Recently I have had the opportunity to work on project involving a wine storage facility. The warehouse space is conditioned with a coo long unit designed to keep the temperature at 55 F. When I arrived at the facility I quickly noticed that there was a black staining on the interior portion of the exterior walls. Because this facility was for storage only the insulation was left exposed. I also observed that there were forklifts operated on a regular basis at the facility. The tenants of the building were concerned that the black staining was a mold. My first impressions of the staining given the observation made were that the staining was soot that was created by the operation of the forklifts (gas powered). Insulation will often act as a filter.
I began the testing and evaluation phase. I quickly discovered that the roof had leaked over a period of time possibly over a period of years. I continued to make observations and noticed that the building was cooled in the evening by night air. Some large vents would open up and allow cool night air to enter. I suspected that the humid night air may be adding excess moisture but this was not confirmed. I collected some samples of the insulation and other discolorations. Lab results returned a positive for mold growth in all areas with black staining. I was a bit puzzled by the result. I made recommendations to the owner to further the investigation to determine the cause of the mold growth and then identify sources of moisture and make appropriate improvements to mitigate. Currently the owner is evaluating different options for further investigation.
Steve Ramos Certified Home Inspector
Steve Ramos is a Certified Home Inspector, Mold Inspector and Building Science Thermographer. He has over 10 years of home inspection field experience. Steve has a very diverse and well rounded background. His reports are detailed, accurate, and timely. Steve has been featured on over 104 episodes of HGTV’s House Detective. He offers his services in all nine Bay Area counties including: Santa Rosa, Petaluma, Novato, San Rafael, Napa, Sausalito, San Francisco, Walnut Creek, San Ramon, Rohnert Park, Cotati, Bodega Bay, and Cloverdale.
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