Interview: Mold Remediation with Michael Rubino

Join us as we tackle all things remediation in our interview with Co-Founder and President of Change the Air Foundation, Michael Rubino!

We discuss where things go right and where things go wrong when it comes to remediating your home or building. This episode is packed full of helpful information that will empower you as you hire and vet a good remediation company.

In this episode, we discuss:

  • If someone sees or suspects mold or water damage, why might their first call be to an Indoor Environmental Professional (I.E.P.) instead of a mold remediation company? (0:43)

  • Why shouldn’t you “kill” mold and why you might want to think twice about using that bottle of bleach? (2:04)

  • What does it take to become a mold remediator and why are there so many inconsistencies between remediation practices? Are there minimum certifications, training organizations, or standards? (3:22)

  • What are the basic remediation steps (containment, air pressure, demolition, cleaning, etc.)? (4:52)

    • Containment and Pressure (5:08)

    • Proper PPE (8:18)

    • Abrasive measures inside containment and why mold is like a weed (10:51)

    •  Avoiding harsh chemicals, encapsulates, and paints (11:40)

    • Cleaning after removal & understanding particles vs. organisms (13:10)

  • What role does the HVAC system play in a remediation project? (15:53)

    • Prevention and maintenance tips for your HVAC (18:57)

  • What makes remediation successful? Why does it seem like remediation often fails? (20:42)

  • What role does pre and post testing play in a remediation project? (23:01)

    • What constitutes a “pass” or “fail” for post remediation testing?  (25:01)

  • How might a renter approach a remediation situation differently? (30:08)

  • What are some key questions we should be asking when we vet remediation companies? (35:48)

  • What things should always be included in a remediation contract? (41:26)

  • What are some key prevention strategies Mike uses to keep his own home free from mold? (45:42)

- Episode Spotlight -

What does it take to become a mold remediator?

The answer may surprise you! The truth of the matter is mold remediation is not very regulated in the United States. According to Michael Rubino, in some states “I can own a Verizon Wireless store one day and become a mold remediator in three days after that. So that’s part of the problem.”

Remediation is a bit like the Wild West. If you were counting on the remediation company you hired to have obtained certain certifications or be required to follow a certain set of standards, think again! Further, there are currently no standards for acceptable levels of mold set by government health or environmental agencies. 

There are a lot of practices that pass as “remediation” that don’t fully address the core problem, which has the potential to be unsafe for you and your family. 

Remember, mold remediation is not about killing, fogging, or painting over mold and water damage. 

It is about removing mold, water damage, and any other contamination safely so the home can return to having a healthy indoor environment.

At Change the Air Foundation, we want to connect you with accurate and research-based information so you can feel empowered when talking with professionals and making life-changing decisions for you and your family.  

To learn more about mold remediation laws and policies in your state, visit our Policy & Advocacy page at