On Monday January 30th, I was invited to give a presentation to the 7th and 8th grade students for Career Day at Good Shepherd Grade School in Collingswood, NJ. I really wasn’t sure what level of understanding this age group of students would have, but I was pleasantly surprised as the presentation progressed. The topics of the presentation were:
“What is a mold remediator, what is mold remediation and what is involved in the mold inspection process?”
I gave them a history of how I had graduated from college with a degree in biology, but decided to pass on med school and ended up going into the home improvement trades. I then started buying fix-n-flips, gaining knowledge on nearly every aspect of home mechanics and construction. I started doing mold remediations about 5 years ago as part of our general service of kitchen and bathroom remodels. We would, on occasion, rip out a bathroom and find mold behind the walls. I read the Home Depot 1-2-3 book on how to remediate mold, and took care of it. It wasn’t until a year or so later that I had a major mold event at my own home and I learned that you needed special training, certifications and licensing to perform mold remediations, mold testing and mold removal. I took online courses and attended local workshops on how to perform mold testing, the different equipment needed as well as how to remove mold if the indoor levels were too high. From there, I opened up the floor to questions, and let me tell you, there were some real tough ones. I had two biology teachers sitting in the back of the class, so I really had to make sure my answers were correct. Here is some of the great questions that the students asked, and the short version of the answers:
Q) Does mold kill people?
A) Almost never. On very few occasions will a person actually die from an airborne mold infection.
Q) Why does mold grow on bread, and can you eat it?
A) Mold can grow on anything that is organic, and yes, you can eat moldy bread… but I don’t. :)
Q) Can mold make your house fall down?
A) Fall down? No. Can it make it so that you can’t live there and most of it needs to be rebuilt? 100%.
Q) What color is mold?
A) Mold can be black, white, green, red, blue, purple, brown and grey. It can almost be any color.
Q) Can you see mold in the air?
A) No, mold spores that float in the air are microscopic. You can certainly smell mold, though.
These were very good questions, and it’s a testament to the students who asked them.