Mold and Water Damage

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1 Mold and Water Damage Presented by: Michelle Rosales, MPH, CIH Affordable Housing Management Association May 19, 2015

2 Who is Forensic Analytical? Founded in 1986 Offices in: San Francisco Los Angeles Sacramento Las Vegas Portland San Diego 3 separate partner companies Forensic Analytical Consulting Services, Inc. (FACS) Forensic Analytical Laboratories, Inc. (FALI) Forensic Analytical Sciences, Inc. (Crime Lab)

3 Environmental Health Science The study and management of the human health impacts of physical, biological and chemical agents in the community and workplace. The focus is on characterizing these risks and developing practical means for their control.

4

5 FACS Services Offered: Asbestos Lead Water Damage and Mold PCBs IEQ Industrial Hygiene EHS Management Litigation Support / Experts Structure Fire/ Wildfire

6 Agenda Flood, sewage and plumbing problems and cleanup standards Defining water damage Investigation methodologies Remediation & verification

7 FLOODS

8 What Causes a Flood Event? Outside Sources Natural disasters Man-made disasters Inside Sources Plumbing Issue Sewage Back Up Large Spills

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10 Defining Water Damage As defined in IICRC S500 guidelines Type of Water Category 1: Clean (supply/drinking water) Category 2: Gray (transitional, light contamination) Category 3: Black (chemical, sewage, floods) Water Class Class 1: Small Class 2: Medium Class 3: Large Class 4: Specialty drying

11 IICRC Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification S500 - Latest version 2006 Standard and Reference Guide for Professional Water Restoration S520 Latest version Standard and Reference Guide for Professional Mold Remediation

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13 Water Categories: Category 2 contains significant contamination and has the potential to cause discomfort or sickness. Includes: discharges from dishwashers/washing machines, overflows from toilet bowls (urine no feces), aquariums. May deteriorate to Category 3

14 Water Categories: Category 3 water that is grossly contaminated and can contain pathogenic, toxigenic or harmful agents. Includes: toilet backflows that originate from beyond the toilet trap (regardless of color); all forms of flooding from seawater, wind-driven rain from natural disasters.

15 Water Classes: Class 1 least amount of water, typically only affects only a part of a room, or area or large area with minimal moisture absorbed. Class 2 large amount of water; affects at least an entire room; water wicked up at least 2 ; moisture remaining in structural materials

16 Water Classes: Class 3 greatest amount of water; may come from overhead; entire room saturated. Class 4 specialty drying situations; wet materials with very low permeance/porosity (e.g. concrete, hardwood); requires other methods of drying

17 CATEGORY 1

18 Water Damage Restoration Initial Assessment: What is the source of moisture intrusion? Has it been repaired or temporarily fixed? How long have materials have been wet? the 48 hour window Extent of affected materials? under cabinets, coverings, in wall cavities moisture meter and common sense survey Is outside assistance needed?

19 Moisture Assessment Invasive Meter Non-Invasive Meter Thermal Imaging Camera

20 Water Damage Restoration Restoration Actions: Water Extraction Remove and/or dry building materials, contents, furnishings Reference Guidelines EPA Table I, IICRC S500 EPA Mold Remediation In Schools and Commercial Buildings

21 Water Damage Restoration Equipment Water Extraction Fans Dehumidifiers

22 Water Damage Restoration Prior to and during the removal of building materials, consider the potential for disturbance of materials containing asbestos, lead or other hazardous substances and take appropriate measures in accordance with applicable federal, state and local regulations.

23 Water Damage Restoration Final Assessment: Confirm materials are dry (moisture meter) Confirm there is no mold growth Confirm source has been addressed Document conditions and actions No sampling necessary

24 CATEGORY 2 & 3

25 Water Damage Restoration Initial Assessment: Extent of affected materials? under cabinets, coverings, in wall cavities moisture meter and common sense survey porous and non-porous material identification Is outside assistance needed? Is sampling necessary to determine extent?

26 Surface Sampling Bacteria : black water indicators MUG Analysis: Fecal coliforms; E. Coli; Enterococcus PCR Bacteroides Not always necessary if impacted by known contaminated water source, bacterial impact should be assumed.

27 Water Damage Restoration Containment/Isolation from un-affected areas (may include negative pressure) Moisture impacted materials Porous items/materials = removal and disposal Non-porous items/materials = cleaning, decontamination, and dried Refer to IICRC S500 for specifics on porous materials

28 Water Damage Restoration Final Assessment: Confirm porous materials have been removed and replaced Confirm materials are dry (moisture meter) Confirm there is no mold growth Confirm source has been addressed Document conditions and actions Surface sampling (Bacteria, ATP)

29 MOLD

30 Why is Mold an Issue? People have a greater awareness of hazards in their environment. Construction boom. Materials Quality Nationwide increase in adult onset and childhood asthma. Media attention. Toxic Black Mold Litigation

31 Why Be Concerned? Potential adverse health consensus. effects. Lack of regulated Property damage. control mechanisms. Negative publicity. Liability and litigation. Lost productivity. Lack of scientific

32 Health Effects: Allergic Approximately 5% of the population expected to have allergic symptoms upon exposure Varies from individual to individual Infectious Generally does not occur in healthy individuals Immune compromised at higher risk Toxic Debatable; CDC states that there are very few case reports that toxic molds inside homes can cause unique or rare, health conditions

33 Definitions Fungus Organisms of the kingdom fungi. Role is to decompose organic matter. Mold A layperson s term for fungi typically observed in the indoor environment. Mildew 1) A technical term describing types of fungi associated with specific plant disease, 2) A layperson s term for a thin layer of fungal growth commonly found in a built environment (i.e. grout) Rot condition caused by specific types of fungi associated with the decomposition of wood (e.g., white rot, brown rot, soft rot).

34 Definitions Lumber Yard Mold 1) A layperson s term for fungal growth existing on wood structural members prior to installation in a building. Typical background condition existing in virtually all wood structure buildings. 2) A pseudo-technical term describing the types of fungi expected to be found growing in wood in the natural environment (e.g., ophiostoma, ceratocystis). Black Mold, Toxic Mold Terminology emerging from the media in the mid-nineties used to describe fungi with the potential to produce harmful mycotoxins.

35 Growth Conditions Readily available needs: Temperature between 32 to 122 ºF. Most fungi grow optimally at about room temperature. Nitrogen Most need oxygen. Light or dark conditions. Various minerals.

36 Growth Conditions: Limiting factors in the built environment: Carbon-based food source (e.g., wood, drywall paper, dust, leather, paper, etc.). Moisture.

37 Growth Conditions: Readily available needs: Temperature between 32 to 122 ºF. Most fungi grow optimally at about room temperature. Nitrogen Most need oxygen. Light or dark conditions. Various minerals.

38 When to Investigate? Initiating factors: Water event that hasn t been addressed visible mold growth observed musty odors observed visible water stains/ moisture problems reported physical symptoms of occupants

39 Addressing Mold in Homes Investigate: Determine the scope of the problem. Visual assessment, moisture meter measurements, possible sample collection. Remediate: Fix the source of moisture intrusion and remove the mold growth. Protect workers and control the release of mold spores. More mold = more precautions.

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41 When to use an outside consultant? 1. Inexperience with microbial growth? 2. Cause of microbial growth is unknown 3. Extent of growth and contamination unknown 4. Remediation will significantly disturb growth 5. Documentation, specifications desired 6. Liability issues, 3 rd party needs This includes both the investigators & remediators

42 Who is Who??? Industrial Hygienist (IH) Professionals that specialize in environmental hazards. IH s attempt to identify areas of water intrusion and mold growth and make recommendations regarding corrective actions. Microbiologist/Mycologist Laboratory personnel that analyze the samples. Remediation Company Those that remove the mold growth in accordance with industry guidelines.

43 Basic Strategy for an Initial Assessment Testing of hypotheses (i.e. sampling, visual assessment, destructive testing) Data interpretation criteria Acceptance or modification of hypotheses

44 Basic Strategy for an Initial Assessment Develop a building history occupant complaints/sympto ms occupant observations incidents of water intrusion

45 Basic Strategy for an Initial Assessment Visual inspection Non Invasive Observation of conditions What do you see? Formulation of hypotheses Is there mold growth? Is there a potential for mold growth? Moisture meter readings

46 Basic Strategy for an Initial Assessment Where to look (destructive/non-destructive)? Occupied & unoccupied visible space Under/behind coverings (i.e. baseboards) Wall cavities Attics/plenums/crawlspaces Under/behind/within contents HVAC system Outdoor space Plumbed areas (eg. Sinks, tubs)

47 Destructive Testing Invasive Inspection Opening a portion of the building material for further investigation Testing the hypothesis

48 To Test or Not to Test? You re the expert, you tell me. What is your budget? How definitive do you want conclusions to be? How much evidence do you want for support? Only test defined hypotheses. Well planned testing leads to useful data and supportable arguments. Can you handle the results? Analyze the potential scenarios emerging from testing results.

49 Sample Types Surface Sampling What is it? Microvacuum (PCM cassette) Tape lifts Swabs Bulk Sampling What is it? Air Sampling What is it? Spore trap Viable (petri dish) Polycarbonate Filter

50 Laboratory Analysis Choices Common: Spore Trap (non-culturable, total, no growth) Viable (culturable, growth specific) PCR (Polymerase Chain Reaction; DNA analysis) Specialized: mvoc (microbial Volatile Organic Compounds) Mycotoxin Allergen

51 Sampling & Analysis Challenges No accepted exposure standards. lack of clear dose-response relationships Vague industry guidelines. non-specific case/control comparisons Weak statistical power. small sample sizes, short sampling times Decisions need to be made anyway! data stretched to the limit

52 Reaching Conclusions Depends on questions being asked: Is mold present in the building and where? Are contents contaminated? Was remediation done properly? What was occupant exposure? Data characterization: Indicating factors Modifying factors Balancing data points: History Observations Sampling data

53 Sample Interpretation (General Guidelines) Air samples: indoor/outdoor, affected/non-affected comparison comparison levels: 1-2x = normal, 2-10x = elevated What is it? samples: tape: trace/minor = normal, major/abundant = elevated

54 Reaching Conclusions Confirmed/Suspected Mold Growth visible, sampled, data suggest presence of growth e.g, elevated samples, extrapolation from D.T. Recommendation: remediate Potential Mold Growth conditions conducive to growth, limited other data e.g., staining, moisture, history of intrusion Recommendation: investigate

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56 Guideline Documents (1) American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA) Field Guide for the Determination of Biological Contaminants in Environmental Samples (1996) Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) S500 Standard and Reference Guide for Professional Water Damage Restoration (1999) American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH) Bioaerosols: Asssessment & Control (1999) Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Mold Remediation in Schools and Commercial Buildings (2001)

57 Guideline Documents (2) New York City Department of Health Guidelines on Assessment and Remediation of Fungi in Indoor Environments (2002) Occupational Safety & Health Admin. (OSHA) A Brief Guide to Mold in the Workplace (2003) Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) S520 Standard & Reference Guide for Mold Remediation (2008) More on the way..

58 Remediation Elements: Scope of Work. Determine the what the correct scope of work that is necessary to successful remediate the issue (via consultant or qualified individual). Including the proper personal protective equipment and containmant provisions. Regulated Materials. Prior to commencing remediation activities, building materials that may be disturbed should be assessed for asbestos and lead-based paint hazards per applicable regulations.

59 Remediation Elements: Personal Protective Equipment Protect workers from elevated exposures. Containment Control the release of fungal spores & fragments. Ensure ventilation provisions in the area are turned off.

60 Remediation Elements: Work Practices Removal and cleaning while minimizing disturbance. Negatively pressurize the work area and exhaust out of the work area with HEPA filtration

61 Remediation Methodology Fix the underlying cause of moisture intrusion and microbial growth. Remove microbial growth and contamination. Dry out affected materials. Confirm proper remediation. Reconstruction.

62 Work Practices Removal HEPA vacuuming, vacuum assisted tools, dampwiping, scrubbing (i.e. wire brushing), material discarding 18 past any visible growth, staining or damage Encapsulants Targeted use

63 Biocides ACGIH and others discourage the use of biocides and antimicrobial agents without appreciating their limitations and potential hazards of their use instead of removing microbial contamination from building environments. (Chap 16-1)

64 Contamination of Contents Clean horizontal and vertical surfaces in place. Wet-wipe hard, nonporous surfaces. HEPA vacuum soft, porous surfaces. Disposal of porous materials exhibiting growth may be necessary. Launder or dry-clean textiles.

65 Post Remediation Assessment Containment provisions in place Isolate subject area Zipper entry Neg pressure Moisture content of selected building materials within recommended ranges.

66 Post Remediation Assessment

67 Where Remediation Goes Wrong Incomplete drying. Blowers spreading mold contamination. Mold is painted over or bleached. Failure to use containment. Failure to determine full extent of growth. Failure to properly clean. Failure to address cause of moisture.

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69 Thank You Forensic Analytical Consulting Services, Inc. Right People Right Perspective Right Now

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