Author Archives: Nathan Camp

New Mold Laws in New Hampshire

The state of New Hampshire joins the few US states with mold regulations, states which require mold inspectors and mold remediators to be licensed. Also, laws that protect home owners and other consumers from conflicts of interest and protect you from people that do not know what they are doing inspecting and testing for mold and remediating mold.

Way to go New Hampshire! The new mold laws go into effect on January 1st, 2016. If you want to read more, you can read the new regulations here: New Hampshire State Legislation, SB0125.pdf

25 Square Feet of Mold?

ist1_2542730_handling_hazardous_materialsOver the years there has been a big debate over the “25 square feet of mold” definition in the TMARR (Texas Mold Assessment and Remediation Rules).  The rule was designed to protect the consumer, but there have always been mold remediation companies who have skated around the rule,  by telling a homeowner or building owner that there was less than 25 square feet, they could do the job “cheaper” and save them some money or that they would “not have to get the state involved.” But what the remediation contractors were not telling their customers was that by getting around the rules, their work would not be overseen by or examined by a Texas Department of State Health Services Mold Regulations Inspector or a Licensed Mold Assessment Consultant. I am not saying that all of them who were doing this are bad Mold Remediation Contractors, because that would not be true. What I am saying is that, like always, there are some good and some bad, some who are trying to help and some who are trying to make more money from unsuspecting consumers.

I am very happy to tell you that the Texas Department of State Health Services recently issued a rule clarification on the TMARR Frequently Asked Questions page (See full text below).  In this Q&A, they clearly explain that a Texas Licensed Mold Remediation Contractor MUST follow the Texas Mold Rules even if there is only 5 square feet of visible mold. This is consumer protection! If you hire a licensed Mold Remediation Contractor, this is your guarantee that you, as a homeowner or building owner, will get your mold remediation project done correctly and completely. This forces the remediation contractor to follow the rules no matter what.

Now a Licensed Remediation Contractor must follow a Mold Remediation Protocol on every Mold Remediation  job, no matter how big or how small. Only a Texas Licensed Mold Assessment Consultant can write a Mold Remediation Protocol. If you have a mold problem or think you might have a mold problem, make sure you call a Licensed Mold Assessment Company first!!! Make sure you are protected!

trust mold remediation company“Minimum Area Exemption” in Section 295.303(b) of the TMARR

Question:  Section 295.303(b) of the Texas Mold Assessment and Remediation Rules (TMARR) states, “A person is not required to be licensed under this subchapter to perform mold remediation in an area in which the mold contamination for the project affects a total surface area of less than 25 contiguous square feet.”  Does this mean that a licensed Mold Remediation Contractor (MRC) is exempt from all the mold rules if hired for a project where the mold contamination affects a total surface area of less than 25 contiguous square feet?

Answer:  No.  This exemption only applies to persons who are not licensed to conduct mold remediation, and was meant to allow small projects to be handled more simply and economically.  A licensed MRC performing a small mold remediation project (less than 25 contiguous square feet) is not exempt from the TMARR.  Regardless of the size of the area affected by mold contamination, if a licensed MRC is hired by the consumer, the MRC must follow the TMARRThis includes developing a work plan which follows a protocol developed by a licensed Mold Assessment Consultant (MAC). 

Discussion: All licensees agree to work in compliance with the mold rules as a condition of obtaining a mold license (Section 295.304(b)(2)).  In addition, consumers, whom the law was intended to protect, expect a licensed company they hire to follow the rules.  If a consumer chooses to hire a licensed MRC to perform a small mold remediation project (less than 25 contiguous square feet of mold contamination), there is a reasonable expectation that the job will be performed in accordance with the rules regardless of the size of the project.  In fact, a Certificate of Mold Damage Remediation (CMDR) may only be signed and issued by a MRC “for projects performed under the rules” (See Sections 295.302(6) & 295.327(b)).  Non-licensees may not sign or issue a CMDR.

Licensed MRCs should inform customers that a licensed MAC must first prepare a protocol before the MRC can develop a work plan and begin the remediation.  This is true regardless of the size of the project.  The MRC, after ensuring that the consumer has been provided the Consumer Mold Information Sheet, may only perform a project in accordance with the TMARR, regardless of size.  The MRC must respect a consumer’s choice to hire non-licensed people to do these small projects under the applicable exemption from the licensing requirement, and may not represent that the licensed MRC can perform the work without following the requirements of the TMARR

History of this issue: In the past, the department informally allowed MRCs to be exempt from the TMARR on projects where less than 25 contiguous square feet of mold contamination was involved.  This allowance was made to enable MRCs to compete with non-licensees for those jobs that fall under the exemption from the licensing requirement. In light of more recent developments, including several complaints the department has received from homeowners, the department has reviewed the TMARR and has identified no provision that allows a licensee to bypass the rules in any situation

Are Mold Remediation Companies Scamming Homeowners?

Yesterday, Jeff Rossen on Rossen Reports Today, aired an expose about mold remediation contractors scamming homeowners. 5 out of 8 Mold Remediation Contractors they called out told the undercover reporter that there was Black Mold in the home and that she needed Mold Remediation. They told her that she should not waste her money on testing that it was Black Mold for sure! Then, they provided her with bids for the work they told her she had to have because the mold was dangerous! One mold remediation contractor quoted $1200, but one quoted her $10,000.

Black mold testing

Laboratory analysis is required to determine mold type.

The moral of the story: get a professional mold inspection company to perform a thorough inspection and mold testing BEFORE you hire a remediation contractor. No one can tell you a mold-like substance is mold or mildew or Black

Mold without laboratory analysis. Do not trust a company that performs both mold inspections AND mold remediation. Get an independent, non-biased opinion from a licensed Mold Assessment Consultant (Texas and Florida) or Certified Mold Inspector first! Check out the Rossen Report video here: http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/26184891/vp/47292508#47292508

Why is Mold Growing in My Home?

Mold under tub

Plumbing leak and mold under Jacuzzi tub

Every day we have many people calling us asking why mold is growing in their homes, so I thought it would be helpful to write a little something about it and provide a link for more information for those who are looking.

Molds are everywhere, and there are mold spores in every breath we breathe. BUT, mold should not be growing indoors, in a home, or in an air conditioning system. When mold grows indoors, the airborne mold spore levels rise, and this is when people start feeling the effects of mold.

Mold spores may enter your house from the outside through open doorways, windows, and normal ventilation and breathing of a home. Mold spores in the air outside also attach themselves to people and animals, making clothing, shoes, bags, and pets convenient carriers for mold to the indoors. These things are normal.

However, when mold spores fall or settle on places where there is moisture, such as where water leakage may have occurred from roof leaks, plumbing leaks, exterior wall leaks, foundation issues, flooding, overflows, or HVAC condensation, these mold spores will begin to grow. Mold must have moisture and a food source to grow, but many molds can live off of high humidity and dust particles. Many building materials provide nutrients that encourage mold to grow faster. Wet cellulose materials, including paper and paper products like drywall or sheetrock, cardboard, ceiling tiles, wood, and wood products, are particularly conducive to mold growth. Other materials such as dust, paints, wallpaper, insulation materials, drywall, carpet, fabric, and upholstery, commonly support mold growth.

According to the EPA,

Too much moisture in a home can lead to mold, mildew, and other biological growth. This in turn can lead to a variety of health effects ranging from more common allergic reactions, to asthma attacks, and hypersensitivity pneumonitis.

For more information, click on this link for a great publication from the EPA:

A BRIEF GUIDE TO MOLD, MOISTURE, AND YOUR HOME

3 Mold Groups

Molds are organized into three groups according to human responses: Allergenic, Pathogenic and Toxigenic.

Allergenic Molds

Allergenic molds do not usually produce life-threatening health effects and are most likely to affect those who are already allergic or asthmatic. The human system responses to allergenic molds include: hay fever-type symptoms, such as sneezing, runny nose, red eyes, and skin rash (dermatitis). Allergic reactions to mold are common. They can be immediate or delayed. Molds can also cause asthma attacks in people with asthma who are allergic to mold.  In addition, mold exposure can irritate the eyes, skin, nose, throat, and lungs of both mold-allergic and non-allergic people.

Pathogenic Molds

Pathogenic molds usually produce some type of infection. They can cause serious health effects in persons with suppressed immune systems. Healthy people can usually resist infection by these organisms regardless of dose. In some cases, high exposure may cause hypersensitivity pneumonitis (an acute response to exposure to an organism).

Toxigenic Molds

Mycotoxins can cause serious health effects in almost anybody. These agents have toxic effects ranging from short-term irritation to immunosuppression and possibly cancer. Therefore, when toxigenic molds are found further evaluation is recommended.

Common Indoor Molds

The most common types of molds found indoors include:

  • Aspergillus
  • Cladosporium
  • Penicillium
  • Alternaria
  • Stachybotrys, also known as “Black Toxic Mold.”

Some molds, including Stachybotrys, produce chemical toxins known as “mycotoxins,” which are generated and released into the air, leading to the “toxic mold” designation. Exposure to these toxins can occur through inhalation, ingestion, or skin contact, and can result in symptoms including dermatitis, cough, rhinitis, nose bleeds, cold and flu symptoms, headache, general malaise and fever.

The US EPA states that mold spores, whether dead or alive, can cause adverse health effects and allergy symptoms.

For more information about types of molds and mold-related health probleMold under the microscopems, go to the EPA’s website: http://www.epa.gov/mold/moldbasics.html

 

The President of Mold Inspection Sciences gets MOLD on his hands, too

Michael Bains, the president of Mold Inspection Sciences, still gets mold on his hands. He had to put on the full Hazmat suit and respirator to go into a very nasty and very moldy crawl space today. Check out these pics. It’s fun seeing Michael all suited up and then looking at the moldy crawl space he literally had to crawl into. If you knew Michael, you would be laughing with me.

Toxic mold?

Toxic mold?

Michael suited up and ready to inspect for mold in a dark, scary crawl space

Michael suited up and ready to inspect for mold in a dark, scary crawl space

We often find mold problems in crawl spaces underneath homes. A little mold growth in a crawl space is usually no big deal, but this house had a lot of mold underneath it from a ground water and drainage issue. When a lot of water gets into a crawl space either from ground water, flooding, or a plumbing leak, mold will grow.  Mold growth in a crawl space can affect the air quality of the living spaces above the affected area. Airborne mold spores can get into the home from the crawlspace through voids in the flooring, pipe penetrations, and air conditioning and heating systems. Any time you have a plumbing leak or drainage issue under your home, you should get a mold inspection professional to inspect the situation and test your home.

New Video Posted on YouTube – Why Choose Mold Inspection Sciences

I thought people might like to hear from me why they should use Mold Inspection Sciences.  There are many other reasons why, but these are the top reasons people choose us. This is my first video, so take a look: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PVRiY8kovrE

You can also check out the new Mold Inspection Sciences of Dallas website at: www.moldinspectiondallas.com