I think its Formaldehyde - Not Mold

I have a client who is sure she has mold.

  1. Her home was finalized in 2005.
  2. She’s had 4 roof leaks repaired by the builder on her metal roof and ceiling s repaired.
  3. In July of last year she had an in wall pipe burst/leak: builder removed the moldy drywall (she saw it and took photos) and the builder fixed the leak
    Then - a water damage repair company (with a Nationwide name) removed the remaining damaged drywall and Bamboo flooring and charged $23K for their service. (this affected 2 bathrooms, and walls shared by family room and 2 other rooms)This company had their employees in haz mat suites, shielded work areas, fans, the whole bit.
  4. Neither the builder or the second repairing company did a mold test at any time even though they both have IN WRITING commented that they observed what could be microbial growth.
    5.Both allowed the HVAC to continue to run during all tear outs and repairs.

Physical Observation:
She was having headaches and blackouts within weeks of moving in (prior to any leaks that we know of)
Now - she is being seen by respiratory specialists and starts coughing within 20 minutes of being in the home.

She also has 3 small short haired dogs - no hair loss, no nasal discharge and no health issues have arose.

She has Bamboo flooring throughout the 3000 sq ft home - no tile or carpeted flooring anywhere.

She changes her super duper filters each 3 months and she claims they are black when she changes them (no she did not have one for sample)

I called in a licensed Air Quality company to do the initial testing - the results will be in Monday.
But I think its Formaldehyde.

Does anyone know a company in Hillsborough Co. Florida that does testing for [size=4]Formaldehyde in the air? I called Pro Lab and they do not have any testing supplies for this.[/size]

I had a case very similar to that about a year and a half ago. The filter was turning black. Looked inside the blower cabinet found reddish brown dust, test showed it was Asperigullis/Penicillium. But where was it coming from. Found the Asperigullis/Penicillium in attic on the all the rafters the ceiling joists but not on the sheeting which was very strange. Talked to a neighbor before I left, he said the house was framed up for about six months before the roof was put on. So that answered that mystery. The mold count was actually so high I had to come back and repull the air samples at 5 minutes instead of ten because the traps was so over packed with mold my industrial hygienist could not determine what mold was what.
Also Nick posted an article like back in January where a newspaper reporter called me up and asked what I thought the problem was. It was a case where the mold remediation was done twice and the tenant of the apartment was still getting sick. I asked him what did the clearance testing say? He said what clearance testing? Was there suppose to be clearance testing? I told him that was the problem, with out clearance testing you do not know if the remediation company did the job right or made the situation worst by stirring the mold up more. Of course his little reporter mind did not grasp what I was saying even thou he said he understood. There are very few remediators I have found, and your area will probably will be no different, that know what they are doing. But they can really put on a show for the customer thou.
I betting it is mold. Keep us informed with what the tests come back at.
EMSL does Formaldehyde sample analyst. I have found high levels of mold and Formaldehyde in one home already. Talking about a very unhappy little old lady but her son was very grateful because now he knew what was making here sick. She has moved out of the home and she is doing fine now. But her son said she is determined to go back there but her son won’t let her. You just got to love stubborn people.

James, your absolutely right. As a remediator myself we will not perform mould remediation with out a pre & post (clearance) test from a third party consultant.
Doug

The tests came back very very low. Less that half of what low range averages are for Florida.

I spoke to our favorite HVAC tech. He recommends a complete evaluation of the duct system. He has had similar situations occure where replacing the duct work and installing infrared devices have solved the problem.

I think she needs an Attorney.

Are either of you in the Tampa area?

No, I am in Missouri.
If it was a HVAC problem it should of showed up in the air tests. Can you email me the mold lab report at jbraun@mo.nachi.org for I can see the numbers myself?
Also if the studs was not cleaned, dried and sealed the mold could be growing back inside the repaired walls and ceilings. A regular air test will not detect it because spores can not move through walls but the mycrotoxicins the spores produce can. When somebody gets sick from mold it is usually the mycrotoxicins, which is a chemical. An example is when somebody gets overexposed to a household chemical they become chemically sensitive to it. The same happens with mold. Air testing inside the walls or ceilings is the best way to check for this. You might have to shoot the house with a thermal camera and just hope the moisture is still there if not the mold inspector is going to have to get lucky to test between the right wall studs or ceiling joists that has the growth. But let me look at the lab report before more money is spent.
No air cleaning system will work if the mold is still there unless you are planning on living inside your furnace.

Sorry Joe, I’m in Canada. James knows his stuff. If he’s willing he’ll be able to steer you in the right direction. Best of luck!
Doug

your absolutely right not to do a test, before,during, and after is irresponsible beyond belief, she sure sounds mold sick, I would recommend a Hygienist

James
I e-mailed you the result page.

Let me know
Zoe