Tuesday, August 1, 2006
Carmel on the Case: Mold Law
Mold contamination is all too common in South Florida. But depending on who you hire, getting your home clean is a crap shoot. In tonight's Carmel On The Case, investigative reporter Carmel Cafiero shows us why the state may finally require remediation companies to get a license.
WSVN--For those of us still dealing with roof damage caused by last year's hurricanes - this year's rainy season has spelled still more misery.
And with the moisture comes mold.
Finding the right company to clean up mold can be even more difficult than finding the right roofer - because there are no licensing requirements.
Dave Deptula: "You lose your house. You lose your possessions and you lose your health. You can't get that back."
Dave Deptula says he and his family were forced to abandon their Boynton Beach dream home after a mold remediation job went bad.
Instead of clean air - Deptula says his family spent months breathing in air contaminated by toxic molds.
As a result he says - all of them have been very sick - for years.
Dave Deptula: "They didn't clean up the mold, they didn't resolve the problems with the sources of the mold and unfortunately that's when we lost the house for good."
When experts did go into the Deptula home after he filed a lawsuit - this is how they dressed - in full haz-mat protective gear.
The case could go to trial early next year but in the meantime, Dave has become an advocate of licensing mold remediation companies.
Dave Deptula: "Why did people have to be so careless? Why don't people go out there and learn and do things right."
Dealing with mold can be very tricky and dangerous for people who are sensitive.
There's the mold you can see and then there's the microscopic particles you can't see.
Sal Dellutri: "It's what you can't see that hurts you the most."
Sal Dellutri started out cleaning up cancer causing asbestos - now he specializes in mold as well.
When the Broward School District had a multimillion dollar mold problem - it turned to sal's company to clean it up.
Sal also thinks mold remediators need to be licensed - and insured.
Sal Dellutri: "If the problem is not contained and you do it with improper procedures, you can contaminate the whole house or the entire building or whatever you are in - so you can make it worse then what it was."
So far the state has not been able to enact a law to regulate the industry.
But State Senator Dave Aronberg says he and his colleagues recognize the need.
State Senator Dave Aronberg: "It's really a roll of the dice who you get because the people right now holding themselves out as mold remediators don't have to go through any training or education."
The American Indoor Air Quality Association is also working for a Florida Law.
Maurice Baum: "You are dealing with somebody's life and a lot of the science today that we look at says yes - mold causes allergies."
Dave Deptula says his family is a living and suffering example of that fact.
And that's why - despite a debilitating disease - he's been working to get a mold licensing law for the last two years.
Dave Deptula: "I'll assist with every last breath I have. I will assist anybody possible to get this legislation to go through."
Carmel Cafiero: "The third time may be a charm. Senator Aronberg believes lawmakers will be able to come up with a licensing bill at the next session. Meanwhile - when it comes to dealing with mold remediation - make sure a company has some industry certification - experience - and insurance."
If You Have A Story For Carmel:
Call her in Dade at 305-627-CLUE
Or in Broward at 954-921-CLUE