Mold Remediation >> Mold Mitigation & Remediation

Testing is usually done to compare the levels and types of mold spores found inside the building with those found outside of the building or for comparison with another location in the building. In addition, Mold Mitigation & Remediation air sampling may provide tangible evidence supporting a hypothesis that investigators have formulated. For example, air sampling may show a higher concentration of the same species of mold when the HVAC is operating than when it has been turned off. 

This finding may convince the investigators that the mold is growing within, and being disseminated by, the HVAC system. Conversely, Mold Mitigation & Remediation negative results may persuade investigators to abandon this hypothesis and to consider other sources of mold growth or dissemination. 

If you know you have a mold problem, it is more important to spend time and resources removing the mold and solving the moisture problem that causes the moldy conditions than to undertake extensive testing for the type and Mold Mitigation & Remediation quantity of mold.

If you are in doubt about sampling, consult an industrial hygienist or other environmental health Mold Mitigation & Remediation or safety professional with experience in microbial investigations to help you decide if sampling for mold is necessary or useful, and to identify persons who can conduct any necessary sampling. Due to the wide difference in individual susceptibility to mold contamination, sampling results sampling may have limited application. 

However, sampling results can be used as a guide to determine the extent of an infestation and the effectiveness of the cleanup. Their interpretation is best left to the industrial hygienist Mold Mitigation & Remediation or other environmental health or safety professional.Sampling for mold should be conducted by professionals with specific experience in designing mold-sampling protocols, sampling methods for microbial contaminants, and interpretation of results. 

For additional information on air sampling, refer to the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists' document, "Bioaerosols: Assessment and Control." In addition, sampling and analysis should follow any other methods recommended by either OSHA, NIOSH, EPA, the American Industrial Hygiene Association, Mold Mitigation & Remediation or other recognized professional guidelines. 

Types of samples can include: air samples, surface samples, bulk samples, and Mold Mitigation & Remediation water samples from condensate drain pans or cooling towers. Microscopic identification of the spores/ colonies requires considerable expertise. These services are not routinely available from commercial laboratories. 

Documented quality control in the laboratories used for analysis of the bulk, surface, Mold Mitigation & Remediation and other air samples is necessary. The American Industrial Hygiene Association offers accreditation to microbial laboratories (Environmental Microbiology Laboratory Accreditation Program (EMLAP)). Accredited laboratories must participate in quarterly proficiency testing (Environmental Microbiology Proficiency Analytical Testing Program (EMPAT)). 

Remediation Equipment There are various types of equipment useful in mold assessment Mold Mitigation & Remediation and remediation. Some of the more common items include: Moisture Meters Moisture meters measure/monitor moisture levels in building materials, and may be helpful for measuring the moisture content in a variety of building materials following water damage. 

They also can be used to monitor the progress of drying damaged materials. These direct reading devices have a thin probe that is inserted into the material to be tested Mold Mitigation & Remediation or pressed directly against the surface of the material. Moisture meters can be used on materials such as carpet, wallboard, wood, brick, and concrete.

Humidity Gauges or Meters Humidity meters can be used to monitor indoor humidity. Inexpensive (less than $50) models that monitor both temperature and humidity are available. Humidistat A humidistat is a control device that can be connected to an HVAC system and adjusted so that if the humidity level rises above a set point, Mold Mitigation & Remediation the HVAC system will automatically turn on and reduce the humidity below the established point.

Boroscope A boroscope is a hand-held tool that allows users to see potential mold problems inside walls, Mold Mitigation & Remediation ceiling plenums, crawl spaces, and other tight areas. It consists of a video camera on the end of a flexible "snake." No major drilling or cutting of dry wall is required. 

HVAC System Filter High-quality filters must be used in a HVAC system during remediation because conventional HVAC filters are typically not effective in filtering particles the size of mold spores. Consult an engineer for the appropriate filter efficiency for your specific HVAC system, Mold Mitigation & Remediation and consider upgrading your filters if necessary. 

A filter with a minimum efficiency of 50 to 60% or a rating of MERV 8, as determined by Test Standard 52.2 of the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers, Mold Mitigation & Remediation may be appropriate. Remember to change filters as appropriate, especially following any remediation activities. 

Remove filters in a manner that minimizes the reentry of mold and other toxic substances into the workplace. Under certain circumstances, Mold Mitigation & Remediation it may be necessary to wear appropriate PPE while performing this task.How Do You Know When You Have Finished Remediation/Cleanup? You must have identified and completely corrected the source of the water or moisture problem.

Mold removal should be complete. Visible mold, mold-damaged materials, and moldy odors should no longer be present.Sampling, if conducted, should show that the level Mold Mitigation & Remediation and types of mold and mold spores inside the building are similar to those found outside.You should revisit the site(s) after remediation, and it should show no signs of moldy or musty odors, water damage, or mold growth.

After correcting water or moisture infiltration, the prompt removal of contaminated material and structural repair is the primary response to mold contamination in buildings. In all situations, Mold Mitigation & Remediation the underlying cause of water accumulation must be rectified or the mold growth will reoccur. Emphasis should be placed on preventing contamination through proper building and HVAC system maintenance and prompt repair of water damaged areas.

Effective communication with building occupants is an essential component of all large-scale remediation efforts. The building owner, management, and/or employer should notify occupants in the affected area(s) of the Mold Mitigation & Remediation presence of mold. Notification should include a description of the remedial measures to be taken and a timetable for completion. 

Group meetings held before and after remediation with full disclosure of plans and results can be an effective communication mechanism. Individuals with persistent health problems that appear to be related to mold exposure should see their physicians for a referral to practitioners who are trained in occupational/environmental medicine Mold Mitigation & Remediation or related specialties and are knowledgeable about these types of exposures.

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