You’re listening to Seattle Real Estate Podcast Hey everybody, I’m Sean Reynolds, the owner of Summit Properties NW Reynolds &, Kline Appraisal, and your host of this episode of the Seattle Real Estate Podcast My next guest began his career as a home inspector where he learned a great deal about what goes on behind the walls of houses both old and new He went on to manage a mold remediation franchise and saw a need for more honest service providers in the industry After becoming a certified mold professional, he started mold mentor, with a mission to combine Unbeatable Service with sensible and effective solutions to restore air quality and prevent moisture issues in homes and buildings Welcome Mr. Zack Duffy to the Seattle Real Estate Podcast Thanks so much for coming on Thanks for having me and for working through the technical difficulties to get to this point I am in the field as you already know Yeah, you’re a busy guy you’re out in the field is In between inspections, you told me that Ohio and you’re in Columbus, Ohio, correct? That’s right And you just had some major flooding And so your services are in need right now They are Yep And so you’re just it’s how many inspections will you do in a day? Or what what what kind of stuff do you typically work on after a after a flood like that? So I can have actually multiple jobs overlapping where I’m, I’m drying out a basement with the equipment, and then I have to run over to another location and do an inspection And so when you say how many inspections will I do in a day, I could be doing three to four inspections while I have two separate jobs going on Right So it’s a it’s a delicate balancing act Yeah So you’re hopping right now in other words, right Absolutely Right And then then you’re hopping at home because when you go home you’ve got five kids Yeah. for work, and I said, Hey, so works workday You got Daddy’s got to go to work Daddy’s gotta pay the bills All right Yep, that’s awesome Okay, so as you and I kind of talked about, I own a real estate brokerage and an appraisal company So I’m going to jump right into some questions that both real estate brokers and probably appraisers have concerns concerning houses with mold And so what do you do when a house your listing has mold? What kind of things as you as a mold, professional real estate brokers got a house? Oh, man, I think it’s got mold What do I do? Well, um, so yeah, that can go a number of directions This is a pre listing house you’re talking about? Yeah, maybe a real estate broker knows he’s going to have a listing come up, but the house, he’s pretty sure it’s got mold So should he reach out to a mold professional? Should he try and fix it himself? What are his options and what should he be thinking? I would, I would start by saying I think it’s totally appropriate on the disrespect. financial disclosure form just to stay, you know, we’ve we know of some minor moisture intrusions And some of it’s been accompanied by some discoloration I don’t think you ever need to disclose on a residential property form, that you have mold unless it’s been tested by a laboratory because only a laboratory really can can determine if a microorganism is mold or not So we have to send a sample to them So that being said, we can start there and go one of two ways If an agent is concerned about a future listing having mold, he can have it tested to confirm or rule out a mold problem Okay Or you could do nothing and just disclose moisture intrusion, maybe some discoloration Okay, okay All right So we’re treated or treated Yeah So, and how often do you recommend How often do you take the phone call and you’re like, Okay, it sounds like you’ve got a major mold problem or you Got a minor mold problem? Can you kind of identify that based on what somebody’s telling you? Or do you have to really rip into things to kind of know what you’re dealing with in a house? So it depends on if the customer is paranoid, I guess for lack of other descriptive words or if they are they are, you know of sound mind and health And I can have photos sent to me texted to me and I can say Look, that’s a shower that needs some deep cleaning some common scrubbing I don’t think you have had an issue after Of course, I asked a few other questions And and and they can be happy with that Thank you so much You know, I never had to go to the house It was a minor issue, you know, the EPA recommends If a mold contamination is less than 10 square feet of surface area, it’s likely that the homeowner can deal with it with it without the help of a professional So my first question is, how much are we seeing how much area does this cover? Now if it could be behind walls then we can’t see with the naked eye How much surface area could be covered?
So, yeah, I get I get the call the time could this be serious or not? And it’s and I try and fill out the scope of possible mold growth and most most times I end up having to go out but I can answer questions over the phone and solve problems A lot of times, right? Okay, how often does somebody send you a picture and we’ve all walked into that house where an entire like fam is covered in the walls What do you recommend in that situation where there’s obviously some massive mold should somebody be walking through that room somebody I want I’ll walk through a room like that without even a mask on sometimes because I know I’m only going to be walking through for 30 seconds, a couple minutes at most taken with a flashlight, and I’m not allergic so I’m not gonna have allergic reactions to that I in order to have to toxic genic reactions are become symptomatic and poison for mold Like, we have to live in that environment for prolonged amounts of time, months or years even So, yeah, I’m not worried about quick walkthroughs Okay for the person living there, I would say that what you just described, Sean sounds like an urgent situation probably for the inhabitants But what you’re saying is that for for like a real estate broker, I’ve had brokers call me and say, hey, there’s mold in this house Should I even be inside? Because I think there’s such a push in the media towards be very, very afraid of black mold, because it’s going to kill you on site You know what I mean? Yeah And it sounds like from what you’re describing, is that it’s a time exposure thing to mold that you need to be worried about not necessarily running in as a real estate broker, but you need to be concerned for the inhabitants of the home more than anything who are going to cure live there Right, yeah, just walking through that house I mean, as a broker, you’ll know, you’ll know if you’re starting to experience reactions, I mean, your history, what are what are your reactions? If you start experiencing those, it’s time to get out Right? Not if you’re not, I would say that your body is handling, whatever is in a house just fine And you’re gonna leave without any reactions whatsoever Right? And so some people have an allergic reaction to mold and other people do not Is that correct? Yeah, absolutely like myself For example, I can, I can go into them all these basements where there’s slugs growing in the basement Like there’s plenty there’s plant life There’s algae, and there’s mold everywhere and it stinks And I might my gag reflex will will catch up to me at some point, but I don’t have any I don’t react to it any any other way I don’t get okay And I’m I do have outdoor allergies to like some sort of grass, seasonal stuff, but molds not one of them Okay, okay So different people react differently If you know that you’re somebody who reacts to mold, then it’s probably in your best interest to kind of stay away Let somebody else handle it that is less allergic Yeah, yeah, definitely And so let’s go back to Alright, a real estate broker or seller finds a little bit of mold in their bathroom It’s under a 10 square foot area It’s a pretty small area What kind of things can they do if they wanted to maybe take care of that themselves? If you have said, Hey, based on this photo, this doesn’t appear to be an extreme problem What should somebody do to get rid of that kind of smaller contained mold problem? Yeah, well, if it’s a bathroom, I mean, if it’s a shower, bleach can be used For one bleach is not engineered for mold disinfecting, but it can be effective to clean showers and get discoloration off White vinegar can change the alkalinity of the surface and kill mold spores white vinegar has been known to Campbell has been lab lab tested to be able to kill mold spores in small amounts Okay So a couple common things, but really a good scrub brush, you know? So, to show you these routine, routine cleaning, basic cleaning, basic cleaning So if you did a quick Google search, you could probably figure out what the solution is that you need to clean and then just get in there and clean it if it’s a small enough project Right, right Absolutely Yeah Okay, sounds good I will add a lot of times in bathrooms, the more that we’re seeing is related to the moisture Okay, so, inside of a shower, maybe we need to start using a squeegee After we get out of the shower, we squeegee out the walls That’s how we keep glass sliding doors clean in the shower from getting splotchy is a squeegee That’s extra work Most people aren’t going to do that Now if it’s not if it’s in the bathroom, but it’s outside the shower like on the drywall or on the ceiling That’s probably a ventilation issue And that’s Surface mold growth from moisture inside the bathroom, it’s it’s not an indication
that you have mold growing behind the walls or that moisture is getting behind the walls, or even in the attic It’s that you’re filling up that bathroom with steam And maybe we need to check that bathroom vent fan in the ceiling Maybe it’s old or tired or it’s not It’s blocked up in the attic Maybe it’s not venting properly And so we have too much moisture in the bathroom for too long of a time that we start to grow mold and in that case, usually we can hand clean that soap and water and away you go easy fix Right, right So everything you’re saying is mold needs moisture to live correct Exactly right Yeah, mold needs food and water Right So you get rid of the food and water and you’ve kind of got Problem solved That’s right And since homes are built of food sources for mold, which is dead plants, and so will in a home that’s that’s the wood framing and the paper on the drywall and things like that We can’t control the food there’s going to be our houses are constructed of food sources for mold All we can control is the moisture at that point important to keep the home dry with proper ventilation, you know, air conditioning in the summer, proper insulation and things like that buttoned up and dry Right, right And that’s one of the things that I hear about all the time is the difference between the older style homes that are more vented out because they’re not quite as tight airflow wise, versus the newer homes that are very tight As far as insulation, you know, Windows all wrapped up If you don’t have airflow, you could have a potential mold problem in a new home So it’s almost counter to intuitive to what you would think about where mold grows Is that roughly correct? Yeah, airflow is very important airflow is how stagnant moist air that might have a little bit of humidity and it gets it gets moved around so that it can be, you know, air conditioned, whether it’s the air conditioning system through the furnace, or whether it’s a dehumidifier that we have, or both All basements should have a dehumidifier as a backup They’re effortless They’re easy These days you can buy a dehumidifier for $300 or less a 70 point Moisture removal is what you want the rated and how many plants can this unit remove in a day, how many pints of moisture and I recommend 70 point minimum Okay, and you set that up in your basement you you dial in your set point for relative humidity A healthy range is 35 to 50% relative humidity So I set mine in my basement 45% the unit senses the air samples the air on a regular basis and it kicks on as needed And then it shuts itself off Okay, okay You can buy this Can you buy it at Home Depot? Can you buy it? Walmart? Costco, yep, okay Okay Okay And so is it The bigger the unit, the better as far as dehumidifiers go, so the rating is in pints per day moisture removal And that doesn’t change the size of the unit Usually the housing of the unit looks the same, it might be a little bit heavier because the compressor, the condenser is more sizeable But yeah, you’re not going to go by how big is the unit, you’re going to, you’re going to look at the rating and see how many pints per day they make 35 5070 and I say go to 70 spend the money on 70 is portable, you can take it with you to your next house It doesn’t run continuously It can but it’s not gonna just sit there and run it’s it’s more than Think of it like a backup system If it gets so humid during a summer day that your air conditioner is undersized or your air conditioner is old or for whatever reason, your air conditioner is not keeping up with the relative humidity in the basement, which by the way is 60% Relative humidity is the threshold for mold growth We have an environment Due to mold growth at 60% and a dehumidifier as a backup can help keep that in a healthy range when an air conditioner can’t keep up Okay, okay So you’re saying it’s it’s a great backup system to have just a dehumidifier in a basement area where there’s maybe some moisture coming in up through the floor, or for whatever reason in through the walls, something along those lines Yes, every I’m of the school of thought that every basement should have one I did a new build I did mold remediation on a new build where there was mold all over the fourth floor joists, it was an unfinished basement The new build had sat for a year and a half on the parade of homes here in Central Ohio And then was and then was on the market got into contracts and the home inspector found mold in the in the home builder was in denial I had to walk through and demonstrate where the small growth was and he was scratching his head because he was a new bill Never been used
There should have been a properly sized dehumidifier dropped into that basement after it was built Okay, so it had in excess of 60% humidity didn’t have air flow Just mold was sitting down there doing its thing That’s right Exactly Yeah So mold, mold grows under under humid conditions And it’s a it’s a sneaky kind of mold It’s not something that shows up as a black on the wall And you have to you have to be trained to discover this type of mold that grows under humidity You have to point your flashlight in the right direction to try and cast shadows from this mold and in any way I could go on but a liquid and liquid On the contrast, liquid mold growth, you’re going to see that it’s going to show up in a localized spot It’s going to be black and slimy, but not the humidity So we have the mind, the water source for mold growth, depending on its state, whether it’s a gas or a liquid okay Okay, and I saw within your website, some pointers on how to keep, since moisture is such a big thing with mold on how to keep moisture out of your home So we’ve talked about once moisture is already inside the home Let’s talk a little bit about how to keep moisture out of the home from from the outside perspective So, we’ll start with the basic framing I mean your wall should be insulated, that’s good to have insulation in the walls because you’re putting a barrier You’re put kind of putting a barrier where you’re not gonna have condensation if your walls are uninsulated and it’s freezing cold outside during the freezing months, and then the inside is being heated and people are breathing and living and showering you’re filling the warm air inside up with moisture which is going to be attracted to the cold exterior walls that are an insulated and You’re going to get condensation little water droplets on the walls and over time that will cause a problem to the paint it will grow mold things like that So insulation is first installation for the exterior walls and of course the attic Okay, the next would be yeah the next would be ventilation for the attic so the attic needs to have an intake and an output the current building ventilation today is soffit vent to arrange fan that’s kind of the the most desirable ventilation system for an attic It’s the intake air is at the lowest point of the roof, which is the soffit and the output air is at the highest point of the roof which is the ridge vent ridge Yeah, so we have the best passive vent system at that point Okay When it comes to a basement, yeah, the dehumidifier is very important A finished basement can be, can be tricky a finished basement We’re finishing basements with with studs With what? Well basements basement walls, breathe moisture And that’s normal Because there’s wet Earth up on the other side of that, that that foundation wall and we can’t control that So we so so an unfinished basement we have as long as there’s air moving down there any any moisture that’s breathing in from those foundation walls is being dealt with at the at the point of the air conditioner But once we trap that moisture in by framing that wall that can be problematic So if we’re going to finish the basement we should have a vapor barrier on the foundation wall and a vapor barrier can be as simple as a piece of six millimeter plastic visqueen plastic that covers that wall before the studs go in place If you want to take the step up, you can use extruded polystyrene it’s It looks like a glorified styrofoam poured Yeah, it’s big four foot by eight foot sheets of one inch to two inch thick extruded polystyrene you can cut you can layer your foundation with that stuff, tape the seams, and now you’ve got a vapor barrier and an R value of insulation included in one job, and then you can frame your stuff right up against that So that’s how we control moisture in a basement or crawlspace crawlspace is getting collected very often because they don’t get the concrete slab that a basement gets basements get three inches of concrete and that concrete that you’re walking on in the basement acts as a sort of vapor barrier Even though it can still breathe moisture like a wall a foundation wall it It acts as sort of a vapor barrier but a lot of times cross spaces are finished with just gravel on top of the dirt and there’s no vapor barrier So it’s crawlspaces should should be looked at as there should be a piece of plastic covering all ground space
In a crawlspace Yeah, the vapor barrier, yeah visqueen vapor barrier, right? Yeah For those dealing with the crawlspace, who are curious about more information, just google crawl space encapsulation, do it yourself crawl space encapsulation, they can be very costly, but they’re very effective at keeping moisture and odor down in a crawlspace to protect the rest of the home And so those are kind of the main touch points, I think, is ventilation, insulation And then of course, the basement and then in the crawlspace What about what about like major drainage projects around the home because in Seattle, as you probably well know, it rains like nine months out of the year So our ground is saturated with water And we see a lot of drainage type projects Go on, because people are trying to keep that water out of the home Yeah So the simple answer for me is if suits Talking about well perimeter drains inside of a basement that lead to a sump pump that’s the yeah the interior and then the other is the exterior where you’ve got French drains outside correct yeah yeah you can do that that’s not that’s not as common here in Central Ohio to have French drains installed on the exterior of the home to protect the the basement from water intrusion we see a lot of perimeter drains being installed and sump pumps and basements then we do the talk out here is in Ohio is digging up the foundation or the digging up the dirt along the foundation on the exterior of the home in order to waterproof they’ll gills with some sort of a membrane Okay And in that case, I guess they might go an extra measure and do a French drain but I really don’t hear any talk about that when i when i when i talk to other companies and customers who have had worked on that Not the perimeter drains are going in inside the basements out here in large part Okay Okay, interesting, because we see from what I know, and from my experience as an appraiser, I see a lot of exterior type projects And I think it’s just because we get, you know, such extended periods of rain, where it doesn’t come down hard, but the ground is saturated And we do our best to kind of keep that water from from getting into the basement foundation walls Gotcha Yeah, yeah So tell me, jack, how did you get in to the mold? How’d you get into the mold business? So I got my start in the mold industry as a home inspector That was a relationship that was developed when I was inspecting homes It was a it was a friend, a local franchisee of a national company called Green Home Solutions and That’s where I got to go out to Pittsburgh to get my formal training my field training from the franchise headquarters and learned a lot out there You know, this is kind of funny, but I, it hit me when I started my business that, you know, I had spent seven years as kind of making wine and meat in my basement Okay, and I loved it I had multiple recipes going on and people were people loved sipping on the honey wine that I was making It’s called need But my my, my favorite part about it was the yeast and I read books on East and the East has, has the most impact on the overall flavor It’s not necessarily what ingredients you’re using It’s how the yeast can react with those ingredients And I became very familiar with the micro organism when I researched yeast and it was it wasn’t until after I started my business that I realized why it came so naturally to learn about the mold spore and about how mold reacts. in different environments, and about how to control mold But you know what, once I left my position with that franchisee, I went on to get my real estate license, and I graduated in December of 2017 And then January of 2018, I had already gotten enough phone calls from people who had my phone number, asking for opinions on mold in their home, that I never practice real estate I started I started, I started mold mentor at that point Interesting So you’re like, hey, I’ve already got all these connections Instead of trying to crank up a new business plan, which is being a real estate agent You decided, hey, let’s run with this and, and keep this going And, and at that point, that’s when you started mold mentor, is that right? That’s right, you got it Okay Okay What does that what does it a standard day, if there ever is one in somebody who’s self employed, what’s your average day look like? My average day would start with Either a job or an investigation, an investigation is really
a I think I’ve got a problem And I’ll come out and take a look So and those those appointments range from five minutes to 45 minutes depending on how much they want to talk And, but a job would start I would show up and I would, you know, start setting up containment for the job that we’re about to do and bringing equipment So really, I should have a small car that I would if I if I try and separate my days from investigations, I like to do Tuesday and Thursday, for example, lineup schedule, all my appointments for looking at jobs and reading quotes for the same day And I could have a small car for that instead of this big work band Like a commuter car, right? Yeah Okay And so, but being you know, being in my third year of business for myself, I’ve got straight A’s, almost 70 reviews on Angie’s List 2018 2019 Super Service Award Yeah, I’ve been working really hard to taking care of each customer And that’s caused my business to grow organically by word of mouth and whatnot But, you know, the days that get rough are when I’ve got multiple jobs going on, and I’m getting phone calls, I’m already in a crawlspace trying to do mold remediation, and my phone’s ringing and, and so I’m at, I’m at kind of a limbo space where I’m not quite ready to support the business isn’t quite ready to support a full time employee yet So I’ve got several people that I call on and I do the 1099 thing with them for bigger jobs, where it’s a basement demo, and we have to rent a dumpster and things like that So independent contractors that you can count on, if you need some overflow help Exactly Okay Okay Okay So your your business is kind of at that point where you probably need somebody close to full time, but you’re just not quite there yet And so you’re probably having to work a bunch of extra hours So you don’t have to pay somebody full time because when it gets a little bit slower, then you’re like, what am I going to have that person do that kind of kind of the space that you’re at? That’s the space I’m at Exactly And I’m but I’ve got I’ve got I’ve got lots of ideas right now and things in the works to to make it happen So I’m really hoping for an employee this year Okay Sure It has to happen for next season next year Okay And one of your, your marketing things is to try and get on as many podcasts as you can Correct That’s right Yeah, exactly Yeah Because it’s all what I’m learning I’m not a digital space kind of guy, but but my, my buddy is who is who I’ve partnered with, and what I’m learning is, the more the more platforms we can be on like now we’re gonna have to, we have a YouTube channel, but I don’t think we have anything on there yet So this might be the first Okay The more activity that blogging and things like that the more activity I can leverage and post The more Google likes my business and wants to put me at on the first page of results So you get the Google, you get the Google love That’s right We get to we get shown love by Google And so that’s kind of one of the that was the initial idea for podcasts And to be honest, I thought the podcasting sounded like a long shot But he got he got three hits for podcasts and what like a month’s time, so yeah, it works And the thing with podcasting is that you can, so Google your number one search engine in the world, number two, search engine, YouTube So if you put up some stuff on YouTube, right into Google, and then what we do with the podcast is we video it, so we actually make it a vodcast So you’ve got you’ve got all this little stuff that all connects You’ve already got a really good blog on your website You start putting in some videos there, and I think you’ll see things Really take off because you’ve already got a pretty good footing Let’s also talk about so you’ve got Instagram So you could do Instagram igtv with some longer content video, take that same video you’re putting on YouTube, put that on HGTV and then on Facebook, you can do longer content video there as well too Good to know they’re out There’s definitely room for improvement And I’ve got, I’ve got him he’s loaded with what he’s doing right now So I think you’ll enjoy watching this too And we’ll probably have some new ideas after this one What would be fun to see is when you and I know I’ve seen building inspectors do this with their Instagram, is to take a bunch of video when you’re out on site with just, you know, kind of wild and crazy stuff that people will find entertaining that always gets a ton of attention because you see stuff that the rest of us will never see Right all the repairs that I’ve seen where people are using cassette tapes to prop up an IBM joint Then across space, and it’s like how did how did that hold up?
Yeah, yeah, exactly Yeah, that’s crazy stuff All right, so, so we’ve kind of talked about seller or real estate broker We’re going to jump we’re going to go to questions that buyers ask, and I’ve taken this right off of your website And so is it safe to buy a home with mold in it? So and that would go back to the question of is the person of sound mind and health my opinion because if they are, then yes, they can They can buy that house and then they can kind of break down, you know, the mold situation afterwards It’s because we have to be exposed and for a long amount of time, to become symptomatic to mold You can buy a house and move into it safely, even if it has mold But you certainly want to hone in and start monitoring, you know, the areas of concern Where’s the moisture coming from? You know, is the mold changing? Is it growing? You know, but you can deal with it after you move in a lot of times, so there’s a lot of scare and people are mold They say home inspections are like the number one killer of a deal of a real estate deal Yep And appraisals are right behind that I think that and I don’t, I might be making this up But it seems like during home inspection, if I had to pick one item of a home inspection that would be ruining the deal, it might be mold on top of that list, because it’s it’s the fear of the unknown Yep What What could this do to me? What could this do to my loved ones? Wait, I’m pregnant I know We have kids Granny visits, she has a guest room like it’s the fear of the unknown, a bad roof that’s gonna cost $15,000 to replace There’s nothing unknown about That you just replace it Yeah, that can that can kill a deal But I know I know it’s killing deal because of the cost involved in the mall is like, act is kind of for some people it’s like a scarlet letter It’s it’s a burden on the home It’s an embarrassment thing It’s it’s just it’s really wild how mold has worked its way into our fear culture And as a real estate broker, I’ve had so many deals where my agent has called me and said, we’ve got mold in the home And I’m like, Alright, well, let’s talk about it How, how big is it? Or how extensive is it? I don’t know But it’s got mold and my buyers don’t want it We don’t know what to do People just freak out when they hear them all weird mold, because I think they envision just massive amounts of mold behind the wall where they can’t see it You know, their buyer ripping into the home and just this enormous mold issue But most of the time in my experience, it’s not something it’s something that can be taken care of Yeah, first thing I would say for your agents is don’t don’t ever use the term black mold Because that’s not a scientific type of mold That’s a media buzzword, right? It’s not professional to say, I think that might not be black mold, you might be okay That’s it Of course, it’s not black mold black mold is not a type of mold So avoid using the term black mold If your agent is asked by a buyer is this black mold, you know, black mold doesn’t exist in this in this world The only way to know what kind of mold that is, it can be black, any kind of mold can be black, but we would have to take a sample take a sample to the lab on acute and they could tell us what kind but that’s the kind of mole doesn’t change the remediation process I don’t need to see a lab report to determine how I’m going to clean up I have my method of removing the mold from the home no matter what kind of mold it doesn’t It doesn’t change my process Interesting Okay Yeah, that’s, that’s super good to know And so that’s why throughout all Your stuff you’re like, Hey, don’t don’t throw out the word black mold It doesn’t really exist as a type of mold That is a media If it bleeds, it leads type thing Exactly clickbait the original clickbait Yeah, like, like we’ve kind of experienced throughout the last several months of our lives, correct? Yeah, boy, yeah It’s wild because it’s actually helped my business people are are cooped up in their homes and now they’re saying, honey, it’s time we deal with this mold thing It’s gonna affect our immune system And then when we go back to work, you know, we’re gonna get COVID-19 And so I’m getting a lot of calls from concerned people who are now spending most of their time in their home Okay Okay So since they’re not at since they’re not at the office, and they’re having to deal with their house, they’re like, let’s give that mold guy a call And let’s see what he says because we don’t really want to be in here more than we should if we’re exposed So that’s super interesting So your business has benefited As a small business during this time, and it’s probably
also because we’re thinking about airborne particles, and that’s part of the whole mold thing Exactly And we’ve been we’ve been disinfecting commercial facilities in our area with with our disinfection process, and that’s COVID-19 I’d have my attorney review some some waiver form so that I can feel good about offering a COVID, disinfection service and whatnot And so yeah, this whole thing has helped help the kind of the biohazard industry, I guess Right But to jump to jump back, I wanted to add also for your agents, it’s important for them to know that they should suggest if they have a buyer, in contract on a finished basement home with a finished basement, they should at least educate the buyer and say, Hey, this, this is the one place that’s highly recommended to do air sampling. is a finished basement with that you don’t know the history on that home You don’t know how that basement was finished, either Don’t know if there’s a vapor barrier installed, and the only way to have an X ray vision of that basement is to pull air sampling Okay, air sampling is as a comparison of the outdoor air to the indoor air, the laboratory analyzes two samples one outside and one taken inside and whatever is outside should be found inside in a similar amount Okay, okay, I say the outdoor air in the indoor air should be statistically the same If the if the basement sample is 10 times higher than the outdoor air, then that that would suggest that there’s mold in that basement that’s not naturally occurring from the outdoor air It’s occurring inside the basement And the only scare story I have of that is I got called out to from for a buyer who there was a finished basement It looks great There were no signs of odor or mold growth or moisture problems but on a whim, they ordered an air sample of the basement and it came back extremely elevated I’m talking 100,000 times the outdoor air Wow In a cellar was in denial because he finished He and he called faulty test fake news I went in there and with a little bit of invasive investigation, I was able to prove that there was no vapor barrier installed on the foundation wall In fact, what he had done was he had framed stones up against the foundation wall, laid fiberglass batt insulation in between the studs and then stapled a vapor barrier onto the studs before putting drywall up Therefore trapping trapping the moisture Yeah And making an accelerating was already going to be a problem was not celebrated He created he created like the perfect mold lab culture Yeah That’s crazy What’s really what’s really wild to think about is that They had a young shot and they were gonna move into that home and the selling point was the basement for them And if they hadn’t if they hadn’t pulled air samples they would have not no they wouldn’t have known they would have had their kid down in that environment just huffing all that that mold and because it wasn’t a liquid leak where it makes an ugly black spot no one would have known for potentially more more years to come Wow Okay, how much how much would one of those air the air sample tests cost? Like in Ohio? What What does that run 300 bucks should be should kind of be tops I mean, okay, no, yeah And we always we always recommend one for the basement if you if you want to get the upstairs another area in the home tested the samples, additional samples from us or $50 Okay, kind of kind of market rate or at the conservative and in the market rate There’s companies charging 350 but I don’t know what it is out there It’s probably somewhere it’s probably more expensive because Just everything’s more expensive here That’s what I hear Yeah Yeah, it’s kind of crazy So, okay, that’s, that’s really interesting So what if somebody does have a pretty major project? You talked about your work day there being an inspection or a project day? What is the cost? On most of the projects that you work on to the homeowner? Like, what’s it take to fix, you know, a mold mold issue? Yeah, good question You know, I’m in a unique position because I get to make up my own cost Whereas larger companies who have a sales guy come out, they’ve already got a structure and they say, look, it’s this much per square foot, that kind of a thing I take each job unique So I’m looking at a couple different things I’m looking at, first of all, how much source removal of mold Am I going to have to do meaning how much square footage I’m looking at? How difficult is it? If Do I have to put a Tyvek suit gotten into an army crawl through this attic while I’m
carrying equipment and cleaning materials? Or can I stand up in this attic? Things like that crawl spaces, I’m looking at difficulty So time on the job Before I before I put together an estimate in my head, and generally my estimates are lumped together Unless Unless they asked me to itemize things, then I break it down So but that being said, if I had to give you a range for an average job, if I were to look at my history, I would say the average job for me costs about $1,000 Huh, okay Okay I’ll go into homes for as little as 200 500 700 For smaller jobs I don’t have a job minimum That’s another thing my competitors do is they either have a job minimum or they charge to come out and then if you hire them, they’ll apply that toward the cost of the project I don’t charge to come out I don’t have a job minimum You know, but yeah, I did a job for $20,000 so that’d be that’d be a big one Yeah, yeah So but but but when you average everything out probably 1000 to 1200 Two and I weren’t and that’s the warranty my work I get my, if I’m treating basement then that basement is under warranty you can transfer that warranty and what that really means is not only have I removed the mold from the home, but I have identified the moisture source that led to mold growth to begin with and I have made the correction Sometimes it’s a plumbing leak and they need to call a plumber As long as they’ve hired a reputable plumber I my warranty stands okay I’m saying the moisture won’t come back So that’s why I’m gonna warranty my work Okay, okay That makes that makes total sense That seems pretty reasonable I would I would add real quick that make sure your agents are asking for warranties with mold remediation companies they can speak well, yeah, they can sneak in a quote where there’s a scope of work gonna cost but they don’t have any verbiage about having a warranty And if I were to do a retest on some of these companies and send it to the lab, they could fail us the proving that the work was ineffective And they the company might not come back out to do anything about it They might they might say, well, the mold hadn’t grown after we were done Right Okay So get get a warranty is the bottom line Yeah, absolutely So, one of the topics you covered just a little bit earlier that I want to go back to is the disinfecting service So that’s going to be in Seattle, we are still in phase one We’re not in phase two yet We’re very close, like maybe June one or a little bit later A lot of businesses are going to be opening back up and so disinfecting services are going to be kind of super hope high profile Can you tell us a little bit about that what that service looks like and like the cost and scope of work? Absolutely So first thing to consider it Are we disinfecting as a preventative measure? Or has there been an outbreak? Because if there’s been an outbreak, then you’re talking a lot of money big company bought a liability waiver forms and things like that Okay You know, we’re offering to fog disinfect real estate offices for free right now, as well as a community service in a way to, and I’ve done probably 15 so far since we opened up That’s, that’s amazing And how big How big are these offices? I’m kind of curious Some are one room 200 square feet, and others are multiple levels in a building So three, we went to three different floors, and it took us two hours And so what I want to say is I have heard of advanced clean who is a franchise? I heard that they quoted this from the we share the same insurance Rep. And he told us that he told me that it vertically quoted a building for $14,000 And they got undercut by another company for 30 $500 That’s quite a margin That’s massive Yeah What what that means Is that it’s not necessarily the product, the disinfection product that we’re using That’s not really the important thing You can go to the CDC website and find CDC approved disinfectants for COVID-19 And there’s a list of hundreds of things including white vinegar, everything on there, they have Lysol on there It’s not the product It’s the process that makes it effective in the processes that we use an ultra low volume sprayer, which is also commonly called a fogger A fog machine Okay, we put our disinfectant or mold killing or virus killing all in one product into that machine And we go through and the fog projects eight feet from the nozzle and it expands as it’s projecting from the nozzle so it fills in all the nooks and crannies places that we can’t reach to disinfect And we go through and we do a light fogging and it’s safe for plants and it’s safe for electronics and computers like that But it can it can cover surface area, so Quickly whereas going in by hand, it would take us
hours to clean everything by hand in a fog machine can do it in minutes Right And that’s what that’s what we were seeing coming out of the, the images we were seeing coming out of China Right as the outbreak hit the US guys in massive hazmat suits, with the foggers going along like the subway and that kind of thing That’s kind of what you’re talking about Correct I don’t know why they’d be doing that outside I saw that video Was it? Were they outside in the streets? Yeah, there was there was like, a whole bunch of them was almost like the army walking down the street You know, hitting cars just, I don’t we don’t do things like China I can say that That was the other bizarre video that came out from one of those countries I might have been trying to I can’t recall My wife showed it to me was kids waiting in line to enter the school building And there were guys in Tyvek suits with full face respirators on with the fog machine and they made each kid walk through the fog They’re fogging the children who weren’t wearing masks I guess it was a whole hoped, I hope they were told to hold their breath Wow I can’t believe it I mean, yeah, there’s a lot of nonsense So, so it’s the fogging process And then the other thing that we offer that we do alongside is called touch points surface disinfection So while one of us is fogging, the other one is going through with a rag with the same disinfectant on that rag and identifying doorknobs and countertops, desktops filing cabinet handles, armchairs, our chair armrests But anywhere there’s a point of contact, it sounds like Yeah, yeah So that’s really that’s really it I don’t know that there’s going to be a huge market I was prepared to take on a lot of COVID disinfection jobs, but I, I have this instinct that says there’s not going to be a big market and a lot of money being spent on this A lot of businesses and buildings are handling it in house They’re smart enough to know they looked at the CDC website, we can use we can use our Lysol guys, we just need one of you to do it Setting up systems to handle the disinfection in house Which leads me back to if there’s been an outbreak in a building I think that’s where you’re gonna see these big jobs Right Okay, that makes sense Yeah, we’ve kind of got a system here in our office And I’m the guy that does it I’m just that guy You know what I mean? So I just go through clean everything And I’ve been doing that Since this all went down, and it’s not that hard It’s just you got to get in there and do it You got to get in there and do it right Yeah Yep Crazy. was back I know you are a super busy guy and you’ve got other stuff to move on to but before we go, I wanted to find out where people can get ahold of you if you are in the Columbus Ohio area, and you need some mold help identifying it or remediation What are some places people can find you Zack? My website is mold mentor consultants dot com that’s consultants is plural It’s got an S on the enrollment or consultants Okay Okay, that will take you to my phone number that will link you to our Facebook page And our Instagram page That’s that’s the best starting point right there Okay And if people want some information just on mold in general, just head to your web website, correct? Yeah, for sure Absolutely head to the website, look at the blog, shoot me an email I’m happy to respond and help people Heck, if you’re in Seattle, and you want to call me Go for it, and I’ll return your phone call Excellent Well, thank you so much, Zack, really appreciate having you on the podcast here I hope your business goes well And you get to that point where you can have an employee or maybe two or five, who knows I mean, that’s how small business goes And if you’re picking up podcasts and you’re getting some social media out there, you you know, you’re going to get exposure, so keep doing what you’re doing And we’ll we’ll follow you online And awesome, Shawn Appreciate it Thank you You bet All right, Zack Well, thanks so much I’m gonna sign off Thanks again for being on the podcast appreciated you so much Once again, I’m Sean Reynolds from Summit Properties NW Northwest Reynolds &. Kline Appraisal today having Mr. Zack Duffy of the mold mentors company There we go If you’re watching this on YouTube, you got a mold mentor shot right here at the end Thanks again, Zack We’ll catch you in the next one All right, take care You too Bye Don’t forget to subscribe to our channel and hit the notification bell so you’ll know when our next video is out