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Seattle Mold Assessment Inspection Reports

 

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


 

Project Type > Mold Assessment for a New Construction House in Seattle

PROJECT SUMMARY

REASON FOR INSPECTION:

  • New construction project had been left open to the element for a year and has areas of visible mold growth due to exposure. Client has now restarted the project and requested an inspection regarding the mold/moisture damage that the building occurred during this period.

PROPERTY DESCRIPTION:

  • Property is a new construction residential tri-plex of 1200ft² each unit.

CAUSE OF MOLD:

  • Wet building materials due to exposure to the elements.

JOBSITE PHOTOS

Water Staining Present on Underside of Plywood Sheathing

Water Staining Present on Underside of Plywood Sheathing

Spray Foam Installed Under Open Deck Systems

Spray Foam Installed Under Open Deck Systems

Examples of Light to Moderate Mold on Roof Sheathing

Examples of Light to Moderate Mold on Roof Sheathing

Some Mold Growth Noted on Isolated Sections of Framing

Some Mold Growth Noted on Isolated Sections of Framing

LOCATION: All Units – 4th Floor

OBSERVATIONS:

  • Minor water damage was observed in some areas of the subfloor.
  • Walls and ceilings have been insulated adequately.
  • Low quality fan/light combinations are present in the bathrooms.

Recommendations:

  • Recommend adding 1” of spray foam on any remaining roof sheathing with water staining.

LOCATION: All Units – 3rd Floor

OBSERVATIONS:

  • Visible mold growth observed on the ceiling plywood in the front facing portion of unit 1 (see diagram for unit identification).
  • Low quality fans are present in the bathrooms. Low quality are typically quite loud when in operation and are inefficient at removing humid air.
  • Units 2 and 3 have visible mold on some studs near the front of the building.

LOCATION: All Units – 2nd Floor

OBSERVATIONS:

  • Unit 2 has visible mold on the drywall behind the heat hump and HVAC chase.

Recommendations:

  • Due to the limited extent of the mold growth, professional cleaning is not required. However, removal of the mold / water damaged gypsum board is strongly recommended.

LAYOUT OF UNITS:

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Project Type > Assessment of a Residential Bathroom for Suspected Mold Related Odor

REASON FOR INSPECTION:

  • Client has been experiencing a strong “sour” odor or “musty” odor in her bathroom.  Client requested an inspection to determine the source of the odor and to determine if it is affecting her indoor air quality.

PROPERTY DESCRIPTION:

  • This single family 2 story residential property was built in 1954 and is approximately 3,000 ft².

Summary of concerns:

  • Failed toilet seal (wax ring) has allowed water to seep under the tile and is likely the source of the offending odor.

LABORATORY RESULTS

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ANALYSIS OF YOUR RESULTS:

  • Minor Amplification: Although one of your indoor mold spore counts is noted as being at or slightly above the threshold, it does not indicate a site of probable mold amplification and growth.

JOBSITE PHOTOS

Light Ghosting Noted on Ceiling of Living Room

Light Ghosting Noted on Ceiling of Living Room

Visible Stains Noted In Tile Around Toilet

Visible Stains Noted In Tile Around Toilet

Elevated Moisture Noted In Floor Around Toilet

Elevated Moisture Noted In Floor Around Toilet

Noisy & Inefficient Ventilation Fan – Master Bath

Noisy & Inefficient Ventilation Fan – Master Bath

Noisy & Inefficient Ventilation Fan – Hall Bath

Noisy & Inefficient Ventilation Fan – Hall Bath

Sump Pump Present Just Outside Basement Door

Sump Pump Present Just Outside Basement Door

Improperly Vented Bath & Kitchen Fans

Improperly Vented Bath & Kitchen Fans

OBSERVATIONS

OBSERVATIONS APPLICABLE TO ENTIRE INSPECTION AREA:

  • A musty or sour odor was noted in the Master Bedroom and Bathroom.
  • Minor ghosting was noted on the living room ceiling. This phenomenon occurs when water condenses on the coolest sections of the exterior walls and ceilings. Typically, these cold areas correspond to the underlying framing.  Because the framing is a better conductor than the adjacent wall cavity, the sheetrock cools slightly in these areas.   This cooling creates condensation which subsequently attracts dust and soot particles which cause the discoloration.
  • The home is equipped with vinyl framed double paned windows with no evidence of condensation or mold problems.

Recommendations:

  • Since insulation has been added to the attic, it is unlikely that ghosting will continue to be an issue. Client may clean the stains using typical cleaning methods and repaint as needed.

RELATIVE HUMIDITY & TEMPERATURE READINGS:

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CO2 READINGS:

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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.
  • 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:  Master Bathroom

Observations:

  • A musty, sour odor was noted at time of inspection.

SHOWER:

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

FLOORING:

  • Elevated moisture detected in flooring adjacent to toilet. Often this is due to a slight failure of the toilet seal.  No evidence of significant structural damage was observed.

General Recommendations:

  • Contact a plumbing contractor to investigate the toilet seal. Replace if necessary.
  • See ventilation section above for recommendations to eliminate condensation.

LOCATION:  Attic

Observations:

  • No ridge ventilation is present. Although this does not meet current building code, no problems appear to have resulted from this deficiency.
  • No soffit ventilation is present. Although this does not meet current building code, no problems appear to have resulted from this deficiency.
  • Three roof vent openings (RVOs) were noted. One of the RVOs was being used by the kitchen and hall bath fans for exhaust ducting. This limits the effectiveness of the roof ventilation, however no problems appear to have resulted from this at this time.

Recommendations:

  • Consider adding ridge ventilation.
  • Consider adding dedicated collared roof jacks for the exhaust ducting and removing it from the RVO vent it is currently attached to.

Project Type > Assessment of Recently Flooded Residence

PROJECT SUMMARY

REASON FOR INSPECTION:

  • Client reports a recent water intrusion from a washer line that has affected flooring and walls in his kitchen, laundry and dining room.  Environix hired to inspect the areas of concern and provide a bid for remediation.

PROPERTY DESCRIPTION:

  • This single family residential property was built in 1955 and is 1,450 ft².

JOBSITE PHOTOS

Client has removed and replaced a leaky pipe in laundry room wall

Client has removed and replaced a leaky pipe in laundry room wall

Client has begun to remove top layer of flooring in kitchen/laundry

Client has begun to remove top layer of flooring in kitchen/laundry

Flooring is saturated in kitchen/laundry room

Flooring is saturated in kitchen/laundry room

Hardwood flooring in kitchen shows water staining from leak

Hardwood flooring in kitchen shows water staining from leak

Elevated moisture in dining room hardwood flooring near shared wall with kitchen

Elevated moisture in dining room hardwood flooring near shared wall with kitchen

Signs of heavy rodent damage in crawlspace. Insulation has been torn down

Signs of heavy rodent damage in crawlspace. Insulation has been torn down

Subfloor is saturated and dripping under kitchen/laundry room from above leak

Subfloor is saturated and dripping under kitchen/laundry room from above leak

Standing water and wet insulation on crawlspace floor

Standing water and wet insulation on crawlspace floor

RELATIVE HUMIDITY, CO2, & TEMPERATURE READINGS:

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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 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.
  • Home suffers from insufficient use of the ventilation system. This leads to a buildup of indoor pollutants and increases the relative humidity, creating conditions conducive to mold growth and dust mites.

LOCATION:  Crawlspace

Observations:

  • Heavy rodent damage observed in the crawlspace.
  • All insulation has been torn down and damaged by rodents. None of the insulation is salvageable.
  • The subfloor is saturated as a result of a water leak in the laundry room, above. Water is dripping from the subfloor under the laundry area.
  • Vapor barrier missing and damaged in places. Exposed areas of soil in the crawlspace allow significant quantities of water vapor to migrate upward into the home, increasing the relative humidity. Additionally, exposed areas of soil often allow odors to move upward into the home.
  • No air sealing noted in subfloor. Air sealing is a technique where the small holes and gaps in the subfloor, such as around plumbing fixtures, are sealed with expanding foam. This greatly reduces the air movement from the crawlspace into the main living area of the home.  Not only does this improve the energy efficiency of the home, it significantly reduces the flow of odors and mold spores from the crawlspace into the home.

Recommendations:

  • Contact a qualified crawlspace cleanup company that can address the rodent infestation as well as the insulation problems.

LOCATION:  Kitchen & Laundry

Observations:

  • A water leak appears to have been coming from the washing machine drain line. The client reports a plumber is coming to inspect and repair the leak on May 27th.
  • The flooring consists of 2 layers of vinyl and particle board flooring. This flooring must be tested for asbestos prior to disturbing.
  • The subfloor is visibly wet underneath the layers of vinyl. A piece of vinyl flooring was cut away to inspect the subfloor. The subfloor was found to be saturated.
  • Elevated moisture detected in the drywall behind and near the washing machine hookups.

Recommendations:

  • Professional mitigation and remediation is necessary to properly address the existing water damage and to prevent cross contamination. During remediation, HEPA filtration, negative air pressurization and proper personal protective equipment must be utilized. Please see included pricing.
  • Test flooring and drywall for asbestos.
  • Remove and dispose of all vinyl flooring.
  • Remove the saturated bottom 24” of drywall behind and near the washing machine hookups.

LOCATION:  Dining Room

Observations:

  • Elevated moisture detected in the drywall and hardwood floor near the kitchen & laundry area.

Recommendations:

  • Professional mitigation and remediation is necessary to properly address the existing water damage and to prevent cross contamination. During remediation, HEPA filtration, negative air pressurization and proper personal protective equipment must be utilized. Please see included pricing.
  • Test drywall for asbestos.
  • Remove the water damaged drywall material.
  • Dry the hardwood flooring.