Concern: Northfield Elementary School: March 8th, 2021 (CXXNES20210001AD)

Date of IEQ Report Form
Date of Report
Musty odor and headache were reported to the custodian by a staff member.
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: March 9, 2021

Temperature (68.6 degrees Fahrenheit), carbon dioxide (487 parts per million (ppm)), and carbon monoxide (0 ppm) were acceptable.

Relative humidity (18.1%) would be considered low, however this is typical for HCPSS schools during the heating season as the ventilation system does not humidify air before introducing it to occupied spaces. Humidification can introduce clinical health concerns such as humidifier fever.

The space was inspected for relative humidity mold growth with particular attention to wood surfaces. No mold growth was observed.

No odors (to include moldy/musty) were detected. 

The space is carpeted. Carpet can give off a nuisance odor at times depending on a variety of factors such as temperature and relative humidity. In general, nuisance carpet odors are not an environmental health and safety concern. 

The space was screened with a thermal infrared camera. No thermal anomalies indicative of moisture intrusion were identified. 

The casework and drywall near the room's sink were probed with a moisture meter. No elevated moisture was detected in the materials.

No concerns were identified above the drop-ceiling in the classroom.

A stain was observed on the drywall ceiling outside of the classroom and appeared to be associated with a possible skylight  leak. No elevated moisture was detected in the drywall. The ceiling cavity was accessed to observe the backside of the drywall in the location of the water stain. No visible mold growth was observed.

The Heating Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) unit servicing the space was assessed. The unit was not operating at the time of the assessment.

No odors were identified within the HVAC units drain pan and trap.

Corrective Actions
January 4th, 2021

Building Maintenance was already in the process of addressing the leak identified outside of the classroom.

March 9th, 2021

Building Maintenance (HVAC) was contacted to assess the non-operational HVAC unit as soon as possible.

Date Closed
Tracking Number