Dealing with Mold
When dealing with emergency services (loss-mitigation), restoration, construction, or mold containment, the vendors of such services should understand that the industries they serve are in a business to provide for safety to life and property and protection of human health.
When mold is discovered during the evaluation or drying process, steps must be taken to protect the health of workers and occupants within the structure, as well as preserve the structure from further damage.
There are no federal or state regulations for loss-mitigation, restoration, or mold remediation industries. Restoration vendors who wish to maintain a professional organization in which the public can place its trust, should institute an internal educational and certification program for all its employees. When retaining the services of a restoration vendor, make inquiries to confirm that it educates its employees continually.
Restoration vendors should be able to show customers that they have developed an in-house training program on the use, storage, maintenance, and safety practices of all company owned or rented equipment and all testing procedures and supplies (i.e. chemicals), as well as on their quality control and assurance (QC&A) program.
Restoration vendors should have their technicians and managers trained and certified on the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) safety and health programs and certified with the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act when required by law.
Project managers, fire/water managers, and the company’s QC&A manager should receive Certified Restorer (CR) certification and Water Loss Specialists (WLS) certification.
Whether estimating, evaluating, or drying losses that involve water, the remediator needs a complete understanding of how structures are built. It is essential to understand air-flow in structures, what water intrusion can do to a structure and its components, and how water flow and humidity works in the structure.
In some states, the remediation provider may not be able to obtain payment for the services provided if they are not appropriately licensed. In Louisiana, for example, Tradewinds Environmental Restoration entered into a contract to provide mold remediation services without a license. This action was specifically prohibited by laws intended to protect the public interest, and the contract was therefore ruled absolutely null. Tradewinds was only allowed to recover its “actual cost of materials, services and labor,” but was “not entitled to an allowance for profit and overhead.” Although this is a harsh result, the purpose of the licensing statutes is to protect the public. In some states the unlicensed contractor is not even allowed to collect for the reasonable value of services.
© 2020 – Barry Zalma
Barry Zalma, Esq., CFE, now limits his practice to service as an insurance consultant specializing in insurance coverage, insurance claims handling, insurance bad faith and insurance fraud almost equally for insurers and policyholders. He also serves as an arbitrator or mediator for insurance related disputes. He practiced law in California for more than 44 years as an insurance coverage and claims handling lawyer and more than 52 years in the insurance business. He is available at http://www.zalma.com and email@example.com.
Mr. Zalma is the first recipient of the first annual Claims Magazine/ACE Legend Award.
Over the last 52 years Barry Zalma has dedicated his life to insurance, insurance claims and the need to defeat insurance fraud. He has created the following library of books and other materials to make it possible for insurers and their claims staff to become insurance claims professionals.
Read posts from Barry Zalma at https://parler.com/profile/Zalma/posts
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