Why is mould remediation so important?
We spend a lot of time dealing with mould, treating mould, cleaning mould, mitigating mould, ensuring mould will not develop. Every time we attend a property where water ingress has occurred mould is always a possibility.
Some of our clients are diligent mould warriors, where even the hint of mould becomes an elaborate notification and reporting maze; drop the tools and set up a containment field.
Others, not so much. Mould is ‘Meh’ treat it if you can see it, but no big deal.
Even some homeowners can be very blasé. Our trained technicians begin to explain the risks and hazards and impatient homeowners wave them away with and pompous blither advising they are far too busy for on-going works and just want their new flooring, and they want it yesterday.
So why do we impel clients and homeowners to approve mould remediation works?
Let’s look at a case study:
In a quiet little suburb of Perth, Western Australia, Stood a house, not a tiny house and not a large house. But a standard 4 x 2, double brick and tile. One long weekend in the middle of Summer the homeowners (we will call them Tim and Betsy for privacy reasons) went on holiday. Whilst they had a great time on their holiday, they were mortified to return home and see a 1-inch river of water flowing through their living areas. The pipe in the ensuite vanity had burst the day they left and torrents of water has been gushing unimpeded the entire 3 days they were away. Carpets in the lounge and master bedroom were saturated and hardwood flooring throughout the home was lifting, buckling and warping. The house smelt damp.
It was a national public holiday the day they arrived home and their Insurance company advised them to look in a local directory for restoration technicians that could help them urgently. Jumping onto trusty Google they found a local carpet cleaning company which also dealt in water extraction – promising high-tech water removal. Betsy and Tim were confident that they had found a reputable company. (It has 5 stars on google and 6 reviews!)
The carpet cleaning company came out with their fancy high-tech equipment and quickly got to work extracting all the free-standing water from the carpet and Hardwood flooring. They advised that the hardwood would need to be lifted by the Insurance company as they could only extract visible water from the area. Then they installed large industrial blowers to dry the carpets in the Master bedroom and lounge.
Tim and Betsy were happy. The water was gone and their carpets would be dry in no time.
When the Insurance provided Restoration, team arrive four days later they found severe mould growth under the floorboards. There was also mould growth under the carpet areas, including along the smooth edge and MDF skirting boards.
Since the industrial blowers had already been running for four days at this point, mould spores had been spread all over the house.
Consequently, Tim and Betsy were not happy. Turns out Betsy had an allergic reaction to the mould and could not live in the house during the remaining mitigation and repair works. The contesting and finger pointing between the Insurance company, the Carpet cleaning company, the Restoration team, and the owners caused several delays. In the end a mould hygienist was required to attend site and complete mould sampling and laboratory testing [Large costings on top of an already major loss].
Case study results show the following conclusions:
So, what can happen if mould is not treated correctly?
For the Insurance company:
For the Insured:
Any water ingress into the home has the potential to cause mould, mould is a fungal growth which can grow and spread – even unseen through the home. It is far better to treat mould correctly on the initial visits then cut corners and ‘hope’ for the best.
Many emergency trade services claim to be able to effectively treat mould. But are they trained? Are they experienced? Will they take the necessary precautions? What is the risk you are willing to take? And how much will that risk cost you?
-Written by Samara Anderson
Managing Director of Veracity Services PTY LTD
Insurance, Strata and commercial repairers and emergency services specialists with Integrity (And yes, we are IICRC trained and certified as microbial Remediation technicians)