Concern: Oakland Mills High School: March 21st, 2022 (CXOMHS2022000216)

Kitchen/Food Storage
Date of IEQ Report Form
Date of Report
April 21st, 2022
Suspect mold growth on block wall.
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 of Assessment: March 16, 2022

Building Maintenance was investigating damaged tile and block in the vicinity of the Kitchen's walk-in freezer (closer to the food storage closet).

The damage reported is believed to be due to a leak or condensation. The excess moisture is believed to freeze/thaw due to proximity to the freezer, causing damage to the tile floor and block wall. 

While building maintenance was assessing potential causes, black spots were noted on the block wall within the food storage closet.

The Office of the Environment assessed and noted the following:

  • The suspect mold on the walls appeared to be mostly dirt/dust that has collected on the wall due to thermal differentials (thermophoresis).
  • The surrounding walls were about 75 degrees F with the area in question being about 61-65 degrees F.
  • Areas behind the cove base and under a floor tile were assessed with no mold growth observed. 
  • No elevated moisture was detected in the ceiling.
  • An odor was detected in the area outside of the pantry and is migrating out the back kitchen door to the boiler room hallway. This is the area with the damaged flooring. Staff reported the odor to be intermittent. The Office of the Environment believes the odor may be associated with wet insulation from the walk-in or damaged piping associated with the freezer, however as of March 16, the cause had not been determined.
Corrective Actions
March 16th, 2022

Building Maintenance plans to remove the freezers this summer for further assessment. The Office of the Environment has requested to be present to observe the areas after the walk-ins have been removed. Additional response actions may be necessary following the removal of the walk-in(s).

Tracking Number