Remediation contractors are generally very conscientious, trying hard to bring each project to a condition where it will pass “clearance testing” (the Post-Remediation Verification [PRV] inspection) on the first try. Sometimes the cleaning attempts are unsuccessful. This will certainly cost the contractor additional cleaning time and therefore money, and it may damage their reputation with their client and/or insurance personnel. Depending on their contract, the contractor may be responsible for some or all of the cost of follow-up testing.
Here is a list of suggestions to help remediators become more effective. They address what in our experience are the most common reasons a project does not pass the Post Remediation Verification (PRV) testing. They are listed in no particular order.
Physically remove all mold growth
This seems obvious, but it is surprising how often competent professionals miss areas of visible growth. Careful moisture and mold inspection is the key.
Many Florida buildings have block exterior walls, with wood furring strips for attachment of drywall. When drywall is removed from these walls as part of remediation, IET highly recommends also removing all exposed furring strips, perhaps by cutting them off at the edge of the remaining drywall with a wood chisel. The alternative is to aggressively clean (resurface) the furring strips, which is time-consuming and therefore expensive, and increases the chance of inadequate removal of mold growth. And, of course, it is not possible to clean the reverse side of the furring strip where it is against the block. Furring strips are very inexpensive and we can pretty much guarantee it is considerably cheaper to remove and replace them than to attempt to clean them. These considerations apply especially to the horizontal bottom strip, which is usually a 1x4.
Note: Chromated copper arsenate is (CCA) often used to pressure-treat wood and make it rot-resistant. CCA-treated wood is sometimes used for furring strips, especially the horizontal bottom strip. This type of wood should never be aggressively cleaned by sanding, blasting, or brushing. It should be removed and replaced to prevent aerosolization of toxic arsenic compounds.
Cleaning to a “dust-free environment” level of cleanliness
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At Indoor Environmental Technologies (IET), we understand the challenges involved in improving the indoor air quality of your home or office. We have provided mold inspections, testing and consulting, as well as protocols on how best to remedy a property so that rebuilding can begin. Our services also include air quality assessments, chinese drywall testing, leed certification, real estate inspections. industrial hygiene surveys, thermal imaging, etc. We have provided these services all throughout the state of Florida and Southeast US.