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  • jeffreyfeinberg

Why You Should Hire a Florida Licensed Mold Assessor

Updated: Jan 23, 2023

First some high-level background on Florida mold laws. The Florida mold laws, contained under Title XXXII, Chapter 468, ss. 468.84-468.8424, do not apply to mold contaminated areas under 10 square feet. Of course, the problem with this is, sometimes you cannot see the full extent of the mold contaminated area, but I digress. At the end of the day, most people are not comfortable performing their own mold remediation, so we can move past this question of “how many square feet” of contamination are present and move on to the question of, “who do I need to hire to assist me with the remediation”.


Under Florida law, there are two licenses when it comes to mold-related work, mold assessors and mold remediators.


Mold Assessors perform mold assessments, which per the definition in the Florida law is, “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.


Mold Remediators perform remediation, which per Florida law is, ..”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.


Each license has its own combination of education and experience requirements including passing an approved licensing examination. Where the Florida law falls short in my opinion, is there is no requirement to hire a licensed mold assessor for a mold remediation project. So, you can discover mold in your house, call a licensed mold remediator to come out, they can tell you, yep, you have a problem and here is the cost to fix it then you hire them to fix it. They remediate the mold, tell you all is good, maybe they even perform some air sampling after the job to prove to you all is good (They can actually do this after the remediation because the mold has been removed so now it is not “assessment” per the letter of the law because the mold area greater than 10 square feet is gone. Also, it is very common in Florida for contractors to hold both an assessor and remediator license. I firmly believe that a good mold assessor should know mold remediation processes and a good mold remediator should have knowledge of the assessment process but I’m old school and do not believe that the same contractor should be performing both on the same job. In fact, in some states like Texas, mold-related projects require both types of professionals and they cannot be from the same company). If the remediation company does not perform anything that falls under the mold assessment definition during their initial visit, this approach complies with the law.


Hopefully though, you can see the flaw with this approach. The same person that diagnosed your problem also sold you the solution then also told you their solution worked. Now, this approach is common in medicine but most people when they are contemplating spending thousands of dollars on their home will usually shop around and get multiple opinions and quotes. Mold-related work should be no different and this is where the value of the licensed mold assessor comes into play. Let’s say you discover visible mold somewhere in your house, you go to Google and find a Florida licensed mold assessor, then give them a call. If you call me, I will discuss the situation with you, likely visit your home and verify what you are seeing is indeed mold (this may not even require mold testing) before you spend significant amounts of money addressing the problem. If you decide to work with me, or any other licensed assessor, I now become the advocate/quality assurance professional for your project. This means I can help you screen mold remediation contractors, work with the remediator that you hire to ensure the job is completed in a professional manner and then most importantly provide you with some level of assurance that your mold problem has indeed been successfully resolved. Now you have two professional opinions, from different companies without a relationship, telling you that your problem has been successfully resolved. Hopefully that story sounds better than the “fox in the hen house” version that I started with.


At the end of the day, both types of licensed mold professionals are valuable and necessary. So take the time to approach your project with care and perform the necessary due diligence before spending your hard-earned money. As always, I’m happy to talk to you about your concerns/issues over the phone at no cost to you. Visit my website for more information, North Florida Mold Consulting.


Jeffrey

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