Concern: Deep Run Elementary School: May 21st, 2019 (CXDRES20190000D5)

Room A126
Date of IEQ Report Form
Date of Report
There is an odor in the room. It is strongest first thing in the morning when the room has been closed up. The Heating Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) department has checked the unit serving the area and no concerns noted. Seems to be a chemical smell.
IEQ Investigation Process

Identify deficiencies that may impact IEQ and/or sources of odor concerns. Typically includes the following depending on the nature of concern, but not limited to:

  • interview/questionnaire of concern individual(s)
  • inspection above drop ceiling (condition of roof deck, pipe insulation, return air plenum)
  • inspection of ventilation system (operation of variable air volume box and outdoor air dampers, check controls, measurements of carbon dioxide, temperature and relative humidity, sources near outdoor air intake, measure return and supply air volume, cleanliness of coils, liner and condensate pan)
  • inspection of exterior
  • inspection below drop ceiling (housekeeping, sink and floor drain traps, signs of past and present moisture concern via visual and/or moisture meter, mold growth, ensure connection of current and capping of abandoned sanitary vents, odorizers, excessive plants and fabric items, identify potential pathways, and measure volatile organic compounds, carbon monoxide, and lighting)

Date(s) of Assessment: May 23 and June 13, 2019

May 23, 2019

The Office of the Environment interviewed an individual who has noticed the smell. The individual indicated the smell was "musty." Additionaly, as indicated above, the individual noted the smell was stronger in the mornings, especially on Mondays.

A musty odor was not detected in the room during the Office of the Environments assessment.

Temperature, relative humidity, and carbon dioxide readings were acceptable.

No mold growth was observed.

No thermal anomalies indicative of moisture intrusion were observed.

No moisture was detected within the carpet.

No issues or odor detected within a column containing a roof drain.

Room A126 adjoins an electrical room. Several bags of mulch were stored within the electrical room.

A musty odor was associated with mulch when the bags were shuffled around.

It is likely that the mulch has a stronger odor now that the outdoor temperature and humidity levels are rising. As HVAC is turned off on the weekends, the odor likely increases and migrates into the classroom.

June 13, 2019

An odor was not detected within A126, the adjoining storage closet, and or above the drop ceiling.

No issues or odor detected within a column containing a roof drain.

Water was observed in the sink's drain trap.

An odor (grass / mower aroma) was detected within the main electrical room which has an adjoining door to A126 and is also adjacent to the exterior storage room containing mowing equipment.

The floor of the mower storage was full of grass clippings.

Penetrations (i.e. spacing around mechanical equipment) exist between the mower and electrical rooms.  In addition, voids exist above the drop ceiling between A126 (includes storage closet) with the rooms containing the grass and mower odor. The spaces/voids would allow the odor to migrate into occupied spaces.

Part of A126 used to be the boiler room.  This portion consists of original boiler room slab, stone, and a new slab sitting (floor to A126) on top of the stone.

The ventilation unit serving the classroom had no deficiencies nor is considered a source of an odor.

Corrective Actions
May 23rd, 2019

Administration should ensure that the mulch is removed from the electrical closet. The Office of the Environment understands the mulch will be spread into the existing plant beds  and will not be stored elsewhere in the building. Additionally, storage in the electrical closet should be avoided as it could represent a fire hazard. 

June 28th, 2019

Building Services sealed penetrations between the rooms so odors from the mower storage room do not have a pathway to enter into A126 under the right conditions.

July 29th, 2019

Custodial staff is to improve housekeeping of the mower storage by cleaning up grass clippings.  In addition, clean mowers off when done using and ensure the underside of the mowing deck is clean and doesn't remain with wet grass clippings.

Date Closed
Tracking Number