MOLD AND MILDEW
With the ever-increasing concerns over indoor air quality, building owners and tenants are becoming increasingly aware of mold and mildew problems and related consequences. Insurance companies are now excluding mold and mildew remediation from hazard insurance and attorneys are pursing exposure litigation.
In real estate negotiations for existing facility to be reused by our clients, it is preferable to require the Seller, Landlord, or Developer to deliver a “clean” facility, free of mold and mildew, as evidenced by an investigative or remediation report from a Certified Testing Agency.
If the real estate negotiations excluded this provision CASCO recommends the Client retain a Certified Testing Agency to investigate, and if required, remove all mold and mildew prior to the start of remodeling operations.
In addition, the Contractor should be charged with controlling factors that stimulate mold growth and with protecting components during construction and the responsibility of retaining a qualified and licensed specialty company to remedy any and all mold or mildew discovered during (or within the warranty period after construction).
Attached to this Bulletin is a set of drawing notes which CASCO recommends be placed on the drawings for all projects, new and remodel. CASCO also recommends these notes, or a customized version, be added to all Client prototype documents.
After construction is completed, the Client’s maintenance program should include proactive procedures to prevent moisture intrusion and other conditions favorable to mold growth. Mold is a naturally occurring environmental condition that cannot be entirely eliminated; however, with good maintenance practices the hazards can be minimized.
II. HVAC INFORMATION
Air conditioning systems which are initially free from mold and mildew can develop chronic air quality problems with improper and inadequate maintenance procedures. Owners and Tenants responsible for HVAC maintenance should insure that mold and mildew concerns are properly addressed by their maintenance program.
Although much has been published regarding HVAC criteria and indoor air quality, there are currently no Code provisions related to humidity specifically for the prevention of mold and mildew.
Air conditioning systems improve human comfort by reducing temperature and humidity. However, most ordinary air conditioning systems are controlled only by thermostats . . . and thermostats control only temperature. They do NOT directly control humidity.
While air conditioning tonnage selection takes humidity into account, it is usually a secondary factor. The Engineer’s ability to select air conditioning equipment to satisfy both temperature and humidity criteria under all possible combinations of occupancy and cooling load is virtually impossible with most ordinary air conditioning equipment. Practical limitations on zoning control also contribute to humidity variations.
Special HVAC equipment is available which can directly control both temperature and humidity. However, such systems have higher initial costs and greater operating costs. If you feel your facilities require such control, or if you wish further guidance, contact your Engineer . . . . . or call CASCO.
III. SUGGESTED NOTES TO CONTRACTORS REGARDING MOLD AND MILDEW