cleaning touchpoints is the best practice to control the spread of germs in homes, schools, and businesses. Touchpoints are the places where germs can sit and wait to infect the next person.

             The “handshake” is the ultimate touchpoint where we transfer communicable diseases to each other in the name of greeting each other. We do this ritual everywhere from the workplace, and grocery store to our houses of worship. In times of communicable diseases, the elbow bump makes a lot more sense than the handshake.     

Lets Try to Not Spread Colds and the Flu

Lets Try to Not Spread Colds and the Flu

Other common touchpoints are light switches, doorknobs, the back of chairs, restaurant menus, faucet and refrigerator handles. Less obvious touchpoints are the food storage container, the juice bottle, the top of a chair you pull out or the kitchen counter. Use the office microwave or use a grocery store cart?  Well, you get the picture. of an illness.

The good news is that there are some excellent disinfection systems and programs that were originally designed for medical facilities that are now available for use in any type of property. Once we identify a risk, we can implement effective solutions for just about every cause of Sick Building Syndrome.

Suggestions for Stopping the Spread of Illness in the Home

                It is really, really hard to pay attention to details and healthy practices when we are sick with a nasty bug. The only way this works in most households is to put these habits into practice before there is a sick person in the home. If you don’t have disposable plates and cups in the cupboard before illness, you are not going to the store to buy them after you are tending the sick.

  • Get available vaccines
  • Wash or disinfect your hands frequently
  • Use paper or disposable plates and cups
  • Use disposable tissues as opposed to handkerchiefs
  • Have ill household members wear a mask to protect from spreading their illness
  • Do not touch your eyes, nose or mouth (viruses can transfer from your hands and into the
  • body).
  • Have children only handle toys that can be easily disinfected before being shared

Suggestions for Stopping the Spread of Illness in the Workplace

                  The best solution is to have a plan in place before dealing with the illness and human resource challenges that a sick workforce can bring to a professional organization. There are consultants that can set programs in place that can work for just about any facility. It is a matter of their establishing a system of communicating responsibility and direction for the workforce.

  • Create and communicate an infection control plan.
  • Use signage to remind visitors and co-workers of best practices
  • Wipe and disinfect all touchpoint surfaces and workspaces each day
  • Provide soap, sanitizing wipes and boxes of tissue at convenient locations
  • Put hand sanitizer and masks at the entries to the facilities
  • Remove magazines and papers from waiting areas or common rooms
  • Verify that ventilation and air filter systems are working properly

To find someone who can create a plan to control the outbreak of contagious diseases, go to

Ice Under the Rooftop Can Be the Start of Mold

The Bitter Cold Winter Is Creating Mold Problems from Rooftops to Basements

Bitter Cold Creates Mold from Ice Under roof

Bitter Cold Weather Ice on Roof is the Start of Mold

The crazy cold weather sweeping the nation is making mold a problem from top to bottom in many homes that have never had a mold problem before. Your home may be one of those homes, and you may not know it…..yet. This is especially true in homes with high efficiency construction and improvements.

The mold in attics and crawlspaces is the sneaky mold that comes from cold weather. Warm air in the living areas of the home holds a lot of moisture. When that warm, moist air hits the attic or crawlspace, it condenses on the surfaces. That moisture freezes into layers of ice. The colder the weather and the longer the time of cold weather, the more ice builds up.

You would be amazed to look in a cold attic or crawlspace and see layers of ice on the nails and wood surfaces. When that ice melts, it can soak the wood creating the ideal conditions for the growth of mold that could go unnoticed for months. Black fuzzy mold could meet you when you finally poke you head into those areas. You could save heartache and expense by taking the time to check on those areas sooner than later.

What You Need to Know if You Have A Winter Ice Buildup in Your Attic or Crawlspace

                The rapid thawing of the built-up ice can result is severe damage to a home. Use of evaporation techniques and equipment by a professional is the best way to minimize damage to a property from ice buildup. In cold temperature areas, commercial dehumidification equipment will not be effective.  Adding heat too quickly can result in materials getting damaged from the ice becoming water. The secret trick of the professionals is that air movement causing evaporation from the iced area to the exterior is the best solution to minimize damage to the home.

                      To find an inspector who can identify mold conducive conditions and suggest the best ways to change the conditions to avoid serious mold problems go to




To Clean or Throw Out Moldy or Flooded Stuff

The Most Often Asked Questions are:

What Can You Keep or Clean after Flood or Mold Problems?  and What Needs Thrown Out?

Mold On Cabinets

Mold that needs properly cleaned

Food items that have been in contact or stored in areas with mold or water damage should be thrown away. Add a period and exclamation point to this statement.

Pool table needed felt top professionally cleaned

Expensive pool table that was loaded with mold under the table

Materials that have a solid surface such as plastic, glass or metal and no electronics or foam padding are easily cleaned and preserved. Soap and water or a commercial disinfectant is the simplest cleaning method. A mixture of 1/4 cup of Clorox to a gallon of water is another way to disinfect the hard-surfaced materials. Warning: Do not use a higher concentration of Clorox as it can result in injury to people, pets and the items the mixture contacts.

The short story is if contents are porous and flood contaminated or moldy they will probably need thrown away. This includes cardboard, carpet, padding, stuffed animals and upholstered furnishings. Mattresses and box springs are on that list.

The paper materials that did not get wet or damp and do not have visible mold or damaged may be preserved with simply HEPA vacuuming. Most paper products including books will need thrown out once moldy or wet from flooding.  For very valuable items such as a family bible, there is an expensive, but effective freeze-drying process that can preserve those items.

Clothing is eadily saved by washing in regular laundry detergent unless the fabric has been damaged. Mold will clean out of machine washable material. but damaged clothing is not restored to its original condition by washing.

Major and small appliances that have mold exposure but have not been under water may be saved with a professional cleaning.  Consult a professional about these items. As an example, a hard drive may be removed from a computer and salvaged but could be damaged if the powered on with moldy electronics.

All appliances both big and small that have been under any water will need replaced. The cost of cleaning some of these items will often exceed the cost of replacement. Failure to clean these can result in fires, health hazards or recontamination of the home.  Furnaces, hot water tanks, washing machines and the like are total losses if any part of the components have been under water.

When the Problem is “Just Mold, not Flooding”

Forced air furnaces can redistribute mold through an entire home after the property is cleaned. Furnace ductwork, blowers, cabinets need cleaned as a part of any mold remediation.                   Mold can and will live behind walls. Removal of house wall finishes may be required to get rid of the mold.  If you do this work yourself, learn and follow the principals of containment, negative air and air scrubbing.  Handling of mold contaminated materials should be done with personal protective equipment such as gloves, eye protection and masks.

There are materials used in the construction of homes that will require replacement as opposed to cleaning. Fiberboard, carpet and pad are examples. Some types of HVAC ductwork and insulation are other common examples.

Water events and ice buildups can result in damage to property, contents and occupant’s health. Professional advice that can save these materials is a bargain.  Contact   Inspector Lab      to locate a mold expert near you.  For a PDF print article on this subject, go to:




Winter is Here With its Sick Building Wheezy Winter Blues

Imagine that winter’s approach is just another country music song. The song goes like this: “The temperature drops, the windows close, doors slam shut and all I got were those yucky, wheezy winter blues”.


Continue reading

Steps to a Healthy Home This Winter

The place to start on the path to a healthy home is looking at changes you may have recently made. How moisture and air move through your home can be affected by changes in furnace systems, windows, doors or insulation. Building additions and interior french drains can also change the nature of the indoor environment. If you had any of those changes to your home, you need to have a second look at the indoor environment.

Furnaces need checked by a qualified, expert furnace service professional or home inspector each heating season.

There is a reason for all the descriptive qualifiers in front of the word “service professional”. Many service companies will only check if the furnace turns on. They often do not check each of the critical issues relating particularly fossil fueled furnaces.

Have an Inspction for Peace of MInd and a Healthy Home

Checking a Furnace is One Step TO a Safe and Healthy Home This Winter 

Heat exchangers will eventually fail, gas leaks occur as the pipe sealant dries, condensate lines can leak and damage a furnace. Many times, the vent system has deteriorated or more amazingly, never been installed properly in the first place. Over the years, I have found countless furnaces that have had undiagnosed defective heat exchangers. I have walked into a furnace room and without even pulling out a single tool, observed gas leaks, sewer odor from defective condensate lines, and blocked or damaged vent systems. None of these are healthy conditions for residents 

When a mid-range efficiency furnace is installed that uses interior air as combustion air, gas hot water tank and gas dryer vent gases can be pulled back into the home from those venting appliances.

Gas hot water tanks are another common source of indoor environmental issues.

This is particularly true in cold weather. Oversized chimneys will not properly vent when cold. When a high efficiency furnace is installed, the hot water tank usually needs to be connected to a flue liner, which is a smaller vent. In as many as 20% of the new furnace installations that I have inspected, that change was not made. The reason is that the liner needs installed from the roof and costs time and money. Not installing that system makes it possible to give a lower bid on a furnace installation job. The true cost of that omission of the liner is flue gases staying in the home and presenting a health risk to the occupants of the building.

Stored materials are often a hazard.

 We often bring stored toxins into the home. The can of gasoline, the pesticide for your yard, the damp and moldy furniture cushions and the super-duper cleaners all make their way into the building envelope for storage in winter.

The simple recommendation is to not store any chemicals in the home, particularly when someone sensitive to these products lives there. An outside storage shed is one solution. Properly disposing of the products is another solution.

When cold weather comes, pests and other animals think of your home as a safe and warm place to live.

 Mice, rats, birds, bats and squirrels are some of the animals found in homes. I have also found ground hogs and shrews in homes. When animals pick your home as there winter retreat, your home becomes their bathroom. If they pass away, it can also become their mausoleum. The result is odor and contaminants that can make a home smell bad and unhealthy.

 The bottom line is that we are going to close our homes, schools and workplaces tight as a drum to save energy and stay warm. If you have the symptoms of sick building syndrome or notice an odor, look around for a problem. If you can’t find the cause, call a professional to help you. Good health is a precious gift that we do not want to squander.

Contact to find a qualified home inspector near you. 

Environmental Problems Can be Painful

Did you ever think that exposure to the environmental problems that make us sick is like hitting your thumb with a hammer……..but nobody can tell you what the hammer is?

Reacting to Did you ever think that exposure to the environmental problems that make us sick is like hitting your thumb with a hammer……..but nobody can tell you what the hammer is?

Hitting thumb with a hammer

Did you ever think that exposure to the environmental problems that make us sick is like hitting your thumb with a hammer……..but nobody can tell you what the hammer is?

We go and do so many different things and go so many places each day that it is often difficult to pinpoint what “is” or just as importantly what “is not” making us ill.

Making all of this figuring out whether something in our environment is making us ill more of a puzzle is the fact that we react to environmental stresses in “time delay”. The difficulty is “time delay” is not how our brain usually works.

Please let me explain: If we touch a burner on the stove, we feel pain. If we hit our thumb with hammer, we immediately feel the consequences of that action. Based upon that reaction, we each learn not to do those things. We learn in real time that for those actions there is a predictable, consistent and unpleasant reaction. We also figure out to not do those things again. However, I must admit that when I worked as a carpenter to get through college, that hitting fingers with a hammer happened a couple of times past the first. Before you judge that fact, I assure you that IT WAS NOT ON PURPOSE. Ouch.

Environmental exposures are more complicated because they not only happen in time delay, but they also often occur in combinations of events. Our minds do not do well at processing the complex conditions and events that trigger environmental reactions.

Keeping a diary of how you feel, where you are what you are doing and what you eat is probably the best tool for establishing health patterns that may predict sources of environmental reaction.

As an example, a diary could show that you become ill 6 to 10 hours after a visit to a particular building, riding in and automobile, eating a particular food or a host of other events occurs. This can be a life changing tool.

Based on that information, an assessment by a environmental specialist and testing of the area that appears to be the source of illness is the next step on the path to a return to good health

Mold is one of the most common triggers for health issues. Allergens are another very common trigger. Testing for these issues is a prudent first step in the process of narrowing sources of environmental stressors. Sending the tests to for quality evaluation and an easy to read report is the next step.

Calling your InspectorLab testing and inspection professional can be your first step on the path to good health.  You can find the contact information at   They can help identify the source that causes the contamination and test to identify the molds that can be the source of health problems for you or the ones you love.



The Indoor Environment Can Cause the Winter Blues

Imagine that winter’s approach is just another country music song. The song goes like this: “The temperature drops, the windows close, doors slam shut and all I got were those yucky, wheezy winter blues”.  The indoor environment can become a problem in winter.

Winter weather can cause environmental hazards

Winter weather can be the start of indoor air pollution as we tighten up homes


There’s a very good reason that this happens. Closing up the house really is a big part of it all. The winter induced end of fresh air coming into your home is what concentrates the contaminants that can make you ill.

The old time environmental experts explained that “the solution to pollution is dilution”. Sounds hokey, but it is a simple principal. That process of dilution in summer is that if there is a contaminant or odor in the home, the fresh air will disperse and dilute it.

Another factor that effects indoor air quality in winter is that the operation of heating systems elevates and spreads airborne contaminants. Most people think of heating systems as spreading heat through the home. Today, we need to think about heating systems as distributing mold, allergens, formaldehyde, sewer gas and whatever else is in the building. Even hot water heat systems create convection to distribute the contaminants

If you are wondering whether we are talking about your home, you will have hints that there is something wrong when you have environmental problems. Our bodies try to protect us by issuing those warnings. If something does not taste good, smell good or feel good, it is usually not good for us. Many times, our pets react to toxins before we do and give us the “heads up” that there is a problem. We should pay attention to the warnings.

Signs of an environmental problem in your home, school or workplace can include:

  • Odor
  • Not feeling well
  • Burning eyes, nose throat
  • Sneezing, coughing, hacking
  • Skin irritation
  • Nasal or sinus congestion
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Memory issues
  • Mood changes
  • Asthma attacks

By the way, not everyone in a home may notice the symptoms. That does not mean that there is not a problem. What it means is we are each different in our genetic makeup, current health and health history and the sum of all the exposures you receive in each of the places you spend time. As an example, some children can have severe reactions to peanuts. Most kids could live on PB&J. That is just “how it is.” We are each different in how we react to exposures.

The beauty of winter can bring environmental hazards

Winter can be the start of serious health problems as we close our homes up tight

This may be the time for you to contact InspectorLab and find a professional to test your home or workplace environment For more information,



The Story on Petri DIsh Mold Testing Kits

We often get asked about the petri dish mold test kits you find in hardware stores, grocery stores and the like. You’ve seen these hanging on racks at the end of aisles. They are the colorful packages showing gross mold pictures calling your name to come purchase. Just to add insult to injury, the plastic packs they come in will require a machete and crowbar to open.

Moldy Petri Dish Tells us Very Little About Mold Conditions in an Building

Petri Dish Testing Tells us Very Little About Mold Conditions in an Building

They are inexpensive. Actually, let’s call it as it is, as compared to a professional mold assessment they are downright cheap.

The problem is that they provide as little useful information as they cost.

There are a bunch of reasons why they are useless (except to the people selling them as this is a multimillion dollar business).

Only about 10% of all molds will grow on any single culture medium in a petri dish. Many molds will only grow on specific cultures. There are literally hundreds of culture media mycologists have developed to try to coax mold to grow in the laboratory. When we order cultures, we are offered have pages of choices for use in hundreds of situations. What this means is that you are potentially missing 90% of the molds that could be growing in the area being tested. You’ve heard the old saying, “you don’t know what you don’t know” and that may be essential information to correct the mold issue in your property.

The rate and area that mold spores fall is irregular and not representative of the area being tested. When a Petri dish culture is set out, the character of the air currents and ability of different size and shape spores to travel is not predicable or certain. Think of it like the spore population gets on an airplane, but you do not know where they are going to land and can’t predict what gate in which city they are going to land. In that case, you can’t place the Petri dish where it needs to be to meet the spore traps “at the gate”

The Petri Dish sample does not tell you how much of a mold is in the area. Last year I sowed zinnias in 3 separate pots, side by side. They were sitting on the patio with the same amount of light, water and temperature. The Zinnias grew at different rates in each pot. The variable was the soil in each. One had fresh soil and the others I had not changed the soil in the pots from the previous year. The amount of time that the Petri dish spends in the store and your home before use, and the temperature can affect the growth rate. The suitability of the agar for each mold growing in the Petri dish will also affect growth rate.

Zinnias growing at very different rates

Three pots of zinnias grow at the same time, in the same area, with the same water. The difference was the soil that was used. This is the problem with selecting a type of petri dish for the type of mold

Simply put: How much and what type of mold is present is critical to understanding if there is a problem in a building that requires remediation and to determine the type of appropriate remediation scope and products. The mold professional also needs to understand the materials and methods of construction and location of the underlying causes of the mold contamination to make sure that the mold does not come back.

Conclusion: Contact InspectorLab to find a mold professional to properly test your home, school  or business

Don’t waste the $10.00 for the test kit and $30.00 and up lab fee.

A site assessment and air testing are critical to resolving mold issues so that they do not return. The “Do-It-Yourself” kit does not reliably offer you any of that information. We want your home to be healthy and stay that way.  

The Story of Cody The Mold Dog

Buddy is Not a Mold Dog

Pictured above: “Buddy the Sheltie” With Best Friend Noah, Buddy is a Handsome Dog, But Refused to go to Mold College

This story is serious and true.  There are mold dogs in many part of the country served by InspectorLab.  In fact, “Cody  the Mold Dog” was quite the competition for mold professionals in this author’s Pittsburgh PA market, at least it seemed at first consideration.  Other InspectorLab customers across the country have had similar experiences. Let me start with a little background. Then I will tell you my personal story of competing with “Cody, The Mold Dog”.

Background Story on Mold Dogs and Mold Dog College

Mold dogs are specifically trained to detect up to 18 types of mold. This should not surprise you. We have dogs to search for drugs, bombs, money, weapons, accelerants, and termites. Makes sense that dogs can be trained to detect mold too. According to the website, hunting type dogs are best suited for this use. That would include Labs, Border Collies, Jack Russell Terriers, Aussies, Beagles and combinations of these breeds.

“Buddy the Sheltie” Would Not Go to Doggy Mold College

Sadly, our dog, Buddy the Sheltie (Border Collie), never expressed the desire to be a mold dog and join me in the environmental profession. But then again, neither did any of our 6 children. It’s not for a lack of effort on my part. I did mention to Buddy the Sheltie that he was a breed that was well suited to being a mold dog, but that suggestion fell on deaf ears. The training for mold dogs is rigorous and a little mean, and Buddy is a lover, not a workaholic or gluten for punishment.

“Cody the Mold Dog” earned his Mold Dog Degree and Went into the Mold Business

Let’s get back to my personal story about “Cody, the Mold Dog”. I am sure you have had an occasion that during dealing with someone, you have gotten to a point where they sheepishly admit to having dealt with someone else other than you. That would be “kind a, sort a…umm” like explaining to your friend from grade school why you are trading in a Chevy to purchase a Subaru from them, after calling upon them to give you a good deal because you ?go way back together”. (AWKWARD)

Picture this: I am working with a client with some serious health issues.

As is the practice with good environmental professionals, I explain the test results, why the mold is present and what needs to happen to make sure the mold goes away and does not come back again. All important information for the long-term health of the client and their family. They had serious health problems, and I had his full attention.

Then came the sheepish admission by the client that is the root of this story

Client: “Ummm, ahhhh, I need to admit, I had “Cody, The Mold Dog” here before I called you.

Me: “OK, how did that work out?  I have not personally met Cody”

Client: “Well, I’m very glad I called you. Cody charged me more than you did, and he didn’t talk to me.”

Moral of the Story

Detecting mold is not enough! The how, why, what, and pathway to a resolution are all important. Remediators who view their job and telling a client: “Yep, ya got mold and for $xxx. xx I will make it go away” are the real competitors to “Cody the Mold Dog”, not competitors to InspectorLab  mold professionals. You need to have a healthy home and deserve the help and advice they can give you.

Another Morsel of Wisdom in This Story

By the way, in the long run, the “Cody the Mold Dog” type of mold remediators may even cost you more than the real professionals. That is especially true when the mold comes back and you need face the health risks of mold exposure and then pay to have the job done again.

The professionals InspectorLab recommends for mold testing are trained to investigate the type and source of mold and then its solution.  They are also good at explaining the issues, listening to client concerns and TALKING with our clients and addressing their concerns. We believe that you deserve more than Cody the Mold Dog or a salesman only interested in making a sale, not helping and educating you.

For more information, go to


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