Is A Mold Assessment Different Than Mold Remediation or Mold Treatment?
Yes, they are different. A mold assessment refers to the process of assessing whether there is or has been undesirable mold growth in a building. Mold assessments may include a questionnaire about the building history, symptoms observed with the building occupants, a visual inspection, and mold testing.
Mold remediation (or mold treatment) refers to the process of fixing a mold problem that exists. Mold remediation may include fixing or resolving the water problem that caused the mold growth and cleaning and removing the mold growth or items affected by the mold growth.
Mold assessors are required to prepare a mold remediation plan that is specific to each project. The plan must be provided to the client prior to the commencement of work and include the following:
- The rooms/areas where work will be performed
- Estimated quantities of materials to be cleaned or removed
- Types of methods to be used for each type of remediation within each area
- Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) required to be supplied to workers
- If remediation is occurring within an occupied building, then a notification plan must be outlined to notify building occupants and posting requirements that are appropriate to the project size, duration and points of entry/exit to the work area
- General estimate of cost
- When possible, the underlying causes of moisture and recommendations for the type of contractor to be used to remedy those water sources
- Containment must be specified as to prevent the spread of contaminants under normal usage
- Proposed clearance procedures and criteria
Post Remediation / Clearance
For a project to achieve clearance, a post remediation assessment MUST be performed. The assessment must assure that the area is free of visible mold growth and meets the specified clearance criteria. A written passed clearance report is required to be issued to the client by a Licensed Mold Assessor.
Remediation contractors will be required to prepare a remediation work plan that is specific to each project which complies with the mold assessment scope of work, and provides standard operating procedures for how the project will be carried out. This must be provided to the client before site preparation work begins.
Remediation contractors will be required to provide the necessary PPE to all employees engaged in mold remediation work. Signage advising that a mold remediation project is in progress will be required at all accessible entrances to the remediation. No person is permitted to remove or dismantle any containment prior to the project achieving acceptable clearance.
Disinfectants, biocides, etc may only be used as specified in the remediation plan, if they are registered by the EPA for their intended purposes. If no product is specifically outlined (brand or product) in the remediation plan, the remediator can select a product to be used.
The Department of Health has the authority, under the new law, to inspect ongoing or completed projects.
Why Was This Law Put In Place?
Many problems became evident after Hurricanes Sandy and Irene. Many Contractors and Remediation companies were doing their own inspections, assessments and clearance. However, this puts them in a conflict of interest. The state has stepped up and now requires 3rd party assessments as well as 3rd party clearance in order to protect the clients interests.