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HHI release 11.27

November 27, 2013
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The IICRC and Healthy House Institute (HHI) Recommend Post-Mold-Remediation Air Check


BOISE, ID — According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), floods and flash floods happen in all 50 states, and just a few inches of water from a flood can cause tens of thousands of dollars in damage. 

Taking the proper steps to protect a property after a flood can limit the extent of the damage incurred. See “Five Steps to Prevent Mold Growth after a Catastrophic Flood” at:

After taking recommended steps to stop mold growth, and, when necessary, engaging the services of a certified professional to correct major problems, the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) and the Healthy House Institute (HHI) recommend a post-mold-remediation air check by qualified professionals such as an IICRC Certified Mold Inspector to help ensure proper indoor air quality.

According to Gordon Dean of Clean Pro Restoration, an IICRC Certified Firm:

“Following major flood cleanup and remediation projects, it is important to have an independent third-party perform an indoor air quality assessment to validate the job was done correctly and provide the homeowner with greater peace of mind about their indoor environment.”

According to experts at the IICRC and the Indoor Air Quality Association (IAQA), the purpose and scope of recommended post-remediation verification is to conduct an on-site visual inspection and also to perform bioaerosol sampling to validate the effectiveness of the remediation project.

Results of findings, observations, and recommendations are typically shown in the report provided by the environmental consultant.

According to Paul Tierney, Certified Mold Investigator (CMI), Environmental Scientist, principal of Environmental Services and Consulting, LLC, and IAQA Council Member: “This final step is important to help ensure the homeowner’s health is protected by validating indoor air quality after remediation services are provided by qualified technicians.”

Tierney continues: “Currently there are no regulatory standards for acceptable levels of microorganisms in bioaerosols, wipes, or bulk samples derived from indoor environments. Interpretation of the significance of qualitative and quantitative results varies from site to site and from practitioner to practitioner. As a result, site specific acceptance criteria are often based on generally defined guidelines offered by recognized organizations such as the American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA) in the Field Guide for the Determination of Biological Contaminant in Environmental Samples (1996) and the Guidelines for the Assessment of Bioaerosols in the Indoor Environment (American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists - ACGIH - 1999). These organizations generally agree that interior, occupied dwellings should be visually free of any microbial colonization or particulate debris, that bioaerosol sampling results should not significantly exceed outdoor or control levels, and that species distribution should display similar readings as the outdoors or control samples.”


“Also, moisture readings and relative humidity readings collected during the inspection of the remediation work help determine whether the moisture content of the structural materials and the indoor air is within the range suggested by experts including the American Society of Heating, Refrigeration, and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE).”

Flood Facts from FEMA

·         Floods and flash floods happen in all 50 states.

·         Just a few inches of water from a flood can cause tens of thousands of dollars in damage.

·         Most homeowners insurance does not cover flood damage.

·         You are eligible to purchase flood insurance as long as your community participates in the National Flood Insurance Program.

·         In most cases, it takes 30 days after purchase for a policy to take effect, so it's important to buy insurance before the storm approaches and the floodwaters start to rise.

·         From 2003 to 2012, total flood insurance claims averaged more than $3.0 billion per year.

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