Archive for April, 2011

Which Chemical Should I Use?

Wednesday, April 20th, 2011

Abita Springs, LA

ASK THE EXPERT–Many times a client will ask, “Which chemical can I use to kill mold?” Clients are learning that beach, though effectively removing the staining caused by mold on surfaces, is not always the answer to completely remove mold contamination from the surfaces. In enclosed areas it can be extremely toxic, without the proper ventilation and PPE, and when mixed with other chemicals could result in some pretty serious reactions. How can a client sort through the maze of products and be satisfied they are choosing the right product for them? Best Living Systems, LLC has now introduced a simple flow chart that leads the client through the maze.

At Best Living Systems website (http://www.bestlivingsystems.com) a link has been added under the heading “What Product To Use”  (http://www.bestlivingsystems.com/product-info/index.html) that was designed to help the client find the perfect mold remover for his job. NORMI, the National Organization of Remediators and Mold Inspectors, certifies professionals in the mold industry who understand the difference between preparation products and protectants. This difference is essential to beginning the process of sorting through the seemingly endless products offered to use for mold cleanup. “Are you looking for a cleaner or a protectant?” must be the very first question to ask.

Preparation products are those products that PREPARE the surface for the receipt of coatings or other protectants that will serve to protect the surface from future contamination. These preparation products remove or kill mold (depending on their EPA status) and establish a clean surface to which a protectant may be applied. Once the surface is cleaned, a protectant can be applied to reduce the possibility of mold/bacteria returning to that surface. These protectants vary from water-based spray applications to heavy coatings, depending on the surface to which it will be applied and the desired result, needed warranty, etc.

Once the client has decided whether he’s looking for a preparation product or a protectant, the chart takes him to the second level–EPA or NON-EPA Registered. Some of the cleaners are registered by the EPA as disinfectants while others are registered as pesticides. The NON-EPA registered products are produced under the “treated articles exemption” but are, none the less, effective against the odor-causing bacteria and mold that grows on the surface. When a cleaner receives the EPA Registration it has undergone extensive testing, overseen by the EPA, and the preparation product may then make “kills” claims on its label for specific organisms. Generally speaking, the more organisms the product may claim to be effective against, the more powerful the chemical. Unless a product is EPA Registered, with a number on the label, it is NOT allowed to make “kills claims” against specific organisms. On the other hand, a NON-EPA Registered product is typically a water-based, more eco-friendly, more biodegradable product that has not gone through the rigors of EPA testing and registration. The product may be very effective against mold but it cannot make a “kills claim” for any specific organism. For instance, peroxides and enzyme cleaners are great for cleaning surfaces but they are, generally speaking, not EPA registered so you will not see specific claims on the label. It’s all about what the EPA will allow you to claim.

Protectants are also categorized in the same fashion between EPA and NON-EPA Registered. Protectants serve to protect the surface against future contamination. In some cases, like masonry walls, a heavy, thick coating product is necessary. In other cases, like wood substrates, you don’t want a heavy coating because you want the wood to breathe and so you might select a more breathable, water-based or lighter coating. The “kill” mechanism of a protectant, for future mold growth, varies from mechanical kills to chemical kills and this is why we have certified a training called the NORMI CBA (Certified Biocide Applicator) at www.BestTrainingSchool.com and educated our Remediators on the processes involved in proper coating for the protection of the surface.

The Chemical Flowchart now present at www.BestLivingSystems.com should help the client through the process of selecting the right product for the right job. When that is accomplished, the results are great and the client is satisfied. We applaud Best Living Systems, LLC for making it easier to sort through the process.

FLORIDA HB 5007 Passes the House

Friday, April 8th, 2011

Abita Springs, LA

NORMI, the National Organization of Remediators and Mold Inspectors, announced today that a very important step in the direction of changing the current Mold-Related Services Licensing Law was taken in Tallahassee by the House of Representatives passing legislation that would deregulate 14 businesses, professions and occupations. The bill passed along party lines with a 77-38 roll call vote and Republicans touted it as a victory for the consumer and businessman while Democrats complained that this type of deregulation puts the public at risk.

The bill deregulates sports agents; auctioneers; sellers of business opportunities; charitable organizations; hair braiders; dance studios; health studios; instra-state movers; sellers of travel; travel agents; telemarketing; and yacht brokers. Those in the mold industry successfully lobbied to have the Mold-Related Services Licensing Law removed from this bill and legislators introduced another bill, HB 5007 that would not deregulate but revise the existing law which went into effect July 1, 2010.

“It is our opinion that deregulation was not the route to take,” said NORMI Executive Director Doug Hoffman, “but we do believe that a ‘tweaking’ of the current law would enhance the ability of mold professionals to do their work more efficiently. Though we are still looking closely at HB 5007, it appears to benefit the profession while continuing to protect the public from unscrupulous assessors and remediators who have plagued this profession for years. We are pleased that the law was not completely repealed and Florida seems to be setting standard that, in our opinion, could and should be accepted by other states.”

The House also voted 80-38 passing HB 5007 that would reduce penalties for violating business regulations and modifying various regulations including a reduction in licensing, examination and training for mold assessors and remediators. Rep. Franklin Sands, D-Weston, argued, “people will die” because of the mold changes. He went on to say, “The charlatans and the scammers are going to move to Florida to be in the mold and mildew business.”

According to legislative experts, the bill’s prospects are uncertain when it goes to the Senate because no similar legislation has been filed there as yet.

NORMI was established on July 4, 2004 to provide training and certification for mold professionals throughout the United States, Canada and Europe. NORMI is also an approved Training Provider for the Mold-Related Services Board (#0003605) and CILB (#050148598) under the DBPR in the State of Florida. For more information on training programs, certification processes, or mold, in general, you may contact NORMI at 877.251.2296 or contact support@normi.org