Bad Remediation Is Worse Than No Remediation – Part Three
Ignoring Professional Remediation Advice NEVER Goes Well For Homeowners
Here’s the hard truth – nobody likes the expense of mold remediation. After all, what do you get for all that money but the right to remain healthy in your own home? That’s nowhere near a sexy enough reason to part with several grand of your hard-earned money.
However, what if you flip the script and consider what you get if you don’t spend the money or spend less on a “great price” from the wrong company?
A home that smells.
A home that harms your family’s health, possibly permanently.
Eventually, a new choice – condemn the home or spend around $100,000 to save it.
When you ignore the advice of a mold remediation professional, you risk losing everything – just ask Molly’s dad.
Molly lived in a home owned by her father. When Molly spotted mold on her kitchen ceiling, she called us for an estimate. Unfortunately, her father believed in spending as little as possible on home maintenance.
What followed was completely avoidable if only her father had listened to our advice.
There are a few things that everyone should know about household mold if they want to understand the remediation process:
Mold Is Everywhere – There is no escaping mold no matter how clean you keep your house or where you live. Every breath you take has mold spores in it. Mold only becomes a health issue when it becomes too heavily concentrated in the air. That’s why we remediate mold, not eradicate it. Our job is simply to find the moisture source and then work to get the levels back to normal.
No Moisture = No Mold – For mold to thrive, it needs a reliable water source. A good source could be anything from flooding to a dripping pipe or even just high levels of condensation or humidity.
You can remove all the mold you want, but it will just come back if you don’t get rid of the moisture problem.
Mold Digs Deep – The mold you can see is only a small part of the organism. Most of it is embedded deep into wood grains or the pores of building materials. Removing it properly means multiple phases of scrubbing, sanding, and even soda blasting, which is heavy, labor-intensive work.
Mold can happen to anyone, and it is no reflection on their housekeeping skills or even their concern for the well-being of their home. Once enough moisture gets into a nice secluded area of your home, mold will take over in days, not weeks.
You Don’t Know What You’re Talking About
From the first step into the home, Molly’s father was unhappy with us. We figured he was just unhappy to have to spend the money on a mold problem, which was perfectly understandable.
The first thing we noticed was that all the walls they tested in the kitchen were 100% wet. The dad was convinced the mold resulted from a poorly accomplished repair to their roof, which allowed water to reach the kitchen ceiling – but we weren’t so sure.
The moisture was too general for a roof leak to cause. Everything was wet. To us, it looked like a condensation problem, as though the walls simply couldn’t shed the moisture in the air. When walls can’t breathe, they sweat.
Since the cause seemed to be a matter of contention, we went ahead and delivered our quote for simply removing the mold colonies.
It was three months before the dad called us to come back to do the work, but we accepted the work anyway (quotes are generally only good for a short time because mold can move so quickly).
As we attempted to put up our standard containment system, we discovered that the walls were so moist that our tape wouldn’t stick. We realized that it would be impossible to do our job right as things stood.
So we left our barriers up, such as they were, and advised that the father bring in a building performance company to solve the condensation problem before we went back to work.
He didn’t think he needed another company to tell him what he already “knew” – that he had a roof leak – but he reluctantly agreed.
We packed up our gear, minus the containment, and left to wait for him to call us after he got the moisture problem solved.
After two months went by, we contacted him to see when he’d be ready for our return. He told us to never mind and that he had hired another company that didn’t seem to have the same problems as we did with his situation.
Unfortunately, he still had our containment equipment, so we had no choice but to return to his home – if only to retrieve our property.
Once we arrived, we noticed that everything looked pretty much the same. None of his walls had been cut out to remove mold. And the containment barriers were still up, but they were coated with mold and debris on the inside, which is a huge no-no in the mold business.
When you remediate a home, you have to be just as meticulous in cleaning the barriers as you do with everything else. After all, what’s the point of barriers if you’re just going to shake all the mold off them as you take them down?
Then we noticed that whatever “mold” company he hired hadn’t actually done remediation. Instead, they just sprayed mold encapsulating paint everywhere. That might hide the mold, but it won’t kill it or even stop its growth.
Instead, the mold just continues growing on the backside of the wall, destroying wood and the structural integrity of the home with impunity. Paint is not any kind of solution to household mold.
With no other option available, we took the time to clean the barriers so we wouldn’t spread mold spores all over their home, then we took them down and left.
Disaster On The Horizon
Since the homeowner failed to address the real moisture issue (sweating walls) and used some fly-by-night company to “remediate” his home, his perceived win is going to come back to bite him hard down the road.
Mold will continue to spread throughout his home, but the paint now on the walls will prevent him from noticing until the walls are falling apart.
When he finally does recognize his mistakes, the several grand he “saved” on mold remediation will turn into a bill well into the hundred thousand plus category.
If you think there is a mold problem in your Virginia or DC area home and want to get straight answers toward solving the problem, contact us at Valor Mold Removal for a free estimate.
Valor Mold Removal is a certified and experienced mold testing and remediation company. We are fully insured and fully licensed. We also provide crawl space encapsulation, soda blasting, humidity control, and air quality cleaning.