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What is a Licensed Florida Mold Assessment?


I raise this question because once again I’ve been called in to provide a peer review of a mold remediator that is advertising and providing assessment and remediation on the same job.  Oddly the remediator who is not licensed as a mold assessor states on his website “With the Florida Mold Law in effect, it is (finally!) illegal to test and remediation the same property in the State of Florida.” Wrong!  Assess and Remediate, which is not limited to testing.

So apparently this mold remediator who isn’t licensed as a mold assessor thinks that a mold assessment is limited to the “testing” or sampling for mold.

The question of just what is a mold assessment is a frustrating and surprisingly hard question to answer for many licensed professional.  That’s right; many mold professionals just don’t know their own industry and the laws governing them.  Many believe that a mold assessment is simply testing for mold.  Wow, for an industry professional that is trained, licensed and insured how is it possible to not know what a mold assessment is? Incredible.

So for the benefit of those who still don’t know what a mold assessment is I have included the Florida Statute Definitions of Mold Assessment and Mold Remediation and the links to the Florida Mold Related Services Statute.

Please read the sections below that clearly describe the services a mold professional can provide and the clear separating between mold assessment and mold remediation.

More importantly I would stress that a mold assessment is NOT the collection of mold samples or testing for mold.  It may include the collection of mold samples but the collection of mold samples is NOT, on its own, a mold assessment.

If you hire a licensed mold assessor you should receive a written report signed by the licensed mold assessor that performed the assessment.  Not by someone in another location that never visited you home or office.  When you hire a licensed mold assessor you should receive the written report signed by the licensed mold assessor that performed the assessment and never be required to pay an additional fee for a written report.

See the recent channel 9 news sting where three companies sent out unlicensed mold assessors to provide an assessment with one actually requiring additional payment for a written report.  Action 9 hidden camera mold investigation

That’s ridicules, what are you paying for if you aren’t receiving a written mold assessment report from your licensed assessor.

So what should the written mold assessment report include?

A detailed evaluation of data obtained from a building history and inspection to formulate an initial hypothesis about the
  • origin,
  • identity, location,
  • and extent of amplification of mold growth
The written report can then be provided to licensed mold remediators that can then provide you with a written estimate for the remediation.

Which brings us to the question of “What is Mold Remediation?”

The Florida Statute states that “Mold remediation” means
  • the removal,
  • cleaning,
  • sanitizing,
  • demolition,
  • or other treatment, including preventive activities, of mold or mold-contaminated matter.
Cut and dry.  No gray area in the definition of mold assessment and mold remediation.

I hope this information helps when you find yourself in need of a qualified mold professional.


Finally I close with questions you should ask your mold assessor before you hire them.
  • Are you licensed by the State of Florida? FL DBPR Verify a License
  • What qualifications do you have to perform mold inspection and/or testing?
  • What certifications do and your company have?
  • Are you familiar with the IICRC S-520?
  • Will I be receiving a written report from you or the laboratory?
  • Will you be conducting a visual inspection or just mold testing?
  • How do you interpret the laboratory results?
    • (Tip: You're looking for conflicts of interest here. If they also perform remediation, they have a vested interest in finding mold to clean up.)
  • Do you have references from clients within the past year that I can call to ask how the inspection went?
    • (Tip: Be cautious of anyone new to the business and doesn't have references.)
  • Do you perform mold remediation?
    • (Tip: Never hire anyone providing both mold assessment and mold remediation it's a direct conflict of interest and against the law in Florida.)

 
The 2012 Florida Statutes Chapter 468 468.8411 Definitions

(3) “Mold Assessment” means a process performed by a mold assessor that includes the physical sampling and detailed evaluation of data obtained from a building history and inspection to formulate an initial hypothesis about the origin, identity, location, and extent of amplification of mold growth of greater than 10 square feet.

(4) “Mold Assessor”
means any person who performs or directly supervises a mold assessment.

(5) “Mold Remediation” means the removal, cleaning, sanitizing, demolition, or other treatment, including preventive activities, of mold or mold-contaminated matter of greater than 10 square feet that was not purposely grown at that location; however, such removal, cleaning, sanitizing, demolition, or other treatment, including preventive activities, may not be work that requires a license under chapter 489 unless performed by a person who is licensed under that chapter or the work complies with that chapter.

(6) “Mold Remediator” means any person who performs mold remediation. A mold remediator may not perform any work that requires a license under chapter 489 unless the mold remediator is also licensed under that chapter or complies with that chapter.

 

The 2012 Florida Statutes Chapter 468 468.8419 Prohibitions; penalties.—

(1) A person may not:


(a) Effective July 1, 2011, perform or offer to perform any mold assessment unless the mold assessor has documented training in water, mold, and respiratory protection under s. 468.8414(2).

(b) Effective July 1, 2011, perform or offer to perform any mold assessment unless the person has complied with the provisions of this part.

(c) Use the name or title “certified mold assessor,” “registered mold assessor,” “licensed mold assessor,” “mold assessor,” “professional mold assessor,” or any combination thereof unless the person has complied with the provisions of this part.

(d) Perform or offer to perform any mold remediation to a structure on which the mold assessor or the mold assessor’s company provided a mold assessment within the last 12 months.

(e) Inspect for a fee any property in which the assessor or the assessor’s company has any financial or transfer interest.

(f) Accept any compensation, inducement, or reward from a mold remediator or mold remediator’s company for the referral of any business to the mold remediator or the mold remediator’s company.

(g) Offer any compensation, inducement, or reward to a mold remediator or mold remediator’s company for the referral of any business from the mold remediator or the mold remediator’s company.

(h) Accept an engagement to make an omission of the assessment or conduct an assessment in which the assessment itself, or the fee payable for the assessment, is contingent upon the conclusions of the assessment.

(2) A mold remediator, a company that employs a mold remediator, or a company that is controlled by a company that also has a financial interest in a company employing a mold remediator may not:

(a) Perform or offer to perform any mold remediation unless the remediator has documented training in water, mold, and respiratory protection under s. 468.8414(2).

(b) Perform or offer to perform any mold remediation unless the person has complied with the provisions of this part.

(c) Use the name or title “certified mold remediator,” “registered mold remediator,” “licensed mold remediator,” “mold remediator,” “professional mold remediator,” or any combination thereof unless the person has complied with the provisions of this part.

(d) Perform or offer to perform any mold assessment to a structure on which the mold remediator or the mold remediator’s company provided a mold remediation within the last 12 months.

(e) Remediate for a fee any property in which the mold remediator or the mold remediator’s company has any financial or transfer interest.

(f) Accept any compensation, inducement, or reward from a mold assessor or mold assessor’s company for the referral of any business from the mold assessor or the mold assessor’s company.

(g) Offer any compensation, inducement, or reward to a mold assessor or mold assessor’s company for the referral of any business from the mold assessor or the mold assessor’s company.

(3) Any person who violates any provision of this section commits:

(a) A misdemeanor of the second degree for a first violation, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.

(b) A misdemeanor of the first degree for a second violation, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.

(c) A felony of the third degree for a third or subsequent violation, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.

www.FloridaIAQ.com

 

    John P. Lapotaire, CIEC
    Certified Indoor Environmental Consultant
    Microshield Environmental Services, LLC
    www.Microshield-ES.com  www.CFL-IAQ.com


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