assessing and remediation of moisture and mold in residential housing

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Assessing and Remediation of Moisture and Mold in Residential Housing. What is mold?. Biological Pollutant A living organism Can grow on almost anywhere and on any surface Needs food, temperature and moisture to grow. Mold or Fungi. Multi-cellular and unicellular - PowerPoint PPT Presentation


  • Assessing and Remediation of Moisture and Mold in Residential Housing

  • What is mold?Biological PollutantA living organismCan grow on almost anywhere and on any surfaceNeeds food, temperature and moisture to grow

  • Mold or FungiMulti-cellular and unicellularMulti-cellular formed of microscopic filaments called HYPHAEA colony looks velvety, granular or leatheryMay appear black, red, green, yellow or brownMost common aspergillus, pennicilium, and stachybotrys.

  • Mold and FungiOutdoors mushrooms, puffballs, trufflesDuring lifecycles spores are formedSpores small, light, travel by airNeed food from external sourcesWater is critical to digestive processVolatile compounds can be released called mycotoxins

  • Mold and FungiGrows on organic materialsWood PaperFoods

  • Health Effects of MoldAllergenicPathogenicToxigenic

  • Allergenic MoldsAllergic reactions to mold are common Inhaling or touching may cause allergic reactions to sensitive individuals Mold can be dead or aliveRepeated exposure may cause sensitivitySymptoms include Hay fever reaction, sneezing, runny nose, red eyes, skin rash

  • Pathogenic MoldsCause infectionsOnly small group of molds associated with infectionsMost dangerous for immune compromised individualsSome infections include Hypersensitivity Pneumonitis, Histoplasmosis

  • Toxiogenic MoldsCause diseaseExposure thru inhalation, ingestion and skin contactMycotoxins Some molds have been proven to cause liver damage, central nervous system damage

  • Building Science BasicsMoisture Flow ConceptsAir Flow ConceptsIndoor Air Quality Concepts

  • Liquid FlowDriven by gravity or air pressureExamples: roof Leaks and plumbing leaksThe most serious threat for a home

  • Capillary FlowLiquid water creates a suction of its own as it moves through tiny spaces within and between building materialsExamples: Capillary action can also move liquid water into a home through damp soil and a porous concrete slab or stem concrete wall

  • Air MovementAir movement carries water vapor into and out of the building and its cavitiesExample: Hot air rises through the cracks and crevices in the top of the building shell taking water vapor with it.

  • Vapor DiffusionWater vapor will move through solid objects depending on their permeance and vapor pressureIs the the slowest form of moisture movement

  • Moisture RulesMoisture moves from warm to coldMoisture flows from more to lessMoisture hitchhikes with air: high pressure to low pressureGravity pulls water downWater wicks up l

  • Air Flow Basics

  • Air Flow1 Cfm out = 1 Cfm in

  • Air Flow High pressure flows to low pressure

  • Air FlowA hole + a driving force =Airflow

  • Driving ForcesNaturalWindStack EffectMechanicalBath FansKitchen FansDryersForced air heating

  • IAQ Basics

  • Most vulnerable to the effects of indoor air pollutionElderlyChildrenDisabled Immune deficient or chronically illPregnant woman/unborn child

  • Children the most vulnerableTheir bodies are still developing. Their immune systems are still developing and may be less protectiveThey take in more food, water and air per pound of body weight than adultsThey are smaller and therefore closer to pollutants on or near the ground. They put their hands in their mouth more than adultsEarly environmental insults may have a lifelong consequences

  • Indoor Air Pollutants Moisture Tobacco smokePressed wood furniture CarpetsMoth repellentsInsects Dry cleaned goods Household chemicalsDust mites PesticidesPersonal care productsLead based paintCar exhaust WoodstovePaint suppliesPetsPanelingCleanersRadon Products of combustion

  • Seven Steps to a Healthy Home Dry and CleanWater, clutter and dust permit or encourage the growth of mold, insects rodents and mites. Keeping a home dry and clean controls mold and pests.

    Well ventilatedVentilation provides a mechanism to remove contaminants.

    Combustion Product FreeCombustion products like carbon monoxide should not be present in a healthy home

  • Seven Steps Cont.Toxic Chemicals FreeToxic cleaning compounds, pesticides, oil based paints and solvents can lead to poor indoor air quality.

    Pest FreePests lead to allergic reactions and pests lead to pesticides. Food and water lead to pests.

    ComfortableUncomfortable homes can make people take action that makes a home unhealthy. If people cant afford to heat their home they wont ventilate their home.

  • ReviewMold spores are everywhere Mold needs a temperature range from 40F to 100F to growMold needs food to growMold needs moisture to growMold can cause moderate to severe reactionsMold is a symptom of a moisture problem

  • Assessing for Mold and Moisture ProblemsProcedures for assessmentsGuidelines for assessmentsTools for assessments

  • Procedure for Assessing Mold and MoistureClient interviewPollution Source SurveyPhysical survey of the building

  • Client InterviewVery valuable in assessing a IAQ problemMay have a complaint that should be recognizedOften know a lot about their homeA chance for further IAQ education

  • Pollution Source SurveyDocuments existing conditionsCan indicate possible problemsIdentifies risksMay help in designing solutions

  • Pollution source surveyPollution source survey

  • Physical SurveySurvey possible moistures sources from outside and documentExamples

  • Physical SurveySurvey possible sources from inside and documentExamples

  • Assessment Tools and MeasurementsEyes, ears, noseMeasure relative humidityMeasure building materials moisture contentMeasure surface temperatures

  • Measuring Relative Humidity

    Thermo-Hygrometer homeowner modelDigital$19

  • Measuring Relative Humidity

    Sling PsychrometerFor measuring RH takes 2 minutes$35

  • Detecting Moisture Pin testerThe process requires making holes in the material to testedWorks on wood,sheetrock ,plaster, concrete$350

  • Detecting Moisture Non destructive testerSlides across material to be tested without damaging it$200 to $400

  • Measuring TemperatureInfrared PointerMeasures common surface temperatures$350

  • Guidelines for Evaluating Mold ContaminationNew York City GuidelinesCMHC Homeowners Guide

  • Small AreasNYC defines as 10 sq ft or less designated LEVEL 1CMHC defines a small area no larger than one sq meter and no more than three of those areas

  • Small AreasNYC remediation conducted by trained maintenance staffTraining includes clean up methods, personal protection and potential health hazards

  • Small AreasCMHC say homeowners can clean up with detergent and gloves and dust mask and guidance from Homeowners Guide

  • Mid-Sized AreasNYC defines as 10-30 sq ft. designated as LEVEL 2CMHCC considers mid sized to be more than three patches, each smaller than a sq meter or there is one or more isolated patches larger than a square meter but smaller that three sq meters

  • Mid-Sized AreasNYC remediation conducted by trained maintenance staffTraining includes clean up methods, personal protection and potential health hazards

  • Mid-Sized AreasCMHC recommends assessment by a professional but if proper procedures are followed can be cleaned up by the homeowner

  • Large AreasNYC defines as 30-100 sq ftCMHC considers an single patch greater than sheet of plywood extensive

  • Solving ProblemsMold is the outcome of another problemMOISTURESolve the moisture problem and you solve the Mold problem

  • Moisture SourcesInteriorExteriorQuantifying

  • Moisture contributions from inside

    Respiration, perspiration 4pints / person / day

  • Moisture contributions from inside

    Unvented dryers5.0 pints / load

  • Moisture contributions from inside

    Plants.96 pints / day / 7 plants

  • Moisture contributions from inside

    Crawlspaces0 to 105 pints / day

  • Moisture contributions from inside

    Firewood 0-5 pints / day

  • Moisture contributions from inside

    Dishwashing.044 / pints / day / 4 people

  • Moisture contributions from insideShowering,bathing.52 pints / 5 minutes

  • Moisture contributions from insideFloor mopping.03 pints / sqft

  • Moisture contributions from inside

    Cooking.088 pints / day / 4 people

  • Moisture contributions from inside

    Plumbing Leaks

  • Moisture contributions from inside

    Drying laundry inside4-6 pints per load

  • Standing water in crawl space

  • Moisture from outsideThis can be the largest source of moisture in a houseRoof leaksBroken or disconnected gutters and downspouts Improper site drainageBroken footing drainsImproperly functioning landscape irrigation

  • Roof Leaks

  • Improper flashing details

  • Site Drainage

  • Disconnected Downspout

  • Broken Footing Drains

  • Moisture Problems are eitherA surface temperature problem orA vapor pressure problem

  • Common Surface Temperature ProblemsPoor air circulation ClosetsExterior corners

  • Common Surface Temperature ProblemsWind washing and Low insulation levelsExterior wall line at ceilingNear leaky windows or doors

  • Solving problemsReduce vapor pressureSource controlDehumidification

  • Psychrometric Basics

  • Dry Bulb TemperatureThe air mixture temperature a