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Mold problems in the house

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Example Inspection Report Involving General Mold Issues

Work #: 108023

Mold Growth Under Sink

 Living Room

  • RH: 52%  Temp: 72 deg F.  CO2 = 475 ppm   CO = 0 ppm
  • Water damage noted above and on lower corners of main window in living room.
  • No obvious odors were noted around window or affected window frame.
  • No elevated moisture levels were noted in plaster walls around window.
  • Mild to moderate "musty" odor was present specifically around the front door to home. 
  • No elevated moisture levels noted around door or windows of room.
  • Walls and ceiling were scanned using a thermal imaging, infrared camera to determine any areas of temperature differential which would indicate moisture intrusion, missing insulation and/or other structural defects.  No areas of concern were noted.

Recommendations

  • Technician noted that the odor was strongest around front door and determined that the odor may be originating from the exterior. (Please see notes under "Exterior" section of report for further recommendations.)
  • Water damaged window trim is dry at this time and does not present a location where mold growth is active.  However, previous moisture intrusion indicates some mold growth may be present inside walls.  At this time, because no visible mold growth was noted, it is very unlikely this area is affecting the indoor air quality at this time. 

Kitchen 

Mold Growth
  • RH: 52%  Temp: 73 deg F.  CO2 = 466 ppm   CO = 0 ppm
  • Damaged grout was noted on back-splash behind kitchen sink.
  • Sealant around kitchen sink was damaged and showed areas where moisture was finding its way under the sink edge.
  • Visible water damage was noted under the kitchen sink along the back wall.  The plaster wall is flaking in places and some dark discolorations indicate some minor mold growth has started.
  • No areas of elevated moisture levels were noted in cabinets under the sink.

Recommendations

  • Recommend resealing the edges around the kitchen sink with a high quality, silicone II product or plumbers putty.
  • Recommend regrouting the back-splash to minimize moisture intrusion.

Hall Bath

  • RH: 52%  Temp: 73 deg F.  CO2 = 411 ppm   CO = 0 ppm
  • Bathroom ventilation fan is noisy and inefficient at removing relative humidity from the room. 
  • Ceiling beam traps relative humidity inside the shower stall. 
  • No areas of elevated moisture levels noted around toilet, shower surround or sink.
Utility Sink

Recommendations

  • Recommend installing a Panasonic Whisper Green® ventilation fan in bathroom to assist in evacuating the relative humidity from inside the building.  Whisper Green ventilation fans operate consistently at a low volume (30 cfm) and automatically ramp up to a higher volume (80 cfm) when a motion sensor is activated. An integrated timer will maintain the higher volume for a set period of time and then return the fan to the lower operating level until activated again.
  • Ceiling beam may not be an issue if ventilation fan is upgraded in the bathroom.

Basement Play Area

  • RH: 51%  Temp: 72 deg F.  CO2 = 465 ppm   CO = 0 ppm
  • Strong odor of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) was present upon entering basement. 
  • Recent paint and flooring appear to be off-gassing and creating strong odors. 
  • Minimal ventilation present in play room.
  • No visible mold or elevated moisture levels noted in play room.

Recommendations

  • Recommend installing a Panasonic Whisper Green® ventilation fan in basement to assist in evacuating the relative humidity from inside the building.  Whisper Green ventilation fans operate consistently at a low volume (30 cfm) and automatically ramp up to a higher volume (80 cfm) when a motion sensor is activated. An integrated timer will maintain the higher volume for a set period of time and then return the fan to the lower operating level until activated again.

Unfinished Basement  

  • RH: 56%  Temp: 69 deg F.  CO2 = 455 ppm   CO = 0 ppm
  • Heavy silt present in bottom of laundry sink.  Excessive silt may be washed down the drain and accumulate in the p-trap or other areas of the plumbing and cause a blockage.
  • Standing water noted under laundry room sink.  It was undetermined where the source of the moisture was coming from and further investigation is necessary.  Technician suspects a possible leak from the washing machine. 
  • HVAC system is in good condition and appears to be functioning properly.

Recommendations

  • Recommend either drying or removing all wet wood from around laundry room sink.  This will allow for the client to better see when leaks occur.

Children's Room

 

  • RH: 42%  Temp: 74 deg F.  CO2 = 450 ppm   CO = 0 ppm
  • Minor water damage noted around gable window lower corner. 
  • No elevated moisture levels were noted at this time but water damage likely indicates wood framed windows need paint and sealing on the exterior.
  • Plaster walls were in good condition and require only minor cosmetic repair.

Recommendations

  • Paint and  repair plaster walls as needed.

 Hall Bath - 2

  • RH: 52%  Temp: 75 deg F.  CO2 = 475 ppm   CO = 0 ppm
  • Ventilation fan in bathroom is noisy and inefficient at removing relative humidity from inside the room.
  • Elevated moisture levels were noted behind bottom course of tile in shower surround.  This is likely due to grout that has not been sealed and deteriorated sealant around the lip of the tub. 

Recommendations

  • Recommend installing a Panasonic Whisper Green® ventilation fan in bathroom to assist in evacuating the relative humidity from inside the building.  Whisper Green ventilation fans operate consistently at a low volume (30 cfm) and automatically ramp up to a higher volume (80 cfm) when a motion sensor is activated. An integrated timer will maintain the higher volume for a set period of time and then return the fan to the lower operating level until activated again.
  • Recommend having all grout resealed and all deteriorated sealant replaced

Master Bedroom

  • RH: 52%  Temp: 75 deg F.  CO2 = 463 ppm   CO = 0 ppm
  • No areas of concern noted at time of inspection.

Recommendations

  • None

Exterior

  • Paint and caulking around windows are an integral part of waterproofing the exterior of this home.  Some weathering was found on window sills and top sashes of windows.
  • A large section of exposed tar paper was found under the front porch.  This appears to be causing the offending odors noted by client during the inspection.  When sunlight hits the tar paper, VOCs are released and appear to be entering the home through convective air currents. 

Recommendations

  • Recommend a yearly inspection of all windows and doors to evaluate and conduct maintenance of paint and caulking.
  • Recommend installing siding or re-plaster side of home where tar paper is exposed.  This will prevent the odors from being created by the exposure to the intense heat.