Question? Just ask us!
Free Encyclopedia of Building & Environmental Inspection, Testing, Diagnosis, Repair
InspectAPedia ® Home
ENVIRONMENTAL HAZARDS - INSPECT, TEST, REMEDY
AIR CLEANER PURIFIER TYPES
AIR POLLUTANTS, COMMON INDOOR
AIR QUALITY IMPROVEMENT STRATEGIES
AIRBORNE PARTICLE ANALYSIS METHODS
ALLERGEN TESTS for BUILDINGS
ASBESTOS IDENTIFICATION IN BUILDINGS
BACKDRAFTING HEATING EQUIPMENT
BLACK MOLD, TOXIC & ALLERGENIC
BLEACHING MOLD, Advice about
BOOKSTORE - ENVIRONMENTAL
CADMIUM in the HOME
CARBON MONOXIDE - CO
CARPETING & INDOOR AIR QUALITY
CAT DANDER in BUILDINGS
CELL PHONE RADIATION
CHEMICAL CONTAMINANTS in WATER
COMBUSTION PRODUCTS & IAQ
DIRECTORY of MOLD / ENVIRONMENTAL EXPERTS
DUST SAMPLING PROCEDURE
EMERGENCY RESPONSE, IAQ, GAS, MOLD
EMF ELECTROMAGNETIC FIELDSRE
ENDOCRINE DISRUPTERS at BUILDINGS
FLOOD DAMAGE ASSESSMENT, SAFETY & CLEANUP
FLOOR TILE ASBESTOS IDENTIFICATION
FUNGICIDAL SPRAY & SEALANT USE
GAS EXPOSURE EFFECTS, TOXIC
HEATING OIL EXPOSURE HAZARDS, LIMITS
HOUSE DUST ANALYSIS
HOUSE DUST COMPONENTS
HUMIDITY CONTROL & TARGETS INDOORS
INDOOR AIR QUALITY IMPROVEMENT GUIDE
LAB PROCEDURES MICROSCOPE TECHNIQUES
LEAD POISONING HAZARDS GUIDE
LEGIONELLA LEGIONNAIRES' DISEASE
LIGHT, GUIDE to FORENSIC USE
METHANE GAS SOURCES
MILDEW in BUILDINGS ?
MOISTURE CONTROL in BUILDINGS
MOLD ACTION GUIDE - WHAT TO DO ABOUT MOLD
MOLD CONSULTANTS / INSPECTORS
MOLD DETECTION & INSPECTION GUIDE
MOLD EXPERT, WHEN TO HIRE
MOLD RELATED ILLNESS GUIDE
MSDS Material Safety Data Sheets
MVOCs & MOLDY MUSTY ODORS
NOISE / SOUND DIAGNOSIS & CURE
ODORS GASES SMELLS, DIAGNOSIS & CURE
OIL, HEATING, EXPOSURE HAZARDS, LIMITS
OIL HEAT ODORS & NOISES
OIL SPILL CLEANUP / PREVENTION
PET ALLERGENS / PET DANDER
PET STAINS & MARKS in BUILDINGS
PLASTIC ODORS-SCREENS, SIDING
PLUMBING SYSTEM ODORS
PVC - VINYL BUILDING PRODUCTS
RADON HAZARD TESTS & MITIGATION
SAFETY HAZARDS GUIDE
SAFETY HAZARDS & INSPECTIONS
METHANE GAS HAZARDS
SEPTIC SYSTEM ODORS
SEWAGE BACKUP TEST & CLEANUP
SEWER GAS ODORS
SMELL PATCH TEST to Track Down Odors
STAIN DIAGNOSIS on BUILDING EXTERIORS
STAIN DIAGNOSIS on BUILDING INTERIORS
SULPHUR & SEWER GAS SMELL SOURCES
UFFI UREA FORMALDEHYDE FOAM INSULATION
URETHANE FOAM Deterioration, Outgassing
VINYL CHLORIDE HEALTH INFO
VOCs VOLATILE ORGANIC COMPOUNDS
WATER ODORS, CAUSE CURE
Indoor mold contamination emergency response: this article describes how you may decide that the moldy conditions inside a building are serious enough to treat as an emergency.
Green links show where you are. © Copyright 2014 InspectApedia.com, All Rights Reserved.
Watch out: because individual health risks and site conditions vary widely, no publication can always identify nor solve all problems caused by indoor air contamination.
But here we provide assistance that will help in identifying an emergency and more assistance that will help determine when you need to hire a professional.
Even a non-emergency situation may require expert professional advice on diagnosis of problem causes and procedures to clean up mold or to remedy other IAQ issues.
At page top and above left we show examples of severe indoor mold contamination. In the extremely mold-contaminated building shown at page top there is no question that if this building had been occupied, it should not be. In an interesting technical experiment the author tested every surface of every different type of building material found inside the structure. The results were interesting: different mold genera/species had strong preferences for different materials (no surprise). These variations underscore the importance of strategic sample location selection when screening less obviously contaminated buildings for mold. For example I found completely different mold genera/species growing on the surface of a hollow-core luan interior door than on its edges.
Definition of Mold Emergency: Five Conditions Indicating an Indoor Mold, Odor, or Gas Emergency
The US EPA identifies five conditions that require immediate or "emergency" response [we have added a few items]: 
Watch out: a mold-related indoor IAQ emergency condition may exist but may be less obvious, as we explain below.
In the moldy book photo shown at above-left we illustrate a more subtle but serious indoor mold condition. In an in-use basement library area we found books that from a distance just looked "a little moldy". But the air disturbance caused by merely walking past these books sent visible clouds of green Aspergillus sp. mold spores into the air in extemely high concentrations - a condition we verified in our laboratory
Worse, when the remediators installed rapid dehumidifying equipment, the sudden plummet in indoor humidity so excited the Aspergillus that it sent still much higher levels or spores into building air. Proper dust and mold containment measures were very important at this building to avoid jeapordizing people occupying the in-use upper floors.
If you are not sure if a mold emergency exists
Additional information helpful in deciding if an emergency condition exists can be read at
Additional information is at
Green link shows where you are in this article series.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
No FAQs have been posted for this page. Try the search box below or CONTACT US by email if you cannot find the answer you need at InspectApedia.
Try the search box just below or if you prefer, post a question or a comment in the Comments box below and we will respond promptly.
Search the InspectApedia website
HTML Comment Box is loading comments...
Technical Reviewers & References
Related Topics, found near the top of this page suggest articles closely related to this one.