Everyone here knows that I’ve been doing plumbing for 20 years now and last year about this time business was a little slow for work and I got the opportunity to work for a company for commission part-time. So it was a big company that does air quality testing and it does about $4 million a year.
So I was able to learn a lot. Kind of was like getting paid to go to school. I’m not working for them anymore because it wasn’t as fun as I thought it was going to be. As you know when your used to working for yourself it’s hard to work for someone else.
After that whole experience I’m just so grateful to be working for myself again. So anyways about a year ago I started doing this. Started with about 60 jobs, so it was about 60 days worth. So since then I’ve been doing by myself.
Before I was a sub contractor for them where I worked I had to buy all my own equipment, all my own supplies and everything. The international indoor air quality commission is the people in licensing for mold inspectors and people doing air quality testing here in the United States.
So I’m licensed through them. I took their testing. As of now the contractors board has no oversight on it because it’s such a new industry that’s popped up in the last 12 years. I knew about mold back in the 1990s because being a plumber I’m around mold all the time and water damage is the number one cause.
So basically if you think you have mold in your house, something smells or someone is getting sick. If you move to a new house sometimes people start getting sick and they don’t know why. You would call in someone like me if you have a question or if you have a water leak and you see black mold on the wall. If you have any question marks.
Just what is this and why is this there? Basically what we do is we have this air pump and wherever the problem area might be. We have these cartridges here that we run the air through for 5 minutes. What I do is I go to a couple different areas and run the air through these cartridges which I then send to a third party, which is a laboratory.
Where they test the outside to the inside. What I’ve handed out is a breakdown from the laboratory. There are a couple problem areas that I marked on there that are the bad areas where we look. It’s all the black mold in toxic places. Also if you have it in the wall, we can do an in the wall test.
So if you have a leak in the bathroom and you think you might have a leak in the wall but you don’t want to put a hole in the wall to find out. We drill a small hole in the wall and stick this tube in the whole and can get a sample inside the wall. You want to get rid of any mold it can cause respiratory problems it can cause head aches.
I’ve seen a lot of babies having problems with this, children and older people. I’ve also seen a lot of people in their 30s getting sick. They move to a new house and don’t understand why they’re getting sick. Landlords are getting on board with this. The rental industry this is becoming a huge industry.
People are just trying to keep themselves out of court because some people are getting sued. Also, I can do asbestos testing or if you want me to scrape your ceilings or something and afterward you want to make sure you did a good job of cleaning the atmosphere.
I run another test for 20 minutes and that goes to the lab to show how good of a job I did. You can also get your water tested to. Being a plumber I don’t think that is necessary. But if you want it done you can have it done. I have this other thing it’s called a surface test.
So if you see mold on the wall and you don’t want to do an air test. Let’s say if you have a mushroom growing out of the wall. You would get this little swab and rub it on the problem area. I’ve done people’s mattresses even before. Bedrooms get serious. It’s really serious when the air quality in the bedroom is no good. You don’t want to be sleeping around mold. We can also do lead testing for surface testing. If you wonder if you have lead paint I can test for that.
Water leaks are the biggest reason for mold growing. It is an organism. Once it starts growing if it’s not taken care of it’s just going to keep growing and while it does so it secretes particles into the air. It’s growing like a plant and that’s how the quality of the air goes down. So I tell people you need to be really proactive.
Look around your house for sprinklers, hose bibs or anything around your house or close to it. Not taking care of your house siding, having holes or cracks in the siding can cause damage as well. If it rains the moisture can get in there and then the mold starts to grow. Roof leaks also a huge problem. Last year this company had a lot of work from all the rain. Under sinks, around pipes, these are all areas that need to be addressed.
Not taking care of $100 leak could end up costing you thousands of dollars down the road. I actually did a remediation with Pat together and it was actually the first time I started getting a head ache after 30 minutes of being there. Mold usually doesn’t bother me as much, but even in that situation this house was giving us head aches. Mold loves uncleanliness. Try to open up your windows at least once every five days. Just get the old air out of your house and get the new air into the house.
Also because it’s such a liability issue the lab results come with a 32 page inspection report. It consists of pictures of everywhere I tested and what I found. A full break down of what this report means. All the information you need if not too much. However if your going to be in this business you better be ready to cover yourself liability ways.
For one test inside and one test outside you are looking at about $200. Every test after that it goes up about $100 more. It’s pretty cheap in the industry when some people are getting $700 or $800 just for showing up. I’m not trying to gouge anybody. I’m just trying to do thing the right way. The big company I worked for would train people for only three days where I’ve been doing this for 20 years.
Is there anyway to check for Radon? Are there any new detectors coming out?
They do have a Radon indicator. I don’t really agree with that kind of testing. I felt like that was just a way to get money from people doing the Radon tests.