Concern: Old Cedar Lane: August 15th, 2023 (CXXOCL202300029A)

CDC Offices
Date of IEQ Report Form
Date of Report
Requesting a full building assessment/walk-through as one has not been conducted since 2020.

The HVAC was broken earlier in the summer and the areas of the CDC offices that were carpeted smelled very musty and some staff were reporting headaches. Since being fixed the smell has decreased but not gone away and air quality feels poor. Throughout the building there are also water stained ceiling tiles, rust stains to the bathroom toilets, and poor sink drainage.
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: August 24, and 28, 2023

Due to the Heating Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) being reported to be down during the Summer, various surfaces in the cubicle area and the kitchenette were assessed for mold growth. Mold growth on surfaces related to an extended period of elevated humidity was not observed.

A moisture meter was used to probe carpet in various locations within the cubicle area. No elevated moisture was detected.

No elevated moisture was detected in the drywall (zero-six inches from floor) in the Kitchenette area or the cubicle area. 

No elevated moisture was detected in the base of the cabinets in the kitchenette. 

The temperature (72.1 degrees Fahrenheit), relative humidity (55.1%), carbon dioxide (773 parts per million (ppm)), and carbon monoxide (0.0 ppm) were acceptable. 

A stained ceiling tile was observed in the hallway outside of the kitchenette and in the room in between the main lobby of the CDC and kitchenette. 

Several areas above the drop-ceiling were assessed. No odors or visible mold growth was observed above the drop ceiling. 

Areas were screened with a thermal imaging camera. No thermal anomalies indicative of moisture intrusion were identified. 

The return in the cubicle area is dusty. 

The supply diffusers in the cubicle area were qualitatively assessed and were delivering air to the space. 

A distinct moldy/musty odor was sensed on August 24th within the cubicle area. 

The carpet was lifted. No odors, moisture, or visible mold was observed under the carpet in the location checked. 

The cubicle walls are constructed of fiberglass panels encased in metal. Several of the panels were opened near the location the odor was sensed. No moldy musty odors were detected within the cubicle panels. 

The Office of the Environment returned on August 28th, prior to the start of the HVAC.

No odors were sensed within the cubicle area. 

A moldy/musty odor was briefly sensed within the kitchenette area. 

Further assessment identified approximately three-four square feet of mold growth within an upper kitchen cabinet (located above the sink).

Water staining was observed on the top of the cabinet.

No elevated moisture was detected within the cabinet. 

No obvious signs of an active leak were identified (stained ceiling tile, dripping, etc.).

Areas above the drop-ceiling were assessed. No mold, odors, or potential moisture intrusion concerns were identifed. 

Building Maintenance reviewed the potential leak and reported they believed the leak was historic and had been repaired. 

Areas under the sink were not impacted (no visible mold growth, significant water staining, or visible mold growth).

Smoke testing after the HVAC had begun operating on August 28th confirmed that air can migrate from the kitchenette to the cubicle area through pressure differentials. 

Corrective Actions
September 1st, 2023

The custodian is to place a work order for the stained ceiling tiles, if there isn't a work order in place already. 

September 1st, 2023

Custodial Services is to attempt to dust the return (in ceiling of cubicle area) with a vaccuum with a bristle brush attachment. If the vent cannot be cleaned, a work order can be submitted to Building Maintenance (HVAC) to remove the vent and clean. 

September 5th, 2023

A board-approved restoration contractor removed the impacted cabinet. Minor impact was also identified on the adjoining cabinet, which was also removed. Additional impact was identified on the drywall behind the cabinets. The drywall was also removed.

Tracking Number