Case Study- Mold Growth due to improper water damage remediation
A homeowner in Cambridge, MA had her hot water heater burst. The water ran for several hours before she realized that it burst. The water soaked her finished basement. She called her plumber to replace the hot water heater. The plumber recommended that she hire a remediation company to extract the water & dry out the basement. He gave her the name of a carpet cleaning company to help her, not a restoration professional like SERVPRO of Cambridge/Belmont.
The carpet company extracted the water and left some drying equipment and left. A few days later they picked up the equipment and left their bill. A few weeks later she noticed a strong musty odor and black spots growing on the bottom of the walls in the basement. This time a friend recommended that she call SERVPRO of Cambridge/Belmont at (617) 864-7378.
A crew was dispatched to the house, assessed the basement using moisture detectors and an infrared camera and informed the homeowner that the black spots are most likely mold and the walls were still wet from the water damage. He also told her that the smell was coming from the wet pad under the carpet. Melvin Torres, the crew chief on site educated the homeowner on the proper way to remediate a water damage. He explained the proper steps that should have taken place are:
- Assess the entire basement to find the extent of the water intrusion.
- Using a moisture detector or infrared camera , if necessary, determine if the water had wicked up the walls.
- If the walls were wet, determine the least destructive way of drying the walls (remove baseboard & drill holes or if there is insulation behind the walls cut walls 1’ or 2’ up & remove the insulation up to the area cut)
- Move and block furniture and contents
- Remove the pad under the carpet (the pad is non salvageable after a water damage.)
- Spray an antimicrobial under the pad
- Determine if the carpet is salvageable. If salvageable, lift carpet and place air movers (fans) under the corners of the carpet
- Position 1 or 2 dehumidifiers in the area depending on the size of room and area affected
- Monitor the progress of the drying using moisture detectors and a hygrometer
Avoid having a mold issue, if you have a water damage; call the professionals at SERVPRO of Cambridge/Belmont (617) 864-7378.