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Seattle Mold Air Test Inspection Reports

 

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


 

Project Type > Mold Air Test for a Commercial Building in Seattle

PROJECT SUMMARY

REASON FOR INSPECTION:

  • The client suffered water damage from the roof and affected the walls and floors in their studio. The client needs an assessment for potential mold contamination and recommendations for remediation if positive.

PROPERTY DESCRIPTION:

  • Property is a commercial building.

CAUSE OF MOLD:

  • Moisture accumulation in wall and flooring assemblies from roof leak.

JOBSITE PHOTOS

Affected area of studio. Drywall and flooring removed.

Affected area of studio. Drywall and flooring removed.

Hole in ceiling.

Hole in ceiling.

Wall framing dry.

Wall framing dry.

Wood flooring dry.

Wood flooring dry.

Ceiling material is foil-covered 2” foam board that has been painted white. All material is dry.

Ceiling material is foil-covered 2” foam board that has been painted white. All material is dry.

Mold testing setup.

Mold testing setup.

OBSERVATIONS

OBSERVATIONS APPLICABLE TO ENTIRE INSPECTION AREA:

  • Affected space is a photography studio with a 12’ ceiling.
  • Some drywall and flooring have been removed in the studio.
  • There is lots of dust from the demo work throughout the studio.
  • Moisture checks indicate all materials are dry.
  • The ceiling is a 2” foam board that is foil-wrapped and painted white.
  • The leak has been fixed and is no longer causing water damage.
  • Mold testing setup for IAQ sampling in the studio.

LABORATORY RESULTS

Individually, the following types of mold spores were identified in your samples.
*results shown in spores/m3. The following data is typically based on a 2-3 month rolling average.

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ANALYSIS OF YOUR RESULTS:

  • High Amplification (5-10x threshold): Mold spores were detected at levels many times greater than the threshold, indicating a site of mold amplification and growth. Based on EMLab data, the fungi in question reaches these levels in outside control samples less than 10% of the time. Please refer to the attached report for more detailed information.

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.
  • Thorough cleanup/HEPA vacuuming of all dirty, dusty surfaces in the studio.
  • Once cleanup and airscrubbing are completed, re-test the air to ensure that indoor air has returned to normal thresholds.

Project Type > Mold Air Test for Residential Home in Seattle

PROJECT SUMMARY

REASON FOR INSPECTION:

  • Client has been concerned about general indoor air quality inside his home and requested testing throughout.

PROPERTY DESCRIPTION:

  • This single family residential property was built in 1961 and is 1,660 ft².

CAUSE OF MOLD:

  • Elevated mold levels in the shed are likely a result of poor ventilation high humidity levels and infrequent cleaning.

 LABORATORY RESULTS

ANALYSIS OF YOUR RESULTS:

Interior of Home

  • No Amplification: No mold spores were measured at levels equal to or above the threshold, and do not indicate a site of probable mold amplification and growth.

Interior of Shed

  • Extreme Amplification: Mold spores were detected at levels many times greater than the threshold, indicating a site of high mold amplification and growth.

The most likely contributor of the elevated mold spores is:

  • Elevated humidity.
  • Poor ventilation.
  • Storage of wet and damp contents.

Recommendations:

Interior of Shed

  • Due to the elevated levels of mold spores inside the detached shed building, it is not recommended to occupy this area for significant periods of time without appropriate respiratory personal protective equipment.
  • Shed should be fully cleaned out and all contents cleaned or disposed of.
  • Shed should have additional ventilation installed to allow for better airflow.

JOBSITE PHOTOS

VOC Levels Were Tested Throughout The Home – No Elevated Levels Were Noted During The Inspection

VOC Levels Were Tested Throughout The Home – No Elevated Levels Were Noted During The Inspection.

Client Removed Old Electrostatic Filter & Replaced it With A High Quality, 4” Pleated Filter

Client Removed Old Electrostatic Filter & Replaced it With A High Quality, 4” Pleated Filter

Crawlspace Has Been Fully Air Sealed

Crawlspace Has Been Fully Air Sealed

Fresh Vapor Barrier Installed Throughout Crawlspace

Fresh Vapor Barrier Installed Throughout Crawlspace

RELATIVE HUMIDITY & TEMPERATURE READINGS:

CO2 READINGS:

Moisture and Gas Measurements:

VENTILATION:

Observations:

  • Relative humidity levels are slightly elevated. Generally, indoor RH levels should remain under 55% or under 50% in homes with poorly insulated exterior walls.
  • CO2 levels are normal. 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.
  • VOC levels are normal. No evidence of elevated VOCs was found in the home.
  • Crawlspace: Changes made to the crawlspace include a new vapor barrier, full air sealing of all in-floor penetrations and sealing of the HVAC ducting.
  • Ventilation: Recent ventilation changes include: New Panasonic Whisper Green bathroom ventilation fans, removal of the electrostatic precipitator air filter and installation of a new 4” pleated air filter.
  • Flooring: All original carpeting has been removed from the home.  Bedrooms were replaced with new carpet, the living room received hardwood flooring new linoleum flooring was installed in the basement.
  • Exterior: Client requested an inspection & test of a detached garden shed.  Air quality sample revealed significantly elevated mold spore levels.  This is likely due to poor ventilation and high humidity levels inside the shed.

Recommendations:

  • Due to the elevated levels of mold spores inside the detached shed building, it is not recommended to occupy this area for significant periods of time without appropriate respiratory personal protective equipment.
  • Shed should be fully cleaned out and all contents cleaned or disposed of.
  • Shed should have additional ventilation installed to allow for better airflow.

Project Type > Air Test for Mold in a Residence in the Greater Seattle Area

PROJECT SUMMARY

REASON FOR INSPECTION:

  • Clients recently moved into this home and they are expecting a newborn in the next couple months. They are concerned with the overall air quality.  Environix hired to inspect the home for mold/moisture issues as well as collect an air sample while on site.

PROPERTY DESCRIPTION:

  • This single family residential property was built in 1985 and is 1,320 ft².

LABORATORY RESULTS

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ANALYSIS OF YOUR RESULTS:

  • No Amplification: No mold spores were measured at levels equal to or above the threshold, and do not indicate a site of probable mold amplification and growth.

JOBSITE PHOTOS

Air sample collected in basement hallway between bedrooms

Air sample collected in basement hallway between bedrooms

Heat lamp only, no fan in basement bathroom

Heat lamp only, no fan in basement bathroom

Light mold noted on basement bathroom ceiling

Light mold noted on basement bathroom ceiling

No elevated moisture around plumbing lines in basement bathroom

No elevated moisture around plumbing lines in basement bathroom

VOC reading are normal in recently painted nursery

VOC reading are normal in recently painted nursery

High humidity and CO2 readings in basement bath

High humidity and CO2 readings in basement bath

Low quality bath fan in hall bathroom

Low quality bath fan in hall bathroom

Elevated C02 readings, other gas readings are normal - Kitchen

Elevated C02 readings, other gas readings are normal – Kitchen

RELATIVE HUMIDITY & TEMPERATURE READINGS:

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CO2 READINGS:

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Moisture and Gas Measurements:

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VENTILATION:

Observations:

  • Relative humidity levels are 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.
  • VOC levels are normal. No evidence of elevated levels of Volatile Organic Compounds was found.
  • 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:  Basement Bathroom

Observations:

  • No exhaust fan is present in this bathroom. This is insufficient to exhaust the normal amounts of humidity generated by typical bathroom use. This is allowing humid air to condense on the ceiling during showers. This creates an environment conducive to mold growth. This elevated humidity also affects the indoor air quality and can cause odors to become stronger.
  • The bathroom window has evidence of light condensation and light mold problems.
  • The bathroom paint is chipping from ongoing exposure to high humidity in the bathroom and around the window.
  • CO2 readings were particularly high in this room of the home. Indication of poor ventilation which leads to high humidity, dust mite issues and possible airborne mold issues.

CEILING:

  • Light 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.

SHOWER:

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

LOCATION:  Hall Bathroom

Observations:

  • A fan is present in this bathroom, which is helping lower the relative humidity of the home. The fan is connected to a heat lamp, so it is likely is not being used with enough frequency.

SHOWER:

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

Recommendations:

  • See ventilation section above for recommendations to eliminate condensation and lower the relative humidity in the home.

LOCATION:  Basement Bedrooms

General Observations:

  • The Nursery is currently being painted with a low odor, zero VOC type of paint.
  • Paint in the hallway is chipping from ongoing exposure to high humidity in the home.

Recommendations:

  • See ventilation section above for recommendations to eliminate condensation.
  • Home may be inadequately heated in the winter. A minimum indoor temp of 65ºF must be maintained to minimize excessive humidity and mold growth.

LOCATION:  Garage

Observations:

  • The laundry area is located in the garage. No issues were identified in this area.
  • The garage is currently full of contents. The client noted they may put a desk in the garage for a future work area.

Recommendations:

  • The garage is acceptable for storage, but should be heated to at least 65ºF if the space will be used as a work space in the winter. Watch the relative humidity of the garage during winter – if it raises above 55% RH, it may be necessary to add ventilation to the garage (if being used as office space).

LOCATION:  Kitchen

Observations:

  • There was a prior sink link, which has since been repaired. Flooring was replaced as part of this repair.

LOCATION:  Living Room

Observations:

  • A portable filter is present in this room. Portable filters can help improve air quality.
  • The CO2 levels are elevated throughout the home. Increasing ventilation will improve this.

Recommendations:

  • Consider operating a portable filter on each level of the home if concerned with air quality.
  • See ventilation section above for recommendations to lower the CO2 and RH levels throughout the home.

ALLERGEN PANEL

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ANALYSIS OF YOUR ALLERGEN RESULTS:

  •  No amplification of allergens was noted.