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Old 08-10-2008, 09:32 AM   #1
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Mould Fact Sheet


There have been several posts this past week about moulds and the effects they can have on our lives so I thought I'd post here an information sheet we pass out to our customers whenever the subject of moulds arises on the job.

We cannot take credit for this; this was posted elsewhere but has become a useful tool to answer many of the questions we get in water damage.

Enjoy...
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Old 08-13-2008, 03:51 PM   #2
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Mould Fact Sheet


Some good information and pretty accurate. This looks a lot like the NIH and U.S. EPA guidelines that have been published. They are some pretty sensible procedures. Since this has been published there have been some advances in cleaning lined ductwork that may save having to replace it. Anyone with a lined ductwork issue would be best advised to check around before jumping off the deep end. I see a lot of people over reacting from bad advice or a lack of knowledge. Sadly, a lot of the advice is coming from "mold remediators" who are poorly informed, playing to a gullible public who has been misled by media hype. The N95 respirator is a good idea, just be sure it has P100 cartridges and NOT ones for organic vapor. The warning about condensation on windows could be a little mis-leading. I would use some caution on how you apply those statements. There are a lot of old houses with poor, sweaty windows that don't suffer from mold issues. Also note that because something has gotten wet, does not mean that it is automatically in need of replacement. For example, drywall that can be dried within 72 hours can be saved. (72 hours is the minimum amount of time a mold spore needs to set up housekeeping in the paper surface of drywall under ideal conditions. If you can dry it before then, the mold spore is outta luck.) Continuous saturation of materials over an extended period of time is a surefire way to start a mold farm. Organic materials exposed in this manner would need to be disgarded. Sudden wetting as would occur in a water pipe burst may saturate materials, but with proper action, you might be able to dry them. A fast, accurate and effective response is the key. Thanks for posting some good sense info.
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Old 08-14-2008, 07:58 AM   #3
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Mould Fact Sheet


We find this document answers many if not all the questions we get on a daily basis about moulds; it is not the bible to be sure, but a means of steering people in the right direction.

In practical terms, you may be right about moulds forming on drywall after 72 hours. I would have thought that was dependent on other things, but let's for the moment say that's the case. In order to dry a gyproc wall thoroughly, I would have to convince myself and the insurance adjuster that my equipment (which blows air as well as sucks air, and has a HEPA filter) that I charge, say, $45 a day for (x3=$135), is a better bet than removing the wallboard and replacing it for $25...

I'm a chicken. I know enough about moulds that I don't even want to tangle with them, let alone set up a war zone.

I also think soccer is a silly sport but, hey...that's a whole other story.

But that's just me!
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Old 08-14-2008, 12:02 PM   #4
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Mould Fact Sheet


The 72 hours represents the absolute best conditions that mold spores could bloom on a sheet of paper faced drywall. The reality is that under most conditions it would take longer. The 72 hours comes from National Institute of Health studies and is accepted by healthcare infection control people as a safe and usable guideline. In our facilities, other materials, such as vinyl wallcovering are never trusted, not because mold will grow on vinyl, but the wallpaper paste is gourmet mold food. In fact, I would not hesitate to tell someone that if they have wallpaper in their bathroom, they've got mold growing under it. Other materials, like plaster on metal lathe can have a longer drying time. Mold won't live on solid plaster, but will live on the dust that is usually found there. Some plasters also have organic fillers that will support mold growth. Fireproofing on structural steel can be mold food, plus can contain asbestos, so you get the double whammy when it gets wet and can't be dried. In addition to air movers we use some high velocity ducted dehumidifiers to dry out materials. The humid air is ducted into HEPA filtered negative air machines when we can't vent them directly to the outdoors. Except where I noted above, the document you provided is a good common sense approach. Every situation has some variables that have to be taken into account, but you have to start somewhere.

I know that we couldn't come in, tear out, dispose of, replace, finish and paint a sheet of drywall for $25.00. It would be much higher than that considering that in reality you should be building the same dust containment system and running negative air to keep the construction dust out of the rest of the structure that you would build for a true mold remediation project. So, my comparison would be: running 3 air movers $135.00, building a containment before you start demolition of wet drywall, $250.00+. Then factor in the repair and clean up. And that doesn't take into account the loss of use or disruption of the structure.

Last edited by Maintenance 6; 08-14-2008 at 12:16 PM.
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