Message Board Thread - "water / mold problems in buildings"

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water / mold problems in buildings Bill 9/10/2003
Has anyone used the IF cameras for water and mold investigations in buildings and if so how accurate were the results? Bill Finley
water/mold problems in buildings Thermowriter 9/24/2003

· All mold is bad. Some mold is worse.

· Mold stops growing when dry, but health issues remain.

· Different types of mold tend to grow in different moisture regimes:

o Black mold, Stachybotrys chartarum (atra) is a toxic fungus that occurs widely in North America, but is uncommon in homes. It can cause pulmonary hemorrhage (PH). It requires water-soaked cellulose (wood, paper, and cotton products) to grow -- typically from flooding, serious plumbing problems, or roof leaks -- and takes about two weeks to start amplifying. While wet it looks black and slimy perhaps with white edges; when dry it looks less shiny.

o Penicillium grows in damp, but not wet conditions. Some species produce toxins and may render food inedible or even dangerous. It is a good practice to discard foods showing the development of any mold. On the other hand some species of Penicillium are beneficial to humans. Cheeses such as Roquefort, Brie, Camembert, Stilton, etc. are ripened with species of Penicillium and are quite safe to eat. The drug penicillin is produced by Penicillium chrysogenum, a commonly occurring mold in most homes.

o Aspergillus refers to a group of mold fungi which are found world-wide and are especially known for decaying fruit and vegetables. They are very common in the autumn and winter in the Northern hemisphere. Only a few of these molds can cause illness in humans and animals, and fortunately most healthy people are naturally immune to its effects. The most problematic varieties are Aspergillus fumigatus, Aspergillus niger, Aspergillus terreus, and Aspergillus flavus. The mold can cause allergic reactions in the bronchia and lungs, grow in the lungs and sinuses, and become invasive in immunosupressed people. However, most healthy people do not develop disease caused by Aspergillus.

The actual presence and identification of specific types of mold requires further investigation beyond thermography, including visual inspection and laboratory cultures.
IR thermography and its use in building materials scott 9/24/2003
We have performed hundreds of building remediations related to water and mold losses. One of our inspection tools for those losses is IR thermography. As an inspector I have unfortunately not been able to “visibly see” mold using our E series IR imaging camera. What is important is that in most cases moisture is very discernable using IR thermography. With mold growth two important factors must be present, a food source (carbon containing material) and water. Without the two, mold growth does not occur. Water intrusion, the primary cause of mold growth in a building, can be easily detected with most IR cameras. In order to learn more on infrared thermography and its use in building sciences, ITC in conjunction with the Building Science Institute are presenting classes on the subject. We will be coming up with additional classes shortly … stay tune to the ITC site class schedule.
Re:water / mold problems in buildings/classes Videe 10/6/2004
I attended on of BSI's classes in California and they are thorough and informative both in the use of the IR cameras and the relationship of their use to issues discussed in these forums.

I would highly recommend them.

Also, these forums reinforce the education greatly, thanks for making them possible.

M Adler

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