Incomplete Water Removal Causes Customer to Lose Kitchen Cabinets
Customer: Mary L.
Metairie, LA 70005
The homeowner started noticing possible mold growth and suspicious odors in her kitchen. Several weeks prior, a water line to her refrigerator leaked and partially flooded her kitchen. At that time, the appliance contractor repaired the leaking hose, but never suggested that she get a professional water restorer to make sure everything was dry.
Ms. Mary was concerned for her health and well-being and called AdvantaClean to assess her situation. Visual and moisture meter inspection revealed elevated moisture readings at the bottom of her cabinets and sheet rock. Later mold sampling verified the presence of mold spores at a level indicative of active microbial growth (around 45,000 spores inside, compared to 100 outside)
Containment was built and area placed under negative pressure. Bottom cabinets and affected sheet rock disposed of, all surfaces inside containment were remediated, and drying equipment turned on. After remediation, customer requested that we clean her air ducts as well.
Anything that stood out in this project:
This is not the first time that we've seen this scenario, namely, that another contractor doesn't know to or doesn't want to recommend drying in these situations. What could have been resolved pretty quickly and much less destructively, turned into a homeowner having to replace all of her kitchen cabinets. What should have been a little bit of toe-kick repair, minor sheet rock patching, and water restoration work, instead turned into new kitchen cabinets and counter tops, sheet rock repair, and a more expensive mold remediation. In this case, bad things came for those who waited.
Wet Crawlspace causes mold and moisture damage to wood flooring
Customer: Emily F.
New Orleans, LA
After installing a pool and cabana to the back of their house, they started noticing that the wood floors inside their home were cupping and warping. This led them to inspect inside the crawlspace where they noticed mold growing on their sub-floors. They believed that they had a mold issue, so they contact AdvantaClean to assess the situation.
After careful inspection, it was determined that the mold was a symptom of a much more concerning moisture issue taking place under their house. The crawlspace moisture had been further exacerbated when the pool and decking was added on to the structure and subsequently altered the air flow and added more moisture to the space. If this wasn't taken care of quickly, the homeowners faced not only mold damage, but also termite and wood rot.
A vapor barrier and ATMOX ventilation system was installed to help control and maintain a proper moisture environment under the home.
Within weeks, they noticed that the inside floors had started to "lay down" again.
Anything that stood out in this project:
This was a complicated project that taught us many new things. One thing that really stood out, and stands out often, is that seemingly unrelated changes to your home can have unexpected consequences. Changing the way air flowed under their house caused immediate issues inside their house that, if left unchecked, could have caused serious damage to their property.
INSURANCE RECOMMENED VENDOR PERFORMS INCOMPLETE WATER RESTORATION LEADING TO TOXIC MOLD GROWTH INSIDE KITCHEN
Customer: Susan F.
Kenner, LA 70065
We received a call from this client after they received a particularly bad mold report from a respected, local Industrial Hygienist. She was quite concerned about the presence of “toxic / black mold” in her house, also known as Stachybotrys. The report read as such:
Yes, that’s a 7-figure spore count of the worst kind of mold to find and it was in their kitchen.
They had a serious problem. The first question we had was what was the moisture source of this stupendous mold growth, which happened to be a very common occurrence in these parts – roof damage caused by a storm. Water was rushing through a hole in the roof above the second floor and down into the kitchen for several hours.
Our client contacted her insurance company immediately to file a claim, which is imperative in these situations. The insurance company recommended one of their “preferred vendors”, a national Service provider franchise to mitigate the water damage. As part of this Service, and where things went sideways, the vendor failed to check for moisture beneath the kitchen cabinets and behind the refrigerator. This moisture remained trapped and undetected for several weeks until the homeowner noticed what appeared to be mold growing out the side of a cabinet.
Unfortunately, this client lost their entire kitchen. A full gut and remediation of the kitchen was performed.
What to take from this situation:
Two points to remember if you find yourself in a similar situation: 1) no insurance policy requires a policyholder to use a preferred vendor over another similarly qualified contractor and 2) the preferred vendor has an interest in maintaining the relationship with the insurance company, not the policyholder.
An awful situation was made much, much worse by the vendor’s negligence. Also, this client learned how quickly the relationship can turn adversarial with an insurance company. She was forced to hire her own consultant to test for mold after doubting the insurance company’s test results. Not surprisingly, the insurance company tests showed no problems whatsoever, whereas the independent hygienist found a 6- to 7-figure count of toxic mold in the same kitchen.