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Proactive Building Moisture and Mold Evaluations

Tuesday, June 16, 2009
Proactive Building Moisture and Mold Evaluations

Proactive Building Moisture and Mold EvaluationsBuildings with moisture problems pose health risks for the occupants. Moisture not only degrades building materials but also can cause microbiological growth, including a wide variety of bacteria and molds. Mold growth is not necessarily the problem, it is the symptom – moisture is the problem. Moisture affects buildings and heating, ventilation and air-conditioning (HVAC) systems in the form of liquid (pipe and water tank leaks, sewage backups, floods) but also in the form of high humidity/vapor (condensation and/or related to HVAC system operations) or capillary action (in below-grade areas). Liquid moisture is the most obvious, causing mold growth on impacted building materials. High humidity or vapor transmission is less obvious and can cause “hidden mold growth.”

Proactive Building Moisture and Mold EvaluationsThe best defense against mold growth in buildings is moisture control. And in the event of a moisture release, a quick and thorough response is necessary to prevent mold growth. The thought process is that a quick response is simply a water restoration/cleanup project, but a delay that leaves building materials wet turns a water restoration/cleanup project into a mold remediation project.

First, 1Source Safety and Health, Inc., conducts building investigations for past or current moisture-related problems by gathering a “moisture history” of the structure through interviews with key building management and maintenance staff. Then, 1Source makes visual observations and boroscope inspections; takes photographs; records moisture content, temperature and relative humidity readings; uses an infrared camera to detect hidden moisture; and finally collects baseline air and dust samples for molds. If necessary, 1Source utilizes our partner structural and mechanical engineers and architects for building envelope, roof assembly or HVAC systems evaluations.

Proactive Building Moisture and Mold EvaluationsTraining programs are also developed for facilities or maintenance staff for immediate response actions to moisture events to prevent mold problems and to have a clear identification of roles and responsibilities and the necessary outside resources.

In the event that a large moisture release or mold growth occurs, 1Source Safety and Health, Inc., also provides project management for water restoration and mold remediation and post remediation evaluation services.

For additional information or to request a proposal, please contact Harry M. Neill, CIH at 610.524.5525, ext. 15, or email.