First and foremost, when looking for a contractor to perform any mold remediation activities, always ask to see their license, proof of liability insurance and then also verify that their license is still active. Many lost their license a few years ago when TDLR made criminal background checks apart of their mandatory qualifications. Many are still operating illegally in the industry because no one is checking to verify that they are licensed.
The Mold Assessment and Remediation Industry is a “BILLION DOLLAR” Industry. In other words, Mold Growth is a BIG problem in our homes and buildings. However, not just anyone in TEXAS can come in and treat, pre-treat or remediate your home for Mold growth. Texas is one state that regulates The Mold Assessment and Mold Remediation Industry. This is a good thing; because they actually require those doing any kind of mold Remediation to be licensed. Mold Remediation (is defined as providing any of the following activities) –The removal, cleaning, sanitizing, demolition, or other treatment, including preventive activities, of mold or mold-contaminated matter that was not purposely grown at a location. Preventive activities include those intended to prevent future mold contamination of a remediated area, including applying biocides or anti-microbial compounds” according to the Mold Assessors and Remediators Administrative Rules 29 (2).
Anyone that is licensed in Texas to perform mold remediation will carry a license issued by TDLR and start with MRC (which stands for Mold Remediation Contractor) followed by their specific license number.
The Qualification and Eligibility requirements to become licensed as a Mold Remediation Contractor in Texas in order to provide Mold Remediation activities is listed below.(1)
(c) Qualifications. An applicant for a mold remediation contractor license must meet at least one of the following education and/or experience requirements:
(1) a bachelor’s or graduate degree from an accredited college or university with a major in a natural or physical science, engineering, architecture, building construction, or building sciences and at least one year of experience either in an allied field or as a general contractor in building construction;
(2) at least 60 college credit hours with a grade of C or better in the natural sciences, physical sciences, environmental sciences, building sciences, or a field related to any of those sciences, and at least three years of experience in an allied field or as a general contractor in building construction;
(3) a high school diploma or GED certificate, plus at least five years of experience in an allied field or as a general contractor in building construction; or
(4) certification as an industrial hygienist, a professional engineer, a professional registered sanitarian, a certified safety professional, or a registered architect, with at least one year of experience either in an allied field or as a general contractor in building construction.
(d) Eligibility for licensing. To obtain a mold remediation contractor license, a person must:
(1) be at least 18 years old at the time of application;
(2) successfully pass a criminal history background check;
(3) comply with subsection (c);
(4) comply with the requirement for insurance coverage under §78.40;
(5) successfully complete a mold training course as described in §78.68(e);
(6) pass the required licensing examination prescribed under §78.24; and
(7) pay the fee required under §78.80.
Mold is a living biological organism. It is not easy to kill and can pose severe health threats to anyone handling it and or living in a home with it. Which is one reason why Texas wants to make sure that anyone who comes into your home to perform mold remediation activities, has been trained and educated on how to properly remove/treat/and or pre-treat it. They also require these licensed individuals to carry liability insurance and to have their criminal background checked. Which is also very good. Because you don’t want someone that isn’t carrying liability insurance to come in and do work on your home. Why? Because what if they damage your home or do a poor job and they don’t fix it? Or, like some have done, leave the job unfinished (with your money) because they know you have zero to no recourse against them; since they don’t have the proper liability insurance to help you recover any damages which they created, and/or did not complete the job you hired and paid them to do?
It’s also nice to know that if they didn’t pass the criminal background check, then they are not able to be licensed. A lot of mold remediation projects/activities require you, the homeowner, to leave the home. Sometimes it can be just for a few hours. Sometimes the mold remediation project can take days/weeks or even months. Would you feel comfortable leaving your home in the hands of someone who has been arrested and found guilty of theft/rape/burglary ect…? I sure wouldn’t. One thing a lot of our clients have done and do is set up camera’s to keep track of their home’s Mold Remediation project and the progress as well as to keep an eye on what’s going on. You have that right… as that is your home. A lot of our clients buy camera’s that allow them to log in and view what is happening in real time, during anytime of the day. If the contractor isn’t doing anything wrong, then why would he or she ever object to camera’s in your home?
One more thing about one excuse I hear a lot of unlicensed contractors use in order to have you hire them and not think twice about their unlicensed status. Many will say that their is a current “Disaster Declaration” in place from Hurricane Harvey that allows contractors to perform mold remediation activities in Texas without a Texas License. This is untrue and True. This “Disaster Declaration” only applies to contractors that are still remediating homes that are still affected by/from Hurricane Harvey. So if they are performing mold remediation on a home that was and still is being remediated from Hurricane Harvey, then Yes, they can be unlicensed. But, if they are not performing mold remediation on a Hurricane affected Harvey Home, then they must be licensed by TDLR. You can read the Disaster Declaration by clicking here.(3).
I hope this helps many from being taken advantage of, as I have already personally caught two contractors operating without a license on homes that were recently damaged by the Artic Ice storm in Texas. They were also using products that aren’t EPA registered and one of the products only killed 4 specific types of molds and not all molds. But they told their clients that their products are wonderful/safe and effective and it would not only kill all the mold in their home (without knowing which types of molds are present) but it would also prevent it from coming back. Which is a load of BS. Mold will return if their is a source of moisture. The key to controlling mold growth is controlling moisture. Mold will not grow without moisture being present for a minimum of 24-48 hours.
About the Author
Emily Rachal is co-owner of Texas Mold Inspectors, (or TMI), along with her husband, in the Houston, TX area. After her family’s devastating experience that not only injured her whole family, but also resulted in the loss of their youngest son Malachi, she and her husband have dedicated their lives to now educating and assisting families affected by toxic mold with their state-licensed mold inspection company.
Emily is the founder and owner of MAM. Additionally, she has recently started a non-profit organization in the name of her youngest son, called Malachi’s Message Foundation, to aid in financial support and offer hope to families who feel isolated and are unable to afford all the complex obstacles of overcoming a toxic mold exposure.