Mold Drs. USA
Specializing in Water Damage and Mold Remediation
If you’re a native Tennessean, you already understand how pervasive mold can be. If you’re a transplant from another part of the country, you’ll soon discover what native Tennesseans already understand about mold.
But whether you’re a Tennessee native or a transplant, what you might not know is just how harmful mold can be to your family’s health, not to mention the physical damage it can do to your home. While mold within your home can go undetected, it can still become the source of allergic reactions and respiratory problems. Then there is the mold homeowners discover that they attempt to remediate themselves or contract out, often to contractors who lack the training and experience necessary to eliminate mold.
At Mold Drs. USA, local entrepreneurs and husband and wife team, Jeremy and Ashley Akers, have combined the training, experience, and certifications necessary to create Knoxville area’s only certified residential mold remediation company. While there are other companies that offer mold remediation services, Mold Drs. USA is your only certified residential mold remediation option.
EK: Jeremy, what most of our readers are likely unaware of is that your interest in mold remediation goes back to your early childhood. Explain.
Jeremy: Well, I had experienced the typical East Tennessee allergies for many years, and my family just assumed it was like everyone else’s allergies. It wasn’t until my father started removing baseboards, while remodeling our home, that he realized everything was covered with mold. To make matters worse, my bedroom was in the basement, which is the perfect breeding ground in the majority of homes for mold in East Tennessee.
EK: In part, due to our homes becoming more energy efficient, mold related problems have actually worsened. Why is that?
Ashley: In some cases, yes, this is true. The more energy efficient and air tight your home is, the more likely your home is to trap unwanted contaminants inside the living space that can be the source of mold.
EK: Many homeowners take on mold problems as do-it-yourselfers. I guess their tool of choice is chlorine bleach. Is bleach a good choice for mold remediation?
Jeremy: First, let me add to what Ashley just said. While it’s great to have an energy efficient, air tight home, it’s also important to have a balanced heating and air conditioning system. Poorly designed or improperly maintained HVAC systems can contribute to the potential for mold in your home as well.
With regard to bleach, we have many business and residential customers that ask us on a regular basis if bleach can solve their mold problems. The answer is no. The EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) excludes bleach as a mold cleaning agent. Unfortunately, we see all too many customers pay for mold remediation services where bleach was used. On non-porous surfaces (porcelain tile, metal), bleach does work. However, on porous surfaces (a typical crawlspace/basement, baseboards, walls, etc.), bleach does not work. Simply put, the properties of chlorine bleach prevent bleach from penetrating many of today’s building product surfaces.
EK: A homeowner’s second choice is to hire a mold remediation company. But with so many companies claiming to be mold remediation specialists, how can homeowners know who they can trust?
Ashley: Unfortunately, there are many companies in our area that claim to be mold remediation specialists, although they have little or no training at all. Sadly, the average consumer has no idea that the contractor that they may be considering lacks even the basic skills needed to detect and eliminate their mold problems. Also, they often charge more than legitimate mold remediation companies. Every state is different on what they hold a business accountable for. Most states protect their citizens by regulating mold remediation contractors. Tennessee does not, and as a concerned mother, I hope this changes in the future. Your best protection until then is to insist that the contractor you’re considering is ACAC Certified.
EK: So what you’re telling our readers is that inexperienced do-it-yourselfers and mold remediation specialists can actually make a bad mold problem even worse?
Jeremy: Absolutely, that is exactly what we are saying. Just removing the mold damaged building material is not the solution. What consumers need to understand is that if you can see mold, then the problem is likely even more pervasive then it appears, because what you can’t see is even more concerning. Mold has to be present in the air before it begins growing on building material surfaces.
EK: If mold exists in our homes but goes undetected, what signs should a homeowner look for?
Ashley: If undetected, you wouldn’t necessarily observe any obvious signs (mold growing on walls, smells lingering). As an example, we recently completed work on a home in Athens. The customer was suffering from pulmonary embolism. The family couldn’t see any visible signs of mold in the home (living space or the crawlspace). A plumber discovered a massive sewer leak that was discharging waste for an unknown period of time into their crawlspace. They had no idea that their crawlspace was full of mold until this discovery. We always encourage customers to retain a third party to provide testing that is analyzed by an independent lab. Many mold remediation companies provide their testing, which is a potential conflict of interest. For the same reasons that restaurants aren’t permitted to conduct their own health inspection, we feel strongly about requesting independent third party testing. It’s an issue of ethics.
EK: In selecting a mold remediation company, what certifications are essential?
Jeremy: I would recommend that consumers insist on an ACAC Certified Mold Remediation Contractor. ACAC is the only organization supported and recommended by the American Lung Association and the Council of Engineering and Scientific Building. The ACAC was the first organization to be listed as a prerequisite for state licensing. It is the only organization to see its certifications recommended by the U.S. Government. Only 70% of applicants for certification are accepted (after providing a work related resume), and then their application requires board review and approval. It is a lengthy and exhaustive process, but it offers customers the peace of mind they deserve when hiring a qualified mold remediation contractor.
EK: In closing, is there anything else you would like to add?
Ashley: In such an unregulated marketplace as the mold remediation industry, we are saddened by the many stories we hear from customers who paid two to three times more for mold remediation work to companies that did not have the required training or experience. To make matters worse, the customer now has to pay a certified contractor to remediate their mold problem. I encourage your readers, even though they may have an existing relationship with a company that offers mold remediation services, to insist on a second opinion. After all, your family’s health is at stake. As a mom, I appreciate things being done right. The health and well-being of your family members are as important to us as the health and well-being of our own children. I invite you to discover the Mold Drs. USA difference.
Mold Drs. USA