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5 Reasons Why You Need a Home Mold Inspection: An Interview with John P. Lapotaire, CIEC of Indoor Air Quality Solutions

Indoor Air Quality Solutions, IAQSTell us a little bit about your company and the services you offer.


Indoor Air Quality Solutions IAQS is a Florida indoor air quality consulting company that provides indoor air quality inspections, mold inspections and testing by Florida licensed mold inspectors and Council Certified Indoor Air Quality Consultants (CIECs). Our inspections take a comprehensive whole-house approach to identifying and correcting indoor air quality and mold problems in homes and offices. We have been providing indoor air quality and mold inspections since 2001 for both commercial and residential properties.


In addition to our indoor air quality and mold inspections our services include: Mold remediation protocols, mold clearance testing, radon testing, water damage inspections, indoor allergen testing, building envelope inspections, and thermal imaging and infrared IR inspections.

What are the best and worst case scenarios when there is mold growth in a home and it goes undetected (and untreated)?

Mold growth in a home is a result of damp indoor conditions that support the mold growth. With thousands of species of mold each individual can react to molds differently. In most cases with small amounts of mold growth the occupants will recognize typical allergic symptoms. However in some cases when the occupants are allergic to the species present the reaction can be much worse. With larger areas of mold growth that have gone undetected many species can be present and some mold species have the ability to produce mycotoxins. The occupant exposure to these mycotoxins is the worst case scenario.

It’s important to note that not all molds produce mycotoxins and those that have the ability to produce mycotoxins don’t always produce them. It’s been my experience that the worst cases of exposure to mold and mycotoxins have been in cases where the mold was disturbed without the necessary containment to prevent the unnecessary occupant exposure. It’s during the mold removal that the indoor environment is at its highest level of dust up and potential occupant exposure to mold.

It’s extremely important that the mold inspector identify the cause and origin of the mold growth and write a mold remediation protocol specific to the loss that outlines the extent of the mold damage as well as the containment necessary to protect both the occupants and the unaffected areas of the home during the mold removal.

What are the most common causes of mold and affected areas in Florida homes?

Mold is the result of moisture within the home that remains unaddressed for a period greater than 48 hours. It’s this moisture that supports the mold growth. There are thousands of mold species and each grows with varying amounts of water. Some molds require much wetter conditions to grow while others can grow with an elevation of humidity.

One of the most common causes of mold growth in Florida is called a humidity bloom. A humidity bloom actually occurs in the cooler months when the air conditioning isn’t being used. During the hot Florida summers the use of air conditioning both cools the home as well as reduces the humidity. The humidity is created by daily activities such as cooking, bathing, and breathing. In the cooler months when there is no need for the air conditioning to cool the home we have also eliminated the homes only means of reducing the humidity from daily activities. The result is often an elevation in indoor humidity well above 60% that can then support mold growth or a humidity bloom.

More common than the winter humidity bloom are the slow and hidden leaks that provide the moisture for the mold growth. These slow leaks at showers, sinks, windows, and roofs can support mold that can go undetected until the occupants begin to notice an increase in allergies while at home that seem to be reduced when they are away from their home.

When should a homeowner or home buyer get a mold inspection?

When occupants begin to feel that they are reacting to their indoor environment with allergy related symptoms that’s when it’s time for a home assessment or mold inspection. This is not and I repeat not a test for mold or air sampling for mold. A mold inspection is the inspection of the home for areas that can support mold growth. An air mold sample for mold cannot tell you where the mold is growing, the cause and origin of the water that is supporting the mold growth, nor can the air sample for mold tell you the extent of the mold damage. In short the air sampling for mold will provide you no useful information. When it’s time for a mold inspection make sure you hire a licensed mold inspector that will inspect your home for areas that could support mold growth and not an inspector that is only going to sample your air for mold.

What are the basic steps that an inspector is involved in from start to finish of a mold inspection to the final clearance of affected areas?

The process of establishing a mold or indoor air quality issue within your home begins with the actual assessment of your home, never with sampling, never. IAQ Solutions begins all our indoor air quality and mold inspections with a thorough visual inspection to identify any and all contributors that may compromise our client’s indoor environment. It’s important for our clients to understand that it’s not always mold.

We focus on identifying the contributors to poor indoor air quality by focusing on the whole home as a single system that can affect our client’s indoor environment. Building envelope failures such as leaks at the roof or windows, air conditioning failure which can include duct leaks, excessive condensation, and/or negative pressure of the living space can all be contributors to indoor air quality problems and the elevation of indoor allergens or mold growth.

When we identify an area of mold growth we create a mold remediation protocol specific to our client’s loss. This is critical with all mold remediation. The mold remediation protocol should include a floor plan identifying the water and mold damaged areas. (Several examples of these site specific mold remediation floor plans can be viewed at http://www.microshield-es.com/moldremediation). The protocol should establish a containment strategy to prevent occupant exposure to the mold during removal as well as prevent cross contamination to the unaffected areas of the home. The mold remediation protocol should then specify the amount and area of water and mold damaged building material that must be removed. This should never, and I can’t stress this enough, Never be left to the mold remediation contractor. The mold assessment is the identification of the cause and origin and the extent of the damage. It’s a direct conflict of interest and against Florida statute to provide both the mold inspection and mold remediation on the same job. Mold inspectors should never profit from what they find. If you hire a mold remediator to inspect for mold they will always find plenty of mold to remediate.


The mold remediation protocol should establish the method of mold removal as stated in the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration BSR-IICRC S520 procedural standard and reference guide for the remediation of mold damaged structures and contents.

The goal should be to remove mold growth by cleaning or removing moldy materials. Dead mold can still pose health risks if you are exposed. Chemicals are not necessary in the typical mold remediation job. We aren’t killing mold we are collecting and removing mold once the water source that supported the mold growth has been corrected. There is no shortage of “quick fix” ozone or chemical using mold remediators out there that will attempt to chemically fog or ozone your home to affordably “kill” your mold. But if they don’t collect the dead mold and remove it from your home the mold is still there and its still and allergen. (For more information on Mold Clearance visit http://www.microshield-es.com/moldclearance )

What advice would you give to someone who thinks they might have a mold problem but has a limited budget?

Remember that a mold inspection is the physical inspection of areas that could support mold growth or the areas of suspected mold growth. No sampling is necessary and most low-cost inspectors inflate the bottom line with several unnecessary mold samples. You shouldn’t risk your health on the lowest price available. Shop and interview the inspector and ensure that they aren’t going to just sample your home and have you sign a lengthy disclaimer and provide you with nothing more than a laboratory report.

What’s the best way for people to contact you and your company?

We are available all day every day via our direct office line (407) 383-9459. We have a website www.FloridIAQ.com and a Facebook page www.facebook.com/IAQSolutions. Visit us online or call us with any questions for your home, for your office, and for your health “Healthier Air Starts Here!” Indoor Air Quality Solutions, IAQS

See more at: http://www.floridastatehomes.com/articles/5-reasons-why-you-need-a-home-mold-inspection-an-interview-with-john-p.-lapotaire-of-indoor-air-quality-solutions#sthash.PkJlW2uj.dpuf

 

To learn more about Mr. Lapotaire or Indoor Air Quality Solutions & Microshield Environmental Services, LLC, please visit www.FloridaIAQ.com, email info@FloridaIAQ.com or call (407) 383-9459.

About Indoor Air Quality Solutions & Microshield Environmental Services, LLC

Since 2001, Florida residents have turned to the indoor environmental experts at Indoor Air Quality Solutions & Microshield Environmental Services, LLC.  The family owned and operated companies, based in the Orlando area, offer a comprehensive approach to identifying and correcting comfort and indoor air quality problems.  Their expert staff utilizes the latest technologies and industry recognized standards to identify and resolve indoor environmental issues.

John P. Lapotaire, CIEC
o Certified Indoor Environmental Consultant
o Indoor Air Quality Solutions, IAQS
o Microshield Environmental Services, LLC
o www.Microshield-ES.com  www.CFL-IAQ.com
o www.FloridaIAQ.com
o http://www.microshield-es.com/moldinspectiontesting.html
o http://www.orlandomoldinspection.us/
o http://www.microshield-es.com/nuisanceodor.html
o http://www.floridaiaq.com/moldremediationprotocol.html
o http://www.floridaiaq.com/moldclearancetesting.html

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EPISODE 542: Eugene C. Cole, DrPH – Research to Practice: Water Damage, Sewage, Mold & Public Health
This week we look forward to our interview with Eugene C. Cole DrPH. Dr. Gene Cole is Director of Research for LRC Indoor Testing & Research, Cary, NC; and formerly Professor of Environmental Health Sciences at Brigham Young University, Provo, UT. He has 35 years of research experience, with a primary focus on the ecology of indoor and work environments, with special emphasis on identification and reduction of pollutant reservoirs and sources, bioaerosols, human exposure assessment and control, product evaluation, cleaning and restoration, mold and sewage remediation, and biocides. Since 2000, he has continued to conduct research on the relationship between the use of antibacterial cleaning and hygiene products in the home, and antibiotic resistance; as well as on the effectiveness of cleaning to reduce the transmission of disease agents in schools. He has also worked with national and international organizations to address environmental health and infectious disease concerns such as medical waste management in Central Europe and South East Asia, hygiene promotion in Africa, and healthy homes and buildings in the U.S. and Asia. Dr. Cole is a member of the Scientific Advisory Council of the Cleaning Industry Research Institute (CIRI), and a Fellow of the American Industrial Hygiene Association. He holds a Master of Science in Public Health Microbiology and a Doctor of Public Health in Biohazard Science and Occupational Health, both from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Thu, 11 Apr 2019 13:00:00 -0400


EPISODE 541: Jim Harris, Sr. – Chairman & Founder Concepts4 & Janitronics Co-founder & Chairman of CIRI – Cleaning, Success & Science
This week we look forward to our interview with Jim Harris, Sr., a consultant, trainer, corporate executive, and entrepreneur. Jim has had a productive and successful career in the cleaning industry for 45 years. Jim started Janitronics Facility Services in 1972 as a local cleaning service. The company has since evolved into a seven branch, comprehensive cleaning, maintenance and management service, but has a new approach: Thinking small; they specialize in creating, and sustaining a healthy indoor environment utilizing state of the art, effective ‘cleaning systems’ based on validated cleaning science research. Mr. Harris is also co-founder and chairman of the Cleaning Industry Research Institute (CIRI). CIRI is the clearinghouse for unbiased, peer-reviewed technical information and research about the science of cleaning or restoration of the indoor environment. Jim Harris has done what others have only dreamed of while building a profitable company. His company was built first and foremost on the science of cleaning. The company uses state-of-the-art equipment and processes to clean for health. To increase productivity, Janitronics developed its’ SysteamCleaning (TM) concept, utilizing state of the art workflow based on systems thinking and high performance standards. In 2000 the leadership of the company completed a succession transition to Jim Harris, Jr. and is headquartered in Albany, N.Y. They are not just dumping wastebaskets and cleaning restrooms. They pride themselves on cleaning a work environment to maintain a high health standard; focused on properly removing bio-contaminants and airborne particles. Janitronics has been successful in transforming cleaning into a science.

Fri, 05 Apr 2019 16:56:00 -0400


EPISODE 541: Jim Harris, Sr. – Chairman & Founder Concepts4 & Janitronics Co-founder & Chairman of CIRI – Cleaning, Success & Science
This week we look forward to our interview with Jim Harris, Sr., a consultant, trainer, corporate executive, and entrepreneur. Jim has had a productive and successful career in the cleaning industry for 45 years. Jim started Janitronics Facility Services in 1972 as a local cleaning service. The company has since evolved into a seven branch, comprehensive cleaning, maintenance and management service, but has a new approach: Thinking small; they specialize in creating, and sustaining a healthy indoor environment utilizing state of the art, effective ‘cleaning systems’ based on validated cleaning science research. Mr. Harris is also co-founder and chairman of the Cleaning Industry Research Institute (CIRI). CIRI is the clearinghouse for unbiased, peer-reviewed technical information and research about the science of cleaning or restoration of the indoor environment. Jim Harris has done what others have only dreamed of while building a profitable company. His company was built first and foremost on the science of cleaning. The company uses state-of-the-art equipment and processes to clean for health. To increase productivity, Janitronics developed its’ SysteamCleaning (TM) concept, utilizing state of the art workflow based on systems thinking and high performance standards. In 2000 the leadership of the company completed a succession transition to Jim Harris, Jr. and is headquartered in Albany, N.Y. They are not just dumping wastebaskets and cleaning restrooms. They pride themselves on cleaning a work environment to maintain a high health standard; focused on properly removing bio-contaminants and airborne particles. Janitronics has been successful in transforming cleaning into a science.

Fri, 05 Apr 2019 16:56:00 -0400


EPISODE 540: Rachel Adams, PhD – Research Scientist at UC Berkeley & California Department of Public Health Research to Practice – Moisture Measurement and Mold
This week we look forward to another Research to Practice presentation from one of the leading IAQ researchers in the world Rachel Adams, PhD. Dr. Adams is a microbiologist with a deep curiosity for how microbes work and how microbial interactions shape the environment around them, including our homes and our health. She is a Microbiologist with the California Department of Public Health and a Project Scientist at the University of California, Berkeley, in the Department of Plant & Microbial Biology. Dr. Adams has expertise in using sequence-based technology to study microbial exposures in indoor environments, has developed methods to improve the identification of microbes, and has interest in understanding the consequences of indoor microbial exposures on human health. Dr. Adams holds a B.S. from Georgetown University and a Ph.D. from Stanford University and is a member of the Mycological Society of America and the International Society of Indoor Air Quality and Climate (ISIAQ).

Fri, 29 Mar 2019 16:54:00 -0400


EPISODE 539: Christine Oliver, M.D. – Massachusetts General Hospital Boston, MA – Odors, Multiple Chemical Sensitivities and More an MD’s Perspective (Flashback Friday: Original Air Date 4-7-2017 | Episode 455)
This week we Flashback to one of our more popular shows with Christine Oliver, MD. Dr. Oliver joined us to discuss Odors and Chemical Sensitivities about 2 years ago. This was prior to our first YouTube videos so we are going to add some graphics and photos this week. Dr. Oliver is President of Occupational Health Initiatives, Inc. in Brookline, MA. She is an Associate Physician in the Department of Medicine (Pulmonary and Critical Care Division) at the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) and Associate Clinical Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School in Boston. Board certified in occupational medicine and in internal medicine. Dr. Oliver’s primary specialty is Occupational and Environmental Medicine, with an emphasis on occupational and environmental lung disease. At the MGH she evaluates and cares for patients with occupational and environmental illness and disease, including occupational asthma, interstitial lung disease, building-related health problems, and chemical sensitivities. Dr. Oliver has done research and published in the area of occupational lung disease and she has testified before the United States Congress with regard to work-related health issues and risks. For the past three decades an important focus of Dr. Oliver’s consulting work has been indoor air quality and related health effects. She has lectured and published on this subject and she has been actively involved in indoor air quality assessments in a variety of settings. These include health care facilities, courthouses and other government buildings, schools, and commercial office buildings. Together with industrial hygienists, engineers, and human systems specialists she has worked to identify, characterize, and resolve air quality problems and their related health effects. In 2009 she was a participant and presenter in the ASTM Johnson Conference on the standardization of mold response procedures. An important component of Dr. Oliver’s clinical work has been in the area of fragrances and their related health effects, including causation and/or exacerbation of chemical sensitivities. She has lectured on these topics, counseled patients and their families with regard to steps that can be taken to identify and remove fragranced products from their environment, and advocated for a fragrance-free policy in the clinic in which she works.

Fri, 22 Mar 2019 16:52:00 -0400


EPISODE 538: Ritchie Shoemaker, M.D. – Part 2 of our series with the Mold Warrior (Flashback Friday: Original Air Date 5-2-2008)
Radio Joe is on the road this week. On Iaqradio+ we will Flashback to Part 2 of our original series with Ritchie Shoemaker, MD. We will review key points from week one and get into more detail about Dr. Shoemakers research on sick building syndrome and water damaged buildings plus information on treatment options for patients and answers to questions sent in by our listeners.

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EPISODE 537: Parham Azimi, PhD – Research Associate Illinois Institute of Technology – New Research on Particulate Matter & Mortality
This week we welcome Parham Azimi, PhD to Iaqradio+. Dr Azimi is a research associate in the Department of Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering at Illinois Institute of Technology. Much of his research work has focused on fate, transport, and control of indoor aerosols of indoor and ambient origin, chronic health impacts of fine particles in various microenvironments, and energy performance of residential and commercial buildings. Parham is a member of ASHRAE Technical Committee 2.4, UL 2904 Standard Technical Panel, International Society for Indoor Air Quality and Climate (ISIAQ) and American Association for Aerosol Research (AAAR). Dr. Azimi’s work came to our attention recently when we were sent a copy of a recent paper he worked on with Brent Stephens, PhD called “A framework for estimating the US mortality burden of fine particulate matter exposure attributable to indoor and outdoor microenvironments”. Dr. Stephens joined us on March 13, 2015 for a great show on The Intersection of Building Science, Energy Efficiency & IAQ.

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EPISODE 536 - Ritchie Shoemaker, M.D. – Part 1 of our series with the Mold Warrior (Flashback Friday: Original Air Date 4-25-2008)
Dr. Ritchie Shoemaker first joined Iaqradio as a guest back in April of 2008. Since then we have welcomed him back once a year or so to update us on his research into Chronic Inflammatory Response Syndrome (CIRS). Today we are going to replay our first show with Dr. Shoemaker and we hope to have him join us again soon for another update. Following his bio we have listed all our shows with him over the years. Ritchie Shoemaker, M. D., is a recognized leader in patient care, research and education pioneer in the field of biotoxin related illness. While illness acquired following exposure to the interior environment of water-damaged buildings (WDB) comprises the bulk of Shoemaker’s daily practice, other illnesses caused by exposure to biologically produced toxins are quite similar in their “final common pathway.” What this means is that while the illness might begin acutely with exposure to fungi, spirochetes, apicomplexans, dinoflagellates and cyanobacteria, for example, in its chronic form, each of these illnesses has similar symptoms, lab findings, and Visual Contrast Sensitivity findings. Taken together the inflammatory illness from each of these diverse sources is known as a Chronic Inflammatory Response Syndrome. We do not have a blog for Dr. Shoemakers first few shows. He joined us before Cliff started doing a weekly blog. It may take a few time listening to make sense of everything he is proposing. It was very helpful when he sent me the Bio-toxin Pathway chart to follow. Print this out and have it handy while listening to his shows and it will help you immensely.

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EPISODE 534: Corbett Lunsford - The Home Performance Worskshop & The Worlds Highest Performance Tiny House on Wheels!
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EPISODE 533: Open Mic - Topics for this week include: Current Events, Certification, Standards, Training, Networking & Resources
Today we are going to try something new and if it works we will make it a regular part of the line up. We are going to throw out some topics, invite a few friends and have a discussion about IAQ, disaster restoration and building science. We also encourage listeners to text in your questions or comments. Today we expect to hear from Jay Stake, Eric Shapiro, Carl Grimes, John Downey and Pete Consigli. The topics we will throw out for discussion will come from the list in this week’s show title. We have some of the leaders of the industry join us every week so lets take advantage of that and start a conversation.

Thu, 07 Feb 2019 15:56:00 -0500


EPISODE 533: Open Mic - Topics for this week include: Current Events, Certification, Standards, Training, Networking & Resources
Today we are going to try something new and if it works we will make it a regular part of the line up. We are going to throw out some topics, invite a few friends and have a discussion about IAQ, disaster restoration and building science. We also encourage listeners to text in your questions or comments. Today we expect to hear from Jay Stake, Eric Shapiro, Carl Grimes, John Downey and Pete Consigli. The topics we will throw out for discussion will come from the list in this week’s show title. We have some of the leaders of the industry join us every week so lets take advantage of that and start a conversation.

Thu, 07 Feb 2019 15:56:00 -0500
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