A Water Restoration Company Made Me Sick
Client: Sandy C., Ottawa, ON
Problem: Upon arrival to the basement of Sandy’s home, it became immediately clear to our technician that environment was not normal. Although the overall humidity levels rested at a normal 39%, the thermal imaging camera revealed multiple areas of potential compromise under the subfloor, and along the exterior walls.
Indoor air particle readings revealed what we considered to be elevated particulate levels. Based on the visual and diagnostic results of our inspection, including potential virtual inspections, we recommended that Sandy get the air quality in her home tested, and those particulates identified. She immediately agreed, and we collected multiple air samples throughout her home.
Once the results came back from the independent laboratory we utilize for microbial analysis, Sandy was shocked to see the results!
STACHYBOTRYS was found in conclusive amounts on ALL LEVELS of the home.
Stachybotrys is a toxigenic spore type, often found in areas where high cellulose, organic-based materials have been affected by moisture. Sandy was perplexed as to why this mold spore was found in the upper levels of her home, where no moisture issues had ever occurred.
It’s unfortunate, but we have seen this scenario play out many times over the years, and was able to educate Sandy on what had occurred within her home.
Solution: Mold can grow within 24 to 48 hours of a water intrusion.
Unfortunately, the response time of the water restoration company dispatched by the insurance company was 6 days after the flood in Sandy’s basement. This allowed for moisture to wick up the insulation behind the wall, saturating more organic-based materials than previously thought, thus increasing the possibility of mold growth.
The water restoration company did not remove any of the wall or flooring materials. Instead, they drilled aeration holes within the materials, and installed fans and dehumidifiers to dry out the materials. This is a common technique used with these companies, and is ineffective once an period of time exceeding 72 hours has elapsed from the time of the water intrusion.
All these fans did was blow dust-filled air, electro-statically charged with mold spores that had formed due to the water intrusion, throughout the basement area. These particles were redistributed throughout the home by the furnace via the ducts.
Sandy was now dealing with a much larger problem than originally anticipated all because a company with good intentions, but inadequate training was dispatched to resolve her issues at the lowest possible cost to the insurance provider.
Sometimes, unfortunately, you get what you pay for.
We were able to provide a comprehensive remediation protocol for Sandy, eliminating the multiple source issues discovered, and obtaining a clean air quality assessment for her home.
Our project reports, outlining these preventable problems brought on by the water restoration company, helped Sandy with reimbursements from her insurance company. We also heard they paid for her beautiful, brand new floor!
Most importantly, those health concerns that prompted this whole endeavor were resolved once the home was properly treated by Mold Busters. We were happy to help Sandy, and her wonderful family return to their home, mold-free!
Author: John Ward, Mold Busters
Published: November 21, 2017
Updated: April 12, 2019