The devastating major flood damage seen in Houston and other areas of Texas is appalling. Many people are no doubt anxious to return to their homes and begin cleanup. However, homeowners must be aware that the hazards from this event do not go away when the water drains out of their home. There are significant health and safety risks, both immediate and long-term, associated with river or ocean flooding.
Archive for Mold and Moisture
Recently, IET worked on several projects where sewage remediation contractors had difficulty achieving a sufficient level of cleanliness or sanitation to pass a “clearance” test. This would apply to contamination associated with a sewage backflow or other IICRC Category 3 “black water” event. These projects are, by their very nature, challenging. This article attempts to provide some sewage remediation suggestions for more effective and efficient project completion, addressing the areas where IET has often observed remediators having difficulty accomplishing. Read more
Sewage Testing of Presence/Absence (P/A) for Indicator Organisms vs. ATP Measurement
Indoor Environmental Technologies (IET) uses two sewage testing methods for contamination in Post-Remediation Verification inspections. The goal is to determine whether remediation has been successful and the areas tested have been returned to a sanitary condition:
A sewage backflow into a home is a serious problem. Depending on volume and other factors, it may create severe sewage contamination in the indoor environment with potentially extreme health risks. Sewage contamination has the potential to be much more unsafe than even the most severely mold contaminated environment. Yet many homeowners and property managers are not aware of these facts and often underestimate the potential health and safety risks. This brief article on sewage contamination is intended to help address this disparity between perception and reality.
As part of determining whether an indoor environment is contaminated with excessive amounts of mold and requires remediation, Indoor Environmental Technologies (IET) routinely performs air and surface mold sampling or testing. While there are many types of mold sampling, IET uses two of them the most:
When weather is cool but humid for extended periods, the AC does not run for long (if at all), and there is no way to remove internally-generated humidity. Humidity can build up to the point where it begins to cause not only condensation, but extensive mold growth on window surfaces and elsewhere.
When most people think of problems with high humidity in Florida homes, they think of summer weather, when outside humidity is extreme. And such problems do develop, for many reasons. However, humidity problems are also often common during spring, autumn and winter, especially when outside weather is cool and humid for extended periods. It’s important to be able to control humidity in Florida homes year round, not just during the summer. Under such conditions insufficient heat load is present to operate the AC system for long enough to keep up with internally-generated humidity (from cooking, showering, even breathing!) Read more
Background of Water and Mold Damage
In recent years, many insurance policies have instituted limits or caps on the amount that will be paid for “mold or microbial damage.” Often, what constitutes microbial damage is defined poorly, if at all, in the policy. Meanwhile, the funds available for water damage restoration are generally not separately capped, and are available up to policy limits.
There are several important reasons why Indoor Environmental Technologies, Inc. (IET), and published industry standards, recommend that a mold inspection be performed by a separate company prior to starting mold remediation. In fact, many of the better remediation contractors in Florida will not start a remediation project without a mold protocol in hand. Consider the following four reasons: Read more
Series on Mold and Buildings – Part 3.
When mold growth has been identified within a building, certain steps must be taken to isolate the contaminated materials and to make proper repairs. Appropriate Engineering Controls must be considered to control the mold and prevent the spores and dust from spreading during mold remediation.