John P. Lapotaire, CIEC – New IAQA President & Owner IAQ Solutions – IAQA, Florida’s Mold Regulation & IEQ Investigations

Air Date: 7-8-2016| Episode: 421

This week on IAQ Radio we welcome John Lapotaire who just last month became President of the Indoor Air Quality Association (IAQA). IAQA has had its ups and downs recently and we look forward to hearing from him about the strategic vision for the future…

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This week on IAQ Radio we welcome John Lapotaire who just last month became President of the Indoor Air Quality Association (IAQA). IAQA has had its ups and downs recently and we look forward to hearing from him about the strategic vision for the future. We also want to hear more about his thoughts on Florida’s mold licensing program and the state of the IAQ and mold industry in general. John has an outspoken opinions on these and other issues we look forward to the interview.

John, together with his wife Lydia, have owned and operated Orlando, Florida based Indoor Air Quality Solutions, since 2001. John is a Building Envelope & Indoor Environment Consultant specializing in building product failure investigations, forensic water intrusion investigations, and building envelope failure investigations for commercial and residential structures. John and his wife Lydia also provide indoor environmental assessments and mold & odor investigations.

John has presented to many professional organizations on subjects that include Spray Polyurethane Foam Insulation, Building Envelope Failures Investigations, Indoor Environmental Assessments, Green Building and IAQ, LEED Buildings and IAQ, and Reducing VOC’s in New Construction. In addition to being the new IAQA President, John has volunteered on committees for the AIHA, NAHB, USGBC, ACAC and NADCA. LEARN MORE this week on IAQ Radio!

Z-Man’s Blog:

“If you’re not a member, become a member”
John Lapotaire and his wife Lydia have owned and operated Indoor Air Quality Solutions an Orlando, FL based inspection and consulting business since 2001. John who has been an active industry volunteer is the new president of the Indoor Air Quality Association
Nuggets mined from today’s broadcast:
IAQA Update: “IAQA is dedicated to bringing practitioners together to prevent and solve indoor environmental problems for the benefit of customers and the public.” The 5 Pillars of Engagement include: Member Engagement, Communication and Connection, Education, Operational Excellence, and Collaboration.
Like many other organizations, the recession had an adverse impact on IAQA’s membership and finances.
IAQA is an independent affiliate of ASHRAE. (IAQA has its own executive director & board of directors, maintains its own brand and files its own tax return). Very complimentary on the efforts of the transition team. Benefits of the affiliation include membership growth, support with strategic planning. Downside of the affiliation: due to inadequate communication some members felt IAQA was swallowed up by ASHRAE.
Associations need revenue in order to provide and improve member services.
IAQA plans to have regional events.
Improving member communication with a new online publication.
John’s Big Goal is to expand IAQA’s educational offerings.
Florida Mold Regulation: The state had a lofty goal to protect Floridians from being taken advantage of by conmen and inferior contractors. There are: background check, training, continuing education and insurance requirements. The state has a website where it keeps track of customer complaints against licensed contractors. (Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation: )Licensing has been a mixed bag as loopholes within the regulations have been found and are being exploited. While there is a “direct supervision” requirement in the Mold Assessor regulation, the supervision can be done remotely. There is no direct supervision requirement in the remediation regulation.
John is very critical of Florida mold Assessors who are unaware of ASTM D7338 – 14 Standard Guide for Assessment Of Fungal Growth in Buildings, who only spend a few minutes on site taking an air sample, label their results as Indoor Air Quality Reports which include elaborate disclaimers that were not previously disclosed.
Spore Traps & Assessment: Opines that spore trap sampling is over used and misused. Spore trap samples are unreliable, not reproducible, are not representative of the indoor environment, only a snap shot and not worth the cost.
John suggests inspectors leave their air samplers and thermal imaging cameras in the truck. John labels one of his firm’s inspection work products an “IAQ & Building Envelope Assessment”, which determines whether or not the home is contributing to occupant health problems? Prior to inspection he provides homeowner with instructions for shutting down various systems to “put home at rest”. He begins his inspections on the exterior of the property looks for potential rodent and insect entry points, observes roof transition points, evidence of building envelope failures, etc. Interior inspection: look under every window, inspect plumbing, interior at all roof transitions, checks for water staining under carpet, etc.
Thermal imaging often misses moisture behind foil insulation. He uses a particle counter, measures air and surface temperature, RH, VOCs, combustion gases, etc. He takes reading while the home is “at rest” and then activates the HVAC and other systems and takes comparative readings.
He often finds that depending on location the HVAC system is drawing in particulate and debris. John opines the worst 3 places to locate the HVAC air handler are: garage, attic, crawl space.
Using aluminum tape to seal crevices in the HVAC system results in rapid improvement of particle counts. Cladosporium fungi commonly colonizes in air handlers in Florida.
Determine where the problems are. Provide specs to correct the problems. Determine the extent of damage and then repair. His process is cost effective often 1/3 the cost mold remediators expect.
PRV: ASTM is working on a Post Remediation Verification standard. Johns expects raw count in single digits, if and when 1 or 2 Stachy show up in the PRV air sample he tells the customer “not to worry because they have caught them” and more will come with the introduction of drywall. He seeks to corroborate containment will not adversely affect uncontaminated areas when removed.
John’s final comments:
Get the word out on ASTM D7338 – 14 Standard Guide for Assessment Of Fungal Growth in Buildings.
Concerns about outdoor air supply.
Glad that ventilation rates are being discussed. Ventilation rates should be adjusted for occupancy.
Effect of tightly sealed homes on IAQ.
Green building product myths, if there are no VOCs let’s crack the lid and check with a hand held VOC monitor. Low VOC products only benefit installers not occupants.
If you’re not an IAQA member become and IAQA member.
Today’s Music:
Big Bad John by Jimmy Dean – YouTube
Z-Man signing off
Radon is a dangerous indoor air pollutant. What is the half-life of its most stable proton?
3.8 days