Posts Tagged ‘normi’

Did Mold Suddenly Become Safe?

Monday, April 23rd, 2018

Reprint from Cleanfax Magazine

Abita Springs, LA

I remember the lawsuits and hysteria surrounding the mold problems of Erin Brockovich, the Ballards in Texas, and even Ed McMahon with his sheepdog, Muffin.

“Black Mold” was called the “next asbestos” — and the media frenzy was on. But today, we just don’t hear very much about mold, do we? Did it go away? Is it no longer a problem? Have we now decided that it won’t kill us and that it is safe?

As a contractor for over 35 years, I remember when, in the 1980s, our building techniques changed. At that time, the driving force was a concern over increasing energy costs and so, as a result, we tightened up our buildings to reduce energy loss.

Weather-stripping was a hot commodity and lowering the thermostat became the new status-symbol of the energy conservationist. The unintended consequence of these tighter buildings was to create petri dishes where indoor air quality contaminants, like mold and bacteria, would have an environment in which to proliferate. Trapped air became toxic air. SBS (Sick Building Syndrome) and BRI (Building Related Illness) were some of the first indicators that we had a problem and then, before we could turn around, it became a legal issue. Those who were especially sensitive to mold issues, like the Ballards, McMahon, et al, became the focal point of the media.

Yes, some people still get very sick from mold, but I believe what we have found is that the numbers are significantly lower than we first believed and, therefore, the hysteria has subsided.

But is mold now safe?

Well, with that said, we shouldn’t ignore the fact that people still get very sick from mold contamination and that some people, maybe a smaller group than we first thought, are highly sensitive to many IAQ contaminants, including mold.

It’s not that mold has become safer, it’s that the instances of serious health problems are being more reasonably dealt with. Doctors, like members of the AAEM (American Association of Environmental Medicine) are becoming more aware of potential environmental issues. The mold industry is being more careful and better trained to evaluate and deal with these issues. States are now licensing mold professionals to be sure they are following best practices and credible trade associations, like NORMI™, are being formed to support those professionals.

The whole mold assessment and remediation industry, especially where licensing is required, recognizes that three classes are especially susceptible to health problems because of mold: The elderly, the very young, and the immune-suppressed. Care should be taken to understand the reality of the symptoms associated with mold contamination and the proper techniques for building isolation containment, establishing negative pressure and using PPE (personal protective equipment). These processes can protect even the most sensitive individuals and should be incorporated where building occupants or workers may be exposed to elevated levels of mold contamination.

In short, I think the mold industry has experienced the same progression as the asbestos industry did years ago. Initially, asbestos was considered “deadly” and removal, or abatement, seemed to be the only option. Later, as more information became available, encapsulation-in-place became an option, deemed more reasonable and cost effective. As a result, the asbestos hysteria subsided.

Unlike asbestos, mold is a natural substance that only becomes a problem when it is trapped in a welcoming indoor environment. Control the environment with the proper sanitization protocol and you can control or eliminate mold growth. When that is done, most people can live in that clean environment without concerns for their health or the health of their family.

The more we learn about how to live healthier lives indoors, the safer those environments become.

For more information about training in the mold profession, contact NORMI at 877.251.2296

New Mold Classes Scheduled

Thursday, January 11th, 2018

Abita Springs, LA

January 11, 2018

NORMI announced today that for the first quarter of 2018, mold classes are being held in a variety of onsite locations for both private companies and the local professionals.  These classes feature the propriety concurrent training approach assembling assessors and remediators in the same classroom and some are specifically designed to fit the business who requested it.

“We have seen a surge of interest in our mold classes,” said Doug Hoffman, Executive Director of NORMI, “because our private classes can be uniquely tailored to fit the business for whom we’re training.  And they are fun, interesting, innovative and engaging.  In those cases where the business owner wants a class without his competition in the room, we take our basic course and make it fit his business model so he gets the exactly what his guys need without any extraneous material.  Saves him money and time.  We now have classes planned in New York, Florida, North Carolina, California and the Virgin Islands to meet the needs of our client.  It’s an exciting time.”

Lance Eisen, COO of NORMI, reported that the onsite schedule showing a host of onsite classes at the Best Training School website do not include private classes which are designed for a specific company.  “It great that we are flexible enough to be able to do this because taking our class to a specific company solves a lot of problems for the company that is too busy to pull all of their people away for a field trip to some other city.  This benefit is one of our best kept secrets.”

The CMA and CMR certification classes are designed, where needed, to fit the specific state where licensing is required and the NORMI certification adds credibility to the professional who is working in a state where licensing is not required.  If you’re considering a high quality training for your crew, give NORMI a call at 877.251.2296 or email for more information.  If you’re interested in an onsite public class at an established location, go to and select the class closest to you.  NORMI, a dynamic leader for a dynamic industry.

NORMI Knows Mold

Friday, September 22nd, 2017

September 22, 2017

Abita Springs, LA

Doug Hoffman, Executive Director of NORMI, the National Organization of Remediators and Mold Inspectors, held a FREE public seminar in Treasure Island, FL on Wednesday night helping property owners understand how to protect themselves for the health problems associated with mold.  Prior to the seminar, Fox 13 News Tampa Bay interviewed Mr. Hoffman because he is an expert on the subject in Florida to train mold professionals who would like to be licensed in Florida as either a Mold Assessor or Mold Remediator.

“Property owners are, and should be, concerned about the possibility of mold growth proliferating after an event like Hurricane Harvey or Hurricane Irma.  We don’t take the concern lightly and understand that there is a lot of misinformation on the Internet regarding this subject,” said Doug Hoffman, CEO and Executive Director of NORMI.  “We started training a year before Katrina in the New Orleans area and when Katrina devastated Louisiana, we were right there training professionals and holding free seminars for the public.  It’s what we do and people need to know the truth about the problem and how to clean it up.  Protecting themselves as either a homeowner or a volunteer is one of the most important things they can learn from this event.”

NORMI is an approved training provider for the State of Florida and offers an array of training programs for mold professionals through Best Training School.  Classes are now scheduled in Ft. Lauderdale, Orlando and Tampa to prepare mold professionals for the state proctored examination which is offered at the close of each class.

For the public, NORMI provides a wealth of DIY (do-it-yourself) resources as well as access to well-trained and certified professionals who can correctly kind the property owner through the maze toward a cleaner and healthier indoor environment.

For more information go to or contact NORMI at or call 877.251.2296   For training information, find course programs, training schedule and the exam schedule at

NORMI Water Classes Will Change Your Business!

Wednesday, August 9th, 2017

Abita Springs, LA

NORMI, the National Organization of Remediators and Mold Inspectors, announces a brand-new direction for mold professionals.  Water extraction and drying classes are now a part of the onsite training program offered to mold professionals, both assessors and remediators.  The classes are designed to educate anyone who does emergency drying or water losses to eliminate the possibility of proliferating mold growth.

“We are so excited to move into this arena because water extraction and drying is so misunderstood,” said Doug Hoffman, Executive Director of NORMI.  “The mold professional must know the proper way to dry structures, construction materials and contents and, unfortunately, the professionals most people are drawn to are unfamiliar with the proper techniques for drying and proving that it is dry.  I love the approach we’re taking because it’s about objective proof, not what somebody ‘thinks’ they’ve accomplished.”

The NORMI Mold Damage Prevention (MDP) class is the first in a series of five (5) trainings that will be conducted by Mark Wichern to improve the industry.  Insurance companies and the public wan a drying solution that is affordable and efficient.  Older techniques in the industry simply don’t work.

As an emergency services provider for water events like flooding, water leaks or other water events, you will want this training.  For more information, see Best Training School or call NORMI at 877.251.2296.  Insurance adjusters, call for special pricing and group training options. (ext. 876) or contact

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

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, contact us at or cal 877.251.2296  NORMI is an approved training/certifications provider for multiple states and offered thirteen certifications.

Top Ten Tips to Avoid Structural Mold from Broken Pipes, Ice Dams, and Flooding

Monday, February 2nd, 2015

Nonprofit Contact Person: Doug Hoffman
877.251.2296 ext. 876

January 28, 2015 (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 (, 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 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 by using 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 will begin 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 become big 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 toxic mold, water damage and flood resources, please see or to locate a certified mold inspector, assessor or remediator in your area, log onto or call 1.877.251.2296 and follow us at

UVC fights Ebola with Air Purification Equipment

Saturday, October 18th, 2014

Abita Springs, LA  October 18, 2014

With the current concern about Ebola transmission, the question is once again raised about the value, effectiveness and efficacy of ultra-violet component technologies on destroying the DNA of micro-organisms and, subsequently, keeping surfaces clean.  Xenex, a company selling sanitization products into the medical industry (see video here) has perfected equipment that destroys all types of bacteria and mold utilizing the same technologies used in high tech air purification equipment.  UVC (germicidal wavelength) has been proven over and over again with peer reviewed studies, clinical and field studies to do the job every time!  Now this same technology is available to the public…not in big box stores but through NORMI trained professionals.

“We have known for years how effective UVC technology is on killing mold and bacteria in the air and on surfaces,” said Doug Hoffman, Executive Director of NORMI, “so we have made it an integral part of our training and actually been instrumental in developing new technologies that utilize these components in inexpensive home and office units.  I’m a big believer in the concept of active air purification and have said, on many occasions, that the only people who need these products are people who breathe.  Personally, I can’t imagine going into a hospital setting today without some kind of air purification protection.  We are passionate about fixing this problem and our training could be more timely in the midst of all this concern about Ebola.”

NORMI offers training on this technology at Best Training School under the umbrella of the NORMI Certified IAQ Specialist including an IAQ Basics 101 for free.  The public needs to know the value of technology like this to keep air and surfaces clean.  There are many companies who offer UVC technology but NORMI has specific training on the trademarked MCI™ Multi-Cluster Ionization technology sold in an array of products for home, office and hospital use at the Best Living Systems website.

For more information on this and other trainings, call NORMI at 877.251.2296 or email


Bleach Does Not Kill Mold

Wednesday, July 17th, 2013


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 or Best Training School 888.856.4803 or to register for the one-day course. The Monmouth Library can be reached at 732-431-7500 x 7242. Go to to contribute.

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.