Choosing a Mould Consultant
When choosing a mould consultant you need to be aware of several issues. First and most obvious is whether or not your consultant has been properly trained or educated. This might sound simple, but due to the “Mould Bonanza” overseas, there are a number of poorly conducted mould courses being offered (and now they are here in Australia as well). Some of these courses sound tempting but are being run by people with little real experience or formal training in mycology.
The problem with overseas run courses is that they don’t talk about Australian building codes and climates. Our law is (luckily) substantially different from that in other countries. We don’t take legal action as quickly but rather try to resolve situation so we can get on with the job. Problem solving techniques should be the first course for every mould consultant. Make sure your consultant has as a minimum, one certified qualification from a major body such as a University or major trade organisation such as AIHA, ASHRAE, NIOSH, etc.
Secondly, make sure your consultant has a breadth of 2 years of experience. This is perhaps more critical than on-paper qualifications. The reason is that no two mould jobs are alike. In fact, the variation between mould jobs continues to astound us. The more experience you hire, the closer you will get to tracking down the actual cause or source of mould growth. Even seemingly obvious mould sources can turn out to be a secondary contamination from a hidden primary problem. In fact, this is more often the case that any simple or obvious explanation in most situations. If the consultant gets it right in the first place, considerable amount of money and time can be saved. A good consultant should give you a report that is useful for you in interpreting the result. Unfortunately poorly designed reports are common. The following information should be included in environmental reports:
- Scope of work (including list of hypotheses, limitations of sampling).
- Site physical description (address, size, age, number of occupants, schematic layout).
- Mechanical review (description of exterior, HVAC systems, plumbing, mechanical appliances).
- Sample location and circumstances summary (list of sample locations, fans on or of, windows open).
- Summary of analytic results and recommendations (database summary of walk-trough and analytical results).
- Analytical results (including IAQ results and detection limits, at least genera levels and indoor/outdoor ratios).
- Sampling instruments used (methods and protocol used, calibration protocols).
Last but not least the consultant should have a good client relationship und should be there for all your questions and concerns. For large remediation Jobs its advisable to engage the consultant as a mould manager overlooking the remediation works on site.