Mold Scams. Don’t be a Victim of Mold Fraud.

February 27, 2011

#1 Mold Scam: Mold Inspections Performed by Mold Remediation Contractors

The biggest mold scam is and always has been – mold remediation contractors who perform mold inspections. When it comes to mold, you do NOT want a mold inspector who is motivated to find mold removal jobs for himself.

Mold remediation or mold abatement is a very profitable business and engaging in both mold inspections and mold remediation is a serious conflict of interest. The potential for fraudulently creating thousands of dollars in bogus mold removal work that never needed to be done is tremendous and – unfortunately – an everyday occurrence in this industry.

This is fraudulent practice of securing your own work by inspecting for mold then offering to remediate the mold is against the Law in the State of Florida.  Your Mold Remediator and Mold Inspector MUST be Licensed by the State.  Under the Florida Licensing Law the Mold Remediator Cannot perform Mold Remediation on any job that he or she has performed the Mold Inspection.

This is the oldest mold scam going and it’s easy to pull off because most consumers don’t know enough about mold to realize when they’re being bamboozled into work that is often grossly exaggerated, and in some instances, may not even need to be done.

Just this past week an Orlando Mold Remediator (Florida State licensed as a remediator and un-licensed as a mold inspector) was arrested on charges that he falsified testing records and defrauded customers.  DEP alleges, mold remediator obtained samples that he told his clients would be tested, however, no testing occurred.  Authorities say mold remediator provided fictitious laboratory reports to clients that were extremely technical.   He then offered assistance in performing “remediation,” for the mold problems

Remember, Convenience Can Cost You.
Most people prefer to deal with one contractor for everything because it’s convenient.  But when it comes to mold, that convenience can end up costing you thousands of dollars in unnecessary repair work.  There are enough reputable and Florida State Licensed Mold Inspectors who do not engage in remediation work to risk getting ripped off.

Remember a mold inspection should be completely unbiased.   Mold inspectors should have no personal interest in how an inspection turns out, nor should they ever profit from what they find, either directly by doing the removal themselves, or indirectly by referring work to their friends for a kick-back.

Avoid the Scam.
The only way to ensure you will get an unbiased inspection report and avoid this mold scam is to hire a Florida State Licensed Mold Inspector who does not perform mold remediation.

#2 Mold Scam: Free Post-Remediation Clearance Testing

The final step in the mold removal process is a Post-Remediation Verification Inspection (PRVI) or Mold Clearance Test to verify and document that the remediation was successful. If you are paying for the remediation work out-of-pocket, you will want confirmation that the mold problem is gone before making the final payment to your contractor. If the remediation is being paid for by your insurance company or required by a mortgage lender, they will typically require a third-party clearance test before payment or funding.

REMEMBER:

Post-remediation verification inspection and testing should never be performed by a mold remediator waiting to get paid for his work.  This is no different than a student grading his own final exam.   Many mold remediation contractors even offer “FREE” mold clearance testing.  Some will include it in the price of the job. But it is never in your best interest to let a contractor grade his final exam. With hundreds, if not thousands of dollars on the line and no way to charge you more if it fails, it is highly unlikely that a mold contractor will fail his own work.

Post-remediation verification inspection and testing  should always be done after all the mold has been removed but before any re-construction work begins so the inspector can visually see that there is no mold left on the remediated materials.

Avoid the Scam
The way to avoid this scam is the same as Mold Scam #1. Have your post-remediation verification inspection and testing performed by a Florida State Licensed Mold Inspector who does not work for your mold remediation contractor.

Get a Mold Remediation Protocol Specific to your Loss.
A Remediation Protocol outlines the needed actions for any necessary mold remediation. Each plan is individually prepared based on the Indoor Environmental Consultants Mold Assessment of the property the size and area of the mold contamination.

A properly prepared Mold Remediation Protocol should be written according to the ANSI Aproved IICRC S-520 standard and reference guide for the remediation of mold damaged structures and contents.

The Remediation Protocol will specify the remediation containment strategy, decontamination areas, negative air pressure and air filtration(scrubbing), equipment utilization, personnel protective equipment, specific cleaning protocols, project completion requirements, site-specific safety plan and clearance testing that will confirm the post remediation goals have been met.

Once the Mold Remediation Protocol, specifying the proper procedures, guidelines, and activities related to the removal of microbial compromised building materials and subsequent cleanup activities has been established the Mold Remediation Protocol can then be utilized to obtain written bids on the cost to carry out the protocol specifications from several qualified mold remediation contractors.

#3 Mold Scam: “FREE” Mold Inspection & Mold Testing
When it comes to mold, the general public knows little to nothing other than what they read on the internet or hear from someone who makes money selling mold-related products or services.  Most people who call a mold inspector or mold removal contractor are not really sure if they have a mold problem or not.  Maybe they smell something maybe they had a toilet back up in the past, or had a flood. Perhaps they’re experiencing some unexplained health condition that they believe might be caused by mold growing in their home. Its one thing to know for certain that you have a mold problem, but quite another to not know for sure.  And between the ‘not knowing’ and all the hype and scare tactics that are used to sell mold services by both mold inspections and mold remediation, it’s only natural for people to be somewhat ‘fearful’ when they call a mold removal company.

Fear is a powerful motivator and many unscrupulous mold contractors are masters at playing the fear card to create a sense of urgency in order to motivate you to sign a contract right away. That is not to say that all mold remediation contractors are unscrupulous. There are many excellent contractors out there. But in these slow economic times, it is wise to beware of anyone using words like; “FREE MOLD INSPECTION”, “FREE CONSULTATION”, “FREE TESTING”, and “FREE SAMPLES” in their pitch. More often than not, free comes with a hefty price that ends up costing far more than you thought it would and never has that been more true than in the mold business.

Avoid the Scam
The safest thing consumers can do whenever the word “FREE” is used to sell a mold remediation job is to avoid that contractor all together. Think about it. No one is in business to do anything for free. Anyone offering something for free is doing so to sell you something else. While that may be fine when it comes to “buy one – get one free” deals offered on TV infomercials, in the mold business a free inspections and testing can end up costing you thousands of dollars for remediation work that may be grossly exaggerated or in some cases doesn’t need to be done at all.

#4 Mold Scam: “FREE” Post-Remediation Clearance Testing
The final step in the mold removal process is a post-remediation survey done to verify and document that the remediation was in fact successful. The survey 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 verification inspection and testing. Mold 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.

Avoid the Scam
Have your post-remediation survey and clearance test performed by a Florida State Licensed Mold Inspector who does not work for your remediation contractor.

#5 Mold Scam: Killing Mold
Killing mold sounds like a good idea, but is it really? To understand this premise you must first understand the different characteristics between molds that are viable (alive) and molds that are dead (non-viable). Once you do it will be clear why killing mold is not a good option for dealing with a mold problem.

I have had to explain this issue many times and have come up with my Cow analogy that seems to work well.  It goes something like this.

I tell the remediator to think of himself as being in the Cow removal business and a client has asked him to come over and get a cow out of their living room.

If “You” the cow removal company, races over pulls out a chemical or fogging gun and kills the cow right there in the client’s living room. Have you completed the job? Sadly the answer if far too often Yes.
That’s when I tell them that this is where I come in on behalf of the client to verify that the cow is gone.
Have to point out to the cow removal company that even though the cow is dead the cow is clearly still right there in the client’s living room.

I explain to the cow removal company that they were hired to remove the client’s cow and as far as I can tell the client still has a cow.

Soooooo get back in there and get the cow.

Who Promotes the Idea of Killing Mold and Why? Follow the Money

Mold remediators looking to maximize their profits will often sell Heat, Ozone, Hydroxyls, or Anti-Microbial Fogging as a form of mold remediation.  This only works out well for your mold remediator.  It leaves you with a new indoor contaminant. There is however a mold remediation standard of practice.  Its an American National Standards Institute ANSI approved standard.

ANSI Approved S-520 Standard and Reference Guide for Professional Mold Remediation.  The S-520 is procedural standard and reference guide for the remediation of mold damaged structures and contents.  The S-520 is based on reliable remediation and restoration principles, research and practical experience.

The S520 provides a philosophical shift away from setting numerical mold contamination action levels. Instead, it establishes mold contamination definitions, descriptions and conditions (1, 2, 3), and general guidance, which, when properly applied, can assist remediators and others in determining criteria that trigger remediation activities or confirm remediation success.

Contaminated as the presence of indoor mold growth and/or spores, whose identity, location and amplification are not reflective of a normal fungal ecology for an indoor environment, and which may produce adverse health effects and cause damage to materials, and adversely affect the operation or function of building systems.

Condition 1 (normal ecology) – may have settled spores, fungal fragments or traces of actual growth whose identity, location and quantity is reflective of a normal fungal ecology for an indoor environment.

Condition 2 (settled spores) – an indoor environment which is primarily contaminated with settled spores that were dispersed directly or indirectly from a Condition 3 area, and which may have traces of actual growth.

Condition 3 (actual growth) – an indoor environment contaminated with the presence of actual growth and associated spores. Actual growth includes growth that is active or dormant, visible or hidden.

The killing of mold once you remove the actual visible growing mold still leaves the Condition 2 (settled spores) – an indoor environment which is primarily contaminated with settled spores that were dispersed directly or indirectly from a Condition 3 area, and which may have traces of actual growth.

 

 

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

  • Florida Mold Licensing Law Update

    February 24, 2011

    Florida Mold Licensing Law Update

    As the Florida Mold Licensing Law grandfathering phase draws to a close and mold assessors scramble to submit their application for grandfathering our industry once again hit’s the headlines.

    February 16, 2011 House Bill 4171 submitted to the Florida House of Representatives, an attempt to repeal the current Florida mold related services legislation.

    February 21, 2011 Orlando Mold Remediator Arrested, accused of running fraud scheme.

    There is some controversy over the law and whether or not the mold licensing law will actually protect Florida citizens. I believe it’s a good law and I believe it actually provides a means for Florida citizens to ensure that their mold remediator or mold assessor has met the minimum requirements to perform mold related services on their home. In addition it gives the citizens of Florida a means of either reporting or reviewing previously reported complaints regarding the mold remediators or mold assessors that they may hire.

    This is the part of the law that is most beneficial to Florida’s citizens. If Floridians file enough complaints against any licensee for either mold remediation or mold assessment the state can revoke the remediators or assessors license.  This is how the state actually uses licensing laws to protect the citizens. Clearly just meeting the minimum requirements of any state licensed doesn’t mean that you’re going to be the greatest general contractor, physician, or mold remediator.  The ability to revoke a licensees license is the true power in the states licensing program.

    This is truly providing Florida citizens protection against widespread scams and fraud perpetrated by mold remediators whom for years have falsified mold testing results in an effort to secure mold remediation jobs.

    The issue of regulating the mold assessment and mold remediation industry has been in the headlines since 2007 when Gov. Crist signed Senate Bill 2234 into law.  There have been many who have pushed to repeal the law feeling that there is no need to regulate the mold related services industry.  I would have to say that the headlines just this week show that we have a substantial need for regulation in the mold related services industry.

    Let’s just review what has taken place in the state of Florida in the last seven days.

    Wednesday of last week February 16th, just 12 days before the current mold related services licensing law grandfather time period elapsed, Representative James W Grant, District 47, filed HB 4171 in an effort to repeal the current legislation requiring mold remediators and mold assessors to obtain a state license.

    Monday of this week February 21st, just seven days before the grandfathering time period elapsed, Senator Bill Norman, District 12, filed SB 2214 a sister bill intended to repeal the current Mold Related Services provision requiring both mold remediators and mold assessors to be licensed by the state.

    Monday February 21st, the same day that Senator Norman filed SB 2214, the owner of an Orlando Mold Inspection and Remediation Business was Arrested on charges that he falsified testing records and defrauded customers, according to the Department of Environmental Protection.

    So the very same day that Sen. Bill Norman filed a bill to repeal the current licensing law the DEP Department of Environmental Protection arrest a mold remediator who was performing his own testing in an effort to secure mold remediation jobs.

    This remediator faces charges of grand theft, insurance fraud, and violations of the RICO act.

    This Mold Remediator violated the current state legislation stating that he cannot provide mold remediation and assessment on the same job.

    I find it hard to imagine that either Representative Grant or Senator Norman couldn’t see the benefit of the current legislation and the overwhelming need to protect Florida citizens from fraudulent remediators who also perform their own assessment.

    Maybe Representative Grant and Senator Norman need to review the legislative purpose of the current mold licensing legislation.

    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.

    The Orlando mold remediator was arrested on charges that he falsified testing records and defrauded customers in an effort to secure more remediation jobs.

    The current legislation would provide Florida citizens a means of reporting any questionable or fraudulent actions by either mold remediators or mold assessors.  This provides a means for future citizens to review complaints of any mold remediator or mold assessor they may want to hire.

    Furthermore current legislation provides the state the power to revoke the license of any mold remediator or mold assessor based on their history of complaints as investigated and confirmed by the state.

    The mold remediator arrested Monday by the DEP had more than 29 filed complaints, 29. Clearly you won’t find any licensed professional in the state of Florida with 29 complaints lodged against them before the state of Florida revokes their license.

    The current Florida mold related services legislation provides Florida citizens a means for reporting fraudulent acts committed by mold or mediators and mold assessors protecting their neighbors from fraudulent remediators and assessors.

    By requiring mold remediators and mold assessors to obtain a license we have provided a central location for our citizens to report fraudulent cases so they can be investigated by the state just as any other licensed professional the state of Florida.  And just as any other licensed professional in the state of Florida that enough complaints are lodged in the state feels it necessary a license can be revoked.

    DEP alleges the mold remediator, arrested an Orlando Monday, obtained samples that he told his clients would be tested, however, no testing occurred. Rather the remediator provided fictitious laboratory reports to clients that were extremely technical.

    The mold remediator then offered assistance in performing “remediation,” for the mold problems — tearing out walls, carpet, flooring and cabinets — in order to remove the supposed mold.

    This is the very reason that we have the current Florida mold related services legislation. The current licensing laws prevent mold remediate it from providing their own testing which prevents the number one scam in the mold related services industry, falsified mold testing.

    I challenge both Representative Grant and Senator Norman to reread the following legislation and rethink the need to repeal a law that can have such an immediate affect protecting Florida citizens from unnecessary mold related services scams.

    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.

    Mold Related Services Licensing Law Grandfathering

    The requirements for grandfathering as amended by House Bill 713 include submission of an application to the department by March 1, 2011, whether postmarked or delivered by that date. Applicants must meet the following licensure requirements:

    HB 4171 – Mold Related Services Filed Wednesday, February 16, 2011 2:41 PM

    GENERAL BILL by Grant District 47

    Mold-Related Services: Repeals provisions relating to DBPR’s mold-related services licensing program, regulation of mold assessment & mold remediation, examination, licensure, continuing education, & discipline of mold assessors & mold remediators, & certification of corporations & partnerships offering mold assessment or mold remediation to public.

    SB 1244: Mold-related Services Filed Monday, February 21, 2011

    GENERAL BILL by Norman District 12

    Mold-related Services; Repeals provisions relating to the mold-related services licensing program of the Department of Business and Professional Regulation, the regulation of mold assessment and mold remediation, the examination, licensure, continuing education, and discipline of mold assessors and mold remediators, and the certification of corporations and partnerships offering mold assessment or mold remediation to the public. Conforms provisions.

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

    ACCA Installs New 2011-12 Board of Directors

    February 24, 2011

    The Air Conditioning Contractors of America (ACCA), the nation’s largest association of indoor environmental systems professionals, has announced the installation of its 2011-12 Board of Directors and officers.

    The board was installed at the annual Chairman’s Banquet held during ACCA’s 43rd Annual Conference and Indoor Air Expo in San Antonio, Texas.

    Last year’s Chairman, John Sedine of Engineered Heating & Cooling, Walker, Mich., handed the leadership role to incoming Chairman Joe Nichter of Comfort Systems USA Southwest in Chandler, Ariz. Nichter will serve a one-year term.

    “It has been another difficult economic year, but with John Sedine’s leadership, ACCA has been able to overcome the challenges and see much success,” says Paul Stalknecht, president and CEO of ACCA. “Joe Nichter now brings new energy to move the association down the path that has been set, while adding his own goals to the table. The members can be confident that we are poised to have another productive and successful year in 2011.”

    Serving as senior vice chairman this year is Laura DiFilippo, DiFilippo’s Service Co., Paoli, Pa. Other vice chairmen are Rich Imfeld, IC Refrigeration, Ceres, Calif.; Dave Kyle, Trademasters Service Corp., Newington, Va.; and Phil London, Thermal Concepts, Inc., Davie, Fla. Secretary/Treasurer for the coming year is Bobby Ring, Meyer & Depew Co., Inc. of Kenilworth, N.J and Sedine will serve this year as immediate past chairman.

    ACCA thanks the members who left the board this year for their service: Stan Johnson, Stan’s Heating and Air Conditioning, Inc., Austin, TX; Ray Isaac, Isaac Heating & Air Conditioning, Inc., Rochester N.Y; Bob Elolf, Environmental Air Systems, Inc., Houston, TX; and Jeff Miller, Al-Don Service, Inc., St. Louis, MO.

    This board will serve until next year’s annual conference, scheduled for March 5 – 8, 2012, in Las Vegas, Nev.

    Contact: Melissa.Broadus@acca.org
    703-824-8842

     

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


    Arkansas Legislature Retooled Mold Bill

    February 24, 2011

    LITTLE ROCK — The sponsor of a bill to repeal the state Mold Investigator Licensing Act said Wednesday he will amend the bill to propose modifying the act rather than repealing it.

    Rep. Mike Patterson, D-Piggott, presented House Bill 1171 in the House Agriculture, Forestry and Economic Development Committee but pulled it down after several people testified for and against the measure. He said he hopes to bring an amended version of the bill back to the committee next week.

    The current law requires a licensed mold inspector to be a certified industrial hygienist, a certified microbial consultant or complete at least 20 hours of college-level microbiology. It allows only licensed mold inspectors to inspect homes for mold.

    Patterson and supporters of HB 1171 say the law prevents home inspectors who are not licensed mold inspectors from providing a valuable service to home buyers and owners. Opponents of Patterson’s bill say mold inspections are too important to be done by people without proper training.

    Patterson told reporters he will work with people on both sides of the issue to amend the bill, but if a compromise cannot be reached he will bring the bill back as-is.

     

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


    Is Your Mold Remediator also Your Mold Inspector?

    February 23, 2011

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

    The company who performs your mold inspection and testing should be independent of the company that performs your mold remediation.

     

    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.

     

    This has been brought to the attention of the news media once again with the recent arrest of an Orlando Mold Remediator who was also performing his own Mold Inspection and Testing to secure more mold remediation jobs.

     

    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


    Orlando Mold Remediator accused of running fraud scheme arrested Monday

    February 23, 2011

    An Orlando Mold Remediator was preforming both Mold Inspections and Mold Remediation, a practice now Illegal in Florida. 

    Is this a sign of things to come?

    Will we see more arrest of Mold Remediators preforming Mold Inspections just to secure mold remediation jobs?

    A company who performs your mold inspection and testing should be independent of any other interest especially mold remediation.

    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, like Florida, are finding it necessary to step in and protect their citizens by establishing Laws and licensing to prevent this serious conflict of interest.

    The Orlando Sentinel ran the following story Tue Feb 22, 2011 

     

    Orlando Sentinel
    By Amy Pavuk, 

    The owner of an Orlando mold inspection and remediation business was arrested Monday on charges that he falsified testing records and defrauded customers, the Department of Environmental Protection said.

    The mold remediator now, faces more than three dozen criminal charges ranging from grand theft to insurance fraud to violating the RICO Act.

    According to DEP, the mold remediator offered his services to homeowners, businesses and apartment complexes in Orlando, Fort Myers and the West Palm Beach areas from April 2007 to November 2008.

    During that time, DEP alleges, mold remediator obtained samples that he told his clients would be tested, however, no testing occurred.

    Authorities say mold remediator provided fictitious laboratory reports to clients that were extremely technical.

    He then offered assistance in performing “remediation,” for the mold problems — tearing out walls, carpet, flooring and cabinets — in order to remove the supposed mold.

    During the “remediation,” the mold was not always removed properly, leaving clients with continuing problems.

    Many clients moved or lost their homes, DEP said.

    During that timeframe, authorities say, mold remediator received more than $239,000 for fraudulent laboratory testing and remediation work.

    There are more than 29 victims, DEP said.

    apavuk@tribune.com or 407-420-5735.

     

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

     


    February Is National Care About Your Indoor Air Month

    February 9, 2011

     

    Microshield IAQ Healthy Home

    Microshield IAQ

    February 2011 has been designated as National Care About Your Indoor Air Month. Poor IAQ has improved in North America over the past few decades but it is still a significant problem in homes, schools, offices, and medical facilities.

    The EPA lists poor indoor air quality among the top 5 environmental risks in the U.S. Poor IAQ is often blamed for poor concentration in school children and can trigger asthma, which accounts for three million lost work days for adults and a staggering 10 million lost school days for children.

    Asthma costs the U.S. Approximately $16 billion annually, with approximately 160 million Americans breathing in unhealthy air during the course of any given day.

     

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


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