In the wet Pacific Northwest and in an age of indoor work and play, the battle against indoor mold seems unending.
MoldEaters recently joined that fight in Vancouver, hitting mold at its source with natural, enzyme-based products.
Its parent company, Root’s Inc., is a Battle Ground-based business started in industrial floor coating in 1993. Root’s Inc. expanded into the remodeling business in early 2007 before developing MoldEaters as a separate LLC in June 2007. Root’s Inc. has 12 full-time and two part-time employees.
Combined sales for the companies were just over $1.1 million in 2007 and Root’s Inc.’s president Rob Root plans to double that in 2008.
MoldEaters expects to see its first profits this month. Business was “very slow for quite a few months,” Rob Root said, but marketing and a new website are turning that around.
Brant Rude and Rick Root work full-time with MoldEaters as general and operations managers, respectively. Todd Olson is its part-time systems manager. They combine Rude and Olson’s construction and remodeling experience with Rick Root’s science background when inspecting and treating buildings. All three are certified as moisture management professionals and environmental mold remediators.
Rude co-owns MoldEaters with Todd Olson, Kim Root, Rob Root and Wayne Tyler, who work full-time for Root’s Inc.
“Together we can produce something we can’t by ourselves,” Olson said. “All the weak links are covered.”
Mold issues are often linked to construction issues, according to Rob Root. He said that’s partly because construction happens so quickly these days. Damp materials are often used before they can dry out, and air-tight walls make it hard for moisture to escape.
All molds are allergenic, according to Rick Root, who was a science teacher for 28 years. It is also linked to illnesses listed on the MoldEaters website like respiratory ailments, diarrhea, rashes and fatigue – even hair and memory loss.
Over the last 10 to 15 years, Rick Root said, litigation has come at building owners due to mold-related health problems, from real estate agents, landlords, builders, plumbers and more.
“They find out there is a mold issue and suddenly everybody has a health issue,” said Rob Root. “Whether you use us or not, it’s something you have to take seriously.”
MoldEaters uses TM-100, an enzyme-based product of Bio-Science Environmental Services and Laboratory Inc. of Boca Raton, Fla. Its components are “100 percent organic,” and contain no hazardous ingredients, according to a Bio-Science material safety data sheet.
The service starts with a consultation and air test, followed by investigation of the mold’s causes and TM-100 application. It takes a day to clean a building with TM-100 – from the floors and walls to the tiny knickknacks – before a TM-100 fog is released and settles for up to 48 hours. It is safe for clients to be present during the treatment, Rob Root said, but usually not convenient.
“The only reason we will wear a mask and protective gear is for the mold,” he said. Clients can see the change in mold levels in lab reports. A report from a recent job showed spore counts dropped more than 1,600 percent per cubic meter.
Treatment can cost $1,300 to $10,000. An attic is serviced for $1,800 to $3,000, including 16 to 32 man-hours.
The team has worked mostly in homes, but wants to reach businesses and other organizations with mold liability concerns.
“Employees can only hold their breath for so long,” Rob Root said.
Brant Rude, general manager, co-owner
Charity Thompson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.