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Seattle Black Mold Inspection Reports

Below are recent inspections of black mold issues we’ve performed in Seattle.


 

Project Type > Black Mold in Closet Inspection in the Seattle Area

PROJECT SUMMARY

REASON FOR INSPECTION:

  • Tenant is complaining about mold growth on the ceiling and inside the closet, they’re concerned about the air quality and their health. Environix hired to inspect the unit and provide recommendations where needed.
Mold on living room window and frame

Mold on living room window and frame.

PROPERTY DESCRIPTION:

  • This rental residence is an apartment of approximately 500 ft².

CAUSE OF MOLD:

  • Condensation from high humidity.

LABORATORY RESULTS

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ANALYSIS OF YOUR RESULTS:

  • Extreme Amplification: Mold spores were detected at levels many times greater than the threshold, indicating a site of high mold amplification and growth. Please refer to the attached report for more detailed information.

The most likely contributor of the elevated mold spores is:

  • Elevated humidity.
  • Inadequate heating.

Recommendations:

  • Due to the elevated levels of mold spores, the operation of a commercial HEPA air scrubber is highly recommended. This will rapidly lower the indoor mold spore levels.

JOBSITE PHOTOS

Mold and condensation on window.

Mold and condensation on window.

Mold noted on bedroom ceiling/wall.

Mold noted on bedroom ceiling/wall.

Mold noted on bedroom closet ceiling.

Mold noted on bedroom closet ceiling.

Mold on contents near exterior walls from high humidity.

Mold on contents near exterior walls from high humidity.

Mold on bathroom ceiling.

Mold on bathroom ceiling.

OBSERVATIONS

  • A musty odor was noted at time of inspection.
  • Insulation could be improved in the ceiling. IR Thermal Imaging revealed cold spots in the ceiling indicating low insulation in those areas.
  • The home is inadequately heated.
  • Ventilation in the home is inadequate.

RELATIVE HUMIDITY & CO2 READINGS:

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VENTILATION:

  • Relative humidity levels are highly elevated. Generally, indoor RH levels should remain under 55% or under 50% in homes with poorly insulated exterior walls.
  • CO2 levels are elevated. While not a direct health problem, elevated CO2 levels are an indication of stale indoor air and poor ventilation. This can lead to a buildup of pollutants and humidity, which can cause mold growth. Following the ventilation recommendations listed below will lower the CO2 levels in the home.
  • Home is inadequately heated. A minimum indoor temp of 65ºF must be maintained to minimize excessive humidity and mold growth. The interior temperature was measured at 59ºF at time of inspection.
  • Home suffers from insufficient ventilation. This leads to a buildup of indoor pollutants and increases the relative humidity, creating conditions conducive to mold growth and dust mites.

LOCATION: Bathroom

  •  Heavy mold growth noted on bathroom ceiling. This occurs when the warm, moist air generated by shower usage interacts with the cool surface of the ceiling. Without adequate ventilation, this causes condensation and subsequent mold growth.
  • IR Thermal imaging revealed significant temperature differentials in the ceiling that correspond with the areas of mold growth. This indicates low insulation in these areas. Low insulation means the ceiling gets colder in this area which allows air to condense here first.

SHOWER:

  • Grout and caulking is in good condition and shows no signs of recent water intrusion.

LOCATION: Living Room / Dining Room

  • The heat is not being used in this room. Cold air can hold significant humidity and result in that humid air easily condensing on colder surfaces, creating conditions conducive to mold growth.
  • Light mold on contents due to humidity and low temperature. Mold was noted on items placed near the exterior wall. Mold growth on contents is a sign of extreme levels of indoor humidity and very likely indicates highly elevated levels of mold spores. This could cause adverse health reactions in sensitive individuals.
  • Condensation-based mold was noted on exterior wall and ceiling.
  • Condensation-based mold observed on window and window frame. No evidence of leaks or elevated moisture was found around the windows.
  • Mold noted on table that is stored behind couch on exterior wall.
  • Air sample collected in this room and the lab result show extremely amplified mold spores.

LOCATION: Bedrooms

  • Heavy condensation-based mold growth noted on ceilings and walls.
  • Heavy condensation-based mold observed on windows and window frames.
  • Condensation-based mold growth noted on ceiling fan.
  • A dehumidifier is being operated in the bedroom. Increasing heat and ventilation is a better solution to the high humidity problems in these rooms.
  • Mold is very heavy is one of the bedrooms. Significant temperature differentials were revealed in the ceiling of this room. No evidence of water leaks was found, so this just corresponds with poor insulation in this area.

Project Type > Black Mold Inspection for a Bedroom in Seattle

PROJECT SUMMARY

REASON FOR INSPECTION:

  • Mold growth is present on the interior of an exterior wall.

PROPERTY DESCRIPTION:

  • Property is a rental apartment residence.

CAUSE OF MOLD:

  • The mold growth is due to condensation caused by elevated humidity which is due to poor ventilation in the home.

LABORATORY RESULTS

Pic1

ANALYSIS OF YOUR RESULTS:

  • Extreme Amplification: Mold spores were detected at levels many times greater than the threshold, indicating a site of high mold amplification and growth. Please refer to the attached report for more detailed information.

The most likely contributor of the elevated mold spores is:

  • Elevated humidity.

JOB SITE PHOTOS

Bedroom.

Bedroom.

Heavy mold growth on the interior of the exterior wall.

Heavy mold growth on the interior of the exterior wall.

Heavy mold growth on the interior of the exterior wall.

Heavy mold growth on the interior of the exterior wall.

 Heavy mold growth on the interior of the exterior wall.

Heavy mold growth on the interior of the exterior wall.

Heavy mold growth on the interior of the exterior wall.

Heavy mold growth on the interior of the exterior wall.

RELATIVE HUMIDITY & CO2 READINGS:

Pic1

LOCATION: Bedroom

  • The room is equipped with carpeting in average condition.
  • The room has metal framed single paned windows with current evidence of heavy condensation and heavy mold growth problems.
  • Heavy condensation-based mold growth noted on the ceiling, wall, and closet.
  • Heavy mold noted on the window blinds and closet door.
  • Slightly elevated moisture content noted in the bedroom wall. The source of this moisture is condensation.

Bedroom Floorplan:

Pic1

Project Type > Black Mold Growth Affecting HVAC in Residence

PROJECT SUMMARY

REASON FOR INSPECTION:

  • Client has concern over a dark substance found on the HVAC registers in specific locations inside the home.  Client requested an inspection to determine the source and provide a solution to the problem.

PROPERTY DESCRIPTION:

  • This single family residential property was built in 1978 and is 7,460 ft².

CAUSE OF MOLD:

  • Elevated humidity levels generated in the dining room below have led to condensation on the surfaces of the metal registers

LABORATORY RESULTS

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ANALYSIS OF YOUR RESULTS:

  • Minor Amplification: Mold spores were detected at or near the threshold.  This indicates a possible site of mold growth.  While the spore count is slightly higher than normal, there is no concern regarding compromises in health or property damage.

JOBSITE PHOTOS

Detail of Dust & Surface Mold Growth On Register

Detail of Dust & Surface Mold Growth On Register

Passageway HVAC Registers With Mold Growth on the Surface of the Metal

Passageway HVAC Registers With Mold Growth on the Surface of the Metal

Internal Diffusers Were Found To Be Improperly Directed

Internal Diffusers Were Found To Be Improperly Directed

OBSERVATIONS

RELATIVE HUMIDITY & CO2 READINGS:

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LOCATION:  Upstairs Passageway

Observations:

  • Three HVAC registers are present in this section of passageway.
  • Visible mold growth is present on the metal edges of the HVAC registers. No elevated moisture levels were noted in the ceiling around any vent, nor were any water stains visible.
  • Attempts were made to access the backside of these HVAC registers, however due to the excessive amount of heating and mechanical systems located in the attic, access was not possible.
  • The passageway is connected to the dining room below this level of the home. The dining room has a capacity of up to 40 people, and the homeowner does host events in this space. During these events, a large amount of humidity is produced by the increased occupancy load and the added moisture produced by food and drink. This results in condensation forming on the cool surface of the vent register, creating conditions conducive to mold growth.

Recommendations:

  • As the dining room currently has a flat paint on the ceiling, consider repainting the ceiling with a high quality latex paint that has a higher amount of gloss.
  • To fully prevent the reoccurrence of mold growth in these areas, one of two conditions will need to be addressed:
  • Controlling the indoor humidity levels will limit the amount of moisture available to condense on the cold register surfaces. This can be accomplished via mechanical dehumidification or through more effective exhaust venting of the dining room.
  • Increasing the surface temperatures of the HVAC registers where mold is occurring. This could be accomplished via several methods:
  • A dedicated louvered duct that shuts the airflow off to these ducts only at specific times.
  • Increase the air temperature coming out of the ductwork
  • Turn off all airflow to these ducts during the periods of elevated humidity.
  • If possible, client may consider converting these three ducts from supply ducts to return ducts. This way they can provide the additional exhaust ventilation needed when high occupancy loads are present.

LOCATION:  Upstairs Passageway (Outside Dressing Room)

  • Three HVAC registers are present in this passageway.
  • Isolated areas of ghosting were noted on ceiling or walls around specific registers.
  • Ghosting is the result of improperly directed diffuser vanes blowing air against walls or ceilings. Dust that is naturally present in all air gets deposited on the surface of the wall or ceiling and leaves behind a darkened stain.

Recommendations:

  • Redirect all diffuser vanes away from walls & ceilings and towards the center of the room.

LOCATION:  Dressing Room Register

  • Two HVAC registers are present in this specific area.
  • Visible mold growth is present on the edges on one of the HVAC registers. This appears to be likely due to excessive steam created by the nearby bathroom causing condensation to occur on the surface of the metal duct register.

LOCATION:  Basement

  • Visible mold on the surface of one of the HVAC bellows. This appears to be the result of two conditions:
    • A thinner bellows material allows for cooler surface temperatures.
    • A noted air leak allows for air conditioned air to blow against the surface of this bellows.