Mold: Chapter 3 - The Professional Assessment
Ok, so you think you may have a mold issue. You see mold growth, there’s a heavy musty smell, or you just have a hunch something is not right and decide to find out exactly what type of mold or indoor air quality problem exists, if any at all.
In order to determine what the problem is, you can reach out to a Certified Mold Remediation company, like SERVPRO of Wayne, and get a free professional opinion. We will inspect the areas of concern and offer opinion on cause, severity and next steps, which may ultimately involve the participation of a Certified Industrial Hygienist if the issue is serious or we can’t draw a satisfactory conclusion.
It is important to understand that a professional mold remediator is not necessarily someone who could, or even should, test for the presence of mold or develop a remediation project plan on their own as it could be deemed as a conflict of interest. A third party evaluation should always be considered, which is why the involvement of a Certified Industrial Hygienist may be a critical component in protecting your home, your budget and your health concerns with any mold issue.
Certified Industrial Hygienists (CIH) are scientists / engineers committed to protecting the health and safety of people in the workplace and the community. The CIH’s role, with respect to inspecting for mold and mold remediation, is:
- The CIH will discuss the history of the environment with you to help determine root causes of any problem, from current or past water incursions or any other relevant environmental issue.
- The CIH will visually inspect the areas of concern looking for water damage markers and the existence of visual mold growth.
- They will make every effort to identify causes, if none are obvious to the homeowner, and provide corrective actions. They may inspect exterior drainage, roof conditions, plumbing, etc. to make this determination.
- The CIH may or may not take samples in their determination of existing mold conditions. Sometimes conditions are obvious and testing becomes an unnecessary expense. When samples are taken, these samples will be sent to a third party lab for analysis to determine the severity of mold activity and the various species involved.
- Once lab results are returned, the CIH will produce a protocol for mold remediation and repairs to prevent a recurrence of mold growth. This protocol becomes the defining project plan and is vital when you begin planning your project steps, project budget and begin the process of identifying contractors who may perform the work.
- Finally, once any remediation work has been completed, the CIH will perform a Clearance inspection. At this time, he will visually inspect the work area(s) to ensure satisfactory work was completed. If he is satisfied with the visual examination, the CIH will take a final set of samples to ensure that the existence of mold, in the work area(s), is at satisfactory levels and the area(s) can be returned to the homeowner in a healthful condition.
There are several resources you can us to obtain a CIH.
- They can be referred to you from a trusted source, like SERVPRO of Wayne,
- You can find them online at various sources, such as the American Industrial Hygiene Association
- You can perform a web search.
Be sure to always check credentials and experience in your selection process.
In our next chapter we’ll discuss project planning and budgeting for your mold remediation project.
Contact us at 973-546-4977 if you have a service need or click here to visit our website to learn more about SERVPRO of Wayne's Mold Remediation Services.