The Informer – October 2018

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October 2018
President’s Message

MIAQC recently hosted a Healthy Housing Summit, which brought together property owners, tenant representatives, codes officials, and health professionals to seek better ways to address mold problems in rental properties. Despite the fact that attendees have interests that at times conflict, we were able to find common ground. This is still a work in progress, but we are taking our first steps together towards developing solutions that would benefit everyone involved.


Serving as the convener of disparate groups is a role that the Maine Indoor Air Quality Council loves to play–one which emphasizes the diversity of our organization. Unlike other trade groups, the Council represents a broad spectrum of professionals – from engineers and architects, to industrial hygienists, building inspectors, codes officials, public health professionals, attorneys, insurance representatives, real estate agents–the list goes on and on. It’s remarkable how many different types of people and professionals play a role in creating healthy, environmentally sustainable indoor environments. And we are pleased to provide a professional development and networking home for all of them.

I wish you all a warm and healthy winter!

Ted Small, Esq.
Maine Indoor Air Quality Council

Feature: Spray Foam – Part Two

Assuring Quality Spray Foam for Builders


This article is a follow-up to an article published in the July issue of The Informer, and was contributed by Henri Fennell, a building envelope specialist and architect from North Thetford, VT. Henri has over forty years of experience in energy conservation design, products, and services, and was one of the featured presenters at our recent IAQ & Energy 2018 Conference. We encourage Informer readers to visit Henri’s website for more information and resources on spray foam installations. www.polyurethanefoamconsulting.com. Videos of Henri’s presentations at IAQ & Energy are available at www.iaqandenergy.com.

When I was first asked to write this article my first thought was: why would anyone want an article about the recent increase in foam failures, or, as I would put it, “problems” in projects that include spray foam insulation? As one building science expert who inspects building envelope failures stated, “I’ve seen more foam failures in the last two years than I have seen in the last 25.” The general answer to why this is occurring is that the use of foam has increased significantly in the last 5 to 6 years, and many new contractors are entering the industry to supply the need this has generated. Unfortunately, the old model of new installers coming from established installation companies who have trained their technicians is no longer the norm. Now, anyone who can buy the equipment and the chemical is a “qualified” installer, and the threshold for contracting with an installer is no longer quality based, but only requires the lowest bid, regardless of the qualifications or experience the installer has. Many of these foam problems lead to occupant health issues. Most of these issues are indoor air quality problems, caused by outgassing from misapplied foam.

Read More…

Feature: Tips for Building a Healthy, Energy-Efficient Home


The following recommendations are excerpted from the Maine Indoor Air Quality Council’s full “Checklist for New Residential Construction”, which is available for free here. The Council presented this content as an education session during an education session on September 21st at the Common Ground Country Fair in Unity, ME.

Building a new home is a big, complex project. This article highlights the most critical construction tasks that MUST be followed to ensure you end up with a new home that is both healthy for you and your family to live in, as well as energy-efficient. Many of these recommendations can only be done at the point of new construction, or are significantly less expensive to do up front rather than after the home is finished. The added cost of many provisions will save the homeowner in the long run—in reduced energy consumption, reduced maintenance cost, and increased health and productivity.

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


CSI Maine Tour and Presentation of New Bangor Savings Bank Facility

Tour the facility and learn about the building’s construction process.

Thursday, October 11
4:30 – 8:00 p.m.


Risk Communication & Conflict Resolution Seminar

Don’t let your next mold (or other problem) become the next newspaper headline.

10/15/18 – Manchester NH

10/16/18 – Augusta, ME


Healthy Building Summit

IEQ Remediation & Restoration: Research to Practice

October 25-27
7 Springs Resort – PA


passivhausMAINE Fall Forum

DERS – EnerPHit and Schools and Academic Institutions’ compelling stories of sustainability and resilience of passive house structures.

11/1-3/2018 – Portland, ME


A global day of giving, not getting. Help MIAQC prevent lung cancer – donate to support radon mitigations in low-income Maine homes.


Building Automation Systems – How to Get Your Building to Work for You

Sift through the many possibilities and options to identify systems that have potential for your projects.

December date TBA


2019 Indoor Insanity 5k

Help us prevent lung cancer in Maine – one lap at a time. Who knew running in circles was so much fun?

Sunday, January 13, 2019/
University of Southern ME


2019 Residential Construction Trainings

A four-program training series with optional certification.

Winter 2019 dates TBA

Learn More

IAQ & The Real Estate Deal

A comprehensive look at IAQ issues in real estate transactions.

April 8, 2019
Augusta, Maine

Learn More

– – 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.


Mark your calendars for the 2019 Conference. We’re moving to the Fall!

October 31-November 1, 2019
Holiday Inn by the Bay
Portland, Maine

Learn More

Out and About with MIAQC

We don’t sit around! What’s MIAQC been up to lately?

On July 25, MIAQC Executive Director Christy Crocker participated in the filming of a video to be used for community education on radon. The video is being produced by the Maine Lung Cancer Coalition and should be ready later this Fall. We will provide the link to the video in our next newsletter in January 2019.


Council Executive Director Christy Crocker and MIAQC member Kris Anderson adapted Kris’ July 2018 newsletter article on inspecting a home or rental property for IAQ before buying or signing the lease for publication in the September issue of the Green & Healthy Maine Homes magazine. You can subscribe to the magazine HERE.


On September 21-23, 2018, the Maine Indoor Air Quality Council had a booth at the Common Ground Fair in Unity. Thank you to all the MIAQC members who stopped by to say hello. A huge thank you, too, to our volunteers extraordinaire: Marissa Charette, Tom Caron, Don Newell, Steve & Alison Caulfield, Jay Otis, and Jon Levenseler. We gave out more than 40 radon in air and water test kits, gave a presentation on tips for new home construction, handed out hundreds of fact sheets for healthy home strategies, and talked to dozens of fairgoers about ways to make their homes both healthy and energy-efficient. We’ll be there again next year for sure!


On September 25, 2018 in Augusta, the Maine Indoor Air Quality Council convened a diverse group of landlords, tenants, codes officials, local health officers, mold assessment/remediation professionals, legal advocates, policy professionals, and MIAQC representatives for a full day Summit on Mold and Moisture Problems in Maine Rental Properties. What an amazing day we had learning about best practices for mold assessment, remediation and the impact mold has on human health, and tackling the thorny issue of how to handle mold and moisture problems in rental properties in ways that benefit tenants and landlords alike.

In the coming months, the group will be fine-tuning some guidance on best practice processes that identify both landlord and tenant responsibilities when these issues occur. Once a final draft of the guidance is completed, the group will be publishing, educating, and implementing the guidance.

We hope to share the guidance with The Informer readership in the January 2019 issue.


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.


A photo of MIAQC Presidents – past and current. Back row left to right: Kurt Johnson, Dennis Kingman, Ted Small (current President). Front Row: Brant Miller, Desi-Rae Severson.


Did you miss the May IAQ & Energy 2018 Conference? Presentation Videos Available!

If you missed the IAQ & Energy 2018 Conference in May, you didn’t miss the opportunity to learn from our amazing local, regional, and national presenters. Thanks to our partnership with Healthy Indoors Magazine, almost all the sessions at IAQ & Energy were captured on audio/video and will be available by mid-July for viewing.

Check out the IAQ & Energy video content at:



Landlords, tenant representatives, public health officials, codes officials, and MIAQC leadership at the September 25th Healthy Housing Summit on Mold & Moisture Problems in Rental Properties.

Call of the Month – an Appeal for Help

The Maine Indoor Air Quality Council receives hundreds of calls each year from homeowners, tenants, employers, building managers and others with questions about indoor environments.

In July and August 2018, the Maine Indoor Air Quality Council received 54 phone calls from building owners, occupants, and managers about mold concerns in their homes, rental units, and workplaces. This is not a surprise: Maine summers are famous for being hazy, hot and humid, and 2018 was no exception.

The MIAQC Executive Director tries to keep on top of calls from the public as they come in. Sadly, during the summer months when staff isn’t working as many hours, the response time for these calls can be days, or in some cases, weeks.

We firmly believe answering questions from the public is a critical part of our mission, yet it is one of the most difficult to achieve. If you are a reader The Informer newsletter and would like to donate some time to answer IAQ calls from members of the public, we would be incredibly grateful.

Contact MIAQC Executive Director Christy Crocker if you can help: 207-626-8115christy@maineindoorair.org.

Continue the Conversation! View and comment on this posting on our LinkedIn discussion group page.

Interesting Reading…

Article: Cooking, Dusting & Vacuuming: Daily Activities Impact Indoor Pollution Levels

An interesting project from passivhausMAINE

Green & Healthy Maine Homes Magazine

Healthy 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 January 2018.

A Picture is Worth 1,000 Words…


Photo of the interior of a heating duct in a Maine home.


Photo contributed by MIAQC member Tom Caron.


An overlay of a thermal image from last winter projected back onto the front of Mechanics Hall in Portland, Maine. The projection created a life-size representation of the building’s winter heat loss.

Image submitted by passivhausMAINE.


Another thermal image of Congress Street in Portland.

Image contributed by passivhausMAINE.


Found in the bathroom of a personal residence in New Hampshire.

Can $1.99 really solve all one’s problems?

Photo contributed by MIAQC Executive Director, Christy Crocker

Do you have an interesting photo to share? Send it to christy@maineindoorair.org for inclusion in our next issue!

Reminder…the Best Deals Go to Members

Just a reminder that the best deals always go to MIAQC Members. Renew your membership today.

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.

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