Friday, January 22, 2021

Home Inspectors and Mold Sampling

If you order your custom term paper from our custom writing service you will receive a perfectly written assignment on Home Inspectors and Mold Sampling. What we need from you is to provide us with your detailed paper instructions for our experienced writers to follow all of your specific writing requirements. Specify your order details, state the exact number of pages required and our custom writing professionals will deliver the best quality Home Inspectors and Mold Sampling paper right on time.

Out staff of freelance writers includes over 120 experts proficient in Home Inspectors and Mold Sampling, therefore you can rest assured that your assignment will be handled by only top rated specialists. Order your Home Inspectors and Mold Sampling paper at affordable prices!

Home Inspectors and Mold Sampling

"Improperly Trained Inspectors & Remediation Companies

May Be Placing Building Occupants at Risk"


Are improperly or untrained home inspectors placing consumers in harms way? This

article will look at some of the possibilities surrounding indoor biological contaminants, sampling

personnel and methods and how consumers may be unknowingly misled when it comes to these

issues. In the home inspection profession today, one does not have to go far to become a socalled

"mold expert". National inspector publications offer mold classes on every other page and

companies looking to turn "mold to gold" have sprung up faster than the mold itself. There is also

no shortage of companies that are willing to come and turn your home into a chemical testing

ground to help alleviate you of your mold and your money. In this article I will take a look at some

of the methods being practiced to test and clean mold and take a better look at those performing

these procedures.

First, lets look at home inspectors that are selling mold testing as an add-on service to

their home inspection business. The companies I have looked at offer to perform either tape lift or

swab samples of mold for anywhere from $50-$100 per sample. The inspector has no idea what it

is that these samples will tell him, but he sees it as an easy $100. There are just a few problems

here. First, let's say his client is purchasing a home and has children with respiratory ailments.

The inspector takes a tape lift sample of a spot which is thought to be mold in the basement.

What will this tape lift tell him about the condition of the air in the building? Will the microbial

contamination, if present, affect the children with respiratory ailments? Is the microbial

contamination becoming airborne? If it is becoming airborne, how is it doing so? How about the

mother-in-law that is coming to visit after her bout with chemotherapy, will any of this affect her?

I am from the school of thought that if you see mold on a wall, sampling it will provide little

useful information. Yes, it is mold. We already knew that by visual indication. Remove it. But most

importantly, correct the conditions that led to the microbial contamination in the first place. If the

reservoir is large, 10+sf have it evaluated by an indoor air quality professional. An experienced

investigator will ask the right questions, take into consideration all of the building parameters

(temperature, humidity levels, surface temperatures, dew-points, air movement, building and

room pressures, etc.) Take information during an occupant interview asking questions about

health factors, etc. and from the information compiled make a determination if sampling would

answer any unanswered questions. If it is determined that sampling is required to gather further

information, an indoor air quality professional will know how to create a meaningful sampling

strategy that can create some meaningful results.

It is not possible to collect all bio-organisms using a single sampling method. The

methods used to collect, culture and analyze samples vary greatly. Sampling equipment is sizespecific,

for example, settle plates will collect mainly large spores, and centrifugal samplers will

miss the larger spores. Microbials may be culturable, non-culturable, and non-viable. Fungal and

bacterial fragments can be allergenic. Different agars will support the growth of different fungal

species, depending on the agar formulation and moisture availability. Incubation time and

temperature also favor selective organisms (1)

A home inspector performing one or two tape lift samples may be missing critical

information in the above scenario. Are pathogenic fungi present? How about bacteria? Is the

contamination airborne? If the contaminants are airborne are they making their way to the

breathing zone on the main floor? If they are making their way to the main floor, what is the

pathway? Is the reservoir sampled active at this time? How should the problem be addressed?

Does the microbial contamination warrant a full remediation including respirators, negative air, air

scrubbers, and dehumidification or drying equipment? Are there building defects present which

require attention to prevent amplification sites from reappearing after remediation?

Studies have shown that bacteria can also be present in water damaged building, yet we

rarely see any samples for bacteria in water damaged homes. Bacteria, much the same as fungi

can produce toxic substances for a competitive edge. The toxic substances in one study were not

only found to be toxic to fungi, but also to mammalian cells as well.

In the studies, microorganisms from indoor materials and dusts settled in the respiration

zone of water damaged buildings were investigated for the occurrence of bacteria producing

substances antagonistic to fungi and toxic towards mammalian cells. Strains of Bacillus cereus

and of Bacillus amyloliquefaciens were isolated by a "reverse Alexander Fleming technique" from

microbially damaged buildings. Most of the isolates produced agents toxic not only to fungi with

which the bacteria compete for space and nutrients in the building, but also to mitochondria of

mammalian cells. ()

These issues must be addressed when building occupants have diagnosed symptoms

which could be bioaerosol related. Taking one or two tape lift surface samples would not address

any of the noted scenarios. At issue is not only a misdiagnosis of the problem, but most likely an

improper or unsuccessful attempt at remediation.

Another issue which deserves attention is the remediation of existing microbial

contaminants in the indoor environment. There are several companies in my area market which

remediate by fogging and spraying chemicals, biocides and sealants. The MSDS for these

products are very unclear about the ingredients of the products (claim of trade secrets) and

therefore have the potential of being irritants themselves. The use of biocides is not

recommended in the remediation of microbial contamination. Let's see what is said concerning

biocides by respected industry authorities

AIHA (American Industrial Hygiene Association)

Are biocides required or useful in remediation projects?

Biocides are disinfectant chemicals used to kill germs in order to prevent infections resulting from

contact with these materials. In most mold remediations, biocides are not a substitute for

thorough cleaning. Biocides are of limited use in remediation of indoor mold contamination for

two main reasons

1) The adverse effects caused by mold (other than infection) are due to metabolites present in

their spores and secreted into the materials upon which molds have grown. The application

of biocides may kill mold spores but it does not necessarily eliminate these metabolites. The

only sure way to do this requires the physical elimination of mold and moldy materials by

thorough cleaning or removal of the affected materials.

) Most commonly used biocides do not kill molds effectively. Active fungal growth on a surface

may produce a spore density of one million spores per square inch. Treating an active mold

growth site with a spore density of one million spores per square inch with a biocide with an

effectiveness of .% would then leave an estimated 10 viable spores per square inch.

As such, if the underlying moisture problem is not resolved, mold growth may re-occur.

The only situation where biocidal treatments are indicated is where the contaminant is one of the

few fungi that are known to cause human infection. This is particularly important in health care

facilities or other places with occupants who have impaired immune systems or who may be more

susceptible than the general population to infection ()


Mold Remediation/Cleanup and Biocides

The purpose of mold remediation is to remove the mold to prevent human exposure and damage

to building materials and furnishings. It is necessary to clean up mold contamination, not just to

kill the mold. Dead mold is still allergenic, and some dead molds are potentially toxic. The use of

a biocide, such as chlorine bleach, is not recommended as a routine practice during mold

remediation, although there may be instances where professional judgment may indicate its use

(for example, when immune-compromised individuals are present). In most cases, it is not

possible or desirable to sterilize an area; a background level of mold spores will remain in the air

(roughly equivalent to or lower than the level in outside air). These spores will not grow if the

moisture problem in the building has been resolved.

If you choose to use disinfectants or biocides, always ventilate the area. Outdoor air may need to

be brought in with fans. When using fans, take care not to distribute mold spores throughout an

unaffected area. Biocides are toxic to humans, as well as to mold. You should also use

appropriate PPE and read and follow label precautions. Never mix chlorine bleach solution with

cleaning solutions or detergents that contain ammonia; toxic fumes could be produced.

Some biocides are considered pesticides, and some States require that only registered pesticide

applicators apply these products in schools. Make sure anyone applying a biocide is properly

licensed, if necessary. Fungicides are commonly applied to outdoor plants, soil, and grains as a

dust or sprayexamples include hexachlorobenzene, organomercurials, pentachlorophenol,

phthalimides, and dithiocarbamates. Do not use fungicides developed for use outdoors for mold

remediation or for any other indoor situation (4).

NYC Department of Health

Guidelines on Assessment and Remediation of Fungi in Indoor Environments

The use of gaseous, vapor-phase, or aerosolized biocides for remedial purposes is not

recommended. The use of biocides in this manner can pose health concerns for people in

occupied spaces of the building and for people returning to the treated space if used improperly.

Furthermore, the effectiveness of these treatments is unproven and does not address the

possible health concerns from the presence of the remaining non-viable mold. For additional

information on the use of biocides for remedial purposes, refer to the American Conference of

Governmental Industrial Hygienists' document, "Bioaerosols Assessment and Control." (5)

American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH)

Bioaerosols Assessment and Control, 15.4 Biocide Use

Remediators must carefully consider the necessity and advisability of applying biocides when

cleaning microbially contaminated surfaces. The goal of remediation programs should be removal

of all microbial growth. This generally can be accomplished by physical removal of materials

supporting active growth and thorough cleaning of non-porous materials. Therefore, application of

a biocide would serve no purpose that could not be accomplished with a detergent or cleaning

agent. (6)

The companies using such practices are also selling additional products such as special

filters, UV lights and other items. Again, the products being sold and recommended may be

having an opposite effect of what is intended or expected. In many cases, special filters, placed

into the air handler are adding to overall static pressure on the system and may be affecting

proper operation and life expectancy of the system. Most residential systems are manufactured to

operate at .50" w.c. total static pressure. These filters alone may add that much static pressure to

the system, and therefore leave no room for ducts, etc. This not only will affect the system, but

could worsen the indoor air quality problems. I recently had opportunity to perform an assessment

on a home which already had a so-called assessment performed "free of charge" by a local

remediation company. The homeowner was given a proposal stating that the home was

thoroughly contaminated with mold, including the HVAC system and that an $8000.00

remediation using fogging and sealants would be needed. During my assessment, I performed

my usual assessment establishing ambient air and humidity readings, dew points and surface

temperatures, taking particulate counts throughout the building and outdoors, performing a visual

assessment of suspected areas, evaluating the HVAC system operation and hygiene and taking

moisture readings on basement walls using a moisture meter. Our on-site microscopist was given

tape samples from suspected areas and from the HVAC system return, before the filter and it was

determined that three spore trap samples would be taken from suspect and non-suspect areas.

The results were obvious to me before taking the samples, but we felt it was best to verify our

hypotheses with samples. The air inside the home was very similar to outdoor air and suspect

and non-suspect areas were also similar. I found no conditions in the building conducive to

microbial amplification and the minimal amount of mold visible was on small areas of framing and

sheathing and was most likely the result of moisture content at the time of construction.

The remainder of the home was very well maintained and the hygiene was very good.

The same was true of the HVAC system. The small amount of mold which was present was small

enough that following NYC Guidelines (5) the homeowner could clean the contamination himself.

The total savings on this project $7400.00 plus the risk that fogging would have contaminated the

building and HVAC system.

This paper shows that a free assessment performed by a remediation company may

save you the cost of a proper assessment, but could cost you big later. The above story makes

clear one fact. When choosing a company to perform any environmental assessment, the

company performing the assessment should not be a remediation company. It is important to

remember that assessment and remediation are two separate businesses and should be kept

that way to avoid conflicts of interest.



00 Proceedings of the th International Conference on Indoor Air Quality and Climate, Vol. 1,

H Levin, ed., Indoor Air 00, Santa Cruz, California, 00, pp. 78-7.


BUILDINGS, M Andersson, R Mikkola, C Apetroaie, D Hoornstra, T Nieminen and M Salkinoja-

Salonen. - Indoor Air 00 Proceedings of the th International Conference on Indoor Air Quality

and Climate, Vol. 1, H Levin, ed., Indoor Air 00, Santa Cruz, California, 00, pp. 4-.

) AIHA (American Industrial Hygiene Association) web site faq

4) US EPA Mold Remediation/Cleanup and Biocides

5) NYC Department of Health - Guidelines on Assessment and Remediation of Fungi in Indoor


6) American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH) Bioaerosols

Assessment and Control, 15.4 Biocide Use

Please note that this sample paper on Home Inspectors and Mold Sampling is for your review only. In order to eliminate any of the plagiarism issues, it is highly recommended that you do not use it for you own writing purposes. In case you experience difficulties with writing a well structured and accurately composed paper on Home Inspectors and Mold Sampling, we are here to assist you. Your cheap custom college paper on Home Inspectors and Mold Sampling will be written from scratch, so you do not have to worry about its originality.

Order your authentic assignment from Live Paper Help

and you will be amazed at how easy it is to complete a quality custom paper within the shortest time possible!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.