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Case Study: The Effectiveness of a Mould Remediation


Background


H&L Environmental Services Ltd is a certified company with a team of experts capable of resolving indoor air quality issues in homes, schools and commercial spaces. Being the ONLY internationally certified company in applied microbial remediation, odor control and fire and smoke remediation in the ENTIRE Caribbean by the IICRC and many other qualifications, over 11 years of experience and a multitude of successful projects across the region, it makes us the best option for resolving indoor air quality issues and providing a proper working and living environment for occupants.


The Client


The clients, who were over the age of 50 years, were concerned about the possibility of mould growth in their home and the possible health effects which may have been associated with that. As people age they start to face new challenges with their body, and exposure to external factors such as mould growth may worsen their physical condition especially if they have underlying conditions such as a form of lung disease, Immune deficiency or an immunocompromised system. These factors were considered which encouraged them to seek guidance for the situation at hand (CDC n.d.).


The Problem


An Indoor Air Quality assessment was performed and revealed a host of issues. The report outlined the pollutants, their sources and their pathways which can be seen below:


Pollutants:

  • Mould Growth on Surfaces:

  • Kitchen/Living Room

  • Ceiling

  • Wall

  • Fan

  • Mould Growth present in the Air:

  • Kitchen/Living Room

  • High VOCs Concentrations

  • Dust Mites

Pollutant’s Sources:

  • Mould Growth

  • Mould Growth was present as a result of High Relative Humidity and Condensation.

  • High VOCs Concentrations

  • The lack of proper ventilation to dilute the gases that items indoors emit contributed to the high VOC concentrations.

  • The house being situated next to a highway where vehicles regularly pass by added to the high VOC concentrations (Chengxun Deng 2018).

  • Dust Mites

  • Moisture, dirt accumulation in the space and High Relative Humidity contributed to the presence of dust mites.


The Solution


One of the recommendations that the report from the Indoor Air Quality assessment outlined was to conduct mould remediation by a qualified expert who follows the IICRC S520 Standards for remediation, after the high relative humidity and condensation issues are resolved.


The high relative humidity and surface with mould, the ceiling, was restored to perfection (without painting over the mould). See the before pictures (Fig 1 & 2), and the after (Fig. 3 & 4). condensation issues were resolved by using specifically sized dehumidifiers. Since the source of the problem was rectified, mould remediation was conducted by H&L Environmental Services using the S520 Standards for remediation. All surfaces which contained mould growth was remediated, and following which regrowth has not been identified (even in the absence of a post-remediation assessment) attesting to the success of the remediation.


Conclusion


The clients took the right steps to solve their mould issue by first performing an indoor air quality assessment, then following the recommendations provided and contacting a certified company to perform the remediation. Without undertaking remediation by a certified company, the clients could have risked making the situation worse and spreading the mould to many other surfaces in the house. It is important to have a certified company perform mould remediation to ensure that the no cross contamination is occurring, the mould spores aren’t aerosolized further and regrowth of mould spores does not occur.



Bibliography

CDC. n.d. Basic Facts about Mold and Dampness. Accessed March 22, 2021. https://www.cdc.gov/mold/faqs.htm.


Chengxun Deng, Yujuan Jin, Min Zhang, Xiaowei Liu, Zhimin Yu. 2018. Emission Characteristics of VOCs from On-Road Vehicles in an Urban Tunnel in Eastern China and Predictions for 2017–2026. November 30. Accessed March 22, 2021. https://aaqr.org/articles/aaqr-18-07-oa-0248.


EPA. 2017. Identifying Problems in the Indoor Environments. December 1. Accessed August 27, 2018. https://www.epa.gov/indoor-air-quality-iaq/identifying-problems-indoor-environments.



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