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Do you Smell Mold?

Mar 28, 2020 3:22:01 PM / by david sulock posted in mold remediation, mold cleanup, Mold Testing, mold inspections, mold consultant, professional mold remediation

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You can smell mold?

Spending more time at home than usual? Many people are in the safety of their homes and our office is getting called regarding musty smells, that people think relates to mold in their home. These calls coincide with rain events and we find a simple equation. People have mold in their homes they didn’t know existed. Many people find mold during a real estate transaction, since that is when a home under goes scrutiny, meaning multiple inspections occur and the wear and tear items that we often ignore are brought to light. I mean do you ever go into your attic or basement and look for mold?


mold inspections

The musty smell you have is most likely mold and it is active mold growth because when mold is consuming organic matter it off gases, hence the smell. Growth can correlate to rain events (not necessarily flooding), temperature changes, and humidity levels. In short moisture above 55% humidity as most molds in the northeastern United states will grow above that range.  Add in the fact that the northeast has an older housing stock and you have a higher probability of mold. Why older homes have mold, simple put the older a home the greater the time frame for mold to grow somewhere in the home. This gives mold the toe hold it needs as mold won’t die when it is dry it just goes dormant. This mold will then grow sporadically (no spore joke intended) over time until the owner complains of a smell, has a health concern or buyer’s inspector finds mold

 

mold inspections

Our calls lately have been from people who are working from home or simple spending more time at home and they either smell musty odors or are having health concerns. These people never had a mold inspection performed so the idea of a mold inspection makes sense.  Our mold inspections typically find mold, which makes sense.  The key to finding mold is understanding why it is there and how the mold can be addressed (mold remediation) and future prevention.  A typical mold survey might find a half dozen reasons why it’s there (yes there is typically more than  one cause for mold growth. We provide the homeowner a DIY  list for everything they are doing wrong and a corrective action plan (mold remediation) outline and costs. All mold remediation has a 10 year warranty against future mold growth, best in the industry.

We also teach several classes on mold so you know you are getting expert advice.
Environmental Education speaking at the Triple Play

 

All our inspector use N-95 masks and have at least five years experience with both mold inspections and remediation.  We inspect and remediate mold so we get to see mold from both sides which gives Curren a full perspective.  Different building materials from pour concrete walls, to cider block walls to wood studs to plaster wall all affect how mold can and will grow.To schedule an inspection call 856-858-9509.mold inspections and remediation

mold testing

Call for Mold Questions.

 

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Tank Under Porch

Feb 25, 2020 11:15:00 AM / by david sulock

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Oil tanks can be located in many different places. Oil tanks were out of sight and out of mind.  Many oil tanks can be found buried under the lawn or driveway.  Some oil tanks were buried to never been seen again, oil tanks can be buried under garage floors, decks and under the home itself such as under a sun room.  (Photo below is a tank under the floor of a room).

Oil tank buried below a room.

Oil tanks are only a problem when they leak, since leaky tanks may require remediation.  The only way to know if an oil tank is not leaking is by testing the soil under the tank.  Oil tank removal is typically your best option, since once the tank is removed, you can access soils under the tank to sample.     With tanks that are under a building, you options open up from either removal (typically possible, just expensive) to closure in place, which is the more affordable and practical option.

(Photo below shows how a tank sweep found where under the floor the tank was located)

Photo Jan 30, 9 50 15 AM

 

Oil tank buried below a porch

Oil tank closure in place can address concerns with the oil tank, by cutting holes in the bottom of the tank (after the tank is thoroughly cleaned) and taking soil samples.

By going through the bottom of the tank you can access the soils where samples are supposed to be acquired to assess for leaks.

It's not easy work, but its cheaper than removing the tank.

The photo below shows the holes (coupons) cut in the bottom of the tank to access the soils.

Soil sampling closed in place oil tank

Our clients hire Curren to find professional affordable solutions and with close to thirty years experience we have solved a lot of problems with oil tanks.  The photo above shows a tank under a room that we excavated, cleaned and obtained site assessment soil samples.  

Photo Jan 30, 12 12 22 PM

This small hole was all that was required for closure in place of this tank.  Removal of the tank would have required that half the floor in the room be removed, and may have undermined the walls requiring structural support.  Curren's tank closure in place was the appropriate and lowest cost solution.

 

Certified in New Jersey, Pennsylvania & Delaware for tank closure.

Thousands of completed projects.

Professionals solutions is a phone call away.

Call Curren Today

 

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Why is an Oil Tank Sweep Important?

Jan 13, 2020 9:43:00 AM / by david sulock posted in OIl Tank Sweeps, underground oil tanks, tank sweep, gpr tank swep

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                    Why is an Oil Tank Sweep Important?

From 1900 to 1945 coal was king (coal shortages were common during WWI). By the mid 1930’s oil burners had made quality and safety improvements that made oil a competitor to coal. In 1940 more than half the homes burned coal. America oil reserves and steel making prowess from WWII allowed oil to be rapidly adopted after WWII (1945).

In the 1970’s and 80’s due to natural gas shortages and price irregularities the natural gas market become deregulated. Deregulated allowed for competition and market based pricing, which meant lower prices, this drove the popularity of natural gas. So natural gas didn’t become popular until the late 1980’s.

For homes built between 1900 and 1980, oil heat was highly probable at some point in the past (in short what were your alternate choices for heat besides oil?). Construction codes didn’t address oil tank removals until the 1990’s. Environmental regulations today have strict standards for heating oil leaks from tanks in soil and groundwater. In short, an oil tank leak can make the owner of a property a polluter so to speak. On top of that the regulations view the current owner of a property as the Responsible Party (RP) for the cleanup.

Today, you could buy a house built in 1950, that used oil until say 1980, when a conversion to gas occurred. The old oil tank was literally just left in place (abandoned), since doing anything cost money. Fast forward to 2020, you are buying that home with an oil tank that hasn’t been used in decades. If you don’t add a tank sweep with GPR (ground penetrating radar) to your home purchase due diligence you are opening your self up to a responsibility and an expense with the oil tank, as when you sell someone will do a tank sweep and find the tank you never knew you had or used, which happens all the time.

Today the internet is used not just for shopping, but for education. There are homeowners that have an oil tank on their property (used or out of service), these homeowners have learned via the internet (websites like this one) of the liability of an oil tank. We find that some people will hide the evidence of the tank and hope that no one looks for an oil tank, since the home is now heated by natural gas. Do you find it hard to believe that someone would try to hide the truth? Follow this story.

Home went under contract, home inspection and all, everything but a tank sweep with GPR was performed by the purchaser of the home. One day before settlement the prospective homeowner does a walk through of the property and low and behold someone spray painted "tank" on the ground. (this is a true story. I couldn’t make things like this up).

Why tank sweeps with GPR are important

 

Home was a flip, so the owner (really owner for 7 months) had no knowledge of any oil tank. Curren scanned the marked area and bingo oil tank, about ¼ full of oil. We can only speculate as to why the tank was hidden and why someone spray painted tank on the sidewalk. The general theory is a neighbor was aware of a tank at that location and also aware the owner removed evidence of the tank. Presumable the neighbor removed their tank and didn’t appreciate the neighbor not doing the right thing and removing theirs. We believe this is a likely scenario as we have seen it on other sites that we have performed tank scans/sweeps. People will park cars in driveways over tanks. People will say a tank was removed and we scan the area and find a metal object indicative of a tank.

oil tank sweeps find tanks



We even have people who have removed their own tanks, we get contracted to do soil borings and soil sampling from the removed tank area. $35,000.00 later, we find that the tank did leak, the owner just thought that oil is naturally present in a removed tank excavation.

 

Leaking removed oil tank cleanup

Bottom line you cannot rely on statements from a seller such as these:

There is no oil tank.

That the tank was removed

The removed tank didn’t leak.

Do you need to complete a tank sweep? Yes, if the home was built before 1980 and you can’t get 100% written documentation that natural gas was always utilized to heat the dwelling.

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Why every home should have a tank sweep?

Nov 18, 2019 9:15:00 AM / by david sulock posted in Due Diligence, underground oil tanks, tank sweep with gpr, tank sweeps with GPR, tank sweep, gpr tank swep

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Curren Environmental has been solving tank related issues for over 20 years.   Oil tanks were like cell phones, they were ubiquitous in homes in the Northeastern United States.  Oil was king as the graph shows:

 

Does my home have an oil tank?

Oil heat was more popular than natural gas up until 1980!

In 1950 43.9% of homes had oil heat

In 1960 62.9% of homes had oil heat

In 1970 52.6% of homes had oil heat

 

So in 2019, what are the odds the home your buying has or had an oil tank? Pretty high for sure.   

 

oil tank leak and remediation

 

Tank Scans with GPR = Buyer Due Diligence

 

Scan for oil tanks before you buy a home

 

A tank scan found this tank.  You can see from the many holes in the tank, that the tank leaked.   Thankfully the home buyer had a tank sweep completed and found the tank.  The homeowner had to remove and remediate the oil tank.   

 

Oil Tank sweep found a leaking oil tank

Call Curren Today

 

 

 

 

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Top 10 Green Practices you can do for home or work

Nov 6, 2019 11:25:21 AM / by david sulock posted in green practices, green tips, cheap green practices, being grren, green things we can do everyday, be greener, things to do to be green

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Everyone wants to be green, but as  a famous frog once said its not easy being green.  Working in the environmental field we are exposed to some of the best green practices people can follow.  A sad truth of being green is people want to be green on the cheap. These ten green tips can be done free and at low cost, but you will be paying big dividends to the environment.

Here is a bonus tip, share this page,  If one person you share this page with does one of the green practices you have helped the environment. 

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Top 10 Green Practices You can do on the cheap!

1. Use your reusable shopping bags.   Usage rate is under 20%, the top reason, people forget them, 80% of people say they do own the bags.  The next time you go to the store, place a stack of bags on the car seat, so you won't forget. For extra measure place a purse or cell phone on top of the bags. Reusable Shopping Bags

Cost = Free (If you own these bags already)

image-1

2. Use reusable produce bags. Since your going shopping, why not bring your reusable produce bags?   Same as idea as shopping bags, except you realy get any free ones, you typically have to buy them.  Unfortunately you rarely see these bags for sale or get them given to you as a freebee, if you click the photo you can find some decent quality bags on Amazon.

Cost = $12.00  or Free (If you own these bags already), most people don't 

things to do to be green

3Buy reusable coffee pods Single serve coffee makers can actually be green, since you are not wasting water or coffe.  But when you use the single use coffe cups, you are not being green.  But reusable pods.

 

Cost = $15.00 for 12, split them with a friend and cost gets cut in half

4. Reusable Straws: Plastic straws and other items smaller than two by two inches, such as plastic utensils, fall through the machinery that sorts our recycling.Plastic straw Don’t Get Recycled.

Cost = $6.00

IMG_8332

5.  At restaurants ask for a straw free table.   What is a straw free table?   Any table you sit at that the server knows you don't want to use straws.   Be real, you are in that seat for a short while, you don't need a straw.  Oh and when the server places the straw on the table and you don't use it and think  it will get reused?  Think again, its gets thrown away of you use it or not. Go straw free.

Cost = Free

6 Insulate your hot water heater.   Mom always said to wear layers. So while your water heater has insulation, more is better and cheap. Insulating your water heater reduces standby heat losses by 25%–45% and save you about 7%–16% in water heating costs—and should pay for itself in about a year. You can find pre-cut jackets or blankets available from around $35.00. We like the blankets without fiberglass as the fiberglass jackets can tear when things bang into the jackets.  This one can also be reused when you replace the water heater if you are careful taking it off.  

Cost = $20.00 to $35.00

6. Wash 95% of your laundry in cold.  True only about 5% of clothing requires warm water: READ THE TAG. The average cost of water heating is $41.10 a month with three hours of use per day. People insist on using hot water for washing and cleaning because they believe it removes dirt, grease, and grime better, as well as disinfect the clothes. And that’s true, but hot water also ruins your clothes, causes the color to fade, and shrinks the fabric. You can save energy and money by  cutting back on the amount of hot water you use to do laundry. With cold-water detergents,  the cleansing enzymes are designed to work better in cold water.   Just look for COLD on the label, they are the same price as warm water, you just don't have to pay for hot water.

Cost = Free  * these are typically the same price as warm water detergent

7.  Stop using plastic water bottles.  Did you know in the 1980's, the big beverage companies saw the decline of carbonated soda?   Perrier became popular in the 1980's.   We have been slowly weaned onto using single serve water bottles, which we all know are terrible for the environment.  The two biggest reasons people bottled water is concerns about water quality and laziness.  I cant help about laziness, but if your home refrigerator dispenses water, it has an inline water filter, typically carbon filtration which is a universal filter.   You can fill up your REUSABLE water bottle from your refrigerator.  Fact, did you know many bottled waters are tap water? 

No doubt you have multiple bottles at home you can use. We particular like the Swell brand, liquids stay cold all day, this 25 ounce bottle is a bounty of a thirst quencher and the wood finish makes you look like a real tree hugger.

Cost = Free* to $31.00   *Odds are you already have a reusable bottle

 

8.  Go paperless billing.  Most all bills you receive can be converted into an electronic ebill (bill is emailed to you). Ebills, save postage, fossel fuel as no vehicle must transport the bill and lastly paper.  Most people pay bills online anyway saving postage, so why not receive your bill on,ine as well?   66% of bills are still mailed.  Lets get it below 50%.

Cost = Free

9.  Air seal your home.   You have air leaks for sure.  Every catch a mouse in the house?  They come through gaps.  Go in your basement during the day and turn off the lights.  Look for light shining through.  Common openings are where hose bibs exit the foundation, where the sill plates meets the foundation, holes where you may have drilled to run a pipe or cable.   Fill these gaps with foam.

Cost =  $6.00/can

10. Improve your windows.  Many windows leak air simple because the window is not 100% square in the frame.  Replacing windows is expensive.   Two simple things you can do.  One place foam insulating tape on the bottom of the window where the windows sits in the bottom of the frame.  This little trick can help seal the window by helping the window be square in the frame and having a tighter seal.  The 2nd tip is to have working locks on your windows and locking them, which further squares the window.    We do mold inspections and check windows.  On average 30% of windows are not locked, which allows air to leak in.   

Cost = $10.00 *   about 30 windows

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Mold Testing & Mold Inspections

Oct 3, 2019 10:19:27 AM / by david sulock posted in mold contractor, Mold Testing, mold inspections, mold survey, mold consultant

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Mold is truly a four letter word and also a very misunderstood term.  You've heard of "Black Mold" (not a real mold term) or "Toxic Mold" (no such thing)? In the mold testing and mold inspection industry "black toxic mold" should not be used.  Misinformation abounds, so here are some important facts about mold, mold remediation and mold testing

when do you test mold?

Growing mold off-gases, causing that musty odor you smell, and if you think your basements smells that way because it is a basement, you're wrong,  it's not supposed to smell musty.  Mold growth stains surfaces and is visible if you understand where and what to identify as mold.  If you see mold growing inside a building, something is wrong, it is not normal or typical, even at the shore/beach.  Curren knows because we have inspected thousands of properties and, no, they all do not have mold growing.

Pertaining to mold testing, when obvious mold is present the EPA agrees testing is not necessary.

If you have discolored building materials and are not 100% if its mold, surface sampling can be performed for verification of questionable staining indicative of mold.

mold testing

Mold Testing can verify if a stained or discolored surface is impacted with mold growth, such as  surface sampling and/or air testing (non viable spore trap sampling). These mold tests quantify both mold spore count in a room and also evaluates for hidden mold in a complaint room where no visible mold is present.

Call Curren Today

Pro Tip:  Buying a house that is being flipped and the basement is finished, get a mold inspection with mold testing.

Pro Tip:  Buying a home that was bank owned and rehabbed?  Get a mold inspection with mold testing.

mold air testing

Our ratio of finding hidden mold in both situations is around 90%, but 70% of the time we get called in AFTER someone has bought one of these types homes, in cases such as these, mold is found after you own the property.

Proper mold remediation is the removal of an unwanted condition, such as mold. This follows a multi-step process which typically entails containment of work area, followed by physical removal, cleaning and encapsulation of remaining organic surfaces and air scrubbing, all of which are appropriate and proposed for the subject site.

Curren Environmental has over 20 years’ experience in the environmental field and we provide Certified Education (CE) classes on environmental topics, including mold, so we know what we are talking about. There are only 11 states in the country that have mold regulations and licensing  programs and New Jersey is not one of them. Curren nor any other company in New Jersey holds a New Jersey license for mold remediation as the license does not exist. Generally speaking, mold remediation follows asbestos abatement guidelines to contain a workspace, establish air filtration and remove (remediate) mold. Curren has personnel that hold asbestos licensing and our personnel follow these procedures from independent training schools as well as in-house training program.

Expert advice from mold experts

888-301-1050

 

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Does the Soil of a Previously Removed Oil Tank Need to be Tested?

Sep 23, 2019 10:51:00 AM / by david sulock posted in tank leak, underground oil tanks

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The story goes, you have a property where an underground oil tank was removed by the previous owner. You as the current owner, didn’t question any environmental issues with the tank removal when you bought it, now you are selling the property and your buyer is asking for testing in the area where the tank was removed.

The previous owner supplied you, the current homeowner, with the following:

  1. Tank removal contract sating it was paid in full.
  2. A copy of the permit for removal from the town
  3. Approval sticker from the construction office

Why are the items above not enough for information regarding an underground oil tank removal to sell the house? In today's real estate market home buyers are more informed and they want iron clad data proving that the oil tank did not leak.

Those three pieces of information (contract, permit and approval sticker) does not prove the tank did or did not leak. The data set you have are just pieces of information, not a cohesive report with a narrative that ends with the conclusion that the tank did not leak. Environmental reports show the proper paperwork as appendices, but the actual report  details the work completed including  the evaluation and testing performed to confirm the tank did not leak. If you are an uninformed buyer, which 15-20 years ago is true, you assumed the tank didn’t leak. But again, in todays market buyers are assuming it did leak as you, the homeowner, have nothing saying to prove otherwise.

Example photos of soil sampling in a previously removed underground oil tank area.

Allow me to elaborate in greater detail - while the tank had a permit for removal and inspection, the construction official is not inspecting for leaks, they inspect if the tank was removed, as per the permit. I have had inspectors BOTH pass and fail removed tanks that did leak. A soil test for soil contamination is around $120.00, (Before 2005 the cost would have been $75.00), not performing soil testing is basically saying the owner does not want to find a problem, it’s not due to cost. 

You have no data from the day of removal that the tank did not leak, for example, a professional opinion from the tank removal company saying the tank did not leak. Don’t you think if it didn’t leak there would be something in writing? If it did leak, there is a high probability that they did receive the appropriate data from the removal company, but that piece of paper or email has been "lost".

There are laws regarding reporting an environmental leak from an oil tank when that leak is found. Prior to August of 2018, this law stated that a knowledgeable party was to report the leak, so a tank removal company telling a homeowner that the tank leaked and providing the NJDEP them the phone number to call, was very common. The question is if the homeowner actually reported the leak? Since August of 2018, the regulation requires the property owner to report the leak, but again, can you trust someone to report on themselves?

Call Curren TodayWe had a call recently from a home buyer on the same street and town where Curren Environmental previously removed an underground oil tank. The house the buyers found had an underground oil tank removed in 1995, the current homeowners had the removal permit and contract, but no soil testing data and no environmental report of removal, proving the tank did not leak. We provided compliance sampling for new buyer and found soil contamination. Thankfully for the buyers the property did not need remediation, but there was NJDEP reporting and further testing to close the environmental issue (about $4,500.00 in costs, also adding about two months to the settlement date). The tank did indeed leak, but no one reported it. If the buyer didn’t hire Curren they would have been sitting on a property with soil contamination they had neither created nor knew about but would have owned none the less, and no doubt a future buyer would have found.

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Should you test oil tanks?

Sep 10, 2019 8:00:30 AM / by david sulock posted in oil tank removal nj, tank removal, oil tank, underground oil tanks

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If an oil tank has been removed and showed no visible signs of leaking, should soil samples still be taken? An oil tank was removed and showed no visible signs of leaking, the tank removal contractor did a pressure test and passed. As the buyer of the property, I am concerned that the tank area has not been tested.

testing removed oil tanks

To test or not to test an oil tank at time of removal? We get that question almost daily from both owners of tanks and purchasers of a property where a tank will be or was removed. Should you test an oil tank?

Does your dentist test your teeth via x-ray to look for problems? Does a doctor perform testing on patients? Can you determine cholesterol from just the physical appearance of a patient? My point being throughout life you have professionals performing testing to evaluate your health, testing a removed oil tank is the same principal.

The most important question about an oil tank is if it leaked. Owners of tank don’t want to test because they don’t want to find a problem. Buyers want oil tank testing performed because they don’t want to buy a property where an oil tank leaked.

The cost for testing most tanks at time of removal is a couple hundred dollars. Not a budget breaker for sure but finding even a small leak can cost thousands of dollars to address and the party responsible for cleaning up any tank leak is the property owner. So, buying a property with a tank leak (even if the buyer didn’t know if the tank leaked at time of purchase) is the responsibility of the property owner.


Common scenario, buyer want to purchase a home that had prior oil heat. The oil tank was removed previously (tank removed years ago). Sometime the tank was removed by the current property owner, sometime the tank was removed by a previously owner and the current owner was not aware of the liability from oil tanks and didn’t question the lack of testing. Buyer is concerned about buying a home where a tank was removed. So, in addition to performing a home inspection, the buyer wants soil testing completed from the removed oil tank grave. Post removal testing involves drilling and obtaining soil samples from the former tank location. Do we find some level of oil when we test removed tank location, yes. Do we find remediation is required from this testing, sometimes yes. Is the owner shocked when wee find contamination from removed tank areas? Sometimes owners are surprised as they bought the home prior to removal and didn’t view the oil tank as a liability. But there are definitely times where the owner has a hint that oil would be found and was hoping no one would look.


Testing removed tank locations is not as easy as you would expect. As time passes the restored ground returns to normal and little evidence of the tank grave is visible. Owners have selective memory of where the tank was and often point to absurd locations where the tank was removed. This requires sleuthing on our part and performing rows of soil boring to attempt to find the proverbial oil tank in the haystack. Any detection of oil found from a tank area is reported to the state as a spill clearly occurred.

Photo with boring info on it

Know before you buy a property that had oil heating. Testing is always advised by tank removal companies (The good ones at least). If testing was not performed, you have to ask, why? Buy a home with an oil tank leak and you just purchased an oil tank cleanup.


Over 20 years’ experience with oil tanks. Want expert advice? Call the experts’ 888-301-1050.

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How much does a mold assessment cost?

Mar 11, 2019 8:31:00 AM / by david sulock posted in mold inspections, mold survey, mold assessments

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Mold surveys on average can cost $300.00 to $700.00 for a residential dwelling.  Mold inspection costs are contingent on size of the area evaluated and if mold sampling (surface or air sampling) is performed. 

Thorough inspection include not only an experience mold inspector but include infrared evaluation to locate moisture

Infrared mold inspection

 

Commercial mold assessments  can start around $600.00 and go into the thousands of dollars contingent on building size and sampling performed.  Many commercial mold inspection include are sampling to assess overall air quality in the space.   Health concerns driven by employees and tenants in leased spaces dictate compliant rooms where inspection is required.  Vacant commercial spaces that are purchased or have new tenant leases often have mold assessment performed to assess mold risk and as  baseline for overall air quality relative to mold.  In short the longer a space is unoccupied, the greater the likelihood that mold growth will occur.

 

commercial mold assessments

 

When is mold sampling necessary?

Mold sampling is completed to verify that a stained surface is mold or mold air sampling is performed to assess for hidden mold or general air quality. 

The photo below shows stained wood supports and there was a question in the real estate transaction if the staining was or was not mold.   Surface tape sampling was performed.  Ultimately the staining was found to be mold, a red flag in the photo are the cobwebs, insects and mold both need moisture to thrive.

mold inpsection sampling

 

When is air sampling for mold necessary?

Many mold inspections are driven by a concern that water damage occurred in a space (either disclosed or suspected).  When mold is suspected but not visible, air sampling is typically performed.   You might have a newly renovated space, which would clearly conceal any evidence of mold either past or hidden, air sampling is very thorough way to evaluate the space.  Even infrared may have a problem if the water source has been addressed, you moisture meters and infrared cameras no matter how expensive can only find moisture when present.  Often times the water issue is repaired but the mold is not remediated.

The photo below shows air testing inside of a ceiling cavity.   The property was under contract and the buyer found permits for demolition and rebuild of the space above due to a water leak.  This portion of the dwelling which was a walk out room had been deconstructed walls and a sheetrock ceiling (newer with obvious repairs).  Air testing was warranted at s the ceiling could not be visually inspected and the space was going to be finished by the new owner.  Long story short, mold was found above the ceiling and remediation was performed at owner's experience. 

mold inspection

Experienced mold professionals know the basis of any mold growth is that for Mold  spores to grow the surface must be moist  Dry areas will not have mold growth.  Just as a room can have different temperatures so can the room have different humidity levels.   The inside of wall cavities are ideal conditions for mold growth.

mold found a finished wall

 

When do you  perform a mold inspection or mold assessment?

  • When purchasing a home
  • Unexplained musty odors (mold growth off gassing)
  • Spotting on possessions.
  • Experiencing health concerns
  • Water leak in office or home
  • Buying a bank owned home.
  • Buying a home that was flipped.

 

Mold Questions? Click Here

 

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Should I perform a mold inspection?

Feb 25, 2019 9:42:00 AM / by david sulock posted in Mold Testing, mold inspections, mold survey, mold assessments

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Should I get a mold inspection?

 

Mold inspections are commonly performed as part of many  residential real estate transactions.  Mold inspections are typically driven by the buyer as opposed  to a requirement  of the mortgage approval process.  There are three main factors that are attributable to the increase in Mold inspections.   The primary driver is consumers being more educated about mold (thank the internet).  The aging housing stock allows for degraded building infrastructure (deferred maintenance) which provides  opportunities for mold to grow.   the reverse of degraded materials is better building techniques and home improvements that create tighter building envelopes that help retain moisture in the built environment, which in turn fuels mold growth.  

 

The photo below represents deferred maintenance that allowed mold to grow.   To know the exact reason, you would have to speak to one of our environmental managers.

mold inspections are part of the home buying process

 

There are a few situations that should make you look for a mold problem.  Mold inspections should be completed on homes that  have been unoccupied for extended periods of time. If a house has been closed up and unoccupied for months or years, humidity most likely has built up inside and caused mold to grow.  All bank owned properties should have a mold inspection performed due to the humidity concerns mentioned above.  Homes that have been flipped or rehabbed should have a mold inspection performed because these homes have a high probability of growth (Most were bank owned) and we have found that often times the mold has been covered over or ignored by the real estate investor.  Flipped homes should have mold inspections with air testing to search for hidden mold.

 

The piece of furniture in the photo below, has mold growing on it.  The mold manifested itself over a period of weeks after moving into an older rehab home.  Curren found mold behind the newly finished walls and water entry from the foundation wall that was not properly water proofed prior to sheetrock.

mold inspections can find hidden mold

 Home inspections typically do not cover mold inspections and most home inspectors are not experienced with mold.

 

The photo below was flagged for having mold, a part of the photo has mold and  apart is not mold.  Do you know which is which?

IMG_3698-1

 

Mold inspections should be performed on homes where water damage has occurred either one time or when chronic water issues are present.  Basements and crawlspaces are target rich environments for mold growth.

 

1-888-301-1050

 

What affects the cost of a mold inspection?

Two main factors determine the cost of a mold inspection.  Mold inspection costs are based on the time it takes to complete the inspections, simply put larger homes take longer to inspect than smaller homes. If mold testing is needed it will add to the inspection cost as you now have laboratory analysis to pay for and time for the mold professional to interpret the data.

The best mold inspections are professionals that have experience in both mold inspection and remediation.  Finding mold during a mold inspection and following the project through to remediation provides the firm a 360 degree view of the mold problem.  We have completed thousands of mold inspections and remediation and while they all have similarities there are nuisances to each project.  

 Do I need to inspect a  new home for mold? 

New homes should have mold inspection because there is actually a term we use called new home mold.  Mold can grow during the home construction process, the crews working on a new home don't have the experience with mold and accordingly are not aware that growth has occurred.

 

 

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