Mould and Water Damage
It’s a well-known fact that mould contaminated food can be harmful to your health. Less widely understood is that the presence of mould and bacteria (bioaerosols) in your daily environment can cause illness, infections and allergies. From current research, we have learned that infants, seniors and people with immune system deficiencies are particularly susceptible to airborne bioaerosols.
Mould is a normal component of both indoor and outdoor air, but when leaks or floods occur causing water damage, conditions may arise where mould will grow in the indoor environment. This can result in the deterioration of building materials and a reduction in the quality of air to the extent that susceptible individuals may become ill.
REGULATION: Currently, no regulations within Ontario govern mould contaminated building materials. Numerous mould assessment and remediation guidelines are available from reputable sources such as CCA, EACO and Health Canada.
WHO: Employers, building owners,building managers.
OBLIGATIONS: In the absence of specific legislation, the “general duty clause” applies. This clause states that an employer must provide a safe and healthy workplace.
CCA– Canadian Construction Association. Standard Construction Document CCA-82, Mould Guidelines for the Canadian Construction Industry.
EACO– Environmental Abatement Council of Ontario. EACO Mould Abatement Guidelines.
Health Canada, Fungal Contamination in public Buildings – Health Effects and Investigation Methods.
- Water damage and flood assessments: to identifyimpacted areas and determine appropriate restoration procedures
- Air sampling for specific contaminants
- Recommendations for proper remediation
- Design of contract specifications
- Tendering, walkthroughs and evaluation (conducted with pre-qualified abatement contractors)
- Inspection during remediation to ensure compliance with guidelines, specifications and your management program
- Air monitoring during assessment and remediation to evaluate air quality
- Laboratory service (air sampling and bulk sampling analysis)
- Education & training
Mould and Water Damage
A visual inspection is the most important step in identifying a possible contamination problem. Assessment is the important first step in determining remedial strategies. Ventilation systems are inspected for moisture infiltration and filter conditions. The use of a boroscope determines the conditions inside of walls and ductwork to identify hidden sources of fungal growth and water damage. A moisture meter is used to detect moisture in building materials. In all situations, the underlying cause of moisture accumulation must be rectified or fungal growth will continue. Water spray systems, humidifiers and filters containing organic dust or excessive humidity all create suitable environments for microbial proliferation (under appropriate conditions). In large buildings, the HVAC systems serve to transport microorganisms from the concentrated area of contamination to the vicinity of the building's occupants.
Currently, there are no regulations within Ontario specifically governing mould contaminated building materials. However, employers and building owners must demonstrate due diligence when mould contaminated building materials are discovered. SEL has adopted several guidelines as references in our consulting practices including guidelines produced by the Environmental Abatement Council of Ontario, Canadian Construction Association, Health Canada and the IICRC. SEL offers inspection, assessment and remedial consulting services to building owners. The goal of remediation is to remove (abatement) or clean contaminated materials in a way that prevents the emission of fungi and dust contaminated with fungi from leaving the area in which it is located and entering an occupied or non-abatement area, while protecting the health of workers performing the abatement. Our primary goal is to assist our clients in creating and maintaining clean, safe and healthy workplace environments.
Our range of services include the following:
- Mould Investigations: location and forms of mould.
- Mould Management Program: blueprint document for moisture control and water infiltration.
- Recommendations on Abatement & Remediation: what to do and how to do it.
- Design of Contract Specifications: designed to meet the above recommendations.
- Tendering, Walkthroughs, Evaluation: conducted with pre-qualified abatement contractors.
- Inspection During Remediation: ensure compliance with regulations, contracts & your management program.
- Air Monitoring: monitoring to ensure spore levels are within acceptable limits.
- Laboratory Service: air sampling and bulk sampling analysis.
In conjunction with the above SEL offers two occupational health and safety training courses specific to mould contaminated building. These courses have been designed to address the needs of maintenance personnel, health and safety managers, construction managers, building managers and those interested in conducting learning more about mould contamination. Please refer to our training section for further information.
If you suspect mould may be present in your facility or are planning renovations where demolition is required, do not hesitate to contact us (905) 624-2722 or at 1.877.GO.TO.SEL (1-877-468-6735) or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.