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Indoor air contamination by mold is an emotionally charged issue. Mold spores can cause allergic reactions, especially to people with asthma, allergies or a compromised immune system.
A causal link between more serious health effects and mold exposure is a topic of debate and on-going research within the scientific community. AirQuest has developed a scientific and practical approach to addressing mold concerns on behalf of homeowners, property owners, property managers and insurance companies.
AirQuest’s mold assessment always begins with a visual inspection to identify visible mold and water damage.
A moisture meter or thermal imaging camera is used to identify building materials containing excessive moisture.
Based upon the results of the initial investigation, additional investigation, repair of moisture source and/or remediation of water damaged or mold-contaminated building materials may be recommended.
1. Microbial & Moisture Survey
The initial investigation into potential fungal concerns begins with a comprehensive visual inspection and a moisture survey. AirQuest uses state-of-the-art techniques to identify and investigate the sources of moisture in building systems. The initial investigation typically consists of one or more of the following:
- Visual inspection of the interior and exterior of the building
- Visual examination of the HVAC system for evidence of mold growth
- Moisture survey (using a penetrating moisture meter) of targeted building materials
- Temperature, relative humidity, dew point, and wet bulb temperatures
- Photographic documentation of the visual observations
- Report preparation, including recommendations for additional investigation or remediation
Mold requires a moisture source to proliferate in an indoor environment.
Whether the moisture source is a roof leak, plumbing leak, problems with the exterior building envelope or problems associated with the mechanical system (i.e. air conditioning drain pan leak or excessive humidity), a critical step in the mold identification and remediation process is to identify and remove the source of the moisture before replacement of water-damaged or mold-contaminated materials.
AirQuest works with professionals from many trades to accomplish this critical task.
2. Microbial Analytical Testing
Visual identification of mold is typically sufficient to determine the need for remediation. However, in some circumstances, mold sampling and analysis is used to:
- Identify the amplification of airborne mold spores migrating from inaccessible areas
- Identify the presence of mold in carpet or settled dust
- Identify areas of mold spore amplification within a building
- Identify the species of mold to compare to the findings of a physician
or health care professional in connection with a patient suffering from allergic reactions
- Measure the effectiveness of techniques used to control and clean up contamination during a remediation project.
AirQuest personnel are trained and experienced in the use of state-of-the-art technologies for the collection of representative mold samples, including air sampling, surface dust sampling, Cell-O-Tape, vacuum dust, swab or wipe, bulk material sampling, and MVOC sampling. Samples are submitted to an American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA) Environmental Microbiology Accredited laboratory for quantification and/or speciation.
3. Mold Abatement Oversight
The removal of mold-contaminated material may cause an airborne release of mold spores that can contaminate adjacent areas and cause impacts to human health.
A properly designed mold abatement plan and oversight by an AirQuest project manager will document that sufficient engineering controls were put in place to prevent contamination of non-affected areas, that all targeted areas were removed, and that professional post-abatement cleaning procedures (including HEPA-vacuuming and wet wiping procedures) were performed to remove microscopic (invisible) mold spores from surfaces within the impacted area.
AirQuest develops mold remediation specifications in accordance with the latest in industry standards developed by the American Industrial Hygiene Association, American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists, United States Environmental Protection Agency, and Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification.