Archive for the ‘IAQ Training’ Category

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

Tuesday, 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

Wednesday, 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

Sunday, 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

Tuesday, 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

Thursday, 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

 

1997–Reprint TIME TO GET ON BOARD

Tuesday, May 17th, 2016
  • Photocatalytic Air Cleaning Systems Promises to Help Allergy Sufferers

    Published: October 9 1997

    Category:Engineering, Environment, Health, Research, Sciences

    GAINESVILLE — Allergy and asthma sufferers soon may have a new weapon in their fight against airborne enemies: an indoor-air cleaning system that uses light and simple chemicals to destroy the dust mites and mold spores that cause many allergies.

    Developed at the University of Florida’s Solar Energy and Energy Conversion Laboratory, the photocatalytic air filtration system has been tested in medical and industrial settings and already has proven successful at zapping odors and impurities caused by chemicals, viruses and bacteria. It soon will be available for home use, said Yogi Goswami, professor and director of the laboratory.

    “This technology will revolutionize our notions about the quality of indoor air,” said Goswami. “With people spending more and more time indoors, it becomes increasingly important to provide clean air.”

    The system uses light, which reacts with a titanium dioxide-based chemical catalyst as air passes through. The result is oxidation, which attacks and destroys microbes by disintegrating their DNA. The reaction also kills dust mites and mold.

    Goswami said that the photocatalytic process is superior to conventional techniques using filters, which must be changed and disposed of.

    “With this system, contaminants are destroyed rather than transferred. No toxic chemicals are employed,” said Goswami. Allergy and asthma suffers may find great relief once dust mites and mold spores are eliminated from the air they breathe, he said.

    “Dust mites in the air cause allergic reactions in an estimated 15 to 20 percent of the population, and have been linked to the development of childhood asthma. The droppings of dust mites live in bedding and carpeting, but they also circulate in the air,” said Goswami.

    “Inhaled mold spores are also responsible for many allergy symptoms and aggravate asthma. Mold seeds are microscopic and need to be 100 percent destroyed. Otherwise they lie dormant and grow back. Because mold spores also circulate in the air, cleaning an environmental surface is not an efficient way of eliminating molds. This system eliminates molds altogether.”

    Goswami said the system has been tested successfully in medical research settings where the air in laboratories must be microbe-free.

    “We’ve tested the photocatalytic air cleaning system on a variety of indoor air problems, including toxic bacteria, such as those found to cause Legionnaire’s disease,” said Goswami. “Surgical suites and hospital nurseries are just two obvious places for this system. Sick building syndrome will be a thing of the past where this system is used. The photocatalytic system can quickly kill off 100 percent of bacteria in indoor air,” said Goswami.

    The technology is being readied for the market by Universal Air Technology at the Sid Martin Phototechnology Development Institute, a biotechnical business incubator of the University of Florida. The home units, Goswami said, may cost as little as $500.

    Credits

    WriterRandy Fillmore

    Category:Engineering, Environment, Health, Research, Sciences

OSHA Cites Indoor Air Quality As Important For Worker’s Health

Tuesday, January 26th, 2016

Mold in the WorkplaceGood indoor air quality is important for homes, but also for businesses. A poor work environment leads to more sick days and sluggish employees. All of this combines to poor productivity and employee performance. An investment in clean air for a workplace can repay itself many times over.

OSHA says the following about workplace indoor air quality:

“The quality of indoor air inside offices, schools, and other workplaces is important not only for workers’ comfort but also for their health. Poor indoor air quality (IAQ) has been tied to symptoms like headaches, fatigue, trouble concentrating, and irritation of the eyes, nose, throat and lungs.”

If you are interested in determining the state of your workplace indoor air quality, contact one of our NORMI certified indoor air quality professionals at www.normipro.com.

photo credit: UIS Students in the Workplace via photopin (license)

New York Mold Law Training Starts Soon!

Tuesday, August 25th, 2015

Abita Springs, LA

NORMI, the National Organization of Remediators and Mold Inspectors, announced today that, pending Department approval, they will begin training in New York after the first of the year.  The New York Mold Licensing Law will go into effect January 1, 2016 requiring Assessment Consultants, Remediation Contractors and Mold Workers to be licensed to perform work on mold projects in excess of 10 square feet of visible mold.  The law includes a training requirement where such training must be approved by the Department.  Applicants are responsible for confirming such approval before investing in classes that claim to meet the State of NY requirements.

“The process for approval has been quite detailed and strenuous,” said Doug Hoffman, Executive Director of NORMI, “but that means the training will meet a very high standard so that those who are trained will understand the importance of protecting themselves and their clients from the potentially devastating effects of mold contamination.  This industry is very dynamic with constant changes in techniques and technologies so it is vital that mold professionals NEVER stop learning!”

NORMI has been training mold professionals since its founding in July, 2004 across the country, which coincided with the State of Louisiana mold remediation licensing law, the first State to have such licensing.  “We have been privileged to do mold training throughout the US and, even in Canada,” reported Mr. Hoffman.  “States that currently have mold licensing laws include Texas, Florida, Maryland and Louisiana with the District of Columbia and New York coming on board on January 1, 2016.  New York has established a curriculum that requires 32 hours of training for assessors, 24 hours of training for remediators and 16 hours of training for workers, probably the most detailed requirement of all the licensing laws.”  NORMI will provide training that includes the NORMI Professional Practices, an improved standard of care for mold professionals.  For non-professionals, NORMI offers the DIY (Do-It-Yourself) Guidance Document at the homepage of their website.

Licensing laws have successfully separated the functions of mold professionals into two major categories: those who assess the problem(s) and those who perform the work to resolve the detected problem(s).  “The real value in licensing by the State is avoiding the conflict of interest that has traditionally plagued this industry,” according to Lance Eisen, COO of NORMI.  “When a remediator is also the one who determines whether or not the problem is large enough to require remediation, there’s an inherent conflict of interest.  You never want the fox guarding the chicken coop!”

Licensing classes are planned throughout the State of New York and registration for those classes will be available at www.BestTrainingSchool.com.  For more information contact NORMI at 877.251.2296 or email support@normi.org

Is Training Really Necessary?

Thursday, July 16th, 2015

Abita Springs, LA

Some people our industry view training as unnecessary.  Whether initial training or continuing education training, they view any legislation regarding licensing “unnecessarily burdening” if it includes a requirement for training, either in the field or in the classroom.  This seems to ignore some pretty important reasons for training.

“When I was working as a Roofing Contractor in the State of Florida, the rules and regulations, along with the Building Codes changed on a regular basis,” proclaimed Doug Hoffman, Executive Director of NORMI.  “Hurricanes and other wind events required the administrators of these rules to review them on a regular basis and make changes to the regulations as they needed.  Frankly, had I not been required to take 14 hours of continuing education every year for my license, I would still be nailing every single with three nails instead of five!  It’s cheaper and, after all, it was good enough for my Dad!”

The mold industry is very dynamic.  New chemicals are being developed every year that are less toxic and more eco-friendly.  New air scrubbing techniques have been produced which are less expensive and more effective.  The understanding of symptoms related to building illnesses is ever expanding as is the medical world beginning to link health concerns with indoor environmental issues.  How would a mold professional be incentivized to stay up with this trend if they aren’t required to do so?  Realistically, there is little incentive.

Many professionals come into this mold industry with little or no field experience.   They see an opportunity to make a lot of money but don’t have the skills or knowledge to complete projects expeditiously and economically.  The legal industry is jammed with lawsuits against incompetent and untrained contractors who hold themselves out to the public as “certified” when they got their certification through an online agency without having taken a single class.

The State of Florida is setting the standard in the industry for Mold Assessment and Mold Remediation.  There is little doubt that they have written a solid licensing law which requires both initial training and continuing education for its licensees.  Washington DC has followed their lead and, we suspect, more States will.  Louisiana, the first state to put a licensing law in place, requires 24 hours of training with an additional 4 hours of Law and Business Ethics.  Frankly, how else would a professional understand his legal obligations to the citizens of the state without such training?

We encourage all legislators who are considered licensing this industry to take a good close look at the elements of the licensing law they are requiring.  Require certifications from good, competent and credible certifying agencies who, in their certifications, require some level of training and field experience.  The public is relying on your expertise to protect them from the incompetent, untrained contractor who, just yesterday, was working as an unlicensed handyman.

For more information on the licensing requirements in your state or for information on NORMI, contact us at 877.251.2296 or support@normi.org

HomeAdvisor 2015 “Best of HomeAdvisor Award”

Thursday, May 7th, 2015

Abita Springs, LA

May 7, 2015

We are pleased to announce that thirteen of our NORMI members have been honored by HomeAdvisor with the “Best of HomeAdvisor Award”!  HomeAdvisor is the premier lead-sourcing program in the construction industry and NORMI members are encouraged to take advantage of the lead-sourcing they provide which benefits their individual business and the public.

“I am so proud of these entrepreneurs who have been certified with us, connected to us and provided outstanding service to the public,” remarked Doug Hoffman, Executive Director of NORMI (National Organization of Remediators and Mold Inspectors).  These folks are doing exactly what we encourage them to do and have proven successful following our model.  Congratulations to them for their dedication to providing the best service in the industry!”

HomeAdvisor said, “Thank you for being a partner of HomeAdvisor. We value our relationship, and we look forward to continuing to develop and grow our partnership in the coming year.

“We are pleased to announce that 13 pros in your network have received the ‘Best of HomeAdvisor Award’ for 2015! This distinction recognizes top industry professionals based on quality, service and value in the HomeAdvisor network. These members were chosen because they exemplify superior work practices, are committed to first-rate service and provide a fair value for the work they’re performing. Only the top pros in the HomeAdvisor network are bestowed this prestigious award!”

Recipients of the 2015 Best of HomeAdvisor Award are:

Curtis Roberts Mold Inspection

Green Way Solutions

AirTech Solutions 4U

MicroClean Technology, Inc.

Integrity Air Quality Solutions

Residential Air Quality

Jose Technologies, Inc.

A Healthier Home, LLC

Environmental Services Group Carolinas, LLC

Pure Air Solutions, LLC

The Best Restoration, LLC

Gnl Enterprises, LLC

DMC Environmental Service

For more information regarding training and certifying with NORMI, see www.NORMI.org, contact us at support@NORMI.org or cal 877.251.2296  NORMI is an approved training/certifications provider for multiple states and offered thirteen certifications.