Contamination and water damage are not always visible to the naked eye and can be concealed within wall and ceiling cavities. This makes it difficult for a homeowner, business, or tenant to know if remediation is necessary. CCAS utilizes the following non-destructive techniques to assist clients in making informed decisions regarding the proper assessment and remediation of mold.
CCAS will conduct a thorough client survey and inspection of the building premises, which typically includes diagnostic screening tools such as using a hygro-thermometer and infrared thermometer to evaluate the moisture levels of the floors, walls, and ceilings to determine the root causes of toxic mold contamination.
Test and Report
Sampling may be necessary when you need to know the type of mold and extent of its growth. It can be useful when:
- The source of the mold is unclear;
- You want to identify the type of mold;
- Health concerns warrant extra effort to resolve ongoing undiagnosed health issues;
- There could be structural damage due to the presence of fungi;
- You need to provide documentation of the presence and removal of mold for insurance or property transaction purposes
If it is determined sampling is warranted, CCAS will develop a sampling plan and perform the following tasks, as appropriate:
- Air Sampling – Useful in assessing 1) exposure levels to people in an indoor space and 2) whether spore aerosolization (what creates that “musty” smell) is occurring. Air samples may also detect reservoirs of fungal growth. Sampling locations will typically include problem areas, an indoor non-problem area if available, and an outdoor (control) sample for interpretation.
- Surface Sampling – Commonly taken to determine whether mold is growing on the surface sampled, and if so, what kind(s) of mold are present.
Sample delivery is expedited to a certified laboratory where the samples are analyzed. Sampling results are typically available from the lab within 24 hours after the lab receives the samples. CCAS will interpret the detailed lab results and translate the information in a detailed Mold Assessment Report. The laboratory results will identify what types of mold (on a species level) are present within the building envelope as well as within the outdoor environment. Elevated concentrations of specific species known to be allergens, opportunists, or potential pathogens to humans will be identified within the report.
If the analytical results indicate a potentially harmful amount of mold spores are present, CCAS will recommend that the affected area needs to be remediated. CCAS will include a brief remediation plan in the Mold Assessment Report, indicating the affected areas and specific remediation techniques to be followed by a licensed remediation contractor. CCAS can provide a list of qualified companies upon request. Once the affected area has been remediated, CCAS will return to perform clearance sampling to make sure all toxic mold has been removed and the affected area is clear to be re-occupied.
Post Remediation Clearance
It is important to make sure that post-remediation verification is completed right after the removal is complete.
As a general rule, owners can solve a mold problem in-house if the total repair cost is $500 or less, and/or the affected area is less than ten (10) square feet. Otherwise, all post-remediation verification should be done by a company that is licensed and insured.
In either case, CCAS can perform a clearance inspection to verify the mold has been adequately removed prior to reconstruction. It will satisfy disclosure requirements for buyers in the event of sale or transfer and will also demonstrate your due diligence in having the problem handled properly in the event of a formal complaint or lawsuit.
A post remediation inspection, both visual and analytical, is performed to ensure a return to a pre-mold contaminated environment. The post remediation inspection is based on the following five criteria:
- Absence of visible dust, debris and moisture within the containment area(s):
- Absence of visible fungal growth within the containment area(s);
- Moisture content of lumber and other construction materials are within normal limits inside the containment area(s);
- Balance of the airborne fungal spores found inside the containment area(s) when compared to fungal spores found outside the containment area(s), based on total spore count and/or hierarchy of spores detected; and,
- Direct-contact surface samples are at Condition 1: Normal fungal ecology.
If all five of these criteria are met, then the mold remediation efforts are considered to be acceptable (PASS) and no further remediation is recommended. If any of the five criteria are not met, then the mold remediation efforts are considered to be unacceptable (FAIL) and further remediation is recommended.