A recently issued report has confirmed the presence of mold contamination inside the Flagler County Sheriff’s Office Operations Center.
After suspecting mold was present in the facility, Flagler County officials hired an engineering consultant to cut 36 holes into walls throughout the Sheriff’s Office Headquarters (to the tune of more than $9,000) as part of “invasive testing” for mold growth. The inspectors discovered what they believed to be water intrusion, mold, old wood underneath new construction, and what appeared to be bat droppings during the two-day assessment.
Analysis from a lab confirmed that the preliminary findings from the two-day assessment. Additionally, an indoor air quality study found that there were high levels of black mold around a freezer that is used to store evidence. Furthermore, the presence of a pathogen in the walls that is known to spark lung infections in humans.
Built on the site of the former Memorial Hospital Flagler, numerous people have suspected that there was mold contamination in the operations center building for almost a year. At least 37 employees of the Sheriff’s Office who were assigned to work in the agency headquarters at one time have filed workers’ compensation complaints. The complaints stated that contamination in the building led to their illnesses.
An emergency evacuation of the building was ordered by Sheriff Rick Staly in June. Attorneys who represent the employee who have filed workers’ compensation claims have notified both the Sheriff’s Office and Flagler County government that dozens of civil lawsuits are planning on being filed against them.
Sheriff Staly hasn’t yet read the report – which is 50 pages long – in its entirety; however, he did say that members of his command staff have briefed him of the findings, which included that mold and other contaminants that may be the cause of employee-related health complications were identified.
It looks like at least part of the smoking gun has been found,” said Staly. “This report vindicates my employees, that they were not faking illness as some people alluded to.”
The report was sent to Interim County Administrator Jerry Cameron. The analysis of the architect, mold assessor, and project engineer who collaborated on the report, confirms that moisture levels as a result of pipe condensation were high, and that heightened moisture lead to mold growth in the walls behind an evidence freezer. Additionally, water intrusion was found in the walls of the primary evidence room, as well as behind the wall baes of the detectives’ main office.
Lab results found that there were levels of stachybotryscladosporium, more commonly known as black mold, in the drywall in a cold storage evidence freezer.
Moisture, musty odors, and visible mold growth underneath the carpet tile flooring in 11 locations in the building are what officials of the Sheriff’s Office focused on.
It is known that mold can cause numerous health complications, which is why such extensive testing was ordered.
At Mold Inspection & Testing Daytona Beach, we have vast experience testing all types of facilities for indoor mold growth. We strongly encourage the owners and operators of all types of buildings to have regular mold testing conducted in their properties to ensure the safety and well-being of those who use them. To speak with an MI&T representative, please call 321.236.5150.