What standards are used for mold remediation and how is mold remediation completed correctly?

The US Federal Government does not have a standard for mold remediation.  The process and certification has been put up to the individual states and cities.  And as of March, 2013 the only states that have adopted a written regulations are in Texas (Mold assessment and Remediation Rules (May 16, 2004)), Florida (SB 2234: Mold Inspection and Remediation Licensing (2007)), Maryland (House Bill 107 (2008) Mold Remediation Services Licensing), and New York.  California (SB 732 – Toxic Mold Prevention Act (2002)) has a passed bill but its enforcement and implementation has been placed on the department of health, which does not have the funding to execute it.

That being said, there are several “standards” or “guidelines” that the mold remediation industry sees as “common practices” and in general ad-hear to.  Some of the common standards are the following:

 

New York City Guidelines:  Guidelines on Assessment and Remediation of Fungi in Indoor Environments (1993, 2000, 2008):

This standard developed a set of rules based on square footage of mold growth as a guideline for suggestions on mold remediation methods:

Small:  less than 10 SF of continuous mold growth; no containment required; PPE with N-95 respirator, gloved, & goggles for eye protection.

Medium:  10 – 100 SF of continuous mold growth; limited containment poly barrier floor to ceiling, negative pressure differential, block air vents, HEPA vacuuming areas affected; PPE limited or full N-95 or half-face respirator (HEPA), disposable coveralls, gloves and goggles.

Large:  greater than 100 SF of continuous mold growth or potential for significant exposure; full containment 2 layer of fire-retardant poly, HEPA negative pressure exhaust to outside, block air vents; PPE full, gloves, disposable full body clothing, hood and booties, full face respirator (HEPA)

This is also a government document that can be viewed in its entirely online at http://www.nyc.gov/html/doh/downloads/pdf/epi/epi-mold-guidelines.pdf

 

EPA: Mold Remediation in schools and Commercial Buildings (2001)

This is a government issued document and therefore is available in its entirety online: www.epa.gov/mold/mold_remediation.html.  It uses the NYC guidelines square footage rule and is the first document to address contents for mold remediation.  You can obtain a free copy online as a PDF.

 

ANSI/IICRC S500 Standard and Reference Guide for Professional Water Restoration (1993, 2001, 2006):

This standard address proper identification of water damage categories and suggested methods for drying standards.  The extraction and removal of water is the single most important factor when controlling mold growth.  Timely and appropriate water restoration will prevent mold issues from developing.  It defines 3 categories of water losses and 4 classes of water losses.  The IICRC is a non-governmental organization and therefore the standard can only be purchased:  www.IICRC.org.

 

ANSI/IICRC S520 Standard and Reference Guide for Professional Mold Remediation (2001, 2008):

Highly definition based.

Does NOT use square foot rule as used in the NYC guidelines.

Defines 3 conditions.

Defines 3 types of material and associated remediation techniques.

Defines inspection vs. assessment.

Requires a consultant (IEP = indoor environmental professional) and defines as a “an individual who is qualified by knowledge, skill, education, training, certification and/or experience to perform ‘assessment’ of the fungal ecaology of structures, systems, and contents at the job site, create a sampling strategy, sample the indoor environment, submit to an appropriate laboratory or individual, interpret laboratory data, determine Condition 1, 2 and 3, and verify the return of the fungal ecology to Condition 1.”

The IICRC is a non-governmental organization and therefore the standard can only be purchased:  www.IICRC.org

 

There are many other “standards” out there and some others but not limited to are:

ACGIH:  Bioaerosols: Assessment and Control (1999)

2003 OSHA: A Brief Guide to Mold in the Workplace

With all the information for mold remediation spread across 50 states and no one entity to enforce the process, it leaves the mold remediation sort of in a difficult position:  how is mold remediation correctly address, fixed, and inspected properly to ensure the health of the occupants and workers?  The answer lies in the “industry standard of care.”  “Standard of care” is a phrase used by the IICRC S520 standard which basically means doing what is proper to the industry.  Essentially the process is assessment, formation of a plan to remediate depending not only on the size of the mold growth but also other factors like the type of occupancy in the building, the presence or non-presence of easily affected individuals like the elderly, young, and immune-deficient, proper remediation techniques using a combination of the above standards, and inspection by a 3rd party indoor environmental professional (IEP).  This is completed using some combination of the above standards and depends on the circumstances of the water / mold issues, type of building, and occupants.

Our credentials include an owner that is a licensed general contractor, license civil engineer, being in the industry since 1998, and possessing multiple certificates associated with mold remediation such as:

IICRC Water Damage Restoration Technician (WRT) Certificate

IICRC Applied Microbial Remediation Technician (AMRT) Certificate

IICRC Odor Control Technician (OCT) Certificate

IICRC Fire and Smoke Restoration Technician (FSRT) Certificate

Descriptions of the courses associated with the above certificates can be found at http://iicrc.org/education-certification/course-schedule/.  We are also an IICRC approved firm in all of the above.

 

In general, at Dry Express Restoration, we set ourselves apart by have a deep understanding and practical experience in mold remediation work while ensuring high customer service and talking to customers up front so that they understand the circumstances, options, and suggested procedure(s) for mold remediation.  We work with any credentialed, knowledgeable, and ethical IEP as the customer desires as well have references for them if the customers do not have one for testing.  Contact our office and we can walk you through the procedures specific to your issues with your building or contents.  If there are health related issues we always direct customers to consult with an IEP and health professional / physician.  In general physicians do not make house calls which is why an IEP is needed in conjunction with a physician.

 

Call us today! 619.597.2003

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *