INDOOR AIR QUALITY
1234 Main St.
Your Town, Texas 77612
Mr. Donald Smith
December 08, 2008
December 8, 2008
Mr. Donald Smith:
RE: Mold Assessment
1234 Main St.
Your Town, TX. 77612
Please find enclosed documentation pertaining to the Mold Assessment conducted by Your Organization, Inc. (YOI) on December 08, 2008 at a single family dwelling located at 1234 Main St, Your Town, Texas 77612. This rental property is owned by Mr. Smith and rented by Mr. Joe White. This documentation contains the following:
- A discussion of our mutually agreed upon Goals for this assessment.
- An explanation of Procedures used by YOI and observations made on site.
- Lab Reports resulting from sample collections along with a summary of findings.
- Recommendations for Remediation.
- Other informative information pertaining to microbial contamination.
This assessment was conducted to analyze current indoor air quality conditions which are related to microbial contamination caused by a recurring plumbing failure in addition to perform a overall analysis of the residence/office for habitations that could facilitate creation of additional moisture or water passages to the building.
This assessment initiated as a result of an initial phone call to YOI from Mr. White who made complaints regarding his family and clients having allergy based on symptoms developed after moving into this rental home/office. The home has had a history of plumbing problems of which Mr. Smith was aware of. This however has recently been repaired by Mr. White for the reduction of rent remitted to Mr. Smith. Both parties are in concur and agree to this contract.
Your Organization, Inc. has already conducted an indoor air testing in order to determine airborne microbial contamination, collected bulk and swab samples for further analysis of microbial contamination on surfaces, moisture level assessments for building materials using direct-read real-time monitoring equipment and visual observations of building areas as a component of the overall analysis to be conducted.
In order to adhere to quality regulations, the recommendations put out by the American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA) and the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH) were effectively applied. This is in relation to inspection and testing. However, current standards for airborne mold spores do not exist.
The Extech Instruments Direct Moisture Meter, Model#44550 was used to determine moisture content. The average humidity readings (<15%) on all floors above basement level. The range for the basement humidity levels was from 15 to 35%. This low humidity readings were as a result of forced air furnace being put back after a long period of several months without being used. The history of past conditions are not reflected by the readings. This is because the existing extensive plumbing problems have been repaired before this assessment. It is also important that the building has been unoccupied for 12-18 months.
Microbial Airborne Contamination:
In order to determine indoor air quality relating to microbial contamination, air samples were collected using an Air-O-Cell™ spore trap. These were collected for a five minute period with a calibrated flow rate of 15 liters per minute for a total sample volume of 75 liters.
The Air-O-Cell™ spore trap is a sampling device designed for the speedy collection and quantitative analysis of a host of airborne aerosols. It collects non-viable particulate which include mold spores, pollen, insect parts, skin cell fragment, fibers (asbestos, fiberglass, cellulose, etc.) and inorganic particles.
Microbial Surface Contamination:
Bulk, tape lift and swab samples were collected when visible and suspect microbial contamination was observed. These samples are used to determine the frequency and type of possible microbial growth present in areas with human occupancy. Such exposure to microbial contamination may affect human health and/or to cause structural decomposistion. These samples were reviewed under direct microscopic examination by an independent American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA) member laboratory.
All samples are immediately labeled upon collection and a Chain of Custody form accompanies all samples.
The single family residence is a fully brick clad, timber framed, two story home with full basement and attic, constructed in or about 1930. The roof is asphalt shingled and seems to be in good repair as observed from the ground with a pair of binoculars. Bathroom venting penetrate through the attic and roof. The vent boots are in good repair but cast iron vent pipes are indicating signs of high degrees of damage vresulting from age and methane gas.
Exterior trim is extensive painted wood moldings and eaves. Exterior window shutters, door columns and decorative features are painted wood. Several areas of dry rot were observed (see attached pictures). A brick chimney on the east side of the house is used for a large natural fireplace. A brick chimney on the west side of the house is used for venting of the forced air furnace in the basement. The chimneys are in good condition. Two flat roof protrusions which cover main floor rooms (library and entranceways) are asphalt/tar roll roofing and serve as balconies. These roofs are covered with roll roofing and show normal aging signs of deterioration. No leaks were observed below these roofs but rotting exterior railings and balustrades show potential for problems in the future.
The attic has been constructed with more than adequate ventilation. A large number of house fly’s and wasps were observed but this condition is attributed to the changing seasons and the fact that the house has not been occupied for several months. The main plumbing stack of the house has deteriorated and may be leaking methane gas into the attic space. Mr. Gates and Mr. White are indeed aware that such a problem exists. It is therefore suggested that cracks around the decorative windows and folding stairwell be sealed to prevent further intrusion of insects.
When one enters the residence a strong “musty” odor is felt. The interior walls and ceilings are lath and plaster with considerable wood moldings. Walls in the entryway and foyer are stained with moisture damage from above. This moisture emanates from the surface of the cast iron vent pipes enclosed in the framing. Other issues of concern are in the entry and foyer below the second story bathroom. The dining room walls are completely covered in burled wood with some areas exhibiting bubbling from moisture damage, particularly by the front entry under the second floor bathroom. Some of the main floor walls are grass-wallpapered and show signs of moisture damage from plumbing leakage from the second floor bathroom.
The majority of the flooring is hardwood with some bedrooms and stairs carpeted. Areas of the carpet are soiled mainly from foot traffic, some water stains were observed particularly in the basement where cast iron vent pipes have leaked. Bathroom counters and floorings are ceramic tile which runs half way up the walls. The bath counter in the second floor bath (south) has delaminated and tile has buckled due to leakage from the “Ice Water” valve .
The basement walls and ceilings are lath and plaster. The walls and ceiling of the closet at the base of the stairs (south) which is directly under the main floor front entry show signs of extreme water damage from plumbing leakage. Paint on the ceiling is hanging in large shards due to moisture intrusion through the lath and plaster. Mold is evident on the walls and woodwork of the closet. It is possible that since the water intrusion was from the interior of the walls, that the interior framing and lath have become pathways for mold growth and the staining on the paint is from the inside out.
Additionally, but not related to the plumbing problems, several of the transom type windows in the basement are single pane and have broken locks. No weather stripping or storm windows are present. Most of these windows are below grade and covered in window wells with the exclusion of the north garden window which blow open easily during windy conditions.
A utility/storage room in the basement which is under the main floor powder room (north) shows signs of water leakage from severe deterioration of the cast iron sewage pipe. This pipe has been repaired by the tenant and the room is now dry. No signs of visible mold are apparent. The remainder of the basement is dry and secure.
OVERVIEW of SAMPLING DATA:
Microbial Airborne Activity:
A control, or base, sample of outside air was collected in the same manner as the inside air. As of this writing, no government agencies have determined the amount of mold spores a person can be exposed to before health problems occur. The indoor air quality should be “equal to or less than” the outside air quality in order to be safe for human occupancy.
Interior air sampled areas show an elevated count of microbial contamination within the basement areas. This sample reveals a highly elevated count of Aspergillus/penicillium spores (215,000) indicating possible active mold growth..
Microbial Surface Activity:
Sterile swab samples from surfaces such as the basement closet walls and woodwork indicate low to high levels of Cladosporium spores.
SUMMARY of FINDINGS:
The indoor mold air quality parameters evaluated for the upper indoor living areas of this structure were found to be acceptable for restricted occupancy at this time. Use of the basement in this home should be restricted to utility use (i.e, laundry) until complete remediation can be completed.
The detection of Stachybotrys spore growth on the walls of the basement closet and woodwork are from historically wet conditions and is of a concern for this site.
Aspergillius/Penicillium was found in great numbers in the basement. This species group is often found behind paint such as in the basement closet.
Cladosporium spore mold growth is occurring on non-porous surfaces such as metal and polyvinyl are due to historical water intrusion conditions.
The extensive plumbing problems in this home which led to the water intrusion into the walls and ceilings have been corrected (with the exclusion of the vent stack through the attic and roof) by the tenant. Repairs to countertops and wall coverings are however still pending but do not show signs of visible mold.
In the basement, stored suitcases ought to be removed and access to the basement area by inhabitants should be limited with no disturbance to wall systems, wood moldings or other materials exhibiting water absorption or visible mold growth.
Remediation may be accomplished in a two stage process with the expectation that stage one will alleviate the visible mold growth. Stage 1] s the building materials (lath and plaster) do not support the growth of mold, it can be assumed that the mold may be cleaned utilizing appropriate controls such as wet wiping and HEPA vacuuming techniques. It is our recommendation to paint the wall surfaces with a sealer/paint system after through cleaning and drying is completed. Wood moldings are polyurethane coated and in good repair. Wet wiping and complete air drying should be sufficient.
If visible mold returns a more aggressive approach may be warranted. Stage 2] It is possible that moisture has penetrated the lath and framing of the walls in the basement closet. Note: A borescope could be used to determine this intrusion but was not an included aspect of this assessment. In this case, lath and plaster would need to be eradicated under controlled conditions. Based on the condition of the interior wooden wall framing, these materials may also have to be done away with and replaced. These activities should be performed with the use of a negative pressure enclosure system.
We also further recommend that the transom window locks in the basement on the south wall be repaired and the installation of weather stripping be initiated to alleviate leaks. Basement carpeting and stairs should be cleaned by an IICRC certified carpet cleaning company by the use of hot water extraction method and allowed to thoroughly air dry. Windows should be opened when weather conditions allow in order to exchange the air in the house. The bathroom vent fan should also be used after the use of the basement shower.
Your Organization, Inc. strongly recommends that all biological remediation be conducted following guidelines established by the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration (IICRC). Their document entitled IICRC S520 Standard and Reference Guide for Professional Mold Remediation outlines work practices and equipment to be utilized during the remediation procedure. Also follow recommendations outlined in the US EPA: Mold Remediation in Schools and Commercial Buildings, Publication EPA 402-K-01-001.
Remediation Co, Inc. will be happy to supply you with a written estimate for the complete remediation of Stage 1 and 2 outlined above. Our team uses a combination of industrial air scrubbers and negative air machines to ensure the safety of you and your home. We use chemicals endorsed by the EPA and The Association of Environmental Conscious Building. If you prefer, we will outline clear instructions on steps you can take to remediate the problem yourself. The choice is yours but we want you to know that we are here to help.
It is important to note that our findings relating to physical conditions observed during this assessment were not intended nor do they attempt to accurately identify every possible source of contamination, mold or otherwise, in the structure. This inspector is therefore neither insurer nor guarantor against water problems, mold problems or other defects in the subject property or any of its components.
Any measured results, analysis data and/or physical observations made are accurate only for the period in which this inspection was conducted. Any additional degradation of building materials or contamination from new or reactivated sources or areas inaccessible at the time of the inspection are not the responsibility of Remediation Co. Inc.
Historical events or ambient air conditions that may have existed prior to this inspection cannot be correlated in any way with the enclosed data. No warranty, real or implied, is made as to what was or is the exact cause or source that may have adversely affected the indoor air quality.
Please review the following sampling report, site map and pictures, and brief explanation of mold. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to call, we are happy to help as your good health and comfort is our goal.
John Doe, CMI
Your Organization, Inc.
SAMPLING DATA REPORTS
Water stains in Entryway below second story bath
Broken valve in 2nd floor bath and delaminated tile counter top.
Broken pipe in 2nd floor bath. Similar breaks were evident from basement to attic and have since been replaced by the tenant.
Flaking paint in basement hallway on lath and plaster ceiling.
Lath and plaster walls in basement closet.
INTRODUCTION TO SOME COMMON MOLDS
|Atlernaria||This is a common mold. This genus possesses about 40 to 50 different species. However, only a few of these are commonly found indoors. On the other hand, in the outdoors it is normally found in soil and dead organic debris. Indoors they can be located in areas where condensation occurs such as window frames and damp shower surfaces.||This is a Type I allergen (hay fever, asthma) and Type III (hypersensitivity pneumonitis).|
|Aspergillus||Aspergillus and Penicillium are quite similar and are usually discussed as a group. There are about 600 different species of Aspergillus. These fungi reside in plant debris and in stored grain just to mention a few. They are also located indoors in places such as on decaying fabrics.||Type I and III|
|Botrytis||These are located in a wide range of areas such as stored fruits and vegetables, soil, grapes or strawberries just to mention a few.||Type I and III|
|Chaetomiun||Has a genus with approximately 80-90 species. Located in areas such as dung, saw material and soil just to mention a few. It can also be found on paper products in water damaged buildings.||Type I|
|Cladosporium||This is one of the most populous molds in the world located both indoors and outdoors. Majorly located outdoors in soil and leaf surfaces. Indoors, it may be located on dirty refrigerators. It causes discoloration of paint.||Type I and Type III. Is common|
|Mucor||This is one that can contaminate any kind of food. Mostly found in manure and stored seed. Also found in air samples collected indoors.||Minor Type I and III|
|Rhizopus||This is quite similar to mucor and share the same environments such as soil and vegetable garbage.||Type I and III|
|Stachybotrys||This is a dark colored mold that majorly thrives on ceiling tiles and wallpapers. Water acts as a catalyst in its rapid growth.||Type I. May lead to nose bleeding or burning sensations when exposed to the mouth.|