SEEK MOLD ABATEMENT TO RELIEVE CHRONIC ILLNESSES IN COMMERCIAL, MUNICIPAL, AND SCHOOL BUILDINGS
It is no mystery that traces of mold or other indoor toxins to commercial and municipal buildings can be the cause of the air inhalation illnesses to those near the mold or toxin. It is crucial to hire a mold specialist to protect the people inside the structure, breathing the toxins on a regular basis. If left untreated, the mold spores can spread and cause damage to the structure of the building. Any water damage, leakage, or mold damage needs to be treated as quickly as possible.
Building complaints often are the first indications of mold. The building is too hot, too cool, or too dry. Then there are a host of health problems that have common mold symptoms. Some symptoms are headaches, dry and irritated eyes, cough, irritated throat and lungs, shortness of breath, fatigue, etc. The building superintendent often calls an HVAC contractor to fix the air quality problem. However, there may be more severe issues, and determining the root cause of the health problems is key to mold remediation.
The underlying cause of the health problems can usually be detected by experienced medical professionals, not facility managers, engineers or the occupants. When the issue is clearly related to the environment, temperature and humidity, then engineering fixes are warranted.
Often the building occupants will be told that their health problems are due to indoor air issues. But there needs to be a thorough mold inspection and mold testing of the building to prevent more harm. First an indoor air investigation can be conducted, and the issue may be as simple as cleaning the HVAC system and/or adjustments to the air flow, temperature or humidity. Cleaning the visible mold and adjusting humidity may be an adequate solution. For more diverse health complaints, a team of physicians/toxicologists, industrial hygienists and engineers may need to conduct a mold inspection. A comprehensive sampling and laboratory analysis may be required to determine the source of the problem and how to best remedy the situation.
The costs of not handling the health problems are detrimental to the building owner or management company. Worker discontent, lost productivity, expensive testing and remediation, and litigation can be a source of contention due to suspected mold or hazardous chemicals. To ensure that complaints are handled sufficiently, there are some tips to avert costly mold remediation.
Find out if the consultant has a scientific background. A combination of physicians/toxicologists, industrial hygienists and engineers whether individually or as a team, will best resolve the root cause of the indoor health issues.
Find out if the consultant works with an analytical laboratory. If so, they can exaggerate the level of sampling and analysis required. If the consultant has any association with a remediation firm, then you should be wary of them, since they can charge disproportionate fees.
Find out if the goals of the consultant and the owner are the same. Ask how “clean” is clean to the consultant, and at what point the cleanup is complete. Differing views on this goal can unsatisfactorily meet the expectations of the owner.
Find out if the consultant has litigation experience. If the consultant is unaware of health litigation issues, the consultant may not adequately describe the problem, conduct unnecessary sampling, inadequately monitor the remediation, and permit environmental testing groups to incorrectly identify the potential health effects.
Many consultants and mold abatement companies, however, do not seek to find the source of the air-borne problems. Instead, they magnify the problem with unnecessary testing and methods that do not solve the problem of indoor health conditions.
More often than not, the source of the mold problem is faulty water management, ventilation and humidity conditions of the HVAC system, or faulty resolution of water or soil intrusion into the building. If these areas are not addressed, the mold problem may not be eradicated.
Owners should carefully select a team of experts in medicine, industrial hygiene, and engineering. The team needs to verify the real potential hazard of the mold or indoor issue in the building, and apply scientifically-sound and practical solutions. This will avert high costs and resolve the mold contamination issue.
Quality Environmental Inc. is a reputable company with over 30 years of experience in environmental restoration issues such as these. We are able to detect any signs of mold, lead, asbestos, or other hazards that may threaten the safety and health of residents. Call a Quality representative at 562-941-1434 for immediate service, and an emergency response team if needed.