MOLD, MOISTURE & IAQ SERVICES

Provided by the experts at Salem Environmental!

Salem is an industry leader for multi-family/condo property management companies and also fulfills the needs of commercial clients, plus select residential customers, by providing the following services:

• Fungal (mold) IAQ & surface sampling
• IAQ sampling for Formaldehyde & VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds)
• Structural drying
• Fungal remediation & HEPA air filtration
• Infrared camera screening & materials moisture testing
• OmniSense™ live-time climate monitoring
• Moisture reduction with Innovative Dehumidifier™ in-wall units

FUNGAL IAQ & SURFACE SAMPLING

With new construction becoming more energy efficient, air exchanges are
often reduced to unhealthy levels. When coupled with elevated relative
humidity of >60%, allergenic spore growth can amplify, especially if
maintenance has been skipped for HVAC systems. Click here to view a
standard report - we don’t attach fluff/filler and present concise Findings,
Conclusions, and Recommendations. All air and surface analyses are
performed by an independent, American Industrial Hygiene Association
accredited facility.

IAQ SAMPLING FOR FORMALDEHYDE & VOCs

Off-gassing from new furnishings and floor finishes can raise formaldehyde levels to unsafe levels; the same applies to VOCs. We actually once tested in a rather unusual place for VOCs - A Rolls Royce! The gas tank fill pipe developed a leak, and VOCs were absorbed by seat cushioning. Testing confirmed elevated benzene levels above OSHA standards and allowed its owner to collect the fully insured cost of the vehicle.

In another case, a tenant was convinced that “mold” was making her ill.

We noted that she hung a rag mop directly under the air intake of the air-
handling unit, and she used a pine cleaner to clean vinyl floors. Lab
analysis confirmed that VOCs from the mop/pine cleaner were the source
of her respiratory discomfort, and once she moved the mop and bucket
her symptoms stopped.

STRUCTURAL DRYING

In October 2015 we were asked to coordinate 50-60 maintenance employees of a large property management company on a site where 48 apartments were flooded. We provided initial stabilization, structural drying, and HEPA air filtration once demolition was done.

Last October saw Hurricane Matthew come through almost a year to the day of those record 2015 floods. Salem was asked again to coordinate remedial actions in another complex where twelve units were damaged.

Our daily and weekly rental rates are priced below Xactimate® reimbursable costs.

More photos of our equipment in use on sites can be viewed here.

FUNGAL REMEDATION & HEPA AIR FILTRATION

Salem works directly with property management maintenance crews to reduce owners’ costs. In one recent site in SC, a drain line leak had impacted both an upstairs unit and the one underneath. We removed both kitchen sink cabinets, as well as the upper cabinets downstairs. Damage was minimal, and all were treated and placed back into service after surface samples came back with zero spore growth.

HEPA air scrubbers operated throughout removal of 80 sq ft of drywall and an additional three days. Post-remediation IAQ sampling confirmed a “Normal Fungal Ecology” environment.

Photos from several recent projects can be viewed here.

INFRARED CAMERA SCREENING & MATERIALS MOISTURE TESTING

When water damage occurs or a plumbing leak is suspected, infrared camera (“IRC”) imaging can pinpoint the water plume and hidden leak source. Water will depress the temperature of drywall and framing that appears as varying coloration on the IRC’s screen. Using a handheld meter, the exact extent of the water’s impact is delineated, reducing the amount of demolition and associated remedial costs.

When humidity cannot be controlled even with dehumidification equipment installed, the most likely source is water vapor coming up through the slab. Salem provides non-engineering ASTM testing of slab moisture emission that can actually cause fungal and bacterial growth which can discolor vinyl flooring, as was the case in this apartment.

OMNISENSE™ LIVE-TIME CLIMATE MONITORING

OMNISENSE™ LIVE-TIME CLIMATE MONITORING

Since 2014 Salem has employed this system to determine if permanent dehumidification is necessary. Sensors are placed on walls, and a gateway modem transmits temperature, humidity (relative & absolute), dew point, and the wood-moisture equivalent (“WME”) of water in air that appears in graph and table format. You can read a summary of a large, new construction project here where OmniSense™ monitoring in twenty ground floor units confirmed the need for permanent dehumidifier installation.

The OmniSense™ system can also be used to confirm that tenant failure to operate air conditioning as specified in the lease has caused amplified airborne mold spore growth. Many tenant leases list 76º F. as the maximum thermostat A/C setting during warm months.

As well, OmniSense™ monitoring of structural drying projects can be done remotely on a smartphone or pad device, preventing the need for daily visits during such projects. This page shows a graph/chart on a recent residential drying site that was used to prove the need for an additional day of billable equipment use.


In residential crawl spaces a sensor can be placed in problem areas; it will accumulate data that can be downloaded at our office. Then, a recommendation can be made as to appropriate actions to remedy excess moisture conditions.

INNOVATIVE DE-HUMIDIFIER™ IN-WALL UNITS

This truly innovative product addresses dehumidification for multi-family and condo complexes. Their IW 25-1 unit is rated at 25 pints/day and fits between 16” on center wall studs. It is ideal for apartment/condo areas (finished house basements too) of up to 1,500 sq ft.

Salem has installed almost 40 of these units in complexes throughout the Carolinas and Georgia in the last three years. Installation without complications takes around 90 minutes, and the decibel level of the units is less than an apartment’s air-handler. The IW 25-1 operates on standard 110V power. Also, its cover cannot be removed without a special tool and thus prevents tenant tampering with the recommended humidistat setting of 45%.