Mold can create considerable problems for homeowners looking to protect the health of their families as well as the value of their property.
At some point, every property owner will require Mold remediation services.
Mold caused by water damage can create long-term problems for any structure.
Getting a Mold Remediation Certification positions you to offer a needed service to a large customer demographic.
This article will detail everything you need to know about:
- Health risks
- State laws
- Starting a Mold Remediation Business
What is Mold?
- Mold is a type of fungus that is made up of several microscopic organisms bonded together.
- Mold plays a critical role in nature as it breaks down dead plants, leaves, animals, food and other life forms.
- When mold is found indoors it can be released into the air and potentially cause health problems if inhaled.
- Mold grows best in environments with humidity, moisture, and poor ventilation which then reproduce through spores that can travel through the air.
Types of Mold
The most common forms of mold are:
Mold is typically found in:
- Basements that have been flooded
- Underneath bathroom or kitchen sinks
- Behind walls
- Around air-conditioning and refrigeration units
- Near Leaking Windows
- Damp paper and wet fabrics
- Showers and bath tubs
- Chimneys and fireplaces
- Near sump pumps and piping
- Under wet carpeting
- Under staircases
Generally, mold can be identified by smell or by discolorations on walls.
Places with humid climates and that experience heavy rainfall or hurricanes typically have a lot of mold growth.
Effects of Mold Exposure
Mold exposure primarily affects infants, small children, the elderly and people whose immune systems have been neutralized from diseases such as:
- Liver disease
In small amounts, mold can largely be harmless but may still cause allergic reactions for some people.
Those who are particularly sensitive to mold exposure may experience:
- Red Eyes
- Skin Rashes
- Runny Nose
- Shortness of Breath or Asthma Attacks
Prolonged indoor mold exposure
- Bleeding of the lungs or more severe respiratory infections
Mold Growth and Property Value
Untreated mold can significantly affect the value of property.
Extensive water damage and mold growth may require entire portions of a house to be replaced.
If the structural integrity or foundation of a property has been damaged beyond repair, it can in some cases result in a home being condemned.
In a home sale situation, a home inspector will immediately identify mold issues and recommend remediation as a solution.
- No one wants to expose themselves or their children to mold, so if you are thinking of selling your home one day get the mold issues taken care of.
Does homeowners insurance cover mold?
Insurance companies normally don’t cover mold damage if It is found to be from a preventable leak or flooding.
If the insurance company finds that the mold is come from a maintenance issues you can almost guarantee it won’t be covered.
However, in the event that the repairs are covered, mold remediation companies in some cases can bill the insurance company directly for the services.
- In California, mold is considered to be a condition of substandard housing and is a direct code violation.
- Mold growth found in your home could affect your ability to pull a building permit even if the work you are trying to do is unrelated to the affected area.
What is Mold Remediation?
It is important to remember that Mold is microscopic and exists in various forms all around us and is a naturally occurring part of our environment.
- Removing all of the mold from a house is impossible.
- Remediation is the process of returning mold growth to normal levels that aren’t harmful.
- Mold remediation services are typically needed when mold growth has reached hazardous levels.
- Mold remediation can completely remove excessive and toxic mold from your home, however, typically it is used to reduce the levels back to normal.
Businesses and contractors often use a variety of terms in reference to mold remediation.
Common terms like mold remediation, mold removal, mitigation, inspection, and abatement are used interchangeably.
They all essentially mean the same thing when it comes to the work a mold specialist does.
Duties associated with Mold Remediation
Some of the duties of Mold Remediation contractors include:
- Mold Inspection, disposal and removal
- Air Quality and Testing
- Water damage and testing
- Flood clean up
- Leak Detection
- Operating drying equipment and fans
- Water extraction
- Collecting mold samples for testing
- Preparing bids, invoices and cost calculations
- Maintaining personal and job site safety
- Adhering to EPA and OSHA Regulations
Mold remediation is almost always required at some point during the lifespan of a residential or commercial structure.
High levels of moisture can affect everything from the foundation to the roof, electrical, plumbing and more.
Being aware of how to treat and remove mold to complete your job duties are skills all tradesman should have.
Organizations that regulate Mold Remediation
Mold Remediation is regulated on a state by state basis.
Currently, the only states that have mold remediation licenses are:
On a Federal level, the Environmental Protection Agency provides education on mold and how to identify it in your home.
Mold Remediation in California
In California, the CDPH provides information on best practices for mold remediation in a workplace setting.
When it comes to actual training and certification courses, the most widely respected non-government affiliated association is the:
Mold Inspection Consulting and Remediation Organization
- For years they have set standards and offered courses for inspection and removal.
- These standards have been established by the nations most experienced and reputable mold removal experts.
There are several schools and associations around the country that offer mold remediation courses and certifications, find out which course makes the most sense for you depending on where you live.
What is taught in a Mold Remediation Course?
A Mold Remediation course should cover the following topics:
- What is Mold?
- History of mold remediation
- Understanding the health effects of mold
- Personal Protective Equipment
- Prevention and removal methods
- Safe work practices for remediation and creating plans
- Remediation in a single/multi-family home setting
- Moisture Control
- Remediation Equipment
- Cleaning up materials and biocides
- Tool and equipment maintenance
- Testing contaminated areas
- Decontamination and waste disposal
- Understanding negative air pressure
- Hands-on- Activities
- Erecting Critical Barriers
Mold Remediation classes are usually a combination of classroom instruction and hands-on activities.
When choosing a Mold Remediation course, it is important to ensure that the certification offered is recognized in the industry.
If you are in a state that has Mold Remediation licensing or specific requirements, it will be important to make sure the course you choose does not conflict with your state law.
Mold Remediation Certification costs and renewals
The cost of getting certified largely depends on your state and where you choose to take a course.
- Most classes cost between $150-300.
- Costs may fluctuate depending on whether the course is offered at a physical location, if it's online or if it includes equipment and tools.
If you have received your certification through a private school or association, than most likely you wont need to renew the certification.
However, if you have received your mold remediation license in Florida, Mississippi, Tennessee, Texas, Maryland, or Louisiana then you may be required to pay a renewal fee or take a re test at some point.
Opportunities in the Mold Remediation Industry
Full containment is the process of containing and isolating mold spores.
If you are a licensed contractor with your own business getting mold certified is a smart decision.
Contractors already working in a residential and commercial setting, that exactly how to treat mold when it is present make themselves more valuable.
Having as many certifications as you can, will position you as the expert in your industry and raise the level of confidence your clients have in you.
Detailed information on the basics of forming a business, insurance and the equipment you will need to operate on a professional level are all found here.
Investing in your continuing education is the most valuable thing you can do as a construction professional.
Use this article as a reference guide for you when researching a career in mold remediation.
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