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Read the January 2019 Issue of The Informer

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January 2019
President’s MessageWelcome to 2019 from the Maine Indoor Air Quality Council! Our Board of Directors, staff, and member volunteers have been working hard to plan a year that will provide you with the tools and skills you need to create healthy, productive, and environmentally sustainable indoor environments. 
What can you look forward to?At least two more radon in air mitigations in low income Maine homes, thanks to one of our most successful Indoor Insanity 5k events ever.A full Residential Construction Training series, providing residential professionals of all types with a solid understanding of high performance design and construction in cold wet climates.Exploration of new audiences, with specific focus on real estate professionals and commercial construction professionals.Participation in Maine’s policy arena to ensure healthy indoor spaces where Maine citizens live, work, play, and learn.More opportunities to network with other like-minded professionals.Deeper collaboration with other nonprofits with similar goals and mission for health and the built environment.And of course, our signature event, the IAQ & Energy Conference now scheduled for the Fall.It’s going to be a great 2019, and we look forward to your continued interest and participation in our efforts.Ted Small, Esq.
President
Maine Indoor Air Quality Council
Feature: New MIAQC Guidance Document Now Available – Recommendations for Addressing Mold & Dampness Problems in Rental Properties
 Article contributed by MIAQC Executive Director, Christine G. Crocker

The Maine Indoor Air Quality Council receives hundreds of calls from members of the public with questions about mold. The vast majority come from tenants in rental properties. The sheer volume of calls, and the concern that both landlords and tenants needed some help to better address these issues, caused the Council to take action last year.In September, 2018, the Council convened an interdisciplinary group of professionals– representing landlord, tenant, medical, public health, codes, and assessment and remediation communities– to look at the issue. The outcome of this effort? A solid set of recommendations for best practice procedures to address moisture problems in rental properties. 
The recommendations provide some brief introductory statements about mold–the relationship between mold and moisture, mold’s impact on human health, strategies for assessment and cleanup, as well as links to more comprehensive resources. The meat of the document, however, is a set of specific actions and timelines for both parties–landlords and tenants– to implement to protect occupant health and minimize landlord property and financial loss. It affirms the shared responsibility of landlords and tenants to work collaboratively to identify and rectify mold and dampness problems in units.The recommendations provide guidance for both liquid water events (which are deemed to be emergency situations) and management of visible mold or mold odors. To help put things in perspective, the guidance has a companion spreadsheet identifying common areas of mold growth in buildings, and some general costs for remediating them.The Healthy Housing Summit team is now working actively to distribute the guidance to those who need it most. We encourage you to access the document at our website, and circulate it to those who can use it. Let us know what you think, too, by taking the brief survey linked in the first paragraph of the guidance.
Read our Recommendation for Dealing with a Mold/Moisture Problem in Rental Properties
Feature: Value Engineering – Where Energy Efficiency & IAQ Can Part Ways
 This article was contributed by Barry Stephens, East Coast Regional Sales Manager for Ventacity Systems, Inc. Barry is a member of the Board of Directors for the Maine Indoor Air Quality Council and resides in Scarborough, ME.
Just as the Indoor Air Quality Conference has transitioned to be the Indoor Air Quality and Energy Conference, energy efficiency and indoor air quality have become very intertwined when planning both new buildings and the retrofitting of existing buildings. This is for good reason. When you tighten a building’s envelope and potentially reduce air exchanges to achieve energy efficiency, there is definitely a possibility of negatively impacting the IAQ and health of that building. There are plenty of cases where this has happened.Having worked with many, many projects that have been focused on energy efficiency as their primary goal, I have seen both good and poor outcomes with respect to IAQ. Many times, there is a plan in place to achieve both very high energy efficiency, and good IAQ. And yet the end result falls short, and usually at the expense of IAQ and health of the building and its occupants. And in many cases, this is the result of good old fashioned value engineering.Read more… 
Would you like to contribute a feature article to an upcoming newsletter? Contact Christy Crocker, MIAQC Executive Director, with your ideas. christy@maineindoorair.org
IAQ Stuff to Do
2019 Residential Construction TrainingsA four-program training series with optional certification. Credits and certification available.Starts January 25, 2019
Learn More Better Buildings by Design
February 6-7, 2019
South Burlington, VTA design and construction conference on building durability, efficiency, and value for both residential and commercial projects.Learn More Building Energy Conference
March 14-15, 2019
Boston, MALearn More
IAQ & The Real Estate DealA comprehensive look at IAQ issues in real estate transactions.April 8, 2019
Augusta, MaineLearn More How to Do IAQ: Containment
The next installment in our “How to Do IAQ” education program series. Learn why installation of containment during projects is so important, plus hands-on activity to learn how to construct proper containment to protect the building occupants.
Date (either May 7 or May 8) in Augusta, Maine. Details will be posted when available. IAQ & Energy 2019
October 31 – November 1, 2019
Holiday Inn by the Bay – Portland, METHE signature event of MIAQC. Design, construction, operations, maintenance, assessment, remediation, policy, health, and more.Learn More
Reminder…the Best Deals Go to MembersJust a reminder that the best deals always go to MIAQC Members. Renew your membership today.
– – Advertisement – –
Would you like to advertise in this quarterly newsletter? Our distribution goes to more than 16,000 professionals in Maine, and around the country, with a solid open rate. Contact the MIAQC office at 207-626-8115 to secure your ad placement in our next issue.
Presentation Applications Now Being Accepted.October 31-November 1, 2019
Holiday Inn by the Bay
Portland, MaineLearn More
Out and About with MIAQCWe don’t sit around! What’s MIAQC been up to lately?
In October 2018, the Maine Indoor Air Quality Council partnered with the NH Chapter of IAQA to jointly host a seminar on Risk Communication of IAQ Problems. Mike McGuinness, one of the Main Stage presenters at our May 2018 IAQ & Energy Conference, came back to Maine to present to audiences in both Maine and New Hampshire.***In early November, MIAQC staff attended the PassivhausMAINE fall forum. So many wonderful connections between these two great little organizations. We look forward to many years of deepened collaboration.***
MIAQC Executive Director Christy Crocker and Board member Roland Adams visited with representatives of the Environmental Health Strategies Center to explore opportunities for collaboration between the two groups. One possible outcome: development of a consortium of organizations interested in environmental health concerns. Stay tuned.***MIAQC participated in #GivingTuesday again in 2018, a global initiative focused on giving, rather than getting. We managed to raise another $600 to support our radon mitigation fund, which is used to pay for fixing radon problems in low-income Maine homes. It’s not too late to donate, the donation portal is still open. Donate HERE.***In mid-December, the Maine Indoor Air Quality Council hosted a half-day seminar on Building Automation Systems in Large Buildings. The program was held in both Portland and Bangor, Maine, and provided attendees with strategies to implement the latest technology in their buildings to maximize both energy-efficiency and healthy IAQ. Thank you to Avish Bhalani of Distech; David Clay from Mechanical Services; and Roger Parks from Maine Controls for their donation of time and energy to prepare for and present these sessions.***
On January 13, 2019, 100 runners, walkers, and volunteers participated in the 2019 Indoor Insanity 5k. We raised another $3000+ for our radon mitigation fund. See the photo album on facebook!Get Involved!Contact MIAQC Executive Director Christy Crocker to find out how you can participate in and support the work of the Maine Indoor Air Quality Council: 
207-626-8115; christy@maineindoorair.org.
Call of the Month – When, (or not) to TestThe Maine Indoor Air Quality Council receives hundreds of calls each year from homeowners, tenants, employers, building managers and others with questions about indoor environments.One of the most common questions we get here at the Maine Indoor Air Quality Council is where to find professionals to conduct a mold test. The following is an excellent example of the challenges this question can raise.In December, we received a call from a local Maine church, asking where they could go to get an air quality test in their building. The roof over their boiler room had a leak, and active mold growth was visible on the ceiling. The boiler room was an addition to their main building, and had minimal human traffic on any given day.When we get this mold testing question, it is necessary to spend some time educating callers on basic mold facts. We don’t live in a mold-free environment. Mold needs moisture in order to grow. When trying to fix a mold issue, first fix the moisture issue. Only then do proper clean-up and building repair. Keep area clean and dry for the future.Like many faith-based organizations, the caller’s financial resources for building repair and maintenance were limited. In this case, because there was visible mold growth AND a clear moisture problem needing repair, we advised this caller to delay testing, recommending instead to allocate their precious financial resources towards fixing the moisture problem and cleanup/repair of the area.Despite our efforts to convey concern that the liquid water leak in the ceiling should be their first priority, the caller was adamant they wanted to test, if only to prove to their congregation there was no health issue. This triggered a whole other discussion of mold and health, how and when testing is best done, what test results will look like, what the results can and can’t prove, and how the end recommendation even after testing will be the same: fix the leak, and do proper clean-up and repair.And, of course, we graciously pointed the caller in the right direction of available professionals to conduct their mold test.Sigh… You can’t win them all.Continue the Conversation! View and comment on this posting on our LinkedIn discussion group page.
Interesting Reading and Viewing…
Watch Dr. John Straube Discuss the Key Factors of Airtightness – free education videoIAQ Radio – Highlights of the Fall 2018 Healthy Building SummitThe Carbon Footprint of CementWhat we’ll learn from a house inside a house…Green & Healthy Maine Homes MagazineHealthy Indoors Magazine
Have some interesting reading to share? Send it to MIAQC Executive Director Christy Crocker and we’ll post in the next Informer Newsletter in April 2019.
A Picture is Worth 1,000 Words…
 Photo of a clogged ventilation screen resulting in reduced air flow by more than 50%.Photo contributed by MIAQC Board member Barry Stephens
 Smiles all around at the 2019 Indoor Insanity 5k.From left to right: MIAQC Board member Steve Caulfield, MIAQC member Bill Turner, and sponsor Heather Farrell (from TC Hafford Basement Systems)See more 2019 Indoor Insanity 5k photos.Image submitted by MIAQC Executive Director, Christine Crocker
Do you have an interesting photo to share? Send it to christy@maineindoorair.org for inclusion in our next issue!
Welcome to our newest partner!
The Maine Indoor Air Quality Council is pleased to report that EnviroVantage has come on board as a partner with the Maine Indoor Air Quality Council! Centrally located in Epping, NH, EnviroVantage is an award winning, full service Environmental & Specialty Services Contractor serving New England and beyond. EnviroVantage is expanding, and recently opened an office in Westbrook, Maine!EnviroVantage specializes in services such as asbestos abatement, lead paint removal, mold remediation, PCBs removal, demolition, duct work, decontamination, disaster recovery, historical restoration, and environmental clean-up.The Council looks forward to working with EnviroVantage in the coming years to achieve our mutual missions for healthy, productive indoor environments.
Our Council Partners:
  
 
Support MIAQC!Support the Maine Indoor Air Quality Council each time you shop on Amazon. Start at www.smile.amazon.com.Contact MIAQC Executive Director Christy Crocker to find out how you can participate in and support the work of the Maine Indoor Air Quality Council: 207-626-8115christy@maineindoorair.org