Mold removal and remediation are growing industries for professionals to be part of, especially as the broader public starts to understand the sweeping health risks that mold can have on their health and well-being.
Mold spores are usually inherently found in all indoor and outdoor spaces, but the goal is controlling the growth so they don’t become harmful or negatively impact health.
A mold spore is usually fairly benign unless it finds its way onto a wet or damp area and becomes a growing active mold. Mold removal is one part of the process required to address the problem.
The complete process is technically known as mold remediation to remove all the potentially harmful mold growth in a space. Mold remediation includes removal, demolition, sanitizing, containment, and cleaning. The steps in this process vary depending on the location of the mold and the type.
Is Mold Remediation Regulated in Florida?
Because of the potential risks of mold removal and remediation for contractors and homeowners, most states have some regulations you must follow. In general, mold is regulated by the Florida Department of Health. The Department has a set of regulations called mold rules, which are meant to protect the public and set guidelines for remediation.
What Are the Mold Rules in Florida?
There’s a legal difference between a mold assessor and a remediator in Florida. An assessor identifies the initial issue, while the remediator is responsible for fixing the problem the assessor identifies.
If you’re going to be a mold assessor or remediator, you have to be licensed but not as both. There’s a reason for this—the mold assessor should return after the remediator has done their work to ensure the problem is actually fixed.
If the assessor and the remediator are the same people, potential conflicts of interest can arise. For example, if the assessor and remediator are the same person, there’s a concern of identifying a problem that doesn’t exist, or overstating the problem, only to then charge a high fee to deal with it.
In Florida, a mold assessor can’t offer to perform any remediation work within a year of their assessment. A mold remediator isn’t legally allowed to provide services to a property owner without being legally licensed in mold remediation and water repair.
How Do I Get a Mold License In Florida?
According to the Florida Department of Business and Regulation (DBPR), you can get a license in Florida for mold-related services in two ways. You can take an exam, which is licensure by examination, or the other option is licensure by endorsement. Licensing by endorsement is for someone already licensed as a mold professional in another state with a relatively equivalent background to what’s required in Florida.
Licensed by Exam
Requirements in Florida include:
- To be a mold remediator, you need at least a two-year associate’s degree and a year of experience in a related field to remediation. If you have a high school diploma, you need to show you have at least four years of experience working in a related field.
- To become an assessor, you need at least a two-year associate degree and a year of microbial investigation or sampling experience. With a high school diploma, you need at least four years of field experience.
- If you’ve already been licensed in mold inspection or remediation in the state, you’ll take a renewal course.
- If your license expired more than a year ago, or you haven’t been licensed before, you take an initial licensing course.
NETI offers the coursework required to become licensed as a mold inspector or remediator. The coursework is available online and is self-paced. The course materials to prepare you for your final exam are comprehensive, including reading, lectures, reading, and quizzes, all geared toward helping you confidently pass your final exam and meet all state education requirements.
Once you finish your coursework through NETI, you’ll take your final exam.
After you pass your training and exam through NETI, you’ll submit your application to the Florida DBPR. The application process will include a background check, fingerprinting, and insurance documents submission. You’ll also pay any fees the DBPR requires and be issued your Florida Certification/License.
Licensed by Endorsement
If you have a license or certification from a national or state association that requires a similar level of education and experience as Florida, you’ll submit that along with your application and fee to the Florida DBPR.
You’ll also submit your fingerprints, legal and background information, and proof of completing mold, water, and respiratory protection training.
A New Law Further Restricts Mold Businesses in the State
After Hurricane Ian, companies from around the country traveled to Florida to try to do mold remediation work for homeowners affected.
However, in April 2021, House Bill 735 was passed by the Florida legislature. That law means the state won’t facilitate out-of-state mold removal and remediation licenses. They have to be in-state contractors.
Some contractors who came from out of state were warned that it would be a felony to work in the area without being licensed by the state.
A lot is happening in the world of mold laws and new regulations. For the most up-to-date information, follow The Restoration Association of Florida on social media and join their email list.
Can a General Contractor Remove Mold In Florida?
General contractors can’t do mold remediation in Florida without training and licensing. Only licensed assessors or remediators can do the work, and it does, as mentioned, require specialized education and training.
How In-Demand is Mold Remediation?
Throughout the nation, but in Florida especially, which is frequently affected by storms leading to flooding, mold remediation is incredibly in-demand. It’s a path worth considering if you’re a contractor and want to grow your business. This is especially true since Florida recently tightened its laws and regulations, and out-of-state contractors can’t do the work. There need to be more professionals to keep up with the demand.
Starting the Certification and Licensing Process
For a qualified professional interested in becoming certified as an assessor or remediator, the National Environmental Training Institute (NETI) offers training in remediation, moisture damage restoration, and mold identification and removal. NETI also offers training and continuing education for licensure renewal.
If you want to get certified or start a business in mold, look at the upcoming courses NETI has available.