By Mark Richardson. A: Yes. However, be very careful with this one. Unlike other health hazards, mold is alive. It may not be there today but, due to reasons beyond your control, it could pop up tomorrow, and you may find yourself liable for remediation and repair.

I believe the issue starts even before the contract. The initial conversations you have with the client who ends up following your direction could hold you liable, so be very careful regardless of the contractual language. I believe that by just discussing mold you may have some inherent liability in this age of litigation.

If you're not an expert on mold, make it clear that you're not and encourage the clients to seek a mold specialist if they feel it's warranted.

Mold as an issue in construction litigation could end up being bigger than asbestos and lead combined.

--Mark Richardson is president of Case Design/Remodeling, Bethesda, Md., (301) 229-4600,