Governor Abbott’s Disaster Declaration Recognizes Dire Relief Support but the Texas Department Licensing and Regulation’s (TDLR) Responsive Mold Regulation Changes Wrongly Backs Emergency Licensed Mold Remediation Efforts, a Threat to Public Health and Safety
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Austin, Texas, March 1, 2021 – In response to the announcement issued by Governor Abbott on February 12, 2021, in regard to the severe winter weather that caused statewide damage, the Texas Mold Assessors and Remediators Association (TMARA), the leading professional organization dedicated to protecting consumers throughout Texas, issued the following statement:
Statement by Mike Marshall, President, TMARA:
“At TMARA, we continue to fight for the regulation of our mold industry to protect consumer health, safety and financial well-being. While we understand the need for Governor Abbott’s call to action and the support of our fellow mold professionals, the mold regulations should not change to grant emergency licensed contractors the ability to perform mold remediation without an independent mold assessment, mold remediation protocols in place and standard reporting requirements as outlined in the Texas Mold Regulations.
Repairs are just getting started, and property owners need to be aware that they do not want just anyone addressing a potential mold issue. They must seek someone who is qualified, licensed and working inside the mold regulations set forth by the State of Texas. By using an emergency licensed mold remediation contractor, property owners may not be able to obtain a protocol that outlines the steps on properly removing mold from a property, nor will property owners be able to receive a signed Certificate of Mold Damage Remediation (CMDR) without the requirement of having their entire property inspected and cleared, not merely the mold-impacted areas. The CMDR provides property owners and potential future buyers with a level of assurance that a mold issue has been eliminated and the underlying cause has been remedied. As outlined on the Consumer Mold Information Sheet (CMIS), a TDLR publication, ‘Receiving a certificate documenting that the underlying cause of the mold was remediated is an advantage for a homeowner. It prevents an insurer from making an underwriting decision on the residential property based on previous mold damage or previous claims for mold damage. If you sell your property, the law requires that you provide the buyer a copy of all certificates you have received for that property within the preceding five years.’ https://www.tdi.texas.gov/orders/co-03-1223.html
Unfortunately, we have seen these types of scenarios before. Someone uses an unqualified professional, and a few months down the road, a state-licensed mold assessor or remediator comes back to find a ‘remediated’ property worse off than it was from the initial damage. In fact, many of us are still addressing these same types of issues from Hurricane Harvey.
For property owners or professionals who want advice on the right way to move forward, consumers must:
- Contact a qualified water mitigation company and/or start drying out their home or building.
- If mold is suspected, contact a state-licensed mold assessment company or consultant to perform an initial mold assessment, obtain a protocol for mold remediation, hire a state-licensed mold remediation contractor to perform the remediation, have a Post Remediation Mold Assessment done and receive a Certificate of Mold Damage Remediation.
- To confirm the license status of a potential company or contractor, we recommend visiting https://www.tdlr.texas.gov/licensesearch/.
TMARA supports granting emergency licenses because given our state of emergency, mold professionals are in high demand. We do not support waving the other regulations that ensure consumer safety. We call on Governor Abbott to mandate that TDLR requires all emergency personnel to prove they meet our state qualifications and to require these emergency licensees to follow the same mold regulations that are required of the state licensees that support the millions of Texans that are affected by this disaster. Time and time again, we fight this battle, many state officials agree, and yet here we are once again risking the health and safety of the people of the great state of Texas.”