Mould Consulting – Testing & Inspection

OCS offers Professional mould consulting, inspection, and testing services including:

  1. Mould Testing & Inspection
  2. Mould Air Monitoring & Testing
  3. Mould Project Design, Tender, & Monitoring
  4. Mould Remediation Specification Writing
  5. Mould Services for Regulatory Compliance
  6. Designated Substances including Mould Surveying – click here

Please contact OCS to discuss your needs, get a free estimate for our service, or schedule an appointment. OCS is a locally based environmental consulting firm in Ottawa, Ontario. We service all surrounding areas including Kingston and Cornwall.

OCS offers you mould services including assessment, management, and project assistance/monitoring.  Mould services are carried out according to the Fungal Contamination in Public Buildings: Health Affects and Investigation Methods (Health Canada), and Mould Guidelines for the Canadian Construction Industry (Canadian Construction Association). 

Mould History 

Mould is a word that describes a distinct type of fungi. These fungi are found everywhere in the natural world. Moulds are responsible for the decomposition of dead organisms and recycling their organic materials back into the environment.

Specific species may release toxigenic or allergenic spores or chemicals impacting indoor air quality. Mould exposure affects individuals differently because people have a unique physiology, somewhat like a fingerprint. People with compromised immune systems including infants, children, the elderly, and persons with medical conditions are the most susceptible to exposure. Adverse health issues include allergic rhinitis, sinusitis, conjunctivitis, building-related asthma, hypersensitivity pneumonia, and dampness associated respiratory symptoms. Fungi from bird or bat droppings can cause severe infection leading to blindness and bleeding lungs.

A safe workplace is mandated by law in Canada under various legislative frameworks. Regulatory reviews indicate there are no specific regulations for the majority of contaminants in indoor air. Similar to other indoor air contaminants, basing the legal framework on the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) of Ontario and the advice of informed authorities, including ASHRAE, and ACGIH. Under OHSA employers must take all reasonable precautions to protect occupants, workers, and others against health and safety hazards.

For growth to occur three factors are needed:

  1. Water;
  2. Food (cellulose containing building materials: drywall, ceiling tile, wood, and more); and
  3. Time (less than 48 hours).

The most important factor that causes growth in buildings is moisture availability. There are many sources of moisture in buildings including:

  1. Intermittent Wetting or Single Events: broken plumbing, ice dams, sewer back-ups, flooding, leaks, storm-driven rain, overflow (sinks, tubs); and
  2. Chronic Sources: condensation, air leakage (airborne moisture), improper design/installation of rain shedding elements.

No building can remain air and watertight indefinitely. Leaks of water and moisture-laden air can happen through almost every assembly and result in contamination. Regions with mixed climates (Ottawa, Ontario) are problematic for growth occurring in buildings.

For more information on indoor mould growth, please see Causes of Indoor Mould Growth.

Mould Services – Assessment

Ottawa Contaminant Solutions can provide you with all aspects of mould assessment.

Before conducting a project in an existing building, the best practice is to assess to identify potential areas of mould growth within a structure including the HVAC system. This assessment should be carried out by an environmental specialist.

Objectives of a mould investigation are to:

  1. Discover the nature, cause, and extent of contamination;
  2. Determine potential health risks for building occupants;
  3. Handle discovered mould issues; and
  4. Restore the building to an acceptable level of performance.

Project circumstances will determine the level to which the assessment is carried out. A mould assessment may include the following:

  1. Review of the building history including moisture damage, odours, adverse health impacts of occupants, operations, and renovations;
  2. Visual inspection of the subject project area/building and HVAC system;
  3. Moisture testing to detect/map excess water in building materials.
  4. Air sampling to identify contamination not visible and located in concealed locations;
  5. Intrusive inspections into hidden areas to where information or observations suggest a possible issue; and
  6. Additional testing of air and surface materials to correlate preliminary findings and to record existing conditions.

Remediation of discovered contamination or damage should be fast. The most important factor during restoration is to eliminate sources of water/moisture intrusion.

Mould Services – Management

OCS offers you mould management plans for building operators, maintenance, and construction stakeholders.

Prevention is the best practice for controlling mould in buildings and on Projects. Several construction materials contain sufficient organic materials for mould to grow on when wet. Control of water and humidity is important because mould needs excess moisture and elements susceptible for growth to occur. Controlling moisture is a significant challenge and joint responsibility for designers, builders, operators, and owners. If any stakeholder fails to control water, the result can be mould contamination and liability.

Best practice is to develop procedures for operations and maintenance for the early detection of moisture infiltration and mould contamination. Construction activities should be limited during wet seasons unless controls are used to ventilate and dry materials.

OCS develops project specific mould management programs for operations, maintenance and construction.

Mould Services – Remediation Project Support

Building Contaminant Solutions offers building or project stakeholders with all project aspects of mould remediation.

A safe workplace is mandated by law in Canada under various legislative frameworks. Under OHSA employers must take all reasonable precautions to protect occupants, workers, and others against health and safety hazards.

Stakeholders must have an assessment carried out to establish if there is a contamination issue if suspected due to visible potential growth, moisture infiltration, odours, or occupant concerns. Using the findings of this examination stakeholders may be obligated to provide drawings, plans, and specifications, as appropriate, to carry out proper mould remediation. Ottawa Contaminant Solutions provides you with all aspects of remediation projects, including assessments, reports, specifications, drawings, other documents, and project oversight that may be needed.

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