We celebrate Irish Heritage with St. Patrick’s Day in America.

This holiday is known for three leaf clovers, leprechauns, wearing green to avoid being pinched, consuming green drinks, Irish ale…AND the concept of “Blarney” which you’ll see as you read further relates to what to watch out for in the mold industry.


“The modern celebration of St. Patrick’s Day really has almost nothing to do with the real man,” said classics professor Philip Freeman of Luther College in Iowa.

Who was the Man Behind St. Patrick’s Day?

He was a real historical character who lived in the 5th Century.  St. Patrick was actually born in Britain and was sent to Ireland as a slave.  Regarded as the patron saint of Ireland, among other accomplishments, legend has it that St. Patrick drove the all the snakes out of Ireland.  While there are no native snakes in Ireland, the fact according to Freeman is:

“It’s true no snakes exist on the island today.  But they never did. Ireland, after all, is surrounded by icy ocean waters —much too cold to allow snakes to migrate from Britain or anywhere else.”

This story reminds me (metaphorically) of the snakes in the mold business.  There are snakes-a-plenty!

I thought I’d use this opportunity to point out a few examples of “mold blarney” that I’ve run across, so you’ll know to keep an eye out for them:

      • A mold remediator tried to charge two different clients $20,000 for their respective mold jobs.  Each job was completed by another high-quality company for around $8000. GOLD TIP: Do your research and comparisons based on quality, specialization and costs.
      •  An insurance company sent a company to do mold remediation that didn’t have a contractor’s license or a mold remediation certification. They botched the job and contaminated the house with airborne mold spores.  The homeowner sued the insurance company and obtained a settlement. GOLD TIP: Be sure to verify a contractor’s license and get solid references when hiring one yourself or going through an insurance company!
      • A TV consumer news program collected videos of several mold remediators telling people that they needed to rip out an entire bathroom – no inspection needed!  The “mold” they were shown by the “homeowner” (played by an actress) was actually eye mascara.
        GOLD TIP: If you sense something isn’t right, get a second opinion.Bottom line, I could inundate you with stories, yet you’re smart enough to get the point I’m making here. The mold business often uses scare tactics. Some dishonest people in the business will prey on uninformed consumers.  That being said, there are also experienced and honest people out there too.

With my many years of experience in the mold and indoor air quality field, I’ve become a bit of a watch-dog and an Advocate, and those of you that have worked with me know I’m not an alarmist.

My intention is to educate, inform and be factual so you’ll know the difference and what kind of “blarney” to keep a look out for.

Please share an experience you’ve had or a question you have below. I’ll comment back to you!