Being “Floored” by What You Don’t See, and Finding the Right Company to Identify What You Need

  • Date: 02-2017
  • Tags:

It is common to get a call from a client seeing or smelling mold. They see some fuzzy splotches on a wall, a piece of furniture, or even on a leather jacket in a storage closet. (Mold readily grows on leather jackets, shoes and golf bags Leather is dead cow skin, an organic food if you get to the reality of what it is)

Phone calls to mold companies from panicked homeowners can go like this: I saw some mold on (fill in the blank) and need someone to spray it. In the initial moments of panic, that is not really what that person needs, but it really seems like the right thing to request.

The mold is most likely in more places that the client saw it. Even if it was not, it is better, cheaper and more practical to check if there are other areas of mold contamination rather than have multiple trips and expenses to correct the mold. It is particularly important to find all the mold when the mold is a health concern.

There is also the need to find out WHY the mold is there. Building science and mold is science. If the conditions that allowed the mold to grow are not corrected, the experiment will repeat itself with the same conclusion: The client will need to pay for another mold treatment.

The picture below shows loose floor tile as an example. This is indicative of moisture/vapor coming up form under the floor. This is a problem that can be addressed with some very innovative techniques that go beyond the background of most mold remediation companies.

Many (and in some parts of the country, most) mold companies will swoop in and do a mold treatment without considering the underlying conditions.

The first step is an Assessment or Inspection or Audit of the property. Then the mold should be tested so that the best course of action for remediation is determined and followed. Underlying causes of mold contamination should be investigated and the corrective action identified to be completed. Any underlying damage should be identified to best avoid additional damage or problems for the property owner.

The picture below shows steel joists that were exposed when moldy frame walls were removed from this basement level of a public building. You can see that the steel that rests on the block wall is completely rusted off and not supported. It is a much simpler job to repair the steel joist now than to have structural problems and additional repairs to a damaged concrete floor above this area. You want your environmental professionals to understand construction, building science. You want them to look out for your best interest.