I think I have mold in my building. Do I need to sample it?

Probably not. Sometimes sampling is important, say for a legal case or as part of a thorough Post Remediation Verification process on mold remediation projects. If you see a material that looks like mold, smells like mold, and is in a place that’s wet or was in the past, it’s probably mold. What’s more important is finding what caused the mold to grow there in the first place, and stopping it for good. Save the money you’d spend on sampling and put it towards solving the problem.

Chris, why did you call yourself “The World’s Most Interesting Engineer”? Isn’t that a bit arrogant?

I wanted a catchy title for the blog, and I’m a big fan of “The Most Interesting Man in the World” series of ads run by Dos Equis. Those are some of the funniest commercials I’ve ever seen, and I think every guy would like to have that level of coolness. And not everyone associates engineering with coolness. In fact, many people think engineering is boring, and engineers don’t always help in disproving that, because, in general, we’re not the greatest communicators. So I don’t think I’m really The World’s Most Interesting Engineer. There are plenty of real world people who are, but I thought I’d try for an interesting title while at the same time poking a little fun at myself and my profession.

My building was constructed after 1985. That means my building doesn’t contain asbestos, right?

No. Many people think asbestos has been totally banned in the United States. It hasn’t. In fact, you can buy asbestos containing building products right now – it’s just much harder than it once was. So there’s no date cutoff for asbestos. We’ve come across buildings that were completed in the 1990’s and had materials that contained asbestos. Until you know for sure that a material doesn’t contain asbestos (often that means you have product data or lab results proving it), treat the material as if it is asbestos.

SUBMIT A QUESTION

Help us improve this page by submitting your questions.