Posts Tagged ‘normi’

Bleach Does Not Kill Mold

Wednesday, July 17th, 2013

mold

Mold Growth on a Wall

What should you do if you have a mold problem in your home? Many homeowners and experts alike would suggest treating the area with diluted bleach (active ingredient sodium hpochlorite). However, there is one problem with this suggestion. Bleach does not kill mold. The idea that bleach kills mold is one of the most common misconceptions encountered here at NORMI. Bleach is a powerful oxidizer, and can sanitize surfaces covered in certain kinds of bacteria. However, it is not the product to use on surfaces covered in mold.

We first noticed a problem while working with roofers to kill mold growing on shingles. We used a combination of surfactants, detergents, and bleach to lightly spray on the roof. It worked very well initially, but we found that the mold grew back within two years.

Since then, the “Journal of Forest Products” commissioned a study by Oregon State University on the efficacy of bleach on mold. They found that the stains caused by the mold will disappear, but the microflora remains. Essentially, the unsightly discoloration is gone, but if the surface has enough moisture and organic material the mold will be able to grow back in larger qualities than before. This is the reason why that same mold spot keeps appearing in your shower, no matter how many times you clean it off.

NORMI recommends using green technologies like natural enzyme cleaners instead. When you use the right kind of anti-microbial, the mold and the underlying bio-slime will be removed permanently. As an added bonus, you and your household won’t be exposed to the dangerous fumes from bleach.

NORMI to Hold Free Seminars for New Jersey Residents

Monday, June 3rd, 2013

(New Orleans) NORMIProETF (The NORMIPro Environmental TASC Force), a not-for-profit 501(3)c will hold FREE seminars on Wednesday and Thursday nights, June 19th and 20th from 7:00-8:30pm at Monmouth County Library (Headquarters) located at 125 Symmes Drive, Manalpan, New Jersey. These are open to the public and each will cover a different subject.

On Wednesday evening the 30 minutes presentation will be on “How to Protect Yourself” from the threats associated with mold and bacteria contaminated building materials which need to be removed from the site. Those with suppressed immune systems are especially vulnerable to long term effects and should know how to evaluate the damage before proceeding with do-it-yourself cleanup.

On Thursday evening the 30 minutes presentation will be on “Techniques for Safely Removing Mold” from contaminated sites and precautions that should be taken by do-it-yourself property owners. Each seminar will be followed by a Q&A with a panel of experts on hand to answer specific questions in these areas.

Following the presentation, Doug Hoffman, Executive Director of NORMI (National Organization of Remediators and Mold Inspectors) will moderate a Q&A from the audience. The panel of speakers will include experts from the area who have been trained in the evaluation and removal of mold and bacteria contaminated materials and provides resources that include accurate and timely information regarding these subjects.

NORMI is committed to the safety factors involved with the rebuilding of New Jersey area after the devastation of Hurricane Sandy. With contractors pouring into the city, the importance of certified and licensed mold professionals is at an all time high due to the potentially severe health effects from inexperienced individuals.

On Thursday, July 20th from 9am-4pm NORMI will conduct a Certified Mold Inspector course at Holiday Inn Hazlet located 2870 Highway 35 South, Hazlet, New Jersey. The cost of the one-day course is $149.

For more information contact NORMI 877-251-2296 or www.NORMI.org or Best Training School 888.856.4803 or www.BestTrainingSchool.com to register for the one-day course. The Monmouth Library can be reached at 732-431-7500 x 7242. Go to www.NORMIProETF.org to contribute.

About NORMI
The National Organization of Remediators and Mold Inspectors serves as a cooperative network of first responders in the war against indoor air quality and mold problems.
NORMI classes train and certify students in the process of assessment and screening for household mold and toxic mold, evaluating mold problems, the damage caused by mold and other air and water quality issues. This solution-based training offers suggestions to solve problems that have been identified by the assessor. NORMI has become the nation’s premier certifying agency for indoor air quality and mold professionals by providing the very best education, training, and support to enhance awareness of problems and solutions that benefit public health.

Top Ten Tips to Avoid Structural Mold from Flooding

Sunday, December 2nd, 2012

December 2, 2012 (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 involved in providing training and certifications for mold and indoor air quality professionals. Taking the necessary steps to avoid structural mold growth will not only preserve the integrity of a building 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 Katrina. Disaster area residents must be proactive, act quickly, and use proper personal protection equipment when implementing the following ten steps:
1) Remove standing water—remove wet carpets, rugs, draperies, personal belongings (if possible) and exterior mulch against the foundation walls, etc., to allow the subflooring and foundation to dry.
2) Dry the structure out as quickly as possible—this is the most important thing you can do as structural mold will begin to form in the first 24-48 hours. Remove water-saturated sheetrock 18 inches above the highest watermark to increase structural drying.
3) Turn up the heat and use a dehumidifier—when drying out a structure and/or its contents, reduce the indoor humidity to less than 60% and use heat to speed the drying process. Hot, dry air dries things faster than cold moist air.
4) Circulate the air—turn on fans and dehumidifiers or open windows if there is no electricity to get air moving around to increase drying.
5) Don’t seal it up until its dry—siding, sheetrock, and flooring repairs should be done only after the substrates are completely dry. Only use plastic to prevent further water damage.
6) Don’t use bleach—it is an effective sanitizer but will not remove mold at its root. The mold will look like its gone but it won’t be.
7) Check your attic—undetected roof leaks can become big structural mold problems later
8) Inspect windows on the outside of the structure—check for possible water seepage through the caulking/seals.
9) Remove all mold growth on building materials by mechanical means—such as sanding or complete removal.
10) Use sanitizers—on any portion of the structure contaminated by sewage or flood waters.

For more information on water damage and flood resources, please see www.Flood.NORMI.org or to locate a certified mold inspector or remediator in your area, log onto http://www.NORMIPro.com or call 1.877.251.2296 or www.NORMIProETF.org at 1.877.751.3500

A Dozen DOs & DON’Ts for a Healthy Flood Cleanup

Sunday, December 2nd, 2012

December 5, 2012 (Abita Springs, LA)—To ensure a healthy flood cleanup, identify the tasks you can do yourself and then locate qualified professionals to do the ones you can’t, recommends Doug Hoffman, Executive Director of the National Organization of Remediators and Mold Inspectors (www.NORMI.org) and author of Mold-Free Construction. Recognizing if you are in a high-risk health group is the first step in protecting your health when your home, workplace, or school has become water damaged from flooding, explains Kurt and Lee Ann Billings, authors of the book MOLD: The War Within, which details lessons learned from Katrina.
Many people are completely unaware that their health histories put them in a high-risk category for exposure to structural molds until it is too late and they are already sick, which is exactly what happened to the Billings family. Prevention of health-risking exposures is paramount when in a wet-building environment because the species of mold that grow on it also produce toxic poisons called mycotoxins. By being aware of the following DOs and DON’Ts, flood area residents will be able to make informed, health-focused decisions.
1. Do find out if you or a family member fall into one of the CDC’s high-risk groups for mold, which include but are not limited to the following:
• Infants and children
• Elderly people
• Pregnant women
• People with respiratory conditions, such as allergies or asthma
• People who are immune-compromised or who have weakened immune systems
• People who have undergone recent major surgeries
• People who take immune suppressing medication, including oral or nasal steroids

2. Don’t perform remediation tasks if you fall into one of the CDCs high risk groups. To best protect your health and property, hire a trained mold professional.
3. Do take the CDCs high-risk group warning seriously. The health of a seemingly 200 lb. strapping young man in his 20s or 30s can become compromised when exposed to mold even if he only has a health history of allergies.
4. Don’t, especially if you fall into one of the CDCs high risk groups, live, work, or go to school—if at all possible—in a structure that has been flooded or suffered water damage until it has been properly remediated and passed final clearance testing.
5. Do wear personal protection equipment (PPE) when entering a mold-contaminated structure for even a short duration of time.
6. Don’t think that personal protection equipment (PPE) is going to be enough to protect you if you are in a high-risk group. Studies show that spores and spore fragments easily penetrate N-95 and N-100 facemasks.
7. Do use a HEPA air purifier to reduce indoor airborne mold spore counts.
8. Don’t use any air purifier as a long-term solution instead of proper remediation.
9. Do use a HEPA air purifier that is sized properly for each room.
10. Don’t expect the HEPA filter to last as long in a mold- and bacteria-contaminated environment as it would under more normal conditions.
11. Do at least create a “clean” sleeping room if a HEPA air purifier can’t be placed in each room.
12. Don’t think that a clean sleeping room is as good a solution as sleeping somewhere else that did not experience water damage.
For more information on water damage and flood resources, please see www.Flood.NORMI.org or to locate a certified mold inspector or remediator in your area, log onto www.NORMIPro.com or call 1.877.251.2296 or www.NORMIProETF.org at 1.877.751.3500.

47th Tip of 50 by Kurt Billings

Friday, November 30th, 2012

This is a reprint of an article posted by Kurt Billings, co-author of Mold: The War Within. Thanks to Kurt for his recommendations. Please check out his Facebook page for a ongoing educational blog.

TIP OF THE DAY:

Day 47 of Our 50 Days of Fun—no sugar/no grains. Building a house or making repairs to an already existing house can be a daunting task. There are so many choices to research and decisions to make. Even more overwhelming,  is trying to make sure that the choices we make will result in a mold-free structure for years of problem-free living.

Preventing structural mold in our homes and work places is imperative to maintaining a healthy quality of indoor air. Many structural mold problems begin innocently enough—a threaded pipe under the sink becomes unscrewed causing water to leak into the cabinet, a crack forms in the wax ring under the toilet allowing water to leak into the flooring and subflooring, or blowing rainwater enters under a front or back door where the weatherstripping has become cracked and dried with age. Other times, structural mold is a direct result of errors made in the design stage or during the construction process.

How do we, as mere lay people—non contractors—protect ourselves and our properties from these all-too-commonly occurring maintenance and construction mishaps? It’s not likely we can become experts in all phases of the remodeling or building processes, but some helpful tips from someone who is an expert in mold-free construction can give us the shortcut to knowledge that will work for our tight-schedules.

Such invaluable tips can conveniently be found in the book, Mold-free Construction, which is authored by Doug Hoffman, Executive Director of the National Organization of Remediators and Mold Inspectors (NORMI). His straight-to-the-point advice is drawn from his years of experience as a professional in the building industry with certifications and licenses as a general contractor, roofing contractor, plumbing contractor, indoor air quality consultant, mold inspector and remediator. As the head of NORMI, Mr. Hoffman is a uniquely qualified expert to guide us, the property owners, through the process of creating a mold-free structure.

In Mold-Free Construction, Mr. Hoffman addresses the decisions property owners face in all facets of the building process and details the impact each decision has on the goal of creating a mold-free structure:

• Lot selection, grading and drainage
• Foundation considerations
• The “dry-in” stage
• Plumbing considerations
• Roofing considerations
• HVAC considerations
• Indoor air quality considerations
• Finishes and furnishing considerations

The best time to educate ourselves regarding the many subspecialties in home construction and remodeling is before design and construction begins. We can’t rely on budget-focused general contractors or time-pressed crews. We have to become knowledgeable ourselves about the details that make a difference in creating a mold-free home or workplace. We don’t want to learn the hard way—as it can not only put our pocketbooks in peril but also our health in distress.

Mold-Free Construction is now available on Kindle for only $4.99; and Amazon Prime members can “borrow” it for free. Just click on this embedded link:

 

Mold-Free Consruction Promoted By Expert Author

Friday, November 16th, 2012

REPOST from Kurt Billing Facebook Blog
TIP OF THE DAY:

Day 47 of Our 50 Days of Fun—no sugar/no grains. Building a house or making repairs to an already existing house can be a daunting task. There are so many choices to research and decisions to make. Even more overwhelming,
is trying to make sure that the choices we make will result in a mold-free structure for years of problem-free living.

Preventing structural mold in our homes and work places is imperative to maintaining a healthy quality of indoor air. Many structural mold problems begin innocently enough—a threaded pipe under the sink becomes unscrewed causing water to leak into the cabinet, a crack forms in the wax ring under the toilet allowing water to leak into the flooring and subflooring, or blowing rainwater enters under a front or back door where the weatherstripping has become cracked and dried with age. Other times, structural mold is a direct result of errors made in the design stage or during the construction process.

How do we, as mere lay people—non contractors—protect ourselves and our properties from these all-too-commonly occurring maintenance and construction mishaps? It’s not likely we can become experts in all phases of the remodeling or building processes, but some helpful tips from someone who is an expert in mold-free construction can give us the shortcut to knowledge that will work for our tight-schedules.

Such invaluable tips can conveniently be found in the book, Mold-free Construction, which is authored by Doug Hoffman, Executive Director of the National Organization of Remediators and Mold Inspectors (NORMI). His straight-to-the-point advice is drawn from his years of experience as a professional in the building industry with certifications and licenses as a general contractor, roofing contractor, plumbing contractor, indoor air quality consultant, mold inspector and remediator. As the head of NORMI, Mr. Hoffman is a uniquely qualified expert to guide us, the property owners, through the process of creating a mold-free structure.

In Mold-free Construction, Mr. Hoffman addresses the decisions property owners face in all facets of the building process and details the impact each decision has on the goal of creating a mold-free structure:

• Lot selection, grading and drainage
• Foundation considerations
• The “dry-in” stage
• Plumbing considerations
• Roofing considerations
• HVAC considerations
• Indoor air quality considerations
• Finishes and furnishing considerations

The best time to educate ourselves regarding the many subspecialties in home construction and remodeling is before design and construction begins. We can’t rely on budget-focused general contractors or time-pressed crews. We have to become knowledgeable ourselves about the details that make a difference in creating a mold-free home or workplace. We don’t want to learn the hard way—as it can not only put our pocketbooks in peril but also our health in distress.

Mold-free Construction is now available on Kindle for only $4.99; and Amazon Prime members can “borrow” it for free. Just click on the below link:

http://www.amazon.com/Mold-Free-Construction-ebook/dp/B00A6C4W4M/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1352751473&sr=1-1&keywords=mold+free+construction

A Dozen DOs & DON’Ts for a Healthy Hurricane Cleanup

Tuesday, September 4th, 2012

October 31, 2012 (Abita Springs, LA)—To ensure a healthy hurricane cleanup, identify the tasks you can do yourself and then locate qualified professionals to do the ones you can’t, recommends Doug Hoffman, executive director of the National Organization of Remediators and Mold Inspectors (www.NORMI.org).  Recognizing if you are in a high-risk health group is the first step in protecting your health after a hurricane—especially if your home, workplace, or school has become water damaged, explains Kurt and Lee Ann Billings, authors of the book MOLD: The War Within, which details lessons learned from Katrina.

Many people are completely unaware that their health histories put them in a high-risk category for exposure to structural molds until it is too late and they are already sick, which is exactly what happened to the Billings family. Prevention of health-risking exposures is paramount when in a wet-building environment because the species of mold that grow on it also produce toxic poisons called mycotoxins. By being aware of the following DOs and DON’Ts, hurricane area residents will be able to make informed, health-focused decisions.

  1. Do find out if you or a family member fall into one of the CDC’s high-risk groups for mold, which include but are not limited to the following:
  • Infants and children
  • Elderly people
  • Pregnant women
  • People with respiratory conditions, such as allergies or asthma
  • People who are immune-compromised or who have weakened immune systems
  • People who have undergone recent major surgeries
  • People who take immune suppressing medication, including oral or nasal steroids

 

  1. Don’t perform remediation tasks if you fall into one of the CDCs high risk groups. To best protect your health and property, hire a trained mold professional.
  2. Do take the CDCs high-risk group warning seriously. The health of a seemingly 200 lb. strapping young man in his 20s or 30s can become compromised when exposed to mold even if he only has a health history of allergies.
  3. Don’t, especially if you fall into one of the CDCs high risk groups, live, work, or go to school—if at all possible—in a structure that has been flooded or suffered water damage until it has been properly remediated and passed final clearance testing.
  4. Do wear personal protection equipment (PPE) when entering a mold-contaminated structure for even a short duration of time.
  5. Don’t think that personal protection equipment (PPE) is going to be enough to protect you if you are in a high-risk group. Studies show that spores and spore fragments easily penetrate N-95 and N-100 facemasks.
  6. Do use a HEPA air purifier to reduce indoor airborne mold spore counts.
  7. Don’t use any air purifier as a long-term solution instead of proper remediation.
  8. Do use a HEPA air purifier that is sized properly for each room.
  9. Don’t expect the HEPA filter to last as long in a mold- and bacteria-contaminated environment as it would under more normal conditions.
  10. Do at least create a “clean” sleeping room if a HEPA air purifier can’t be placed in each room.
  11. Don’t think that a clean sleeping room is as good a solution as sleeping somewhere else that did not experience water damage.

For more information on water damage and flood resources, please see www.Flood.NORMI.org or to locate a certified mold inspector or remediator in your area, log onto www.NORMIPro.com or call 1.877.251.2296.

 

 

Certifications That Count

Wednesday, April 18th, 2012

There have been a lot of discussions over the past ten years about the value of certifications and who provides them. Because there is no national “clearing house” to evaluate the validity of a company that claims to certify, it’s been the wild west out there in regards to what a certification really means. We hope this will help clear up some of the confusion.

In the mold industry, training is important because this niche market requires specific handling of materials that could damage the health of both the workers and the occupants. Because there are no national standards for the proper removal of mold contaminated materials, industry professionals have relied on the guidelines established by IICRC called the S-520. Any certification for mold professionals should promote the IICRC S-520 as its “gold standard” because it is, by far, the most comprehensive guideline dealing with mold evaluation, removal and personal protection equipment.   The EPA guidelines are sparse and the New York City Guidelines dated so invest in an S-520 to get a broader picture of the problem and solution.  It is our opinion that this level of training should be required for any certification (CIE, CMR, CMA, etc.).  Though hard to believe, there are some certification agencies that require NO training to sit for their examination. We are not convinced that “on-the-job” training is the best way to learn because, as a good teacher once said, “practice may make perfect but it also makes permanent” and sometimes bad habits can be strengthened instead of removed.

Once the proper training is secured (through a good training provider separate from the certifying agency), the certification process should include the following components and we at NORMI subscribe to all of these, without exception:

1) Credibility should come from States and Federal agencies–it doesn’t really matter what the competitors say if the states and federal agencies see your certifications as valuable, then they are valuable.
2) Certifications should be based on good training–there should be opportunities for people with a vast amount of field experience to “grandfather in’ and challenge the test for certification but it should be the exception and not the rule. Close scrutinity should be exercised when evaluating field experience and classroom training, especially ongoing CEU training, should be a part of the picture for any certification agency.
3) Proctored Examinations guarantee security–no matter who the training provider might be (IAQ Training Institute, Best Training School, IAQA, LSU, Bob’s Mold Class) the certifying agency should proctor the examination to be sure the person who took the class is also the person taking the examination. The examination process is a science and should not be left to the discretion of the person who created the training.  In states where licensing is required, this examination should only be offered ONSITE, not online where the wife could take it!
4) Online certifications need investigation–one company sells a CMR class online and provides the study guide WITH the certificate in the same package. That’s a problem. However, discounting the value and convenience of online training is also a mistake. It can be done right–just needs the proper supervision.
5) No one does it perfectly–Certification agencies abound. Some do it well, some not so well. But here’s a fact–any agency that claims they are the ONLY credible certifying agency is not! Why? Because the states and federal agencies that rely on good certification agencies to vet licensees say so.  As an example, NORMI is a CEU Training Provider for three licensing boards in the State of Florida.  It was not an easy process and something that should not be dismissed out of hand.

Conclusion–In this industry where there is so much fraud, so much hype and so much misinformation, look for a certification agency that cares about doing it right, has a Code of Ethics you can believe in and a Board of Directors ethical enough to provide continuing support in an ever-changing industry.  An educated consumer will make the right choice.

Della White Cancer Research–Support Program

Wednesday, September 28th, 2011

Abita Springs, LA

Doug Hoffman, Executive Director of NORMI (National Organization of Remediators and Mold Inspectors) announced last night on CE Training that the month of October will be dedicated to the memory of Della White, NORMI Director, who succombed to breast cancer in January of 2011. October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

“Della dedicated her life to developing relationships because she loved people,” said Doug Hoffman. “She set a high bar for NORMI to create an environment in which people felt important, because they are! She wanted people to succeed and worked hard to make sure our training and certification processes led people to the success they desired. Every single member was important to her.”

An estimated 207,090 new cases of invasive breast cancer were diagnosed in women in the US in 2010 and nearly 40,000 women died as a result of breast cancer. Although, according to the US Bureau of Statistics, breast cancer incidence rates in the US decreased by about 2% per year from 1999 to 2006, every death touches families and friends all across the US.  Della White’s life touched thousands of people and her legacy will continue to be upheld by those who loved her.

NORMI has partnered with NORMIPro Environmental TASC Force (www.NORMIProETF.com) to provide opportunities throughout the month of October to donate a portion of their expenditures or profits to the Della White Cancer Research foundation, administered by her daughter, Jenna Piazza. NORMI is encouraging its strategic partners to share in the effort in whatever form they feel comfortable.

For more information, please contact NORMI at 877.251.2296 or go directly to www.NORMIProETF.com to contribute to the cause.

NORMI Schedules Mold Classes in Pennsylvania

Tuesday, August 2nd, 2011

 

Abita Springs, 08/02/2011

NORMI, the National Organization of Remediators and Mold Inspectors, announced today that mold classes have been scheduled in Pennsylvania to meet the new Commonwealth of Virginia DPOR Mold Licensing Law and give Pennsylvania mold professionals the training and credibility they need to succeed in the marketplace. The classes will be held at Schaper’s Supply in Philadelphia, PA on 09/27-29/11 and include the 16 hour Mold Worker, 24 hour Mold Remediator Supervisor and 24 hour Mold Inspector courses. Each course offers a proctored examination at the end of the final day and provides the needed paperwork to secure Virginia licensing. NORMI was approved in July as a training provider for the Virginia Mold Licensing law as well as Louisiana and Florida and is scheduling classes throughout the eastern seaboard to meet these licensing requirements.

“We are excited to be able to offer a regional training in Pennsylvania,” said Doug Hoffman, CEO of NORMI. “Training is essential for mold professionals who want to do it right and the public will be protected when they hire a NORMI pro! Our goal is to train as many professionals who want to enter this industry or expand their knowledge to include a better understanding of the IICRC, NYC Guidelines and EPA standards. This is a great opportunity for all mold professionals who want to perfect their craft!”

Classes are listed at www.BestTrainingSchool.com where students can register with a small down payment or call 888.856.4803 to register by phone. A fax registration is also available at the online registration website. For more information about NORMI, contact 877.251.2296 or email support@normi.org