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Mold and humidity

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Recent Inspection Report for a Mold and Humidity Issue - 202066

The following report is from a recent inspection we performed of a house suffering from humidity based mold growth.  This occurs when the moisture in the ambient air is sufficiently high to cause mold growth on interior surfaces.  No actual flooding or moisture intrusion occurred.  This type of mold growth often leads to elevated levels of airborne mold spores and indoor air quality problems.   While uncommon in hot/dry climates such as the south west, it is a common problem in our neck of the woods (Seattle and Bellevue).  If you're in need of a mold inspection in Bellevue, feel free to contact us. 

Reason for inspection:

Mold growth from excess humidity

The client requested an inspection of mold growth in bathroom, entryway, and kitchen.

Summary of concerns:

Ventilation deficiencies in the home have led to extreme condensation and subsequent damage.

VENTILATION:

Adequate Ventilation Not Present

  • Recommended ventilation of residential homes should be between 0.35 and 0.7 air changes per hour (ACH).
  • Desired Ventilation Rate:  0.35 ACH (Air Changes per Hour)
Mold on wall due to humid conditions
  • Square Footage:            1380 sq/ft   
  • Average Ceiling Height:  8 ft    X
  • Required Ventilation:     64.40 continuous cfm

Recommendations:

  • Full inspection will be necessary to determine the most appropriate method to provide the recommended ventilation.  This may include upgrades to existing exhaust fans, installation of a fresh-air intake system, or installation of a heat recovery ventilation system.

Dining Room:      

Summary:  Abnormal Conditions Found!

Humidity causing mold growth on door trim

Observations:

  • Significant surface mold growth noted on exterior walls.
  • Severe condensation noted on windows.
  • Baseboards along exterior walls are wet, swollen, warped, and deformed due to excessive condensation.
  • Vinyl flooring below window shows increased moisture content due to pooling condensation.
  • HVAC boot is extremely soiled: active condensation, significant mold growth, heavy corrosion, and food debris was visible in ducting.
  • RH = 69%   TEMP: 60.2F   CO2 = 883 ppm   CO = 0 ppm

Recommendations:

  • Establish containment.
  • Install HEPA scrubber for negative pressurization throughout the duration of remediation work.
  • Remove all affected baseboards.
  • Remove sheetrock in affected areas to a height of at least 24”.
  • Remove all underlying insulation.
  • Clean/treat/encapsulate any remaining contaminated framing or sheathing.
  • Perform detailed HEPA vacuuming of the entire contained area.
  • Apply EPA-registered anti-microbial agent to the entire contained area via ULV fogger.
  • Install dehumidifier and air movers (if necessary) to dry remaining framing, subflooring and/or sheathing.
  • HVAC ducting is heavily damaged and will need to be replaced.

Entry:      

Excess moisture from humidity

Summary:  Abnormal Conditions Found!

Observations:

  • Increased moisture content noted in sheetrock along exterior wall.
  • Visible mold staining was noted along exterior wall.
  • Apparent recent cleaning of mold growth on walls.
  • RH = 67.2%   TEMP: 59.7F   CO2 = 863 ppm   CO = 0 ppm

Recommendations:

  • Establish containment.
  • Install HEPA scrubber for negative pressurization throughout the duration of remediation work.
  • Remove all affected baseboards.
  • Remove sheetrock in affected areas to a height of at least 24”.
  • Remove all underlying insulation.
  • Clean/treat/encapsulate any remaining contaminated framing or sheathing.
  • Perform detailed HEPA vacuuming of the entire contained area.
  • Apply EPA-registered anti-microbial agent to the entire contained area via ULV fogger.
  • Install dehumidifier and air movers (if necessary) to dry remaining framing, subflooring and/or sheathing.

Hall Bathroom:      

Summary:  Abnormal Conditions Found!

Observations:

  • Surface mold growth noted on ceiling and door trim, due to condensation.
  • Heavy condensation noted on toilet tank due to inadequate ventilation.
  • Bathroom fan rattling, and likely to fail.
  • Increased moisture content noted in large areas of vinyl flooring.
  • Increased moisture content noted in baseboards between tub and door, as well as sheetrock immediately behind the toilet.
  • Significant visible mold growth noted on baseboards between tub and door.
  • RH = 70.2%   TEMP: 59.7F   CO2 = 846 ppm   CO = 0 ppm

Recommendations:

  • Establish containment.
  • Install HEPA scrubber for negative pressurization throughout the duration of remediation work.
  • Remove all affected baseboards.
  • Disconnect water lines and remove toilet.
  • Remove all vinyl flooring and underlayment.
  • Remove sheetrock behind toilet and between tub and door.
  • Remove Door trim.
  • Remove all underlying insulation.
  • Clean/treat/encapsulate any remaining contaminated framing or sheathing.
  • Wipe down all surface mold growth on ceiling and walls.
  • Perform detailed HEPA vacuuming of the entire contained area.
  • Apply EPA-registered anti-microbial agent to the entire contained area via ULV fogger.
  • Install dehumidifier and air movers to dry remaining framing, subflooring and/or sheathing.

 

Recent Inspection Report for Ventilation and Mold Issues

Inspection #: 201050

Reason for inspection:

Moisture + Mold at Window

Apartment that client lives in has been found to have visible mold growth in numerous areas.  Landlord claims to have re-mediated the areas but client feels that it is still a problem.  Requested a full inspection with indoor air quality samples.

Summary of concerns:

  • Improper ventilation inside the apartment is allowing for excessive build-up of relative humidity and CO².
  • Excessive relative humidity levels inside the apartment are leading to condensation on exterior walls and windows.  This condensation provides conditions conducive to mold growth.

Mild to moderate amounts of mold growth found on attic sheathing.

PROPERTY DESCRIPTION:

  • Second story home located in a 4-plex
  • Two bedroom, 650 sq ft,
  • Top floor of a two story home.

VENTILATION:

      Adequate Ventilation Not Present

Recommended ventilation of residential homes should be between 0.35 and 0.7 air changes per hour (ACH).

Desired Ventilation Rate:  0.5 ACH (Air Changes per Hour)

Inadequate Ventilation

Square Footage:            650 sq/ft  

Average Ceiling Height:   9 ft    X

Required Ventilation:      48.75 continuous cfm

Recommendations:

  • Recommend replacing existing fans with Panasonic Whisper Green Ventilation Fans in both hall bathroom and laundry room areas.  This will assist in removing relative humidity as it is being generated as well as deal allow for additional air exchanges throughout the day when the home is unoccupied.
Crushed Vent - Inadequate Ventilation

Kitchen

Summary: Abnormal Conditions Found!

Observations:

VOC Reading: 706 ppb

Recommendations:

  • Recommend connecting exhaust ventilation fan to exterior of home.
  • Recommend regular cleaning of windows of any visible mold growth and/or condensation that may form.  Mold can be cleaned using a damp rag and a mild solution of soap and water or vinegar.    

North Bedroom

Summary: Abnormal Conditions Found!

Observations:

  • Minor stains found on back wall of closet where visible mold growth was previously found growing. 
  • Small amounts of mold growth were still found to be growing in the back corners of the closet.  This is due to high relative humidity levels and poorly insulated exterior walls. 
  • RH:66 % Temp: 59°F CO2: 1092 ppm CO: 0 ppm

VOC Reading: 828 ppb

Recommendations:

  • Recommend regular cleaning of windows and walls of any visible mold growth and/or condensation that may form.  Mold can be cleaned using a damp rag and a mild solution of soap and water or vinegar.
  • Recommend keeping closet contents a minimum of 2 inches away from exterior corner and back walls when possible.  This will allow for additional ventilation  
  • A small dessicant - type dehumidifier can be instlled in the closet to help remove excessive moisture before it condenses on the walls. 

South Bedroom

Summary: Abnormal Conditions Found!

Observations:

  • Room was generally clean but cluttered.
  • Visible mold growth noted in upper left hand corner of closet.
  • Visible mold growth was noted on shoes in bottom left hand corner of closet.
  • Visible mold growth noted along bottom edge of window.
  • Visible condensation present on inside window pane. 
  • RH:64 %  Temp: 61°F  CO2: 1117 ppm  CO: 0 ppm

VOC Reading: 630 ppb

Recommendations:

  • Moldy contents should be removed from closet and cleaned with a damp rag in an open air environment.  Any contents with remaining staining may require disposal.
  • Recommend regular cleaning of windows and walls of any visible mold growth and/or condensation that may form.  Mold can be cleaned using a damp rag and a mild solution of soap and water or vinegar.
  • Recommend keeping closet contents a minimum of 2 inches away from exterior corner and back walls when possible.  This will allow for additional ventilation 
  • A small dessicant - type dehumidifier can be instlled in the closet to help remove excessive moisture before it condenses on the walls. 

Hall Bathroom

Summary: Abnormal Conditions Found!

Observations:

  • Ventilation fan is present but is noisy and inefficient at removing relative humidity from inside the room. 
  • RH:65 % Temp: 60°F CO2: 1100 ppm CO: 0 ppm

VOC Reading: 808 ppb

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 (45 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.

Attic

Summary:        Abnormal Conditions Found!

Observations:

  • Insulation is present in attic space but appears to have a thin layer of mold spores covering the surface along the north side of the attic.
  • No air sealing was present in attic space
  • Ridge venting was present but was limited to 2 cut-in ridge vents.
  • Soffit venting was present and appeared adequate.
  • Visible mold growth was present on a large section of north facing roof sheathing.
  • Bottom and top rows of plywood had been replaced on the north side of the attic.  Little to no mold growth was present on this plywood indicating that the ventilation issues and mold growth may be from a previous roof.

Recommendations:

Recommend conducting a two-stage chemical remediation to the attic sheathing.  This will kill all existing mold and cover any residual stains.

 

Recent Inspection Involving Heightened Humidity Levels

Date of Inspection: Jan 17th, 2012

Reason for inspection:

  • The client has requested a detailed indoor air quality inspection to determine potential causes of an unexplained illness.

Summary of concerns:

  • Inadequate ventilation in the home has led to high levels of relative humidity, carbon dioxide, and VOC’s.
  • History of several leaks that had caused water damage, these leaks have since been resolved by the home owner.

HVAC & FILTRATION:

Abnormal Conditions Found

  • The home owners have deactivated the electric forced-air heating system; all ducting has been sealed at the register.
  • The home does not possess an adequate level of ventilation to remove occupant generated moisture and miscellaneous building pollutants such as VOC’s from cleaners, fragrances, cosmetics, and building materials.
  • The home is approximately 1600 square feet, and requires approximately 84-168CFM constant ventilation to achieve the recommended air exchange rate of 0.35-0.7 air changes per hour.

Recommendations:

  • Adequate air exchange rate must be established by one of the options below:
  • Enable furnace, clean ducting, and install a fresh-air intake or HRV sufficient to achieve the recommended rate of ventilation above.
  • If the furnace is not to be used, a separate ducted HRV may be installed to achieve the recommended rate of ventilation.
  • Exhaust fans may be installed in both bathrooms to run at a constant level to achieve the recommended ventilation rate.  The suggested model would be the Panasonic Whisper Green 80CFM units set to run at 60CFM constant-flow and for 60 minutes at 80CFM once the motion-sensor has been activated.

Hall Bathroom:

Summary:  Abnormal Conditions Found!

Observations:

  • No bathroom exhaust fan currently installed in this area.
  • This bathroom not often used for bathing.
  • History of leakage from the roof in this area, but no obvious water damage or mold growth was noted.  Residual contamination may exist in the wall cavity, but it is unlikely to present a negative impact on the indoor air quality.
  • Average tVOC level 323ppb
  • RH:44.9% Temp:63.4°F CO2:984ppm CO: 0ppm

Recommendations:

Garage:

Summary:  Abnormal Conditions Found!

Observations:

  • This area appears to be adequately ventilated to the exterior.
  • Average levels of stored cleaners, chemicals, and pesticides were noted.
  • 2 large drip pans with automotive oil were noted on the floor of the garage.
  • Average tVOC level 8ppb
  • History of several leaks in this area, but water staining and mold growth is unlikely to be affecting indoor air quality.

 

Inspection Report for a Mold and Water Intrusion Issue

Date of Inspection: Feb. 7th, 2012

VENTILATION:

Adequate Ventilation Not Present

Recommended ventilation of residential homes should be between 0.35 and 0.7 air changes per hour (ACH).

Desired Ventilation Rate:  0.5 ACH (Air Changes per Hour)

Square Footage:            1950 sq/ft   

Average Ceiling Height:   8 ft    X

Required Ventilation:      130.00 continuous cfm

Recommendations:

  • Ventilation to be improved by:
  • Replace both bathroom exhaust fans with Panasonic whisper green 80CFM units set to run at 50-70CFM constant-flow and for 60 minutes at 80CFM once the motion-sensor has been activated.

Master Bedroom:

Summary:  Abnormal Conditions Found!

Observations:

  • Sheetrock on ceiling is damaged at tape seams.
  • Increased moisture content was noted in heavily deformed portions of the ceiling.
  • Condensation noted on windows.
  • Inspection with FLIR revealed temperature differentials consistent with condensation in the ceiling cavity.
  • Wet carpeting was noted near the exterior corner of the bedroom.

Recommendations:

  • Establish containment.
  • Install HEPA scrubber for negative pressurization throughout the duration of work.
  • Remove all sheetrock and underlying insulation from the ceiling.
  • Remove all carpet and pad.
  • Remove section of sheetrock at the exterior corner where water intrusion has occurred,
  • Perform detailed HEPA vacuuming of the entire bedroom.
  • Apply EPA-registered anti-microbial agents to the entire contained area via ULV fogger.
  • Install dehumidifier and air movers to dry remaining wet building materials to below 20% moisture content.
  • Install 2-part poly-isocyanurate closed-cell spray-foam insulation to all roof sheathing to a depth of at least 2” to achieve 1.0 perm.
  • Install fiberglass batt insulation to fill the remainder of the rafter cavity.

Laundry Room:

Summary:  Abnormal Conditions Found!

Observations:

  • Water intrusion on both sides of exterior door was noted.
  • Mold growth noted on sheetrock at either side of exterior door.
  • Increased moisture content noted in affected sections of sheetrock.

Recommendations:

  • Establish containment.
  • Install HEPA scrubber for negative pressurization throughout the duration of work.
  • Remove all sheetrock and underlying insulation from the affected areas on either side of the exterior door.
  • Perform detailed HEPA vacuuming of the entire contained area.
  • Apply EPA-registered anti-microbial agents to the entire contained area via ULV fogger.
  • Install dehumidifier and air movers to dry remaining wet building materials to below 20% moisture content.
  • Clean/treat/encapsulate any remaining contaminated framing or sheathing.

Attic:

Summary:  Abnormal Conditions Found!

Observations:

  • Bathroom exhaust fans not connected adequately to dedicated roof jacks.
  • HVAC ducting in the attic is not adequately sealed or insulated.
  • Many large open areas were noted that may allow warm humid air from the interior to enter into the attic.

Recommendations:

  • Hire licensed roofing contractor to install appropriate dedicated roof jacks with 4” collars for all exhaust fans.
  • Perform detailed structural air-sealing in the attic to limit the loss of warm humid air form the interior of the home.
  • Seal and insulate all HVAC ducting.