Serious Mold Problems Face City Hall – VideoDecember 2nd, 2013 by Sarah Spencer
Steven Morris of Morris and Associates addressed the City Council Wednesday evening with a slide presentation of his findings of damage and needed repairs to City Hall and the Police Building.
In April Morris and Associates did an extensive evaluation of the two buildings.
The original building was built in 1934, and the addition was built in 1978. In the basement of City Hall, where the old jail was, there had been a water line break, and the basement had flooded at one time. There was evidence of extensive mold and moisture damage. The police office has visible extensive mold growth on the carpet. The crawl space which goes back from the old basement of the City Hall building is contaminated, as well. The heat and air unit is located in the contaminated downstairs area, and all the contaminated air is drawn through it. There is a hole in the return air chamber of the heat and air unit, which allows outside air to come in to the building without being filtered. The heat and air unit filters don’t fit the unit, so the air is drawn in around them, and they don’t function to filter the air at all. The filter material is inadequate to filter out mold. The area in the crawl space below the return air intake, water heater, heat and air unit are all drawing in contaminated air from the crawl space below. A coil from one of the units is covered with black mold. The fresh air intake is closed on both units on the roof, which doesn’t allow any fresh air into the system, which is necessary. Without the fresh air intake, it makes the building negative to the outside air, so air is pulled from the outside into the building, bringing moisture, contaminants, and debris. Since the air is not passing through the unit, it is not being filtered at all. The outside of the building and roof have areas with flashing that is not adequately sealed, which allows water to flow into the building. The wall material has been soaked with water in behind the walls.
The windows have a lot of gaps, ½ inch in some places, which again, allows water into the walls. There are a couple of cracks in the foundation that allow water to flow into the basement. There are numerous cracks that allow water into the building. There is a louver vent into the crawl space on the newer building that is open wide enough that cats can get in there. There is vermin residue in there, which causes smells and contaminants in the building. Some of the windows that were replaced sweat condensate a lot. There is water on some of the windows all the time. A moisture meter testing the window gasket in the Mayor’s office registered 100% moisture. Not all of the windows do this, but it needs to be investigated further. Roof issues are on both the new and old roofs. The roofing problems are such that they would not be covered by the roof’s warranty.
Morris and Associates is recommending a package that would both repair the buildings, and clean up the contaminants. The final estimate for costs of repair and clean-up has not been calculated. Mr. Morris will present the final proposal to City Hall at a later time.
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Older article: Courthouse Mold Issues Put to Rest, for Now