We have been doing verification mold testing with a newer mold remediator here in town. We have done about 5 post tests for this remediator and about 4 has failed. When we retest the number count for mold spors is usually quite a bit higher than the pretest. Penecilium is what we usually find which is pretty common around here. The remediator is trying to blame us. Any thoughts?
It is obvious that if the count is higher on the post, than the remediator does not know what he is doing. Like my Industrial Hygienist says, he is just making the mold mad.
I always write in my report what appears he is doing wrong, I try to work with him patiently and let him know I am only a phone call away. If a protocol was not written on a condition 2 or 3 mold contamination then I point out to the remediator and the owner of the building that a protocol needs to be written as defined in the ANSI/IICRC S520, Second Edition. If a protocol is not written than the remediator is basically doing it blind, and majority of the time things do not turn out well. Also keep in mind, like my girlfriend says, you cannot teach the Stupid.
They will always try to blame the tester or try to prove the test is invalid, at first. Stand your ground and aways keep things well documented and follow some type of SOP or protocol. I keep a copy of my IESO testing protocol in my pump case and if somebody questions me then I just hand them the booklet. That has always stopped them in their tracks and their mouth drops wide open.
If you need any more advice, please feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org .
Thanks for the reply, I was testing in an empty residential house. I was using air-o-cells so I ran them for 10 minutes at 15L a minute. He wanted me to come in dressed in a plastic suit and cut the time for the testing from 10 minutes to 5 minutes each. He states 75 liters of air is sufficent for a mold test? Any thoughts? Is it standard practice to wear a plastic suit?
No, the longer the better, will give you a more accurate sample. Run the full 10 times. You should only cut your time if it is a pretest, never a post test, and only if you feel the mold is too heavy in the air, that it will load up your air trap too much and make the sample too hard for the lab to read. I probably only did it once every two years.
No, it does not matter when post testing when it comes to wearing a suit. The air samples are not that sensitive. I would just humor the remediator and wear the suit anyway.
If you have a good Industrail Hygenist, get an okay from him/her before clearing a job on an air test just in case you overlooked a number on the report.
Talk to Jim Echols of Springfield Indoor Air Quality at (417)823-7427 about analyzing your samples. He is right in your own town. He is the top mold expert in the state and he will back you up when you are in the right.
Sounds like the remediator is not doing his job at all. Do you do an inspection for the clearance test? Like visually look around? Get 2 books IICRC S500 and IICRC S520. Read them and know them. Do you write the protocols or just do the air testing? If they want you to just do the air testing then tell them it is what it is. If they are paying for a CLEARANCE report…then you have alot to learn. Not knocking you, been there myself and education is the ONLY way to get to where you need to be.
You can actually knock down the sampling time depending on the conditions. But it will not lead to different results. They just multiply it more. They need to take the amount of air taken in and translate it to cubic meters of air, so the less sample time means less accurate but sucks butt remediation is suck butt remediation even if you cut the time down.
Most of the remediators in Missouri do not have a clue in what they are doing. I spend a lot of time educating remediators. The smart remediators listen. If they will not listen, then I just let there butt hang in the wind and when are paths cross I get to kick it.
The saddest part is the assessors that clear these remediators. Most cannot even interpret a lab report. I heard of another last week that clears living areas with surface samples. Unbelievable!
As long as you want to learn the mold business, you should do well. Like Russell says education is the key, there are some great courses out there. As soon as you stop learning you will fall behind. My Industrial Hygienist always says us mold guys never retire unless somebody retires us (big lawsuit).
Russell- I was doing mold clearances for a remidiator that referred the jobs to me. So when they failed they didnt refer me anymore. As far as the protocols goes I do not do them just a mold test. Thank you for the recommendation of the books I will go buy them tomarrow.
James-Yeah I am trying to learn as much as I can I just took the mold certification test here on NACHI I learned alot from that. I thought about taking courses on remediation not to remediate but learn more about the process of remediation. I also feel lucky to have you mold gurus here to help if I should have a question.