Licensing and Regulating the Florida Mold Industry


Finally, we have regulation in the mold industry.  The mold industry had been an unregulated industry for many years and the citizens of Florida suffered as they were exposed to fraud, scams, and scare tactics.  The citizens of Florida have been preyed upon by mold inspectors who inspect flood and storm damaged property and assesses thousands of dollars of damage that requires their immediate remediation.

There have been many arrests of fraudulent mold contractors as recently as this past February 21st.  It took 29 complaints to the Department of Environmental Protection before action was taken to stop the contractor.  If 1 or 2 complaints had been registered and confirmed by the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation FDBPR.  I feel it safe to assume that most Floridians would not hire the contractor.  None would surely hire him after 10 or 20 registered complaints let alone 29.  By 10 the FDBPR would have taken action revoking the contractor’s license protecting the next 19 from fraud.

Under the current Florida Licensing Law a Licensed Mold Inspector CANNOT provide Mold Remediation.  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

The current Florida Mold Related Services Licensing Law provides a means of reporting these crooked and fraudulent Inspector/Remediators so that the citizens of Florida can be informed about the history of any Mold Inspector or Mold Remediator they hire.

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.

It’s important for this information to be shared due the recent submittal of HB 4171 February 16th, by Representative James W Grant, District 47.  Representative Grant filed the bill in an effort to repeal the current legislation requiring mold remediators and mold assessors to obtain a state license.  The bill was introduced 7 months after the current law took effect and after approximately 3000 individuals became licensed as either mold remediators or mold inspectors.  With hundreds of additional applicants currently awaiting their license.

The current legislation provides both a means for the Citizens of Florida to report fraudulent acts by mold inspectors and mold remediators and a way for the Citizens of Florida to review the history of any Mold Inspector or Mold Remediator before they make their decision of who to hire.

An Informed Consumer and an industry that can now be held accountable.  Floridians, with the current licensing law, can now self-protect against fraud by either reporting a fraudulent mold inspector or remediator or simply by choosing not to hire a mold inspector or remediator based on the mold inspectors or remediators history of complaints.

I have to ask Representative Grant just what it is about an informed consumer that he is opposed to.  Or could it be someone in the industry that Representative Grant feels should be protected from accountability?

The Mold Related Services Industry is fully in favor of the current Florida Mold Licensing Law.  Thousands of Mold Inspectors and Mold Remediators have spent the last seven months obtaining the necessary training, certification, and insurance necessary to obtain their individual State Mold Assessor License and Mold Remediator License.

There is a push by the Florida Home Builders Association to either repeal the current law or amend the current law to allow licensed general contractors to provide mold inspection and mold remediation without the need for an additional mold inspection or mold remediation license.  I find this very interesting as builders have to be additionally licensed to plumb, roof, provide electric or HVAC service on the homes they build.  Hence the term general contractor.  The General Contractor simply needs to hire a Licensed Professional to perform the mold related services required for the homes they build.  Licensing a Mold Inspector or Mold Remediator is no different than any other trade in the state that is currently required to have a license.

It seems that when it comes to anything resulting from or associated with a possible building or construction flaw the general contractors would rather self police.  I’m sure that their homeowners don’t feel the same way.  The homeowners that I’ve spoken to prefer an independent licensed professional.

Follow the money is the key with the push to repeal the current legislation.

Who hired the Lobbyist?

Who was the Lobbyist?

What is the relationship between the Lobbyist and Representative Grant?

Most important is the “WHY” repeal the New Mold Related services Law?  and,

“WHO” benefits most from the repeal?

I would have to say clearly not the Citizens of Florida who lose their ability to report fraudulent mold inspectors and remediators and make informed decisions regarding who to hire based on the states recorded history of all licensed contractors.  Clearly not the thousands of individuals and businesses involved in the mold related services industry who have already paid for and given their time to become appropriately trained according to the current licensing law and have paid for and obtained the necessary insurance to comply with the current licensing law.

So I ask Representative Grant just “Who’s” Special Interest are you looking out for?

 

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

7 Responses to Licensing and Regulating the Florida Mold Industry

  1. Marybeth Mainelli says:

    Thank you John – I would like to share your post with my insureds…would that be alright with you? Please let me know – Marybeth Mainelli (Moreton & Company)

  2. Tom Athey says:

    An insurance customer service representative in the state of Florida is someone who works under the direction and control of a licensed insurance agent (2-20 licensee). The CSR is required to be licensed and the license for a customer service representative is known as the 4-40 license.

  3. John-

    Your comments are a bulls eye. Here in VA they began licensing mold inspectors and remediators in July 2010. This January, the governor wants to de-regulated this requirement despite mold activity being a strong part of the VA Landlord Tenant act. The state’s reasoning is that EPA sees no need to regulated mold in a home and this would be “over regulating”. This ignores the entire public health issue. I have forwarded your link to a couple of our state regulators.

  4. To be completely honest, I see nothing wrong that there are licensing requirements for mold inspectors. You see, mold inspection is a very specialized position and not everyone can o it. You see, qualified mold inspectors not only diagnose and detect large issues related to duct odors, building pressures, toxic black mold, etc. but they also protect people and their families about hidden dangers. In addition, they need to know proper protocol for discovering these dangers too. In addition, they must be specially trained in handling specific types of mold and have substantial education and field experience too. By requiring that they undergo rigorous training/licensing is a good thing!

    • July of 2011 Virgina enacted mold licensing regulations. Effective July of 2012, Virginia deregulated these regulations based on the reasoning that very few states regulate mold and EPA does not regulate mold. Despite my detailed letter to the subcommittee of state legislators and recommending continuance of these requirements, it was deregulated.

      Our department of professional and occupational regulatory agency stated that the original regulations were enacted to protect the public health and safety. Nothing has changed on that basis but political pressure from property management groups lobbied hard to get it deregulated to the detriment of the public.

      All of Jaqueline’s comments are absolutely correct. There still is a demand for qualified mold inspectors in our market.

  5. Elizabeth says:

    You have uploaded a fantastic website.

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