Assured Bio offers investigative services to assist in the identification of areas affected by water intrusion. Our professional field technicians allow property owners, contractors, or facilities managers to simply hand over any microbial concerns with the knowledge that those will be handled with care. Working directly with a Ph.D. microbiologist, expert knowledge is readily available to rapidly identify and address any unique microbial issues.
Image of mold damage due to faulty window caulking.
Humidity related mold found on drywall behind wallpaper.
Why is mold a concern?
Mold is ubiquitous in nature. It is found outdoors as well as in the air that we breathe inside. However, the mold that is found indoors should mirror that of its outside environment. If not, there are reasons to become concerned.
Elevated mold levels inside buildings are often associated with water intrusion. Water and increased humidity allow for the proliferation of “water-impact molds” which can lead to illness and create structural integrity issues within the building.
Water impact molds love to utilize material that is cellulose based as a food source. This means that while growing inside, mold can be colonizing drywall, particle board, trusses, carpet tack strips, and any materials containing glue. The damage caused by the digestion of building materials can lead to a structurally unsound environment.
Exposure to many molds can also be problematic to individual health. Prolonged exposure can lead to: allergic reactions, irritation of tissues, infections, and/or toxic effects due to mycotoxins.
Stachybotrys sp. behind file cabinets due to roof leak & lack of HVAC.
Penicillium/Aspergillus-like mold growth due to faulty roof.
What are coliform bacteria and why are they a concern?
Historically, food and water quality has been monitored by testing for fecal coliform bacteria. Coliforms are a subset of bacteria that are commonly associated with the intestinal tract of warm blooded animals and include genera such as Escherichia, Klebsiella, Citrobacter, and Enterobacter. These bacteria will not always be illness causing pathogens, but they can be used as biological indicators of fecal contamination such as sewage. Coliforms are excellent indicators of contamination because they are reliably cultivated in the laboratory and grow very quickly under most circumstances. This makes testing and reporting a rapid process.
Even though many coliforms will not cause disease, they can quickly show that dangerous bacteria (e.g. Salmonella and Shigella), protozoans (e.g. Giardia), and viruses (e.g. hepatitis) could also be present. Laboratories do not directly test for such pathogens due to the expense associated with special facilities and supplies. Additionally, only specially trained personnel can handle these organisms safely. Most importantly, serious pathogens would constitute only a small portion of organisms associated with fecal pollution, making them very difficult to reliably detect.
What does an investigation consist of?
At the time Assured Bio is contracted to provide investigative services, field technicians are scheduled to arrive on site and conduct an assessment of the property. A thorough visual assessment of contributing factors is coupled with the collection of samples utilizing cutting edge sampling equipment. Within 72 hours of the investigation, clients receive verbal interpretation of laboratory data from the samples collected on site.
Seven days later, a detailed investigation report is released including:
Photographic documentation of specific areas of concern.
Identification of the factors contributing to the issue.
Identification and quantification of molds or other unwanted microbes.
Recommendations on how to deal with the issues.
In the event that a restoration professional is necessary, Assured Bio will gladly assist in locating experienced remediation contractors to facilitate microbial remediation. In order to grant clients security and peace of mind, Assured Bio recommended remediation contractors are required to undergo ongoing quality control measures to ensure stellar job site performance and positive end results. Once remediation has been completed, Assured Bio offers a post-remediation investigation to ensure that the remediated area is safe for occupancy.