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.
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.
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