Concern: Thunder Hill Elementary School: August 24th, 2022 (CXTHES202200023A)

Kitchen in Cafeteria
Date of IEQ Report Form
Date of Report
Mold on the walls and door to Freezer/Refrigerator. Please see attached pictures.
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: August 25, 2022

Mold growth was observed on the freezer doors (metal) as well as on the painted block walls in the locker room/bathroom area that directly adjoins the walk-in freezer. 

The block wall in the bathroom and locker room was measured using a thermal infrared thermometer. The mold impacted walls measured approximately 10 degrees cooler than non-impacted walls. The temperature differential indicates moisture within the wall and/or possible failed insulation. The temperature differential is likley causing condensation to form on the walls resulting in subsequent mold growth. This condition is likely exacerbated in the summer as there is a higher temperature differential (kitchen not air conditioned and unoccupied).

Food and Nutrition Services refrigeration contractor assessed and determined the cause of the mold growth on the walk-in itself was related to the gasket on the door of the walk-in and needed replacement. The contractor also reported that the insulation along the backwall that adjoins the bathroom/locker room has likely failed. The contractor recommended "injecting" insulation into the wall to make the repair, however they do not provide such a service. 

Building Maintenance was contacted to determine if they were aware of a contractor who would provide the service. Building Maintenance spoke with various insulation contractors. It was reported that injecting insulation is not considered standard practice. 

Corrective Actions
September 6th, 2022

The Food and Nutrition Services contractor replaced the gasket and door sweep on the walk-in. 

October 6th, 2022

A board-approved restoration contractor cleaned/disinfected the affected walls in the locker room/bathroom. The area was than encapsulated. This area will be monitored during routine IEQ Walkthroughs until funding can be identified to repair/replace the walk-in. 

Food and Nutrition Services is also to monitor the area and clean as necessary. Cleaning can be done by wiping down the walls with a microfiber cloth (Custodial has) and a standard cleaning solution. The condition may re-occur over the summer due to higher temperature differential and lack of routine cleaning (food service not in during the summer). If this occurs, Food Services can clean upon their return in August.

Fans can be placed in the locker room and bathroom to increase air movement prior to Food Services leaving for the Summer.  Additionally, the doors to the locker room/bathroom can be left open. This may assist in reducing the severity of mold growth over the Summer.

Tracking Number