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Posted by: Barry @ SKR on 1/10/05 Title: Mold In building -Testing Company recommendation?
Postnum: 293 EntryID:1286
We have been considering purchasing a building that, due to its former use, has this black Mold on portions of the walls in old, built-in huge freezer units. Not sure if it is the super hazardous type. These units are insulated with cork covered in what appears to be plaster, and are actual rooms, not units that could be disassembled & removed from the building. I do have a concern that the mold has entered into & is growing in the cork lined walls. The freezers have been there since the 1940s, if not earlier.

Can anyone recommend a company in/near Winnipeg that does testing & clean-up? I realize there are a few, but if anyone has had some experience with any, would appreciate a heads up on what to watch for in a good/bad company. Also, anyone have any kind of rough idea of what kind of cost per sqr foot we'd be looking at?

Responses

Posted by: Chris R on 1/14/05 Title: Re: Mold In building -Testing Company recommendation?
Postnum: 293 EntryID:1290
Barry,

To start with, you should be looking at seperating the remediation company from the testing company. There is an inherent conflict with one compnay performing bith tasks (how do you ensure adequate remediation).

Most environmental engineering firms will have some experience with mold work. What you really need to determine first is what mold is present and why is it there. Without eliminating the source of moisture, any clean-up is doomed to failure as the mold will likely reoccur at some point in the future.

Mold sampling can either be performed by collecting bulk samples of the mold to determine species and family or by collecting airborne samples for the same info. Airborne samples will give you a quantity of airborne spores, which will allow yourself/consultant to compare post-cleanup results to ensure adequate remediation.

Unless you are attempting to save money, I would recommend that you hire a consultant to write a scope of work and tender the job based upon their sampling and investigation. They will be able to delineate the extent of microbial contamination and enforce procedures to ensure that the contractor does not spread the contamination. They should also perform clearance sampling afterwards prior to releasing the remediation contractor from obligation.

I would caution you from involving yourself with a moldy building. Many banks and insurance companies will hesitate to provide any coverage related to the mold. A medium-scale remediation can easily surpass $100,000. A small clean-up can cost anywhere from $5,000 to $50,000 depending on the extent of contamination and level of effort required. You are probably correct in that the cork is providing a source of nutrients for the mold to thrive on.

Another concern you may wish to investigate is whether the plaster contains small percentates of asbestos. It was often added as a binder to the plaster. Any disturbance to asbestos requires compliance with your provincial regulations which can lead to additional costs and liabilities.

Manitoba has an enforceable guide you should check out. Guidelines for the Investigation, Assessment & Remediation of Mould in Workplaces. Workplace Safety and Health Division, Manitoba Department of Labour. March 2001. Any work will be subject to complaince with this document.

I would recommend my own company, Jacques Whitford Limited, except Winnipeg is the only major Canadian city where we do not have an office. Make sure whoever you hire has experience with both mold assessment work and mold remediation work. Ensure that their insurance policies cover them for mold.

Chris Rahm

Posted by: Barry @SKR on 1/14/05 Title: Re: Mold In building -Testing Company recommendation?
Postnum: 293 EntryID:1292
Thank-you Chris for the information you have provided.

This building is large, just under 13,000 sqr feet, and with a 3800 sqr foot basement. the coolers take up roughly 2/3rd of the facility's space, as they are just huge inuslated rooms with cooling units mounted in them.

The source of the mold in this case is pretty obvious. The building used to house a fruit distribution/wholesale facility, and has large rooms which were coolers. Condesation due to the coolers operating is the source, though the basement may possibly have some issues with groundwater. The mold appears to be 'dry' and is older deposits, and does not appear active, though I am not an expert by any stretch of the imagination.

The insulation in this case is cork, which I am also concerned will likely have mold contamination. The mold in most cases is visable on areas of the walls, and in the basement where there are also some smaller built-in walk-in coolers.

As for money, yes, we are on a very restrictive budget presently, so I am not sure if a consultant is a possibility. Can you provide us with a ballpark figure that would represent a realistic consultant's fee? As for the mold clean- costs, we were planning on working that into our offer for the facility. However, anything over $100,000 will be unlikely.

If the mold is cleaned up prior to the building being insured, do the banks & insurance companies look upon a cleaned-up building favourably, or does it still have that 'stigma' of having been a mold infested building?

I am reluctant to pass this particlar building by, as it is the perfect location & set-up for our operations, and any facilities I have seen prior to this have had other issues that couldn't be made to work properly for our situation & operations. I was also hoping to eventually set-up a residence in whatever facility we purchase. With all that said, it is obvious that if there is potentailly some long lasting negative health affecting issues then it will not be feasible.

Posted by: Barry @ SKR on 2/4/05 Title: Re: Mold In building -Testing Company recommendation?
Postnum: 293 EntryID:1316
After doing some more investigating of mold & the hazards of both the mold itself & the chemicals involved in its clean-up, we have decided to abandon pursuit of this building. Thanks for your initial response Chris.

Posted by: D Little on 3/19/05 Title: Re: Mold In building -recommendation?
Postnum: 293 EntryID:1339
We rented a house on Feb.15th 2005 we moved into the house on Feb. 26th. There was a bad rain storm the power went off at 2am. at 6am. we went to the basement to find the sump pump did not pump the water which by that time had come into and covered the basement floor with about 3 inch. depth. Our landlord does not want to remove the mold which is in the dry wall and rugs and 2x4"s.Please tell me what can we do.

Posted by: Jennifer on 3/30/05 Title: Re: Mold In building -Testing Company recommendation?
Postnum: 293 EntryID:1351
D Little - depending on what province you are in this may vary. In Ontario you could try contacting the Rental Housing Tribunal which settles disputes between landlords and tenants. I would suggest calling them with this situation to determine what recourse you might have. Certainly this is a health concern for you so hopefully they can force the landlord to do the repairs. The website for the housing tribunal is http://www.orht.gov.on.ca

Good luck!


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