Investigative Engineers Association members often investigate the origin and cause of microbial, soot and/or other conditions affecting properties.

Fungal conditions and damages within structures are a major source of concern and liability. Fueled by insurance claims, publicity campaigns and litigations, the appropriate handling of fungal damages has evolved into a series of detailed investigative phases and procedures.

Initial Investigations:

Typical steps in the investigative process include assessing the extent of a fungal condition, developing a remediation protocol to abate the fungal conditions and performing a post remediation clearance inspection. An additional step in more sensitive and complex cases is the process of determine the origin and cause (O&C) of the fungal conditions. Accurate (O&C) investigations accomplish two primary goals including making remediation more effective by preventing the source conditions from reoccurring and assisting in limiting or assigning liability to the appropriate parties.

Analysis:
Our investigative procedure generally consists of the following:

  • Develop understanding of problem and history
  • General walk around and then focus
  • Obtain information on all building materials and code requirements in area of loss (i.e., type of materials, age, thyme of insulation, type of HVAC system)
  • Building science and HVAC specialties
  • Document environmental conditions within structure
  • Perform moisture mapping and document fungal patterns
  • Conduct environmental sampling
  • Develop sketch of building footprint and document all evidence discovered
  • Document sources of causes of fungal conditions
  • Connect the dots and arrive at Origin and Cause opinion