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Who can clean up mold found during a home inspection in Florida?
Tuesday, July 10, 2018
Anyone can clean up mold when the total area is less than 10 square feet. Compliance with the Florida Statue regarding mold remediation is necessary for larger areas. Remediation is defined as “the act of remedying something, in particular of reversing or stopping environmental damage,” so it is the legally correct term for mold cleanup and repair.
The statute (Chapter 468.84) allows a homeowner or person leasing a property to personally perform mold remediation of their own property, no matter how extensive the mold infestation. But when you hire someone to clean it up for you, that business entity must be licensed as a “mold remediator” in the State of Florida.
Because of previous fraudulent business practices by companies that both evaluated a mold problem and remediated it, the State of Florida enacted a requirement in 2010 that a Florida-licensed “mold assessor” must first evaluate the extent of the mold problem and create a written protocol for the clean-up. Then a mold remediator can perform the work. The remediator must be a separate and unrelated business entity. The mold assessor returns at completion to check the work and give it an “all clear.”
So mold remediation is now a three-step process:
- Evaluate the extent of the problem - Mold assessment and establishment of a remediation protocol, by a Florida-licensed mold assessor.
- Clean up and repair - Remediation, done by a Florida-licensed mold remediator.
- Verification of successful mold removal - A post-remediation verification inspection or clearance test, by a Florida-licensed mold assessor.
If you are the seller of a home where a big mold problem was discovered during the home inspection, the best solution might seem to be cleaning it up yourself. But most homebuyers want the certification that the mold was completely eradicated and the source of the problem removed. That can only be provided by licensed mold professionals and, yes, it is not cheap. But we often see real estate deals die because the buyer is unwilling to accept a hasty mold bleaching and paint-over by the homeowner.
“We are also a licensed contractor,” says Jonathan Dreyer, of Dreyer’s DKI, in Gainesville. “You have to be a building contractor in order to do the construction work necessary for repair after mold remediation, and many remediatiors have both licenses.” Contractors are licensed under Chapter 489 of Florida Statutes.
We are not licensed as mold assessors. Because the law states that only a licensed mold assessor can verity the presence of mold, when we come across what appears to be mold during a home inspection we call it a “mold-like substance” in our report. If the area of the problem is 10 square feet or more, we refer our customer to a licensed mold assessor for further evaluation and establishment of a remediation protocol.
Also see our blog posts Is mold contagious? Can mold spread to my home if there is a nearby house with mold? and Should I buy a house with mold?
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