AMRC consultants use a variety of water damage and microbial growth detection methods including visual assessment, building material moisture content readings, temperature and relative humidity readings, and fungal air and surface sampling.
There are no EPA or federal mold standards, standardized methods for sample collection, analyses of mold, or data interpretation, however, the EPA recommends maintaining the relative humidity between 30 – 60% to inhibit the potential for mold growth. Once suspect mold growth has been observed or detected, it is recommended that specific cleaning and/or remediation protocols be put in place.
The American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers, Incorporated (ANSI-ASHRAE 55-2010 “Thermal Environmental Conditions for Human Occupancy”) which gives thermal environmental conditions considered to be both comfortable and healthy for building occupants. The recommended temperature zones lie between 71 and 76 degrees Fahrenheit (̊F) and between 30 and 60 percent relative humidity (%RH), depending on the clothing worn and the activities of the building occupants. These guidelines are intended to achieve thermal conditions at which 80 percent of the occupants will find the building environment acceptable (comfortable).
Results of moisture content in wood is expressed as a percent of moisture content (%MC) and the moisture content in other building products is expressed as a percent wood moisture equivalent (%WME). Generally, readings between 0 and 15% WME/MC are considered ‘not elevated’, readings between 15 and 20% WME/MC are ‘above normal’ and readings above 20% WME/MC are considered ‘elevated’. The relative known moisture (REL) is determined using the scanning function of the protimeter, and are used as a relative percentage of moisture equivalents. Excessive moisture in buildings can lead to decay and deterioration of components and decorative finishes.