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LA (310) 301-6653 Ventura (805) 380-6653

SOS Engagement agreement

THIS IS INTENDED TO BE A LEGALLY BINDING DOCUMENT  Engagement agreement

This agreement will outline the relationship by and between SOS Environmental LLC, (“SOS”) and (“CLIENT FIRST NAME/ CLIENT LAST NAME”) who will hereafter be referred to as our, (“Client”).  This agreement is intended to outline and delineate our responsibilities with respect to any services provided for our Client, now or in all future engagements, which include, but are without limitation to; Mold inspections, consulting, Remediation coordination, Certifications, or general inspections, indoor air quality assessments, etc. or any services that that we may perform for you now or in the future on your behalf as our client.

Client warrants that Client will read this agreement carefully and completely, and that by agreeing to the terms and conditions in this contract agrees to be bound by all of the terms and conditions of this agreement, including but not limited to any and all limitations of liability expressed in this contract. Client acknowledges its Obligation to immediately read all reports and information

 Should provisions of this contract be unenforceable the remaining provisions and portions of this agreement shall remain in full force and effect without regard thereto. Please see our section entitled “severability” should questions exist in this regard.

Client acknowledges that it has been advised that no field agent, inspector, industrial hygienist or other party has authority to alter the terms and conditions of this agreement in any fashion or for any reason whatsoever and that SOS will only be engaged for its services pursuant to this entire agreement as enforceable by applicable law. Client is advised should it allow SOS to initiate its investigation on the subject premises, in any fashion, on behalf of Client, that such investigation and its findings, are specifically subject to, and expressly provisional upon all of the enforceable terms and conditions of this agreement including the warranties provided for herein with regard to our work product. No altered provision of this contract will be accepted in any fashion by SOS.

Work product of SOS:

Our work product performed under this agreement is intended for the sole benefit of Client; provided, however, that Client hereby authorizes SOS in its sole and complete discretion, to provide a copy of our work product(s) to any third party it may so desire. Any use of any of our work product, whether either in oral or written form by any third party other than by our Client is at that parties sole risk. Further no rights of our Client in connection with the engagement of SOS are assignable or transferable to any third party; whether in contract, economic, copyright or otherwise to any other party.  No transfer of rights whatsoever shall be granted by SOS except if specifically provided in writing by SOS with its prior consent; However, such consent is rarely if ever granted and Client should be so advised.

Client agrees to read all information provided in a timely fashion and report deficiencies:

Client further understands and agrees that Client will promptly read any and all inspection reports, work products provided to Client, and any results provided by SOS.  Client agrees that it will promptly notify SOS of any deficiencies Client may have noted in connection with our investigation. Client agrees and has been advised that time is of the essence in these types of situations and that from moment to moment conditions may change; specifically if the conditions that caused the issues to be present are not mitigated.  Client agrees that it will notify SOS within 48 hours of its becoming aware of any deficiencies, errors and omissions in any work product of SOS.   If such notification of a deficiency, of any kind, is not properly given to SOS within 48 hours from the delivery of its work product, then except as provided for under law, client waives any rights to make any claims against SOS for such deficiencies.

The nature of mold investigations and remediation:

Given the nature of the work and the nature of the subject matter involved, discovering any and all conditions that may lead to microbial growth is difficult if not sometimes impossible. Accordingly, Client acknowledges that while SOS may make its best efforts to discover any hidden areas of mold contamination, such areas may be undetected despite the best efforts of SOS.  The collection of samples from the air does not guarantee that hidden issues will be discovered.  SOS may not recommend the collection of air samples during an initial investigation, however this would be based on our professional opinion regarding the structure.  While any tools that may assist in determining the indoor air quality of the premises may be useful, air samples in and of themselves are interpretive and typically inaccurate.  Air samples collected during any investigation are done so at an additional cost.

Our Terms of Service:
Payment for services are due in advance of such services being performed, except is specifically provided for in any separate agreement to coordinate and assist in performing remediation and mitigation services.   All prices quoted are CASH or check price and payments made with a credit card through Squarespace © are subject to additional fees for processing such payments.  Client is advised that we reserve our rights to a mechanics lien on any site visit property as set forth by law. Further, that if we are forced to place a mechanics lien, that the costs and fees associated with such action are exorbitant and in all cases no less than $3,500 in addition to interest, court costs, and other fees.  Should prior to the actual receipt of those payments provide our work product to our Client, this does not waive any claims or rights we have to demand payment from our services prior to the work being completed. Our work product is delivered when posted on our website for review by our Client. However, this does not relive our Clients duties to pay for all costs incurred prior to being able to view our work product or reports. If Clients agent is in receipt of the work product and in turn does not deliver such work product to Client, SOS is not responsible in any way for such a circumstance or any ensuing losses incurred by Client, financial, or otherwise.  Once our written report is published or emailed to our client our obligations under the inspection agreement are completed.  However, SOS  in its sole discretion at no cost provide for Client follow-up phone, or site consultation(s) in connection with the inspection or report, however SOS is under no obligation to do so. These costs are NOT included in our initial price quote for either inspection, site visit cost or sample collection cost. All consultations, site visits, analysis, project supervision, litigation support and preparation, expert witness services and recommendations are billable at our standard rates for such services.  Our typical hourly rate for basic consultation services starts at $675 per hour.

Engagement not intended for litigation unless otherwise specifically contracted for:
Unless previously agreed upon by Client and SOS it is assumed that our engagement for services is not pursuant to any litigation. Client understands and acknowledges that it is aware that in our capacity we are acting only as consultants on our Client’s behalf. If, for whatever reason, we become involved in any litigation as a direct or indirect result of our engagement by Client, Client agrees to compensate SOS at its standard rates for any and all charges SOS would normally bill for such services if otherwise arranged for or agreed to be initially compensated for by Client. These fees may change from time to time are available by request. However, at a minimum these fees will be no less than under any circumstances:

Senior Staff time $575 per hour 4 hour minimum Hygienist staff time $250 per hour 4 hour minimum Office staff support time $75 per hour,4 hour minimum and .75 per page duplication fee and document production.

Further and for clarity, if SOS is required, in any way whatsoever, to be an evidentiary or percipient witness, in any capacity, including but without limitation to, deposition, deposition preparation time, document production, evidentiary testimony, percipient witness testimony, travel time to and from any deposition or court, time document production, preparation time for any of the aforementioned, Client agrees to pay in advance of SOS’s required appearance or required performance of any such services the fees associated with the service required or subpoenaed.

SCOPE OF INSPECTION
Client understands and acknowledges that the scope of the inspection and any reports, findings or conclusions given to Client in any form, whether verbal or written, resulting from or relating to our engagement are limited by the terms and conditions contained in this agreement. Further any limited visual or preliminary inspection of the structure for evidence of potential microbial contamination and the presence of water intrusions, which could lead to microbial contamination. (No matter how any report or written communication is labeled or entitled) is governed by the general limitations of this agreement and specifically subject to those areas that were evaluated, or readily accessible for access. All of our preliminary investigations will be conducted in those areas which are readily accessible to SOS field investigators. Readily accessible areas will be determined by the individual field investigator or inspector in that inspector’s sole and complete discretion. Such areas will be further defined as any area that is easily available for direct visual examination such that access is not restricted in any manner and the surface in question can be physically touched by the attending inspector of SOS. For example, if a bookcase was covering a drywall surface, then the bookcase would be the surface that was available for direct examination and not the drywall or wall or wall products behind that bookcase. We are not responsible for any such areas not available for direct examination. Accordingly any area that is not readily visible is not to be considered a part of this investigation. This includes but is not limited to, encapsulated framing members, areas separated off from containment areas by plastic, areas inside wall cavities etc. Should evidence of possible water intrusions or microbial contamination be determined to exist during the inspection by the inspector, Client understands, acknowledges and agrees that further microbial sampling is often times necessary to determine if and to what extent microbial contamination is present, or aerosolized inside the subject premises. Such testing, including any and all clearance testing is provided for additional costs. All of which will be explained to Client prior to the collection of any samples. Client further acknowledges that absent of testing for microbial contaminants, it may be impossible for SOS to accurately ascertain if areas of microbial amplification, distribution of airborne microbial contaminants or other reservoirs of microbial amplification exist within the subject premises. Especially in circumstances where no visual signs of potential concerns exist. Client may be advised of recommendations for follow-on microbial testing and sampling by SOS in order to assist in assessing the presence of microbial contamination within the structure. All such tests require laboratory analysis and interpretation, which Client understands will be billed separately from the fees and charges for the initial investigation covered by this agreement. Should Client elect not to have any microbial samples collected during the investigation, Client acknowledges that by this election it is severely hindering the ability of SOS to accurately detect microbial contamination within the subject premises.  Accordingly therefore should Client elect not to perform any and all recommended laboratory sampling, then Client agrees it has done so with the full knowledge that this action may result in undiscovered areas of contamination existing within the subject premises.  Should the purpose of our inspection be for clearance or clearance assessment, then the scope of that inspection will be limited only to those areas which have undergone remediation activities and available for direct examination.

The inspection covered by this agreement will be performed in accordance with accepted industry standards for microbial investigations to determine the potential presence of microbial amplification with a standard of care commensurate with the circumstances and the client individual sensitivities. Client acknowledges that it has been advised both by this document and also by an SOS representative that most microbial contamination is not readily visible and, as such, not readily detectable by visual inspection only; even for a trained professional investigator or industrial hygienist skilled in such matters. Microbial contamination is usually hidden from view in areas such as wall cavities, crawl spaces, attics and eves, etc., which are inaccessible without invasive testing. Often times in connection with real estate transactions, such contamination has been cosmetically or otherwise disguised. Therefore, no assurance can be made whatsoever that any microbial contamination that may be present in any area of the subject premises will be detected with any absolute certainty. Even if detailed follow-up microbial sampling is performed, invasive or otherwise, at or in the structure, there can be no assurance that these tests will uncover the presence or full extent of microbial contamination that may exist or that these investigations or tests will uncover any or all microbial contamination that may exist within a structure.

Failure by SOS to Detect Mold
Failure of our investigation or any microbial samples collected to accurately detect microbial contamination, potentially harmful toxic microbial substances, mycotoxins, or other unknown potentially substances, may be the result of many factors that may or may not be the direct or indirect result of any action by us, including but without limitation to, laboratory error, or negligence on the part of our field personal or any employee, sub-contractor employed directly by SOS. SOS represents to Client that it employs state of the art investigative methodology and practices that it believes, in its sole judgment, to be most effective methods in the discovery of microbial contamination and amplification.

Client acknowledges that it has been advised that typically it is not uncommon in structures that exhibit water damage and or visual microbial contamination that while certain areas may be easily or otherwise initially identified, after remediation efforts initiate that other and more expanded areas of contamination are discovered to exist. Client acknowledges that it has been advised this by SOS and that should microbial contamination be discovered in a particular area or areas, that this may not be the full extent of all microbial contaminants present in the subject premises. Many factors can affect the accurate outcome of such tests and the accurate ability to detect microbial contamination. Accurate testing for microbial contamination, as previously mentioned, is highly dependent in some circumstances on the preparation of the structure prior testing as well as other factors beyond the control of SOS. Client acknowledges that it has been advised of this fact and that Client bears full responsibility to ensure that structure is made ready for microbial sampling as per SOS’s specific guidelines prior to our inspection. Client acknowledges it has been advised by this document that there are no established state or federal requirements or guidelines regarding acceptable exposure levels for microbial contamination. In indoor air quality assessments the level of contaminants aerosolized inside a subject premises is usually compared and contrasted to the composition and concentrations of microbial particulates found in the ambient outdoor environment. Using this methodology therefore SOS is evaluating the composition of samples collected outdoors to those samples collected in different areas inside a subject premises. Accordingly Client acknowledges that it has been advised, that outdoor air samples collected in similar locations, at similar times may indeed vary dramatically in their composition and concentration of spores observed. Accordingly, therefore should indoor air quality assessments be based upon comparisons between indoor and outdoor spore composition and concentrations, these results may be somewhat inaccurate. Client is advised therefore that in order to accurately assess the inside concentrations of non-viable spore counts relative to those found routinely outdoors, that it may be necessary to collect multiple samples as control or baseline measurements from the outdoor ambient environment. Client is hereby further advised that non-viable air samples are inherently subjective in their analysis and interpretation.  Various factors make that laboratory analysis substantially subjective rather than empirical.  This is to say that there are many factors in analyzing samples that would cause the reporting of that data to vary, from analyst to analyst and even from lab to lab; some of these discrepancies can be significant in their variation and interpretation.  Factors, including but without limitation to, area of slide analyzed, method of analysis, the debris count and background debris present on the slide, site conditions that cause false positives, and more contribute to the inaccuracy of non-viable air sample data.  Viable air samples are a bit more reliable in this regard, however not entirely.  Further Viable samples only account for those mold spores that are viable or living, not for non-viable or dead spores.  As dead spores can in fact be more harmful than live ones (see Mayo Clinic article re this), for this reason we do not discount non-viable sample collection methodology.  Viable samples take time and cost a lot of money relative to non-viable samples; as much as two weeks’ time in some cases to analyze. As well different spore type specie and genera need to be grown on different media.  Hence substantially more samples need to be collected simply to analyze the same space and data.  Typically however this is not a cost effective practice. Client acknowledges that it has been advised that comparing indoor air quality to limited baseline data could lead to inaccurate conclusions regarding the indoor air quality of the subject premises.

All microbial samples collected are typically from random or suspicious areas. SOS does not warrant in any fashion to Client that it has collected samples from the correct location, nor that the locations of samples collected represents accurately all of the potential microbial contamination inside the residence. This is especially true in the collection of clearance samples. It is standard industry practice to collect microbial samples in preliminary, follow up or clearance assessments in connection with making visual observations about the conditions of the site at the time of investigation. Accordingly it is not only impractical, but not cost effective to collect surface samples from every available surface. This applies to any and all types of investigations and sample collection. Accordingly, Client has been advised by SOS and acknowledges that SOS will in connection with its engagement of Client collect random samples from suspicious areas inside the areas that it has been instructed to investigate. Accordingly and specifically with regard to clearance sampling, SOS will collect what it believes, in its sole discretion, and opinion, are representative areas of the conditions. Typically if not almost the case, we will not likely be permitted to collect sufficient samples to make an absolute determination that all areas are clear and free from contamination. Alternatively SOS will make clearance assessments based upon random samples that may not be sufficient to accurately and sufficiently or correctly sample the available surface areas or air composition of a given area. Our findings with respect to any investigation, sample analysis, or work product on behalf of client, is limited therefore by the available sample data.

SOS may take digital photographs of the subject property and structure, however SOS is under no obligation to retain such photographs in its computer systems or on any storage device unless specifically Client contracts for such storage requests and paid for in advance.

THE MICROBIAL INSPECTION AND ANALYSIS REPORT IS NOT A WARRANTY, GUARANTY, INSURANCE POLICY OR A SUBSTITUTE FOR ANY DISCLOSURE STATEMENT THAT MAY BE REQUIRED BY LAW OR OTHERWISE. SOS DOES NOT BY THIS CONTRACT OR BY ITS ENGAGEMENT PROVIDE ANY ASSURANCE THAT MICROBIAL CLEARANCE OF THE SUBJECT PREMISES WILL BE ACHIEVED, OR THAT THE RECOMMENDATIONS IT MAKES WILL RESULT IN ELIMINATING ALL MICROBIAL CONTAMINATION PRESENT IN THE STRUCTURE THAT MAY AFFECT THE INDOOR AIR QUALITY OF THE SUBJECT PREMISES. FURTHER, SHOULD ANY WATER INTRUSION WHICH HAS RESULTED IN MICROBIAL CONTAMINATION IN A STRUCTURE NOT BE ERADICATED, THE CONTAMINATION WILL LIKELY RETURN. CLIENT ACKNOWLEDGES THAT IT HAS BEEN ADVISED.

Client is advised that surfaces that have previously supported microbial amplification (growth) will likely support re-growth of contaminants. Microbial growth can take as little as 48 hours from the introduction of moisture onto the building surfaces.

OUTSIDE THE SCOPE OF INSPECTION

Client understands and acknowledges that the following areas are outside the scope of the inspection to be performed by SOS: Any area that is not exposed to view is concealed or is inaccessible because of, but not limited to; soils, walls, floors, carpets, ceilings, furnishings, or any other thing is not included in this inspection. This includes but is without limitation to areas that are obscured by contents, or require moving contents in order to accurately evaluate. SOS is not responsible for moving any contents or items such that it will make any area accessible for inspection. Therefore any area that contains any items that would obscure any visual inspection is therefore deemed inaccessible from view. The inspection does not include any destructive testing or dismantling unless such testing is specifically agreed upon and authorized in advance in writing based upon recommendations made by the SOS’s inspector or otherwise arranged for by SOS and Client. Client agrees to assume all the risks for and relating to any and all conditions and areas that are concealed or otherwise inaccessible at the time of inspection. This includes but is without limitation to any areas obscured from view by any contents of residence as set forth above. No representation will be made of or with regard to any equipment, mechanical or otherwise, piping, wiring, roofing materials, deck surfaces, paint, stucco, waterproofing, etc., all of which are strictly outside of the scope of the investigation to be performed. This inspection is limited only to addressing potential environmental concerns specific to mold and microbial contaminants, within the structure that may be present at the time of the inspection. This inspection specifically excludes any statement as to any aspect of the structure that is not directly related to the potential presence of microbial contamination.

Sources of visible microbial growth that are discovered from possible water intrusions will be discussed in our report. However, the specific cause or source of such intrusions is outside the scope of our responsibility within the investigation. Although we may include a description of possible water intrusion in our report, such inclusion is meant to be a definitive finding of causation, extent, age or other factors relating to such water intrusion, which may be discussed. Should we identify a source of water intrusion, which could lead to possible microbial contamination, Client is advised that it should take necessary steps to eliminate such water intrusions immediately prior to attempting to eradicate any microbial contamination that may be present. Should water intrusions not be eliminated, microbial amplification will either continue or return if superficially removed.

Whether or not they are concealed, the following are;

OUTSIDE THE SCOPE OF THIS INSPECTION:
Building code or zoning violations, Geological stability or soils conditions including site drainage and/or drainage systems, structural stability or engineering analysis, termites, fungus, dry rot, other pests or rodents. Wood destroying pests, organisms and pests and/or damages from the same, including but without limitation to, “Poria Incrassata” or any other such classified fungus. Environmental hazards other than microbial contamination such as, but not limited to, asbestos, carbon dioxide, radon, formaldehyde, lead, PCBs, water quality, electromagnetic radiation, sound levels and/or transmission. Building value, lot size, structure size, appraisal or cost estimates. Easements, right of way, boundaries, condition of title, previous use or occupant determination. Proximity to geological faults, flood zones, airports, flight paths, railroads, freeways, high traffic, etc. ground water conditions or drainage conditions (including potential microbial contamination or otherwise) of detached buildings, unless specified and included in this inspection and agreed by the parties in advance. The adequacy, efficiency or installation of any equipment. Water softening/purifying systems, hot and/or cold water dispensers. Thermostatic or time clock controls. Any low voltage lighting or electrical. The condition of roofing underlayment / paper below rock, tile or shingles. Fire or intrusion alarm systems, intercoms, telephone and television wire and/or cable, remote controlled devices and furnishings of any kind, elevators, dumbwaiters or lifting devices. Automatic gates or sensors, furnace heat exchange’s, electrostatic air filters. Swimming pools, hot tubs, steam baths arid spas, pool, hot tub and spa bodies and equipment, fountains, waterfalls, ponds, saunas, steam systems, or any other similar or related equipment. Electric load calculations or current load capacity, notification of product recalls. Cosmetic conditions and finishes, free – standing and/or portable equipment, landscaping and foliage, determination of odors. Main gas valve, gas piping, gas leaks, or the presence of carbon monoxide. Gas barbecues, fire pits, incinerators or heaters. Bonding performance or adhesion of any substrate or finished surface installed over any vertical or horizontal substrate. Life expectancy of any waterproofing membranes or subsurface and structures regarding roof, decks, walls etc. Shower pan moisture membrane integrity.

SOS will inspect the attic or overhead space or understructure of the home if readily accessible to our field investigator and if in their sole discretion, presents easy and readily available access, does not risk personal injury, or in their sole discretion does not present a hazard to either the structure or the investigator. Such determinations are in the sole discretion of the investigator on site, and may or may not be the same determinations that other like inspectors may make. Under certain circumstances investigating attics and under structures will be done at an additional cost to Client, such costs to be detailed to Client at the time of the investigation. SOS’s inspector is an environmental home inspection generalist, Industrial Hygienist or other like individual specifically trained in, and tasked to look for potential microbial contamination and potential microbial growth, including the likelihood of the presence of the same. SOS’s inspector is not acting as a licensed engineer, home inspection specialist or expert in any trade or craft other than acting in the specific function of inspection for potential microbial contamination. Should your inspector recommend consulting other specialized experts, Client must do so at Client’s sole expense and Client acknowledges that SOS is under no such obligation to provide such services to client. Should any agent, employee, investigator, industrial hygienist make any statement, express any opinion, put forth any recommendation in this regard, all such statements, conclusions, representations are made outside the scope of this investigation and Client acknowledges that no warranty either express or implied is given to such information. Any use that Client makes of this information, is at the Clients sole risk and responsibility.

CLEARANCE ASSESSMENT LIMITATIONS
The purpose of any clearance assessment performed is to ascertain if the remediation and mold abatement procedures in the Subject premises were successful. Our services in this regard are strictly limited to observations, data collection and assessment for the benefit of our client who signed our engagement agreement. Our assessment is our opinion of the specific conditions as we will examine at a particular point in time during our site visit. Our assessment(s) are limited to those surfaces that we can directly observe, pursuant to our definition of available surfaces for inspection. We have not been engaged as project supervisor, nor have we designed or will design the containment area(s) or monitor the destructive portion of the remediation efforts unless specifically engaged separately by our client to do so. As such we have not in any way been party to any of the remediation activities. Our role in performing clearance assessments therefore is strictly limited to observing the conditions that are presented to us during our site visit. The ultimate success of any remediation effort, may be dependent upon the proper removal of all contaminated materials. We have no way of knowing if all contaminated materials have been removed, but rather will only render an opinion upon those surfaces exposed and prepared for testing and evaluation. We will not in connection with any clearance assessment, be responsible for looking at areas behind barriers or obfuscated conditions. It is typical in connection with abatement activities, to seal off areas that are “not affected by growth” from the containment area. We will not comment on any such decisions or actions by the remediation company nor do we take any responsibility for those decisions. This is applicable in all situations including if SOS would have recommended to Client the remediation company. SOS’s role is strictly to test and observe the conditions as they are presented to us.

Our opinions are therefore based upon both our visual observations and laboratory data pursuant to our samples collected at the site of areas we define, in our sole opinion and discretion, that are available for clearance assessment or testing. Typically in connection with our clearance assessments we collect two types of samples:

·         Surface Samples: typically collected from representative portions (certain areas only) of surface areas that directly underwent remediation (i.e. sanding, cleaning and disinfecting, scrubbing, re-surfacing etc.. The areas that we collected samples from are defined as readily and directly available for observation. Typically sample locations for surface samples are selected based upon any of the following and/or a combination of; visual indications, noticeable staining, perceived areas of remaining growth, areas that appear to raise potential concerns or areas that previously contained growth that we want to demonstrate no longer are supporting growth. Accordingly, Client is advised that SOS will collect representative surfaces samples only from the remediation area(s). We will NOT collect samples from all available surfaces inside the containment area(s). Collecting surface samples from all surface areas inside the containment(s) would be extremely expensive, time consuming and is not the typical practice of any industrial hygiene company nor SOS. Alternatively, SOS believes that representative sampling of surfaces inside containment provides the best cost-effective method to determine if surface contamination likely remains on sampled surfaces. The sampling method employed is not completely accurate in all cases and can result in providing us with false negatives in some cases. It is possible for a “stud-bay” or particular area to be clean and free from microbial contaminants, while the adjoining “stud-bay” or adjoining area in a wall for example contains growth (not readily visible to the naked eye), however present none the less. In such a situation based upon surface sample(s) collected we would conclude that the microbial amplification had been removed from a given area, however microbial contamination would likely remain. Accordingly, our clearance assessment in this case (with respect to surfaces would be inaccurate). It is possible that air samples collected from this area would pick up any stray or aerosolized contaminants and lead us to believe that further abatement is necessary, failing the containment area. However there is no guarantee that air samples would identify such a situation. If a Client wishes for us to test all of the surfaces inside a given area, this type of intensive surface sampling can be performed and Client should inform us PRIOR to commencement of any clearance testing.

·         Air Samples: Air samples are typically collected inside the containment area(s) as well as control sample(s) representing the outdoor ambient air in and around the premises. All criteria of evaluation for our comparison of indoor spore specie, composition, genera and total counts to our control samples collected are listed in our section outlining our air sampling methodology. Air samples are not collected typically outside of containment areas unless specifically requested and paid for by Client prior to the commencement of any clearance assessment. Accordingly, we cannot nor will we issue any opinion on the potential for cross-contamination inside the subject property as a direct, indirect, proximate or secondary result of any clearance activities inside the residence. Nor are we providing any opinion in regards to the general composition, spore counts or microbial amplification of any air space outside of the containment(s) areas in the home. Client acknowledges by the receipt of this report that it has been advised, if there are any concerns with regard to the areas inside the home (air space) outside of the containment area(s) then client should engage us to perform air sample tests in other random areas. Should concerns exist regarding such matters then Client can arrange for us to collect samples from other areas inside the home.

 Declarations about remediation activities and waterproofing measures:
If original conditions that led to the observed microbial amplification are not corrected, then it is likely that contamination will return. It is possible for microbial growth to occur in as little as 48 hours. Situations that could lead to microbial amplification, including but without to, design conditions, waterproofing failures, leaks, water intrusions should be stopped from impacting any building surfaces or substrates. In connection with our services, we will not be responsible, in any fashion, for any affect that our recommendations or remediation protocol have on the waterproofing measures, vapor barriers, structural components, framing members or any other component of the subject premises. Client should perform his own due diligence in connection with replacing all vapor barriers, repairing all waterproofing materials or any materials which could have been altered in any fashion in connection with any remedial effort at the property. It is possible that in the course of remediation efforts, vapor barriers were disturbed or compromised. Client is advised that should this have occurred and wall cavities are closed up, then likely any contamination that was observed present inside of this wall cavity will return. Any and all such determinations as to the integrity of any such building component or waterproofing measures are outside the scope of our services and not part of our opinions.

Should we be engaged to coordinate the remediation on your behalf note that a separate contract delineating our obligations in that regard will be provided for you.  It is intended not to supersede this document, but rather to better define that role should you wish to engage us in that capacity.  Accordingly, this document that governs our engagement with you as our client will remain in force, and then the additional terms and conditions that are specific to remediation activities (including those representations and warranties) are incorporated herein.

Actions taken by client in reliance of our professional opinions: Our published findings is our professional finding and opinions on what WE believe to be sufficient in our sole discretion, to mitigate the observed issues.  Our professional opinion about how to mitigate any observed issues is just that; our opinion of the best way to mitigate the situation based on the information available to us at the time of our investigation and is limited by our ability to accurately detect conditions inside of the subject premises.  We are not saying that our opinion is the only way in which the observed condition can be mitigated, it is only our statement as to how WE would take steps to mitigate such conditions as observed.  Any actions you take based on our findings are at YOUR OWN risk and you agree to hold us responsible if on account of your actions, even if based on our recommendations, you incur any expenses that are later deemed by you unnecessary.   You are advised that you must make your own investigations on alternative methods to solve any observed issues that we may identify.  We are NOT specifically saying that the method or procedures that WE suggest are the only or most cost effective measures to mitigate an issue.  Only that based on our judgement and experience, this is how we would proceed.  Accordingly, you agree that there is absolutely no recourse whatsoever for you against us for any actions taken as a direct, indirect or proximate result of our findings or recommendations.

ARBITRATION: In the event of any dispute concerning the interpretation of this agreement or any of the terms and provisions contained herein, or arising out of or relating to the inspection provided for in this agreement and any report issued as a result thereof, the parties shall first attempt to resolve such dispute informally between themselves. In the event that the parties are unable to informally resolve any dispute within ten (10) days following the date on party notifies the other of such dispute, then the parties agree to submit such dispute to binding arbitration before a single arbitrator before the American Arbitration Association in Ventura County California and client agrees that Ventura County will be the venue in which the matter would be heard. The arbitrator shall be one who is familiar with the commercial building inspection industry and environment investigations. The arbitrator shall have the right to conduct summary judgment motions and enforce full discovery rights as a court would as provided in the California Code of Civil Procedure. All proceedings shall be governed by the laws of the State of California.

Our work product and use by others: Client has requested, and SOS will conduct, the Inspection and provide the report, solely for Client’s own use, and Client will not disclose or reveal any part of the inspection report to any other person without the prior written consent of SOS. SOS will provide its report only in electronic form on its website providing the client with a user name and password to retrieve this file. The work product will be available to Client for a period of 45 days after the report is posted on our website. After such time if a Client wishes to access our report, such access will be subject to an additional fee. We will notify our Client via electronic mail (as provided by our client upon agreeing to engage SOS) only. Our obligation therefore with respect to informing our client that our work product is ready for review will be deemed complete when notification has been emailed out to Client. Client is responsible therefore to ensure that its email address is current and correct as it is entered in our website. Client may, designate via our website certain other parties to receive our work product as it deems appropriate. However any warrantees or representations with regard to our work product does not in any way extend to such other parties that Client may designate in any fashion whatsoever. Any party in receipt of our work product is not intended to be the beneficiary of that product or its contents therein. Accordingly any reliance upon that product is at that clients own risk.

ATTORNEY’S FEES: The prevailing party in any dispute arising out of or relating to this agreement, the inspection, or any report(s) shall be awarded all attorney’s fees, arbitrator fees and other related costs incurred in connection therewith. In addition, in the event that Client fails to promptly pay any and all fees and costs as provided in this agreement, all such payments shall thereafter bear interest at the maximum legal rate allowable until paid in full, and SOS shall be entitled to have and recover all of its actual costs and fees of collection

SEVERABILITY: Client and SOS agree that, should a court of competent jurisdiction determine and declare that any portion of this agreement is void, void able or unenforceable, the remaining provisions and portions of this agreement shall remain in full force and effect without regard thereto.

DISPUTES AND DUTIES OF CLIENT TO NOTIFY SOS OF FAILURE TO DETECT MOLD:
Client understands and has been advised that due to the nature of this type of work, conditions at a residence can change dramatically in a short period of time. As such Client agrees that it will notify SOS of any claim or failure by SOS to accurately perform its duties in connection with its engagement by Client within three (3) business days after the actual discovery of such circumstance or condition. Client agrees to make all such claims in writing to SOS within this time and no later than 10 days after the last site visit of SOS to the premises. Further Client agrees that under no circumstance will SOS be liable for failure to detect the presence of mold or perform its duties under this contract, or any engagement by Client, 10 days after our last site in connection with the actual inspection(s) or 10 days from when our work product was published to Client whichever is sooner except as provided for in real estate transactions.

LIMITATIONS OF NOTICES OF FAILURE TO DETECT MOLD BY SOS IN REAL ESTATE TRANSACTIONS:
All limitations with respect to Clients right to claim any failure by SOS in connection with any real estate transaction are similar to the limitations placed on any investigation. Except that in connection with a real estate transaction, there are circumstances where the Client does not have access to the subject premises until it has closed escrow. In such instances and in connection with real estate transactions only, Client agrees that any and all claims with regard to SOS’s failure to accurately detect mold inside a dwelling or perform it duties herein in connection with real estate transactions, will be subject to the above limitations and requirements of notification by Client however Client will have and agrees to provide to SOS any notice of failure or bring any claim of failure in writing to SOS no later than 10 days after client has been granted access to structure or closed escrow on the property. Whichever is date is sooner.

Client has agreed by accepting the terms and conditions of this document that any and all claims by Client of any failure on behalf of SOS to accurately perform any of its duties, or detect the presence of mold, are of no force or effect after the specific dates as set forth above. Client further agrees to provide immediate access to SOS of any and all un altered circumstances which Client may feel that evidence SOS has failed to perform its duties. Refusal to provide SOS immediate access to fully examine such conditions, or any alterations of such conditions Client agrees that this will forfeit Clients right to bring any and all such claims against SOS.

Further if the inspection performed is on behalf of the buyer in a contemplated real estate transaction, any and all extensions of time, which may be granted by SOS, in its sole and complete discretion, to bring any claim that SOS has failed to accurately perform its duties, will not benefit any other party in the transaction nor pass onto any other related or non-related party. Such time periods agreed to and integrated within this contract are specific to the original Client only and do NOT extend under any circumstances to any other party under any circumstances or for any reason. Client further agrees that, with the exception of emergency conditions, Client or Client’s agents, employees, representatives or independent contractors, will make no alterations, modifications or repairs to the claimed discrepancy prior to a re-inspection by SOS, which re-inspection will be done at no cost to Client. Client further understands and agrees that any failure to notify SOS as stated above shall constitute a waiver of any and all claims for any alleged failure to accurately report the condition in question or any discrepancy or omission on the part of SOS.

CLIENT SHOULD CAREFULLY READ THE FOLLOWING PARAGRAPH AND ACKNOWLEDGES THAT IT HAS BEEN TOLD THAT MICROBIAL TESTING, MOISTURE ANALYSIS IS AN INEXACT PRACTICE AND MAY NOT ACCURATELY DETECT THE PRESENCE OF HARMFUL OR TOXIC SUBSTANCES (INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, MICROBIAL CONTAMINATION) WITHIN A GIVEN STRUCTURE

CLIENT’S DAMAGES
It is understood and agreed by and between the parties hereto that ANY SERVICE provided by us, in any capacity, in connection with any environmental work is not an exact practice or science. There are no exposure limits no even methodologies available to possibly detect any and all issues that are related to environmental issues, such as mycotoxins and their potential presence.  Numerous conditions and circumstances can impact or alter the results obtained from such inspection and testing and our ability to detect such issues. Accordingly, SOS can and has given no assurance that the presence of any or all microbial contamination or elevated moisture content in building materials will be detected by such inspection, testing and analysis or by a visual inspection of the subject premises.

SOS is not an insurer and the payment for the subject inspection and any subsequent environmental or mold testing or any service performed by SOS is based solely on the value of the service provided. The performance of limited visual inspection, sampling collection, laboratory analysis, moisture analysis of building substrates and production of a written preliminary environmental and microbial inspection report or clearance assessment report, solely regarding potential microbial contamination as described herein, and any other service contracted between SOS and Client is therefore limited in its ability to accurately assess all underlying conditions at a given premises. In some cases, tests that come back as positive (showing microbial presence or growth) may be inaccurate and not necessarily present an indoor air quality hazard for occupants of the structure. Alternatively, some tests, which come back as negative, may not detect the presence of actual microbial amplification or growth, which may be present and may present a serious hazard to structures occupants, or prospective occupants. Further the results of non-viable air samples do not detect the presence of harmful toxins, mycotoxins or other potentially etiological, pathogenic, carcinogenic agents, or other similar and potentially dangerous microbiological contaminants. It may be possible that although our tests reveal that when comparing the specie and genera of mold spores to those found routinely outdoors, that our evaluation of that data would lead us to conclude that such tests were negative, when potentially toxic materials or microbial contaminants are present inside the residence.

SOS agrees to the best of its ability given the conditions and circumstances, state-of-the-art of available detection equipment, conditions at the property to be inspected, it will collect samples for microbial analysis with a standard of practice equal to accepted industry standards. However no assurance can be made that such tests will be accurate or accurately detect the presence or absence of microbial contamination, hazardous substances or unhealthy indoor environmental conditions or indoor air quality. Client further acknowledges that SOS is specifically looking only for microbial contamination, and will not test for or give any opinion on the possible presence of other harmful environmental conditions (including, but not limited to radon gas, carbon monoxide gas, asbestos, formaldehyde off gasses, electromagnetic conditions etc.)  All of these issues could have a negative impact on your health. Substantial destructive testing as well as multiple methodologies may be necessary to accurately ascertain the presence of microbial contamination. This may be impractical or ill advised within the subject structure or impossible given the lack of budgetary restraints or restraints placed upon destructive testing and invasive investigation.

Client acknowledges that it is virtually impossible to detect hidden reservoirs of microbial contaminants without substantial destructive and invasive testing in all possible areas. Client further acknowledges that it is impractical and extremely difficult to assess the actual damages, if any, that may result from any failure to accurately detect microbial contamination within a structure. However, in case of such by failure SOS to accurately detect the presence of microbial contamination, moisture intrusion, or moisture analysis, for any reason including our negligence on behalf of any employee, agent, sub-contractor, which may result in loss, injury or damage suffered by Client of any kind, monetary or otherwise, or any other person as a result, SOS’s liability shall be limited and fixed in an amount equal to any actual amounts paid SOS for any services including but not limited to; inspection, microbial testing, clearance assessment or to the sum of five hundred dollars ($500.00), whichever sum is greater, as liquidated damages, and not as a penalty.

Further this liability shall be exclusive. Client agrees to release and hold harmless SOS, and its officers, directors, principals, employees, contractors, subcontractors, agents, representatives, successors and assigns, from and against any and all damages or injuries resulting from, arising out of or relating, directly or indirectly to or in any way based upon any inspection, testing, reports, findings, conclusions or representations of SOS or its contractors, subcontractors, agents or representatives, employees, performed on behalf of or provided to Client in connection with this agreement or any investigation or testing performed hereunder or in accordance herewith, including any follow-up inspection or testing.

By using our website and accessing your information you are affirming this agreement and you agree to be bound to the express terms and conditions of this agreement.  Further, you acknowledging that you agree to limit your total potential damages against SOS, in any form whatsoever, to the amounts paid to SOS for its services.  Such damages include, but are not limited to, contractual, punitive, consequential, proximate, or subsequent damages and are limited as described above in the preceding paragraphs

SOS’s obligations for disclosure:
Client acknowledges that should SOS discover the potential presence of microbial contamination within structure, then, in addition to any other disclosure requirements Client may have, Client or its agent is obligated to inform building owner or occupants immediately and take full responsibility for such notification(s). Further Client agrees to release indemnify and holds harmless SOS and its officers, directors, principals, employees, contractors, subcontractors, agents, representatives, successors and assigns, from any obligation with regard to such notifications to any party other than our Client in any manner whatsoever or any other action taken against SOS by any other party in connection with the issuance of this report, our engagement or our work product on behalf of Client. However, Client acknowledges that it has been advised by SOS that SOS may in its sole discretion, notify building owner, and or building occupants, or those parties with appropriate documentation, copies of relevant reports etc., as it may choose in any manner SOS may elect, and Client hereby consents that any such disclosures may be made by SOS. No legal action or proceeding of any kind including, but not limited to, those sounding in tort or contract, can be commenced against SOS, or its officers, directors, principals, employees, contractors, subcontractors, agents, representatives, successors or assigns more than 120 days after the date of the subject inspection or date that this agreement was entered into, whichever is sooner. Client hereby waives, to the fullest extend possible, any rights it may have to the contrary as an express condition to SOS agreeing to be engaged by Client.

Time is of the essence in all matters relating to mold:
Due to the nature of microbial contamination, time is expressly of the essence herein. Further Client acknowledges that it has been informed that microbial contamination can grow in as little as 48 hours, therefore contamination which may not be present upon our initial investigation, may be present at some later time. It is agreed that this time period is shorter than may be provided by law. The written report to be prepared by SOS shall be considered the final and exclusive findings of the SOS regarding the inspection of the property. Client shall not rely on any oral statements made by the Inspector or attending hygienist or any other representative of SOS or its contractors or subcontractors prior to the issuance of the final written report. Such report will be published to the Client on the SOS website and is available for viewing to Client for 30 days. After such time the information pertaining to our investigation(s) will be available via our website for an additional fee. Our protocol and its recommended actions, follow-up actions and safeguards, will not likely address all forms of contamination in the property, no matter how thoroughly or how aggressively we sample a residence. This is the result of the nature of this kind of work. Further as any and all issues relating to water damage, water intrusion or any event that would lead to impacting the surfaces, wall cavities or any substrates inside the structure, such water events need to be addressed urgently. Mold can grow is as little as 48 hours. Accordingly, Client acknowledges that the site conditions, with respect to the potential distribution and dispersal of microbial contaminants can change as well in a very short period of time. Therefore once remedial actions are recommended, they should be addressed as quickly a practically possible. All sources of moisture intrusion need to be eradicated immediately in connection with the remediation activities in order to terminate any potential for further microbial amplification. Accordingly, SOS cannot be held responsible for any changes in conditions at the site which result from existing contamination furthering either its dispersal or amplification in connection with the normal life cycle of the spores and microbial contaminants that may be present at the site.

Should SOS refer to Client a Remediation Company:
Client may request of SOS and/or SOS may offer Client a referral to a remediation contractor or abatement company. Client expressly acknowledges and understands that it has been advised that any such referrals to any remediation or abatement companies does not imply or create any relationship by and between SOS and any company to which Client may be referred. Client is advised therefore to perform its own due diligence with respect to any remediation contractor or abatement company it intends to hire to perform any abatement or remediation activities on its premises. Further, Client acknowledges that it is aware of and has been advised that in some instances remediation contractors or abatement companies may elect to pay SOS a fee in connection with such a referral. There may also be circumstances in which the abatement company or remediation contractor may engage SOS in connection with a remediation or abatement on Client project and accordingly fees may be paid from abatement or remediation contractor to SOS to perform certain services at the request of these companies on their behalf. Accordingly, this does not alter the relationship by and between Client and SOS only that Client acknowledges that it has been advised that other companies may elect to pay SOS a fee in connection with their services performed for Client. The relationship between the Client and the Remediation Company selected by Client, will always remain a direct relationship. Accordingly, any disputes, claims charges, assertions of any shortfall of work performed for Client by Remediation company, is by and between exclusively the Client and the Remediation company.

Therefore Client understands that SOS’s obligations under this agreement and the engagement by Client are simply those as set forth in this agreement and are limited to consultation, inspections, sample collection and analysis, clearance assessment or clearance testing. SOS does not perform any direct abatement or remediation in any form whatsoever. Should Client and selected abatement company or remediation contractor therefore have a dispute, Client acknowledges that despite any fees paid by remediation contractor or abatement company to SOS, or if SOS referred remediation contractor or abatement company to Client. Client therefore agrees to resolve any and all disputes, between Client and remediation contractor, whether involving litigation or otherwise, directly with remediation contractor, abatement company and NOT with SOS. Further Client is advised that it is under no obligation whatsoever to engage any party recommended by SOS in any fashion for any remedial, abatement or any other services. SOS at its option will assist Client, pursuant to the terms and conditions of our engagement contract, by providing consultation, inspection, sample collection or other service contracted for by Client, in connection with or relating to any microbial remediation project. Should any of our fees not be paid upon rendering them Client acknowledges that SOS is under no obligation to provide the benefit of our work to Client. Accordingly should our service fees not be paid, then we will not issue any reports. This agreement shall be binding upon and inure to the benefit of the parties hereto, and to their heirs, successors, assigns, agents, and representatives.. This agreement constitutes the entire integrated agreement between the patties hereto pertaining to the subject matter hereof, incorporates and supersedes any and all prior or contemporaneous agreements, whether verbal or written, and may be modified only by a written agreement signed by all of the parties hereto. The terms and conditions contained in the attached Authorization are incorporated herein and made a part hereof.

Electronic Document Acceptance:
This contract is provided for Client in electronic form via our website. By checking the appropriate boxes below in the spaces provided, you hereby acknowledge receipt of this agreement and your acceptance of all of its terms, conditions and limitations therein. Should you wish to receive a hard copy of this agreement one can be provided for you at an additional cost. You may order that copy via our website. You agree that by accepting this agreement, any and all parties that you so designate to view our work product, or give our work product to in any form, are to be bound by the express terms and conditions of this agreement including all limitations liability and warrantee provisions. Further you agree to indemnify SOS against any action that may arise out of or in connection with any action by you, or any action you have made to provide access to any third party our work product in any form.

By accessing our site and logging in to retrieve your information you agree to be bound by all terms and conditions of our user agreement and acknowledge the limitations of liability as contained therein.

 

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