What Is Mold Damage?

What Is Mold Damage?

Mold is a living organism. It’s a fungi. It’s part of the fungi kingdom. It will grow wherever there is dampness or moisture. It fulfills a critical role in nature in that it helps to breakdown, decay and decompose organic materials in nature which is significant. If it was left fallen logs and branches, if it was left only to weather and insects it would take much much longer, decades, for wood to to decompose.

The rotting action that occurs in wood is from fungal action. It’s from fungi or mold decomposing, digesting the wood. It will only grow when there’s moisture present.

Mold Is Not Welcome In Our Homes

Mold represents a health concern in our homes. The way to prevent and control mold in our homes is to prevent moisture. If there’s a leak, a moisture source, and we get on it, identify it, stop it quickly, then dry out whatever materials got wet quickly enough then no mold will grow.

It’s easy to know when carpet is wet. It’s not easy to know when walls are wet. In order to know if walls and other surfaces that are behind layers and under layers and behind moisture barriers; if they’re wet, probably will need the help of a professional.

A water damage expert or professional that has moisture meters and other tools available to help diagnose it and confirm when it’s dry. If we dry everything quickly enough, you never have a mold problem in your living space for your home. When you do, there are health risks.

The mold should be addressed and should be removed. Killing it is not the answer. It’s not the goal. Mold needs to be removed.

We address that more specifically in another video. Regardless what type of mold it is potentially it’s unhealthy and should be physically removed. Killing it is not the objective.

Utah Flood Makes Wife Angry!

Just got back from meeting with a customer who had called for a mold inspection. She described being out of town for a few weeks. While she was gone, there had been a flood from an outside sprinkler that came in through her window well. Her husband was home, and he did what he thought was best to get the damage cleaned up. He sucked the water out of the carpet, lifted up the carpet and removed the pad. He set up some fans to dry the carpet. Once the carpet was dry, he replaced the pad. In his mind, everything was just fine. However, when his wife came home, she noticed a musty smell in the area that had flooded, which prompted her to call for a mold inspection.

When I got to the home, I also noticed the musty smell. When I removed the baseboard, you could see some microbial growth that had developed between the baseboard and the wall. The smells were coming from the mold now growing in the wall! Although the carpet had been dried out, no attention was given to the wall and getting it dried. We discussed doing some mold removal, and came back a few days later to get started on the job. The customer asked about whether or not filing an insurance claim might be an option. Given the time frame that had passed since the date of the loss, and the fact that mold was now present, I told her it was unlikely to pan out, but it was certainly worth calling her agent to explore the possibility.

When we came back to start the job, the customer told me she had called her agent, and found out that her insurance company would have covered all the damages, including drying out everything and getting it fixed, IF they had called the day that it happened (or shortly there after). Because of the reasons that we had talked about, there was no longer insurance coverage according to her policy. So all the damage would have been covered for just the cost of their deductible, instead of spending all the money out of pocket to clean up the mold, and then fix their basement. If you have any questions about whether or not your loss is covered by insurance, or what to do to clean up your flood so that mold doesn’t develop, give us a call!

Laundry Rooms Are A Breeding Ground For Mold

I just got back from doing an inspection today, and this is something I thought I’d share with everyone since it is a a pretty common scenario that we encounter. Mold grows best in a hot, humid environment. There are two places in your home that have a hot, humid environment periodically. They are bathrooms (following a shower), and your laundry room. The dryer vent is supposed to exhaust all of the humidity outside. If the vent gets knocked loose however, all of that humidity is just pumped into the laundry room. This will cause damage if not corrected! All of that excess moisture will be absorbed by structural materials. If they stay wet long enough, they can grow mold. At this home that I looked at, there was a lot of damage from all of the humidity. The cabinet doors had all swollen, and wherever water could pool up from the condensation, mold had begun to develop. We were able to give them a bid to get the mold cleaned up, and to get their laundry room back in working order. Don’t ignore problems in your home; if they involve water and humidity, they might lead to much nastier problems down the road.

A homeowner in Davis County has a mysterious odor… solved!

Last week I went out to look at a home in Davis County. The owner had a musty odor that was very apparent when you first entered the home. However, they had no idea where the odor was coming from, and they were concerned that they may have a mold problem. When I got there, I got a good recent history of the home, and the owners described all of the issues that they were aware of. Nothing seemed to fit with the odor that was definitely apparent to me when I got there. I proceeded to inspect the kitchen, the bathrooms, as well as the perimeter of the basement to see if I could find any water damage that may have gone unnoticed and led to mold developing. After an hour of looking around the home, I was unable to find anything, and I must admit I was a little frustrated. The owners weren’t happy either, since they didn’t have a solution yet to their problem. I left them with the instructions of trying to use their noses over the next week to try and identify where the odor was the ‘strongest’. This would hopefully point us to the area where the source of the smell was coming from, so we could get it corrected.

Yesterday, I got a call from the owner, who wanted me to come out and re-inspect the area. He had identified a section of wall where the odor was the strongest. It was in the middle of an exterior wall, and didn’t have any signs of water damage. I got the owners permission to remove the baseboard, and then to make a small cut into the drywall. Removing the baseboard didn’t show anything further, but once the drywall was cut, the odor got even stronger. With the drywall removed, it was very apparent what had happened. There was a dead mouse in the wall, and a nest there as well! It wasn’t mold at all, but it was still a stinky mess to clean up. What a relief for the homeowners, knowing where the smell was coming from. They also got a very thorough mold inspection, so at least they know they don’t have any mold problems.

Insurance Company Gets Away With Fraud Again

The same adjuster has treated three of my customers with similar circumstances the same within the last year, and it hasn’t been to the customer’s advantage. One customer had a very high deductible and not very much damage so he didn’t challenge the insurance company. Another customers’ policy was very recent and some of the damage happened before the policy was in force. The other customer I thought was going to hold the insurance company accountable.

Each of these customers had homeowners insurance policies with the same insurance company, and their policies actually had coverage for mold. Each of these customers had water damage in their home from what should have been a covered water damage event. Mold was also discovered on some of the wet materials in each home. Each had insurance for water damage and mold, but this adjuster denied all three claims using the following rational: The adjuster said “because there is mold present the current leak started much earlier, went undetected and allowed mold to grow.” Policies have language that says if there is long term seepage that is undiscovered, the damage is not covered.

Let me tell you more about the case in question. The homeowners came home one day and found their entire basement flooded. The water was from a leaky pipe in a wall. There was also some evidence (mold) that suggested that the leak may have started as a very small leak some time before. If this leak had been going on for awhile, it would have been very small because the homeowners never noticed any dampness or puddles on the floor in the area. We also found mold in the bottom of some other walls that were not near the leak. This mold could not have been from the current leak, the dampness could not have reached those walls undetected. So this suggests that some of the mold or maybe all of it was not related to the recent leak. And even if the leak started smaller earlier, there was clearly “an event” that took place, a sudden event that flooded their entire basement. This “event” should have been a “covered event” for insurance purposes. It was clearly an event and not long term seepage. This is where the adjuster really tried to stretch things. He said “because it is from the ‘same source’ as the alleged seepage the damage is not covered”. So to summarize: Even though there is little or no evidence that there was any long term seepage, the water damage from the pipe leak which should have been a covered event is not going to be covered because there is mold present, which they also should have coverage for.

I have been looking forward to going to small claims court in support of this customer as they sued their insurance company. We have coached this customer on what they needed to do. Only they can sue their insurance company, we cannot do it for them. We can coach them, advise them, show up and testify, and be an expert witness, but we cannot sue their insurance company for them. We have been waiting for a few months for this customer to get the paperwork filed with the court. They have procrastinated and just haven’t gotten it done. Just recently they took out a lone and paid our bill in full. I hope they still follow through and hold their insurance company accountable, but I fear that they may not which would allow this adjuster and his insurance company to get away with fraud once again.

We have seen nearly identical circumstances many times and the damage has always been covered by insurance. The damage adjusting process is not consistent, and is sometimes not fair or ethical. The best way to protect yourself is to hire a restoration company that is loyal to you and able and willing to be an advocate on your behalf.


The Unknown!

A couple of weeks ago I got to respond to a call alone. It was reported to be very small. When I got to the home I began moving the home owners personal items out of the way as she explained the situation to me. Thankfully she had began moving some of her stuff while I was in route to her house because their was a lot of stuff. as we got the area cleared I probed around to get to the outer edges of the affected areas. Turns out it was pretty small. So I began my extraction process and removal of the pad. To every ones surprise when I removed the first piece of base so I could aerate the affected wall and check to see if insulation got wet I found the mold. No one knew the sprinkler line right outside the window was slowly soaking into her exterior wall. Until a little more water than normal got through the one time. This was a time The Flood Co could not prevent the mold But we were able to act quickly to get it removed before it began to spread even further with time and eventually cause harm to the people in the house hold. With quick action demolition was minimal and restoration could began and end. Every ones lives back to normal every day stuff. In The pictures you will see mold will show evidence of itself on the front its usually always another story on the back where it will most likely be originating.





Water Damage Repair – Burst Water Pipes At Home

Flood cleanup repair and insurance companies get on their toes as calls start to swamp them about burst and frozen water pipes with the coming of the cold months of winter. This is not a minor issue localized to particular areas, but instead an ordeal faced head on by many property owners and businesses, as about a quarter of a million household and commercial properties across the nation have water damage due to frozen and burst pipes annually. To put water damage from frozen pipes in perception, the number of insurance claims arising from burst pipes is around 5 times greater than those from fire damage. Remember that homeowners’ insurance coverage usually cover water damages attributable to unexpected or sudden plumbing disasters, but not ones that are because of insufficient reasonable maintenance. As a result, homeowners are expected to adopt proper and diligent maintenance actions. Flood Cleanup can be very steep so it is advisable to get helpful advice.

Numerous homes and businesses in the Northern Utah cope with water damage attributable to frozen, burst pipes in the wintertime. As a pipe freezes after which it cracks or breaks, the resulting water damage can impact not only personal belongings but also the structural integrity of the property, causing the deterioration of walls, floors, foundations, basements and crawlspace. Mold is yet another concern of water damage, especially if not dealt with in due time. It is prudent for homeowners to keep track of the forecasts for upcoming extreme cold weather; time and money, both are taken into account while determining water damages costs.

What causes water damage and how could a water pipe burst? Water, which is liquid at room temperature, freezes and turns to ice when temperatures drop below zero. As liquid water becomes solid ice, it expands. During extreme cold temperatures, the frozen water in the pipes in our homes expands and cracks or breaks the pipe. In essence, the frozen water molecules don’t fit in the pipe space they are in as a result of their expansion. As temperatures rise and ice thaws and starts melting, water leaks out from the cracks in the pipes. When pipes burst, repairs become mandatory. Repairing burst pipes can be expensive. However, not repairing the pipes and allowing them to leak will eventually cause much greater water damage and will increase the cost of repairs dramatically because of the prospects for mold, structural damage and the potential impact to content water damage.

Are pipes in attics, cellars and crawlspace more apt to freeze? Any pipe in your Northern Utah home has a possibility of freezing and bursting, however some pipes have a higher possibility of breaking than the others. Pipes placed outdoors, such as the main pipe that carries water to your home, can easily burst and develop cracks. Exterior wall pipes as well as attic pipes, basement or crawlspace pipes and garage pipes tend to be more liable to freeze and burst. You must check your water supply system and insulate pipes to reduce the possibilities of water damages in the house.

Whenever frozen pipe burst, make sure you turn your main water supply off when a pipe freezes and bursts. You may also call up a plumber to do so; but, if leaking water has already caused damages, its advisable to go ahead and take services of a water damage refurbishment company in Northern Utah. Expert water damage repair professionals in Northern Utah are experienced with insurance billing and therefore are qualified to file a claim with your insurance company directly. Flood cleanup arising out from burst pipes are usually covered in household insurance policies.

Water Damage Restoration And Repair

Water damages are everywhere in your household. They may be caused by different factors but their effects are usually the same. They can be as big as property losses or as small as a water spot. But then again, these damages can be frustrating and tedious when they evolve into a bigger problem.

Floods are usually one of the causes of water damages. And the kinds of floods would entail the intensity of the damage that can be done. For instance, there are many types of floods that usually flood Utah: urban, flash and river flooding. And most of the floods in Utah are caused by snow melt and mountain runoff which can be considered disastrous.

When residing in a place like Utah, it is important to be aware of what you can do to be prepared. The first thing that you should prioritize is the strength of your own homes. Having a strong home would entail having a safer place to stay in times of these scary disasters. But if your house cannot really handle the strength of the catastrophe, it would be wise to evacuate and find a safer place.

There is worse condition in the home after result of the heavy flood. Flood water is the source of bacteria & mold growth in house & it is important you to start water damage repair procedure immediately to prevent damage to your home.

It is very important that you throw out the thing that are damaged by water; and ensure that make a list of all the damaged things for insurance. Getting rid of house hold & personal items can be a painful experience. It should be done to protect your health. If there is water damage to your walls & floors, you must repair the damage. It is best to call an expert to perform the cleanup & restore your home to a living condition once again.

There are a few tips to apply during a flood:

Never plug in electrics or try to turn your electricity off in standing water. Call a qualified technician.

When it comes to water and flood damage, cleanup should begin within 24-48 hours to prevent the growth of mold and other harmful bacteria.

Never try to do work without the proper knowledge as it can do more damage to the house.

Discussing The Dangers Of Carrying Out DIY Fire And Flood Restoration Following A Fire In Your Building

Where a property has been subject to a serious blaze; the owners are often left with the daunting fact that the need to repair both the fire damage as well as flood damage. Due to the huge amounts of water that must be used to put a blaze out it is likely that the property will be left with a few inches of water on the floors. There can be a strong temptation for many to carry out their own fire and flood restoration following a fire, without fully understanding the risks.

A shock to the system

A potentially lethal danger that must be considered by those carrying out their own fire and flood restoration is that of electrocution. The damage that is caused by fire can frequently leave electrics exposed. These wires provide the opportunity for an electric shock – especially when combined with the excess water in the building.

Toxic risks

The possibility that there could be unseen toxins in the air is the next factor you must consider if attempting your own fire and flood restoration. Toxic mold will often form in concealed areas of flooded buildings and poses a serious health risk. In addition there is a good chance that toxic fumes from burnt materials could still be present in the property.

Structural weaknesses

The final risk that must always be kept in mind is the damage that can be sustained by the physical structure of a building that has suffered from fire and flood damage. Just flooding or fire on its own has the power to make floors and walls unsafe. A combination of the two only serves to multiply the risk of floors falling in and walls collapsing.

The safest option

We suggest that anyone thinking of carrying out their own fire and flood restoration should first ponder employing a specialist service first. Most property owners will be able to claim on their insurance for the cost of fire and flood restoration. We suggest that you are better advised to bring in a specialized restoration team, who have all the right equipment, rather than put yourself at risk.

Botched mold cleanup in Utah

I was helping to write an estimate for an unfortunate situation today. Apparently the homeowner hired a contractor to totally demo the interior of a home. As they did they tour out some mold affected materials and exposed some mold affected framing and sheeting. So what does the contractor do? He sends one of his workers to the hardware store to get something to “kill the mold”, and they proceed to spray the inside of the home with the “mold killer”. The product they used was a pesticide that never should have been used in a home, it is for outside use only. A week after their application the home has a strong odor, and burns eyes and respiratory of anyone that enters. An industrial Hygienist is involved to try to figure out if there might be any way to make the home safe again without tearing it down the rest of the way. The estimate I was asked to prepare was to remove and replace all of the siding, sheeting and framing, and everything else that goes along with it. My estimate came to almost $100,000. A mold professional could have properly removed and cleaned up the mold and provided clearance testing for under $6000. So this contractor’s “mold cleanup” actually damaged the property to the tune of about $94,000. There is a correct way to do mold removal and cleanup, and no it does not include bleach. This is just one example of someone doing mold removal and they know nothing about how it should be done.This is an extreme example, but what is common is spreading the contamination and making the situation worse when they don’t know the proper way the cleanup should be done.