Mold Monitoring for Commercial Buildings 2017-12-08T01:00:45+00:00

Mold Monitoring Programs for Commercial Building Owners

Environmental concerns over the last couple of decades have come to play a major role in commercial real estate development and management. Over the last five to ten years greater emphasis has been placed upon mold and indoor air quality (IAQ) than perhaps any other environmental issue. Among IAQ issues, concern about toxic mold has risen to present such a liability and perception concern that forward-thinking real estate property managers routinely have their buildings inspected as part of a Proactive IAQ Monitoring Program. In California, California’s Toxic Mold Prevention Act multiplies building owners’ concerns about this issue, since it formally establishes mold as a substandard condition that should be disclosed during a real estate transaction. Mold monitoring for commercial buildings decreases a properties chance of developing a serious mold infestation.

  • The program professionally documents a record of indoor environmental monitoring in the building. This builds true value into the property that will be realized when the time comes for the property to be sold.
  • California’s “Toxic Mold Protection Act” requires commercial, industrial and residential building owners to disclose the presence of mold during real estate transactions. Proactive IAQ/mold monitoring helps protect owners against this liability. It demonstrates that the owner has done due diligence to assure a healthy building or portfolio of buildings.
  • The program reduces the chances of a “healthy” building from becoming “sick.” Problems or potential problems are quickly identified and corrected at minimal expense.
  • The proactive IAQ/mold report provides critical third party documentation certifying effective maintenance standards and supporting engineering or operation budgets.

The program enhances the relationship of management and tenants by demonstrating a genuine concern for the tenant’s employees. Less time is devoted to investigating and solving tenant complaints.

A question asked by many building owners unfamiliar with Healthy Buildings approach is, “what happens when Healthy Buildings uncovers a major problem in my building? Why should I let a third party open a Pandora’s box of problems where none existed before?”

This is a very fair question and deserves a full answer. We understand that in fact, no building owner wishes to unknowingly expose his or her tenants to environmental hazards – they would much rather have their tenants work in a safe and comfortable workplace. Moreover, if left untreated, mold can quickly do significant and expensive physical damage to the building’s infrastructure. Should we uncover say, a moldy wall somewhere in a building, most of our clients would much rather that (a) we find it rather then a tenant and (b) the problem be quickly resolved and the solution documented, rather than have the problem fester (or get worse) any longer then necessary.

  • Our approach on the rare occasions where we discover significant problems in the buildings we inspect is to work with our clients on devising a solution – have the problem rectified (always by others since we do not sell hardware or remedial services), and document the solution, not just the problem.

Guidelines from Healthy Buildings for Assessing, Managing and Remediating Mold in your Property:

We have drawn these guidelines from EPA documents and our experience to assist commercial building managers in dealing with outbreaks of mold. This checklist was designed to highlight key parts of a commercial building remediation and does not list all potential steps or problems.

Investigate and Evaluate

  • Consider the possibility of mold as you investigate occupant complaints.
  • Once you discover mold, put remediation and the original cause of the mold at the top of your engineering department’s to-do list. This may prevent small problems from becoming large ones.
  • Assess size of moldy area – consider the possibility of hidden mold. Moldy areas less than ten square feet can be remediated with a minimum of professional assistance.
  • Assign someone from your engineering staff to manage medium or large mold problems greater than 10 square feet.
  • Identify source or cause of water associated with mold.
  • Check inside air ducts and air handling unit.

Communicate with Building Occupants

  • Coordinate with tenant so that they are aware of the problem and that they understand a timely, competent response is underway.

Plan and Implement Remediation

  1. Ensure you dry wet, non-moldy materials within 48 hours to prevent mold growth.
  2. Select cleanup methods depending on size of problem:
    • Less than 10 square feet of mold, options are: (1) Clean up via wet vacuum (2) Damp wipe (3) High Efficiency vacuum (HEPA) (4) Remove and discard. Minimum of personal protective equipment required (gloves, N-95 respirator, goggles, eye protection).
    • More than 10 square feet of mold; Consider a formal containment area. Professional assistance may be required.
  3. Fix moisture problem and amend maintenance plan to prevent repetition of problem.
  4. Throughout process, consult with your indoor air quality consultant as necessary.

Building owners adopting Healthy Buildings indoor air quality inspection programs can rest assured that professional, high quality indoor environmental documentation will be on file for their building. Any buyer, litigant or regulator interested in IAQ will find the building management has practiced good due diligence, can comply with current legislation and has practiced a reasonable approach to discovering and rectifying mold just as current legal standards of care indicate.

Please contact us if you would like to discuss a mold assessment for your property.

Copyright©, all rights reserved, these are general guidelines and are subject to amendment depending on specific conditions at hand.

It was great working with your employee this year. She did a great job working in our building she was very professional with our tenants in regards to respecting their space and gets along well with our crew members. I hope she is willing to return next year.

Chief Engineer, Major commercial building in Sacramento

Thank you Bruce, you guys never cease to amaze me how well you do things. I wish other companies worked like you do…

Assistant Property Manager, Major Program Management Contractor, Washington, DC
Just wanted to let you know that your office just helped us out with a last minute need…and we wanted to express our sincere gratitude. Your staff dropped what they were doing and came here to perform a Legionella test of our cooling tower before our work started this weekend. We are so fortunate to have such a great partnership with Healthy Buildings, who is responsive to our needs!
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I am completely amazed at how professional and complete our report is. I appreciate doing business with your company and look forward to using your services again on a yearly basis. Please keep me informed when it is coming close to the inspection period, thanks…

Operator, Major Casino/Hotel in Las Vegas, NV

Just wanted to express my sincere thanks for your time and assistance in attending the meeting. We met with a certified Industrial Hygienist and the Director of Environmental, Health and Safety. At the meeting, your staff distributed copies of the actual sampling data findings and explained each test and the results. The director asked a few questions and at the end of the meeting he seemed satisfied with the results and expressed his gratitude and stated that he felt that HBI had done a thorough job.

Property Manager, Commercial Real Estate, Virginia

It was great working with your employee this year. She did a great job working in our building she was very professional with our tenants in regards to respecting their space and gets along well with our crew members. I hope she is willing to return next year.

Chief Engineer, Major Commercial Building in Sacramento

Thank you for the expedient response to our request and the professional nature in which Healthy Buildings have responded to our concerns regards IAQ in the clinic, much appreciated.

Senior Occupational Health Specialist, Washington, DC

Healthy Buildings has the team and experience to develop effective and efficient hotel sustainability programs. Their commitment to business-oriented sustainability decisions makes them a player you most definitely want to have on your team. They will work with you to meet your bottom line goals while greening your operations and maintenance practices; ultimately reducing your operating costs, generating marketing opportunities, and strengthening your business model by integrating sustainability into all aspects of your hotel.

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