Ask a Mold Expert: What Do I Use to Kill Mold on a Roof?

April 18th, 2017

We often get some very interesting questions from our members, and others in the building and construction community. We recently were posed one that we believe would be helpful for the public. A roofing contractor recently sent us this message:

“I saw your article about sodium hypochlorite not killing mold on asphalt roofing by Doug Hoffman. I am a soft washing and roof washing contractor. I was never taught that it was mold on a roof. I always thought it was lichen, algae, and moss. Further, he said to use a biocide, and chlorine is one. Can I get some clarity on this? Who was told or tested roofing materials to see if the black streaks where mold? And if not mold why will chlorine not kill moss, lichen, and algae? Finally I read that chlorine will kill mold on non porous surfaces but it will not kill mold on porous surfaces?”

Our Executive Director, Doug Hoffman, had this to say in response:

“Great question! All of the chemistries that are approved by the EPA to kill mold (fungus) are registered with the EPA as pesticides. In fact, the LA Dept. of Agriculture requires Licensed Mold Remediators to also carry a pesticide ground-applicators license because, again, what they are using are pesticides. Sodium Hypochlorite is registered with the EPA as a disinfectant because it is good, as a sanitizer, on hard surfaces but will not adequately penetrate the mold to kill the “bio-slime” and actually eliminate it from growing. If you read the use instructions, it’s incredibly toxic and requires some dwell time to actually kill any of the microbiologicals it can address.

In 2004, Oregon State University performed a study to address this issue, and determined exactly what I wrote in “Mold-Free Construction” five years earlier (the first edition). Bleach will affect the discoloration (making it look like it disappeared) but will not actually kill the mold. Even when you add detergent and high levels of surfactants, it simply will not penetrate the mold. That’s why bleach should never be used on mold remediation projects either…people have been slow to come to the table but the science is proving this position to be right!

In regards to what is actually growing on the roof, that varies significantly based on geography. Moss is really bad in the Northwest US while mold is worse in the Southern states. Here’s the fact that needs to be considered: any microbiological contaminant will feed on the DIRT that is accumulating on the roofing system (from acid rain, settled dust, etc.) and, under the right conditions, its roots (depending on the type of mold) could grow into the shingle (especially asphalt shingles that have a lot of fillers in them and very little asphalt or petro product). Killing that growth is paramount to extending the life and improving the appearance of virtually any roofing system (even tile) and using a pesticide with surfactants that actually will penetrate that growth is best, by far!

BTS, I love the concept of “soft washing” (which is what we did with our company) to maintain the integrity of the ballast and protect the shingle from UV. BUT, experience has shown over and over again that bleach will only make it go “clear” and then it will reappear with a vengeance.”

Salem VA Cited for Mold Exposure

March 29th, 2017

REPRINT from Advisen.com

Source: Roanoke Times 03/28/2017

A federal workplace safety agency has cited the Salem VA Medical Center for a serious violation for allowing employees to be exposed to indoor mold, thereby creating unsafe and unhealthy working conditions.

U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration inspections of Building 75 at the Department of Veterans Affairs medical facility, starting with an inspection on Dec. 20, determined that “employees were exposed to the hazard of mold in work spaces and corridors” in the building.

According to an OSHA citation issued March 16, the exposure created a potential for the “onset of allergic reactions, asthma attacks and exacerbation or aggravation of allergies, asthma and other health conditions.”

OSHA alleged that “the employer did not implement adequate measures to prevent active mold growth in the building.”

On March 10, OSHA gave the center 30 days to respond with remediation to remove the mold.

The Salem VA Medical Center describes Building 75 as a non-patient care building that serves as a wellness center.

Stanley Dutko, area director in Norfolk for OSHA, said the agency investigated after receiving a signed complaint about the mold from a current employee.

Dutko said six employees reported having respiratory reactions they attributed to the mold. He said OSHA’s investigation found that the Salem VA Medical Center had been aware, going back as far as 2007 and 2011, that there were issues with mold in Building 75.

He said the center’s lack of adequate response triggered the citation.

“We always try to work with the employer first,” Dutko said.

Brett Robbins, a spokesman for the Salem VA Medical Center, said Monday that the hospital has contracted with a company to perform the necessary remediation, which he said should be completed by April 5.

“Salem takes all reports of safety concerns seriously and will continue to provide a safe working environment for its veterans, visitors and employees,” Robbins said in an email.

He said the facility’s safety office had performed an indoor air quality review of Building 75 in November that was related to potential mold.

“Following the review, the facility removed any items with visible substance identified, completed plumbing repairs and ensured scheduled maintenance on the HVAC system was accomplished,” Robbins said.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advises that indoor mold can cause respiratory infections and worsen illnesses such as asthma.

There are reports and also evidence that indoor mold and other hazards associated with water-damaged buildings can cause additional health problems. But CDC has said there is no conclusive evidence that indoor mold is associated with many other health problems, such as pulmonary hemorrhage, memory loss and lack of energy.

Reporter Tiffany Stevens contributed to this report.

For more information training and solutions to this and other IAQ issues, contact www.NORMI.org or call 877.251.2296

Dr. Oz Recommends Certification/Licensing for Mold Professionals

March 12th, 2017

Abita Springs, LA  03/12/17

Dr. Oz completed a great segment on 02/27 dealing with toxic mold and the dangers the public may face when being scammed by unlicensed, untrained mold guys.  NORMI and the IICRC were upheld as “the good guys”, credible, national training/certification organizations that help clients with assessing and cleaning up mold problems in indoor environments.

NORMI, the National Organization of Remediators and Mold Inspectors was founded July 4, 2004 to train and certify mold remediators under the State of Louisiana Mold Licensing Law.  Since then, NORMI has trained thousands of assessors, remediators and IAQ professionals throughout the United States and Canada.  Its certifications have been recognized by states who require training for licensure including, but not limited to, New York, Florida, Louisiana and the District of Columbia.

The mold profession has long been plagued with scammers, non-professionals who claim they can detect mold and clean it up.  Many of these do NO testing, are not trained building assessors and do not know that bleach WILL NOT clean mold.  Dr. Oz addresses each of these subjects in his well-written segment which include Mike Holmes, a builder and television personality who touted the importance of finding good guys like NORMI and the IICRC.

For more information, contact NORMI at support@NORMI.org or visit www.NORMI.org or call 877.251.2296 to find classes at a location near you.  Visit www.NORMIPro.com to locate a mold professional in your area.

FREE Florida CEUs for NORMI Members

January 3rd, 2017

ACTIVE NORMI Members have access to ongoing continuing education training every Tuesday night (48 times a year) in our BTS Training Room. These interactive webinars provide an opportunity for members to get ongoing training, news and other information regarding the mold profession. Unique to the NORMI organization, members are given the opportunity to “meet and greet” other NORMI members across the country on a regular basis and get their specific field questions answered.

NORMI is an approved training provider for many stated, including the State of Florida (PVD MRS0003605), and continues to offer onsite classes for CEU (continuing education units). The State of Florida requires each licensed Mold Related Services Assessor and/or Remediator to take fourteen (14) hours of approved continuing education during each renewal cycle (every two years).

The State of Florida recently approved NORMI CEUs to be given in a LIVE ONLINE format. These classes are offered at various times throughout the year and on specific Tuesday nights inside of the regular weekly training. ONLY ACTIVE NORMI Members may take advantage of this option to receive, over the course of a year, all the CEUs needed for renewal at NO ADDITIONAL CHARGE!

“We are pleased to make this announcement,” said Doug Hoffman, Executive Director of NORMI, the National Organization of Remediators and Mold Inspectors. “NORMI continues to lead the industry in filling the void of training and this is just another high-tech way of delivering relevant and current information. Connecting our active members to the organization and to the industry through this member benefit is one of our unique offerings and we’re thrilled that the State of Florida has recognized its value.”

To become an ACTIVE NORMI member, go to the “JOIN” tab at the top of www.NORMI.org. For more information, contact NORMI at 877.251.2296 or email support@normi.org

NATE Approved Training Provider

October 27th, 2016

Abita Springs, LA

October 27, 2016

 

NORMI, the National Organization of Remediators and Mold Inspectors, has just been approved as a NATE Training Provider so that several of the courses qualified for continuing education toward the NATE certification.

 

Founded in 1997, NATE (North American Technician Excellence) is the nation’s largest non-profit certification organization for heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration (HVACR)
technicians.  NATE is the only technician certification organization developed and supported by the HVACR industry.

 

“We are so excited to partner with NATE,” announced Doug Hoffman, CEO of NORMI.  “NATE has a long tradition of offering excellent training in the HVACR industry we our partnership allows us to provide excellent mold training for HVACR professionals.  As we know, the air conditioning and heating systems are not always THE problem with IAQ but certainly A problem that needs to be addressed.”

 

NATE approved continuing education credits will be available in conjunction with the multiple approvals currently offered to NORMI class attendees.  For more information on NORMI classes, call 877.251.2296 or see the list of classes at Best Training School.NATE_3Dh_268_114 Art Boards

 

Best Living Systems Donates Air Purifiers to Habitat For Humanity

September 26th, 2016

Habitat For Humanity Best Living Systems is know for their outstanding air purification and surface protection products, including the BLS12K air purification unit and EnzyMagic 201™.  Most notably, they are known for using the trademarked MCI™ (multi-cluster ionization) technology to provide the most effective air purification equipment on the market.

However, the company also participates in many humanitarian efforts. Having clean air to breathe in a home is of utmost importance to the health and quality of life of the occupants. If clean air protocol can be implemented after new construction, many potential issues can be prevented.

This coming Tuesday night 09/27, Best Living Systems is partnering with Habitat for Humanity to provide five fortunate new homeowners with free brand new air purifiers, featuring MCI™ technology, for their new homes. Habitat for Humanity is a worthy cause making a difference in local communities. Best Living Systems is pleased to be able to assist them with this program.

Thanks to Best Living Systems for making this donation!

 

 

 

NORMIProETF Offers FREE Air Purifiers to Flood Victims

September 20th, 2016

Abita Springs, LA

September 20, 2016

 

The NORMIPro Environmental TASC Force (www.NORMIProETF.org) has announced they have created a “GoFundMe” account to collect funds to purchase and install air purification equipment in the homes of flood victims in the Baton Rouge, LA area.

 

“Nearly 140,000 homes were affected by the recent flooding and are, as we speak, in the middle of re-building.  What they need is a better quality home and air purification technologies will provide that luxury,” said Doug Hoffman, Executive Director of NORMI.  “The NORMIPro ETF is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) so all donations are totally tax deductible.  We will be able to help a lot of people.”

 

Donations can be made to www.FloodVictims.NORMI.org and will pay for the MCI™ Multi-Cluster Ionization technology and installation of this equipment in homes of applicants.

 

For more information, contact support@normi.org or call NORMI at 877.251.2296

Best Living Systems Donates EnzyMagic to Flood Victims

August 29th, 2016

Enzyme CleanerAccording to the Red Cross, “The catastrophic flood devastating Louisiana is now the worst natural disaster to strike the United States since Hurricane Sandy four years ago.”

One of the worst outcomes after any flood, especially of the magnitude of the recent Louisiana flooding, is the water damage done to the homes after the waters subside. The resulting mold and mildew can make a home almost unlivable. One of the best ways to rid a home of these harmful organisms is to use an enzyme cleaner that kills mold at the source. One of the best on the market is EnzyMAagic201 sold by Best Living Systems.

Fortunately for LA homeowners, Best Living Systems recently donated $1600 worth of product to assist in the cleanup of their homes after this natural disaster. This will enable them to remove the threat of mold growth in their homes at minimal cost. We encourage any other businesses in the area to also do what they can to assist these individuals reclaim there homes!

 

Hire a Pro or get a Con.

August 25th, 2016

Abita Springs, LA  08/25/2016

OK, I got your attention.  Yes, that’s strong language and, of course, not everyone who is not a professional is a con artist but somewhere between these two extremes is the well-intentioned handyman who kinda knows how to fix the problem, sorta.

In these times of disaster recovery, we are fortunate to have so many faith-based organizations and wonderful neighbors who want to help.  Sometimes the State even suspends licensing laws to help expedite the re-building of a devastated area.  We are blessed to have so many people with a heart to serve.  However, this doesn’t replace the role of the professional.

“Well, Mr. Hoffman,” I hear, “there is so much work to be done that there are not enough professionals to go around…THEN what do you do?”  That is the question.  And the reality is true that there is so much work to be done that finding a professional is virtually impossible…you probably know because you’ve tried.  Renting dehumidifiers, buying enough good chemicals, hauling away the debris all become challenges each and every day.  WHAT is the answer.  We think we have one!

There are TWO guidelines that are incredibly helpful in knowing how to do the work.  The IICRC S-520 (which can be purchased online as an electronic book) and the NORMI DIY Mold Removal Guide (downloadable at www.NORMI.org) are valuable resources and they don’t take long to learn!  YOU could become your own Project Manager and know more than most about how to do this work.

There have been some “trusted” institutions who have recently foolishly suggested that it’s necessary to hire a professional, someone trained and certified in Mold Assessment and/or Mold Remediation.  So you hire a professional to cut your hair, work on your car and educate your kids.  Why would you trust your most valuable physical asset (the investment you’ve put in your home) to an amateur.  Get informed now.

Doug Hoffman, Executive Director of NORMI

For more information on NORMI, go to www.NORMI.org, call 877.251.2296 or email support@normi.org

Ten Tips to Avoid Structural Mold from Flooding

August 15th, 2016

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Nonprofit Contact Person: Doug Hoffman
877.251.2296 ext. 876 mediaalert@normi.org

August 15, 2016 (Abita Springs, LA) – A few simple steps can save property owners thousands of dollars of damage due to structural mold growth, according to Doug Hoffman, executive director of the National Organization of Remediators and Mold Inspectors (www.NORMI.org), a nonprofit organization that trains and certifies indoor air quality professionals. Taking the necessary steps to avoid structural mold growth not only preserves the integrity of a structure but also the health of its occupants, further explains Kurt and Lee Ann Billings, authors of the book MOLD: The War Within, which details lessons learned from Hurricane Katrina. Flooding area residents must be proactive, act quickly, and use proper personal protection equipment when implementing the following ten steps:
1. Remove any standing water using a pump or a wet vac. If the water damage is from a broken pipe, be sure to turn off the water supply.
2. Remove wet carpets, rugs, draperies and personal belongings. Clear mud and debris from floors and foundation walls to allow the subflooring and foundation to dry.
3. Remove and discard water-saturated sheetrock and insulation 18 inches above the highest watermark to increase structural drying. Remove water-damaged flexible ductwork and water-damaged insulation around metal ductwork.
4. Remove all mold growth on remaining structural building materials by mechanical means or complete removal if necessary. The easiest and most effective way to initially clean mold from structural building materials is to use a commercial wet/dry HEPA vacuum, followed by wiping, scrubbing, scrapping or sanding for complete removal.
5. Don’t use bleach to clean mold. Bleach is an effective sanitizer but it will not remove mold at its “root”. The mold will look like it’s gone but it is not; it will only grow back.
6. Use sanitizers on any portion of the structure contaminated by sewage or flood waters.
7. Dry the structure out as quickly as possible as structural mold begins to form in the first 24-48 hours. As soon as the above removal steps are completed, turn up the heat, circulate the air with fans, and use a dehumidifier to keep the indoor humidity below 50 percent. Hot, dry air dries things faster than cold moist air. If there’s no electricity, open windows and doors to get air moving to speed up the drying process, if weather permits.
8. Check the attic as undetected roof leaks can later cause structural mold problems.
9. Inspect windows on the outside of the structure, checking for damaged caulking and seals that could lead to future water leaks.
10. Don’t seal it up until it’s dry. Siding, sheetrock, and flooring repairs should be done only after the substrates are completely dry. Confirm moisture content by using a moisture meter.
For more information on water damage and flood resources, please see www.Flood.NORMI.org, www.NORMIProETF.org or to locate a certified mold inspector or remediator in your area, log onto www.NORMIPro.com or call 1.877.251.2296.