Florida Releases Energy Star Residential HVAC Rebate Form

August 28, 2010

Florida Releases Energy Star Residential HVAC Rebate Form Encourages Florida residents to upgrade to energy-efficient air conditioning system.

Governor Charlie Crist today encouraged Floridians to learn how to receive a Florida ENERGY STAR® Residential HVAC rebate by visiting http://www.rebates.com/floridahvac.

Beginning Monday, August 30, 2010, Florida homeowners who upgrade their air conditioning systems can qualify to receive a $1,500 rebate.

The program will end on Friday, December 31, 2010, or when the $15 million in rebate funds are depleted.

These purchases are expected to increase employment in the air conditioning industry and to create new green jobs for home energy efficiency raters.

“I encourage Floridians to learn about the state and federal financial rebate incentives and consider upgrading their residential air conditioning system beginning August 30,” Governor Crist said. “This investment will benefit consumers, businesses and our entire state economy, as well as increase energy savings and improve the value of many Florida homes.”

Due to the limited amount of rebate funds, rebates will be on a first-come, first-served basis. Governor Crist encourages Florida residents to visit the Web site to learn details that will increase consumers’ likelihood of receiving a rebate.

Beginning on Monday, August 30, consumers who purchase and install a new central air conditioner, air source heat pump or geothermal heat pump that meets Federal Energy Tax Credits standards can begin taking the first steps towards qualifying for a rebate.

Consumers can receive rebates of up to $1,500 per household on central air conditioners, air source heat pumps or geothermal heat pumps when, concurrently with installation, they also have their home duct systems tested, and the test results indicate no more than 15 percent leakage to the outside.

Participants must meet all the requirements of the Florida ENERGY STAR® Residential HVAC Rebate Program.

Rebates will be given in the form of an American Express Prepaid Card, which has no fees for monthly servicing or card replacement, and the funds on the card never expire.

The prepaid card can be exchanged for a check or an electronic funds transfer. The rebate program is for Florida household residents only.

Administered by the Florida Energy and Climate Commission and the Governor’s Energy Office, the rebate program is made possible by a grant from the federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and Florida legislation signed by Governor Crist in 2009.

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


IAQA Partners with HUD for 2011 National Healthy Homes Conference

August 28, 2010

The 2011 National Healthy Homes Conference is a federally-sponsored event bringing together a wide range of sectors to better coordinate efforts in making housing healthy, safe, and environmentally sustainable.

This Conference is hosted by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Office of Healthy Homes and Lead Hazard Control, in partnership with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, U.S. Department of Energy, U.S. Department of Agriculture, and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Together the agencies are working to help America create and sustain healthy homes and communities for everyone. The event takes place June 20-23, 2011 in Denver, Colorado. IAQA is one of 18 prestigious organizations chosen to serve on the Conference Advisory Committee.

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


Florida Chooses ACAC Mold Remediator License Examinations

August 21, 2010

Chapter 468, Part XVI, Florida Statutes, provides for licensure and regulation of mold remediators. The law became effective July 1, 2010, and provides that the mold related services licensing program will be administered by Florida’s Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR).

The Florida DBPR has chosen ACAC to provide the license examinations required by Chapter 468, and has approved 2 ACAC Mold Remediation certification exams for this purpose:

ACAC Mold Remediator Exams

All of the following tests are approved by DBPR for the Florida mold remediator license. License applicants may register for the exam of their choosing:

Council-certified Microbial Remediator (CMR)
100 question exam on proper techniques for microbial remediation in the indoor environment.

Council-certified Microbial Remediation Supervisor (CMRS)
120 question exam on proper techniques for microbial remediation in the indoor environment.

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


What is a Certified Microbial Remediation Supervisor CMRS?

August 21, 2010

The ACAC CMRS is your first step in becoming Licenced as a Mold Remediator in Florida by Grandfathering.

A Council-certified Microbial Remediation Supervisor (CMRS) conducts mold remediation and mold removal projects in the indoor environment. A CMRS can design and maintain effective containments. A CMRS can control pressure relationships during a project. A CMRS can safely clean, treat or remove structures and contents affected by microbial contamination. A CMRS can design remediation protocols or follow established protocols and industry standards.

A CMRS has verified knowledge of the microbial remediation field. The CMRS examination covers the most respected reference texts in the industry. Candidates for the CMRS must know the important industry standards. They must be familiar with scientific principles governing mold and the indoor environment. They must understand the most common practices and protocols used by remediators. They must be familiar with the equipment used in mold remediation. They must be aware of legal issues affecting their work

Each CMRS has demonstrated at least five (5) years experience in mold remediation and mold removal in one or more of the following settings:

•Offices and commercial buildings

•Industrial structures

•Government facilities

•Schools and public buildings

•Healthcare facilities

•Residential structures

To earn the Council-certified Microbial Remediation Supervisor designation, every candidate must:

•Demonstrate at least five (5) years of verifiable field experience in microbial remediation

•Pass a rigorous examination based on broad industry knowledge rather than a course curriculum

•Earn the unanimous approval of the CMRS certification board

•Re-certify every two years

•Participate in 20 hours of professional development activities each year

•Maintain the highest ethical standards

The CMRS certification is accredited by the Council for Engineering and Scientific Specialty Boards (CESB), a nationally recognized independent accreditation body. ACAC certifications are the ONLY designations in the indoor air quality field to earn CESB accreditation.

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


Who is responsible for the IAQ in your rented home?

August 7, 2010

When you rented your apartment or your home and you signed your lease, you may think that means you’re stuck with the term of your lease even if you discover that your apartment or home has an indoor air quality IAQ or mold problem. That’s not always true.

Nobody has to stay in an unhealthy environment, Nobody. If you feel that you’re rented home or apartment has poor indoor air quality IAQ from mold or any other indoor contaminate the landlord has a responsibility to improve the conditions or release you from your lease. Regardless of who you are renting from, the remaining time of the lease, or what kind of property you are renting, it’s the landlord’s responsibility to provide you with a healthy place to live.

The issue contributing to your poor IAQ must be something that is out of your control and something that is not resulting from a lack of occupant maintenance. Landlords do not pay for IAQ testing to establish the indoor air quality of your rented home you do. If there is a problem, you will need to hire a qualified IAQ consultant to identify the cause and origin of your IAQ problem and show that it is resulting from something out of your control.

If the issue is determined to be outside of your area of responsibility you should provide your landlord with a copy of the report and ask your landlord to make the necessary improvements to the property. You should always give your landlord the opportunity to make the corrections necessary to provide you with a healthy place to live.

If your landlord refuses to make the necessary improvements start looking for a safe and healthy place to live for yourself and your family. Or you could always make the necessary improvements yourself and stay put. It’s always possible to negotiate an exchange of your IAQ improvement services for rent. This can be a win win for you and the landlord.

Regardless of your decision to stay or to go you will need to show that you provided the landlord the report identifying the IAQ cause and origin from a Licensed and Certified IAQ Consultant. If report is ignored by your landlord, you should send another notice via certified mail that you are going to move.

Remember the landlord is not responsible for normal maintenance of your home. If you have elevated humidity and mold growth in the summer because you aren’t running your AC enough to save a few dollars, your landlord isn’t responsible. If your AC isn’t working correctly and the home is hot and humid and growing mold the landlord is responsible for the AC repairs and the subsequent mold remediation. You should also get reimbursed for the initial IAQ report identifying the cause and origin of the issue.

Take care of your home and always remember the Seven Principles of Healthy Homes

1. Dry: Damp houses provide a nurturing environment for mites, roaches, rodents, and molds, all of which are associated with asthma.

2. Clean: Clean homes help reduce pest infestations and exposure to contaminants.

3. Pest-Free: Recent studies show a causal relationship between exposure to mice and cockroaches and asthma episodes in children; yet inappropriate treatment for pest infestations can exacerbate health problems, since pesticide residues in homes pose risks for neurological damage and cancer.

4. Safe: The majority of injuries among children occur in the home. Falls are the most frequent cause of residential injuries to children, followed by injuries from objects in the home, burns, and poisonings.

5. Contaminant-Free: Chemical exposures include lead, radon, pesticides, volatile organic compounds, and environmental tobacco smoke. Exposures to asbestos particles, radon gas, carbon monoxide, and second-hand tobacco smoke are far higher indoors than outside.

6. Ventilated: Studies show that increasing the fresh air supply in a home improves respiratory health.

7. Maintained: Poorly-maintained homes are at risk for moisture and pest problems. Deteriorated lead-based paint in older housing is the primary cause of lead poisoning, which affects some 240,000 U.S. children.

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


The Florida Mold Law Defines Mold Remediation

August 7, 2010

Florida Mold Law 468.8411 Definitions.–As used in this part, the term:

“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.

“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.

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


Effective July 1, 2010 Your Mold Inspector must have a State License and Insurance.

August 7, 2010

Florida Mold Law

Effective July 1, 2010 Your Mold Inspector must have a Valid Florida State Mold Assessor License and Insurance.

A mold assessor shall maintain general liability and errors and omissions insurance coverage in an amount of not less than $1,000,000.

A mold remediator shall maintain a general liability insurance policy in an amount of not less than $1,000,000 that includes specific coverage for mold-related claims.

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


Beware the “FREE” Post-Remediation Clearance Testing

August 7, 2010

The final step in the mold removal process is a post-remediation verification inspection or clearance test to verify and document that the remediation was in fact successful.

The post-remediation verification inspection or clearance test should be done before any re-construction work begins so the inspector can visually see that there is no mold left on the remediated materials.

Many mold remediation contractors offer “FREE” post-remediation clearance testing.

Clearance testing is vital to the mold remediation process. Insurance companies, mortgage lenders and prospective buyers of your property in the future will want to see written confirmation that the mold issue was resolved.

Post-remediation clearance testing should never be performed by a mold removal contractor waiting to get paid for his work. With thousands of dollars on the line, it is highly unlikely that a contractor will fail his own work.

How To Avoid It:
Have your post-remediation survey and clearance test performed by a Florida Licensed Mold Inspector who does not work for your remediation contractor.

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


Is there really a “Free Mold Inspection?”

August 7, 2010

Is there really a “Free Mold Inspection?”

Usually not! This maybe a Mold Remediation Company looking to find more mold remediation business.

The word “FREE” – As most of us have learned in this life, little or nothing is FREE. Many mold remediators offer “free” mold inspections. Think about it…unless they are providing a charity, or a giveaway, they would not be in business long if they truly did free inspections. 100% of the time they will find a mold problem, whether one exists or not, and many times the unknowing individual will go along with whatever they are told out of fear and lack of knowledge.

The legitimate and knowledgeable Florida State Licensed and Insured Mold Inspectors will conduct a client interview asking a number of questions on your first call to them to qualify the situation. Many, many times we have taken calls from those who think they have a mold problem but we determined on the phone that they do not.

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


Is Your Mold Remediator also Your Mold Inspector?

August 7, 2010

Never hire a mold inspection company who is also in the mold repair or in the “mold remediation” business!

The company who performs the inspection and testing should be independent of any other interest in the remediation or reconstruction. This is currently the mold industry’s #1 conflict of interest, as recognized by the more respected powers in this old, but now re-born, and rapidly evolving industry. More states are finding it necessary to step in and protect their citizens by establishing Laws and licensing to prevent this serious conflict of interest.

The Florida State Mold Law Legislative purpose.–The Legislature finds it necessary in the interest of the public safety and welfare, to prevent damage to real and personal property, to avert economic injury to the residents of this state, and to regulate persons and companies that hold themselves out to the public as qualified to perform mold-related services.

As of July 1, 2010 the state of Florida Prohibits anyone from performing or offering 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. 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). 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. 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. A mold remediator shall maintain a general liability insurance policy in an amount of not less than $1,000,000 that includes specific coverage for mold-related claims.

Remember this Extremely Important Fact – There are a lot of companies out there who simply want to play on your fears and separate you from your money. Keep this in mind…a true mold problem is handled in 3 steps. These 3 steps will produce 3 separate documents that are necessary to document everything so that if in the future there is a need to disclose or defend how the mold problem was remedied.

1. An independent mold inspection by a Florida State Licensed and insured mold inspection company. This documents the problem in a written Mold Remediation Protocol that serves as a guide for the necessary repairs so you can effectively proceed to step 2. The mold remediation protocol should be written in accordance with the ANSI Approved IICRC S-520 Standard and Reference Guide for Professional Mold Remediation.

2. Professional mold remediation by a Florida State Licensed Mold Remediation Company following the Written Mold Remediation Protocol (provided by the Florida State Licensed and insured mold inspection company) IICRC standards of practice.

3. Re-inspection to determine that the repairs were properly and effectively completed. The purpose of a Post Remediation Verification Inspection (PRVI) or Mold Clearance Test is to assure that the mold cleanup has been done correctly and effectively in the work area and to confirm that the cleanup did not accidentally distribute high levels of moldy dust and debris into other building areas or into its mechanical systems such as heating or air conditioning systems.

Your Florida Licensed Mold inspection company will act as your guide during the process. After this 3 step process is complete, you will end up with the 3 documents previously mentioned representing –

1) The establishment of the problem (Mold Assessment and Mold Remediation Protocol)
2) The repair of the problem. The Mold Remediation
3) The verification that all repairs were successful. The Post remediation Verification Inspection or Clearance Test.

By adhering to the 3-step process, not only will you be comfortable that your indoor environment is safe once again, but you will also be protected from real estate devaluation.

In today’s real estate world, nobody wants to buy a mold problem. It is required by law to disclose the conditions of your home before you sell. If you have had water intrusions or leaks that have resulted in mold, by producing the three documents to the buyer and/or buyers agent, you immunize yourself from their attempt at negotiating a lower price due to a mold problem.

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


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