Archive for the ‘Mold’ Category
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!
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.
Detecting Black Mold In The Home: Signs, Dangers
Nearly 37 million Americans suffer from sinusitis, and according to the Mayo Clinic, the vast majority of these conditions are caused by mold. Of course, sinusitis is just one of many dangers if you have black mold in your home. Though less common than other species, this toxic variety is not rare, and can cause life-threatening health problems. That’s why it’s so essential to determine the species as quickly as possible, as black mold detection must be dealt with promptly.
Signs of black mold are numerous, the most prevalent being those that are water-related as it needs moisture in which to grow. Leaky pipes, a leaky roof, a damp basement or attic, condensation, flooding, blocked gutters that cause water to seep into the walls or any other kind of water intrusion certainly create mold-friendly environments. Areas with high humidity and buildings with poor ventilation are also prime locations for growth. You could have a problem if you notice:
Discoloration or warping of walls, ceilings and floors
•Cracked, peeling paint
•Mildewy, musty odors
•Loosening of drywall tape
•Visible mold growth
Beyond the signs, of course, lie the dangers. Left untreated, black mold will only continue to grow, as will health problems that may include:
•Suppressed immune system
•Sinusitis and nasal congestion
•Lung tissue damage
•Eye, nose and throat irritation
•Dry hacking cough
•Skin rashes and irritation
•Irritable bowel syndrome
•Body aches and pains
•Food intolerances and allergies
In the most severe cases, black mold can even be fatal. Those most vulnerable include people who already have weakened immune systems, as well as children and the elderly.
A professional remediation company should be called immediately. such as the Flood Co. who are highly recommended professionals.
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.
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 deductable 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.
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.
If your basement was recently flooded and if you are in need of a cleanup service, your best bet would be to hire a professional fire and water restoration contractor who will use their expertise, equipment and know how to clean out your basement in a safe and efficient manner.
Water damage cleanup is tricky as there is often more to it than just what meets the eye. Some homeowners are under the impression that merely pumping the water out is enough. They could not be more wrong about this.
The perils of water damage are listed below and it will hopefully allow you to realize the importance of hiring a fire and water restoration contractor to do a professional job for you.
- Pumping the water out – If your basement has a lot of water, it is very important that you pump out the water at a slow rate. Pumping out water at a very fast rate will result in reduced pressure inside the basement as the pressure outside the basement will increase. This can cause the basement walls to cave in which is definitely something that you want to avoid during the basement cleanup. A professional fire and water restoration contractor will know exactly how to tackle your flooding problem.
- Estimating the damage – Depending on how long the water has been present, it might be difficult to salvage everything after a water damage cleanup. A fire and water restoration contractor will easily be able to tell you if your floors, carpets or walls are salvageable or if they have to be torn down as they are beyond repair.
- Moisture damage – Not a lot of people know that moisture damage goes hand in hand with water damage. This will mean that a basement flood cleanup will also have to address moisture related problems that can affect areas of the house that are untouched by the water.
- Mold damage – When there is water and moisture, there will be mold. You want to avoid mold at all costs and it is best that you let a professional flood cleanup contractor to survey your house for potential mold problems that might have arisen out of your flooding problem.
- Equipment – Unless the flooding is minor, you will need quite powerful equipment that is commercial grade to carry out the basement flood cleanup. Renting such equipment or buying such equipment can be a very expensive process. A much better alternative would be to let a professional flooding cleanup company take care of the cleanup for you as they will already possess high grade dehumidifiers, pumps, water extraction units and other specialized equipment.
- Safety – If you are going to approach a basement flood cleanup on your own, you have to be aware of various problems such as electrocution, natural gas leaks and even watch out for other dangers such as snakes which can suddenly show up in a basement. If you are not sure about any of the above mentioned dangers, you will save yourself a lot of trouble by allowing a professional cleaning company to do the job for you.
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Today was fun. One of the things that helps make the job interesting, is the variety. I had two mold inspections this afternoon. The second one was a bit of a suprise. When I showed up there was a film crew. They were filming a reality Tv series about flipping houses; or buying houses fixing them up and reselling them. Alot of the properties are forclosures, and have problems that need fixing. Well some of the problems in todays home was some mold in the basement. They had me sign a release, put on a microphone and then we were ready to start our inspection. We went into the property and looked at the problem areas together. They asked lots of questions, which was a great way to keep the inspection interesting and informative, with cameras rolling of course.
Facing a problem caused by flooded water? Try not to solve the problem with a hair dryer as this will only add to the amount of damages. Call in a water damage restoration service that provides experienced professionals to clean up the property and minimize the damages.
If your home has been damaged by a flood, leakage of a pipe or overflowing tubs, you should take immediate steps to start the mitigation process. First of all, don’t try to clean the property yourselves after the flooding rather get help from the water damage restoration services. Such issues shouldn’t be taken lightly or ignored as these can cause serious damages to property as well as the health of the residents with the growth of the mold.
It is vital for water damage restoration to have the right tools and equipment, whether the disaster is too much or just a little. Different aspects of mitigation require different equipment that only water damage restoration services have. Such services are only a phone call away and you should call them up as soon as possible since flood water damages the home as well as the articles very quickly. To restore the buildings, these services have latest equipment such as wet- dry vacuum unit, wood floor drying tools, industrial driers, dehumidifiers, high powered drying fans, air scrubbers and some others.
When choosing a water damage restoration service, you should consider the services they provide. Many companies provide only the removal of water whereas others provide structural drying along with other services. The basic services offered are:
Assessment of the damaged property – After drying the whole area, the professionals assess the property and find the source of flood (in case of a pipe leakage or sewage breakout ) and fix the problem altogether.
Water extraction – The first thing the experts take on is the extraction of water from the damaged property. They use highly advanced tools to remove the water and dry the entire area thoroughly.
Content manipulation – It is the process in which experts analyze the contents of the home such as furniture, appliances, carpets, curtains and others. The articles that can be saved are referred to drying whereas the others are discarded.
Structural drying – After analyzing the contents of the home, the professional take effective measures to salvage the items that have been affected by the water.
Sanitizing of the property – If your home has been affected by the flood water, it becomes extremely essential to sanitize the property in order to decontaminate the place.
Odor removal – When the water remains in the building, it leaves a musty smell which makes living inside the house even after the mitigation hard. So, you should hire a service that deodorizes the property.
Mold remediation – Mold growth is something that needs to attended to immediately. Make sure your restoration service removes the harmful microorganisms from your home.
Insurance Claim – Some services also provide the insurance claim filing services. You should always file for an insurance compensation since the cost of clean up and restoration after a disaster can be very high.
Employing a service that has good experience and expert work force is crucial to the mitigation process. Only a professional will deal with the different aspects of required restoration and the remediation. The water damage clean up requires proper attention for limiting the damages to the minimal and making the home a safe place to live. So, call in the experts from the services to restore your resident after a damage.