Chapter 7 - Evaluating the Remediation
- Completing Mold Remediation - Fix the Water Problem and Clean Up the Mold
- Considering Bioaerosol Sampling
- Knowledge Test
Lesson 1 - Completing Mold Remediation - Fix the Water Problem and Clean Up the Mold
How Do You Know When You Have Finished Remediation/Cleanup?
- You must have completely fixed the water or moisture problem.
- You should complete mold removal. Use professional judgment to determine if the cleanup is sufficient. Visible mold, mold-damaged materials, and moldy odors should not be present.
- If you have sampled, the kinds and concentrations of mold and mold spores in the building should be similar to those found outside, once cleanup activities have been completed.
- You should revisit the site(s) shortly after remediation, and it should show no signs of water damage or mold growth.
- People should be able to occupy or re-occupy the space without health complaints or physical symptoms.
- Ultimately, this is a judgment call; there is no easy answer.
How do you know when you have finished remediation? Ultimately, it is a judgment call. People should be able to occupy or work in the building without health complaints or physical symptoms. The most important action, if mold growth is to be controlled in a building, is to eliminate the source of moisture that caused the mold problem. No matter how good the mold cleanup is, if the water problem is not solved, mold will return. Therefore, determining whether moisture in the building is being controlled is key in assessing the effectiveness of the remediation effort. If moisture is not being controlled, even removing all the mold growing in the building will be only a temporary solution.
A visual inspection of the area that has been remediated should show no evidence of present or past mold growth. There should be no moldy or musty odors associated with the building, because these odors suggest that mold continues to grow. If mold or moldy odors are present in the building, the remediation has not been effective.
Keep in mind that remodeling, cleaning, and construction may have introduced new building materials or chemicals capable of causing upper respiratory irritation that, in some individuals, may mimic the symptoms caused by exposure to mold.
Lesson 2 - Considering Bioaerosol Sampling
Bioaerosol sampling (air sampling for mold or other biological contaminants) usually is not necessary to determine remediation effectiveness. In fact, bioaerosol sampling may be less effective at determining the success of remediation than visual and sensory surveys of the area.
Although sampling may be of some help in judging remediation effectiveness, remember that a negative sampling report must not be used in place of a visual survey. Factors such as barometric pressure, inside and outside temperatures, activity levels, and humidity may dramatically reduce or increase the spore levels within a building. Air sampling for mold provides information on what was in the air only for the moment when the sampling occurred. It is important, therefore, that sampling not replace visual inspection.
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