Do you have to see Mold for it to be a Problem?
The answer is no.
The bible for Mold Remediation is the IIRCR S520 manual. Mold conditions in a building are rated into three (3) conditions. Condition 1: This is described as an indoor environment that has a normal fungal ecology (all facilities have some mold)
Condition 2: This is an indoor environment which is contaminated with settled spores. Generally these spores cannot be seen so they can only be detected with testing.
Condition 3: This is indoor facility that is contaminated with the presence of actual mold growth and associated spores. Actual growth includes growth that is active or dormant, visible or hidden.
Unfortunately the general public is mostly only aware of Condition 3.
Condition 2 may have the same health concerns as Condition 3 depending on the inhabitant’s immune system and the type of Mold it is. Remember under the right circumstances Condition 2 spores can develop into condition 3.
When we do clearance tests for Mold Remediators we are checking for Condition 2 spores.
Understand the process!
The law changed in 2011 in regards to how mold is assessed and remediated in Florida. Separate licenses are required for each procedure Mold Assessment: This should be done by a licensed mold assessor and indoor air consultant. Although remediators can due assessments they cannot do them on a job if they are going to perform the remediation. Remember remediators make their money on the remediation. The assessment is not just test taking. Good assessors understand the building and what causes mold. The mold assessment report should provide a guideline to what the problem is, what caused it and what the recommendation is to move forward.
Do not let a remediator perform remediation without an assessment! There is no check and balance and it is difficult to know if it was done correctly. Would you let a Doctor do surgery on your body without testing and understanding what the problem is? Remediators do not understand the health aspect of mold. It is important to understand the type of mold and how bad the problem is. A good assessor understands this and is there to make sure your health is the number one concern. A good assessor has been to industry conferences and keeps abreast of current techniques and health issues. Remember this is your health! Doctors are required to constantly educate themselves; your indoor air consultant/mold assessor should do the same! Make sure you check before you hire them.
Mold Protocol: A good assessor will be able to write a protocol that provides a road map for remediation. The protocol is a detailed report explaining what needs to be remediated and how it is to be remediated. Not all remediators perform the same quality work, however if there is a protocol written by a qualified assessor they are required to follow it. Remember the cause of the problem must be fixed before any remediation can take place!
Remediators in the State of Florida must have a license. They also need to be certified from the IICRC which is the standard for cleaning mold and other issues. Most remediators will provide you an estimate using an industry standard estimating program called xactimate. It is based on square footage so estimates from remediators should be similar especially if they have a protocol to follow. Without a protocol and assessment, who knows?
Mold Clearance or PRV (Post remediation valuation): This involves the assessor to come back and make sure the work was done correctly and retest to make sure the mold problem has been eliminated. This is a critical step in the process. Without it you could have spent thousands of dollars and you still may have a problem.
DO NOT let the remediator re install the building materials before a clearance is performed. If it does not pass, then what? In some cases the building materials may have to be removed gain to re-clean.
The PRV may fail. The remediator should come back and clean up at no charge to you.
This process is generally not a pleasant one. It is usually costly and requires either leaving your premise or living around noisy cleaning equipment. Make sure you understand the process and interview the people involved in the process!
Remember this is your health and your single largest investment! Do it right the first time.