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Remove Mold At The Source
A recent COIT client complained of a mysterious smell emanating from a restroom. Using an infrared camera and non-penetrating meters, moisture was discovered in the finished surfaces. Further penetrative investigation revealed that the structural steel inside the wall was encased with Monokote, a highly absorbent fire proofing material.
The source of the odor? The waste line inside the wall, which had been slowly leaking over a period of time. In addition, the Monokote was absorbing the excess free liquid, leaving a humid and odiferous interstitial space. The liquid had also wicked up the building material, allowing mold growth on the gypsum wallboard (GWB) paper inside the wall.
To start, the bathroom was shut down and proper engineering controls were installed by COIT technicians to maintain negative air pressure and limit public access. Fixtures were also removed from walls, protected, wrapped, and put aside; wall tile and GWB were removed in all the affected areas.
The COIT experts then climbed into the interstitial space and scraped off the Monokote, roughly 2’ on all the structural steel, and used wire brushes to remove the built-up corrosion.
They then used High Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) vacuums to clean each surface within the work area several times. Finally, the COIT techs used an EPA-registered disinfectant to damp-wipe the remaining building materials in the wall cavity and finish surfaces of the bathroom.
After remediation was completed, dehumidification was used, and when the Industrial Hygienist (IH) ran his air samples and used the “sniff” test, he confirmed no residual odors remained. By using source removal methods, the space passed IH exit evaluation and air sampling.
If you suspect a potential microbial issue, be sure to seek out not only a reputable Indoor Environmental Professional (IEP), but also expertly trained remediation technicians who use only published and approved industry standards and practices in order to assure the best possible resolution of your issue.
By Superior Cleaning & Restoration
Chapter Happenings Sponsor, February 2021