Post Storm Procedures

Post Storm Assessment of Buildings


Within a few days, some victims of the 2004 Florida hurricanes noticed a musty smell. Within weeks, mold inspectors and mold remediators were inundated with phone calls.

The life cycle of mold is simple.
1. Mold spores land on a moist surface.
2. hyphae emerge from the spores and they start to grow
3. These hyphae secrete enzymes into the moist surface to help rot that surface so that it can be absorbed
4. spores are created for reproduction within 24 to 48 hours

The faster the infrared thermographer performs the survey after the event, the more accurate the assessment will be..
Same with the mold inspection. The faster the mold inspector performs their assessment, the less severe the mold contamination will be.

Infrared thermography is a great tool to detect wet media.

 Infrared Thermography Cannot Be Used To Detect Mold but IR thermography can be used to find moisture in building materials, that can create the right conditions for mold growth in buildings,

With an IR camera large and inaccessible areas can be surveyed quickly and efficiently.

 Moisture problems in ceilings,  can be readily seen and large areas of walls, windows and doors can be well-documented with infrared images.

You and your insurance companies will need this info to justify the remediation required
After past hurricanes thermographers  provided many clients with a visual records, but as the months went by and building materials dried out, thermographic surveys were less useful and more difficult to perform. Infrared surveys are not effective when materials that were previously wet are dry, since there is no longer any temperature differential to detect

  Mold detection is complex because mold can hide in the most inconspicuous of places and its behavior is sometimes unpredictable.

The surface of a wall or ceiling may dry over time but the insulation inside will remain wet. This is an ideal place for a mold colony to form.

If a mold colony is present behind a wall, it releases spores and these spores are like microscopic seeds that will usually (but not always) percolate through the semi-porous drywall into the room and possibly cause heath issues for the inhabitants., and necessitating remediation.
 

A distinction should be made here between a mold inspector and a mold remediator. They perform two entirely different functions. The remediator is a contractor, not a consultant, hired to clean mold from contaminated areas (and not to spread the mold to other parts of the building). Mold inspectors are more consultants, hired to assess the mold damage and recommend and specify remediation. In no instance should a remediator perform mold inspections or collect microbial samples, as this creates a conflict of interest. These are different fields of expertise and should be kept separate.


After the next storm event I urge you and your clients to be ready.
It is going to be a time sensitive project.  You want to dry the building out so as not to create mold problems but you also want an IR accounting of exactly what areas of the interior were affected before it gets to dry.

  • assess the damages and contact insurance company
  • hire a contractor to protect the building from further damage , remove all wet carpeting and building materials.
  • hire  Inspect Key West to survey the building and produce a complete report with recommendations  

It is always best to hire an IR / mold inspector. This saves time and money. The final objective is to determine whether and where water damage has occurred and if so, whether there is a mold problem in the building. The cost of hiring an expert is minimal when the owner considers the preservation of structural integrity of the building and safeguarding the health of its occupants