Today’s Mold Talks guest is Andy Pace, author, founder, advocate, and health expert. During this episode, Andy shares his wealth of knowledge after spending decades in the home health industry. From construction practices to common errors, he touches on a wide range of topics that can be used to create a safer and healthier indoor environment.
Andy Pace is a nationally recognized expert on green and healthy building products. As founder of the oldest healthy building supply company in the United States, Andrew has become one of the single most helpful and educational experts dealing with the day-to-day concerns of those individuals who suffer from allergies, asthma, and chemical sensitivities. As the leading expert on the topic of Human Health vs Environmental Health, Andrew launched a new green building product rating system called Degree of Green, which is being used by consumers to eliminate the confusion within the green building realm and to help guide consumers to what they truly need.
Andrew has lent his expertise in the field of technical product knowledge to the National Healthy Homes Conference, Paint and Decorating Contractors Association, the Construction Specifications Institute, and the National Hardware Manufacturers Association, as well as numerous regional conferences and presentations.
In this episode:
0:30: Andy explains who he is and what he does. After seeing individuals get sick after being exposed to paints and coatings, he created a company that could supply non-toxic options for sensitive individuals. At first, his company targeted commercial spaces, but after noticing a lack of interest, he realized that homeowners would be more inclined to use their products to create a safe indoor space.
5:15: Andy details his thoughts on the reluctance of commercial spaces to use non-toxic paint. “In their eyes, it increases cost, decreases aesthetics, and increases the stress factor of the construction team. None of this is true, of course.”
6:45: Andy describes the patterns he’s seen in government regulations regarding air quality and pollutants such as VOCs. “Let’s not wait for what they tell us to do. Let's do what makes sense.”
11:30: Andy lists current building and construction practices he has seen that are helping create toxic indoor environments. One of his company's goals is to figure out ways to practice safer building strategies to avoid future issues like mold growth. "The truth is that things get missed during construction. We need to take a keener eye on how these homes get built."
17:15: Andy explains the importance of reducing moisture in a home during certain construction phases to reduce the opportunity for contaminants like mold to grow. “I don't understand how they can say, ‘Don’t worry, it will dry out,’ when it won't.”
22:20: Andy describes his client's current situation and the indoor mold growth they’re battling due to structural issues. The client, Ashley, shares her story further on Mold Talks Heroes.
30:00: Andy explains the importance of testing a home to determine what types of contaminants may be present. "I’m a big believer in test results and understanding that the results are in the hands of whoever is conducting the tests and reading them."
33:30: Andy details other contaminants besides mold that he’s seen in homes and the steps he takes to assist these people as they work to create a healthier environment. “90% of the chemical off-gassing that will occur in building materials comes from the things you see and touch on a daily basis in the house.”
40:00: Andy describes the expectations individuals should have regarding how long it will take for chemical emissions like formaldehyde to continue off-gassing into an environment. He also goes through steps we can take to avoid this situation in our homes. “The best thing we can do is get these levels as low as possible.”