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Old 08-07-2008, 08:13 PM   #16
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Mold problem under flooring


LOL...the cable guy....

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Old 08-08-2008, 08:33 AM   #17
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Mold problem under flooring


It may be all restrospect now, but there is a good reason why the water damage restoration industry exists and you've come smack-dab head-long into it: mould-related health issues.

There are a number of protocols that professionals are obliged to follow for the sake of health. Not for the sake of the insurance company profits and not for the sake of the homeowners wallet...but because we know that moulds are the #1 enemy that we see. Fortunately many insurance companies realize this too and so a few things enter into consideration for them: safety of the insurance policy owner and his possessions - and expediency.

I say that in that order - and you'll notice I didn't even mention "costs". The mandate given by many insurance companies to water damamge companies is to go in there clean it out and get out. Not "save a few hundreds$ by cleaning moldy wallboard - just replace it, quickly and make sure the policyowner is HAPPY.

See, the stream of future premiums is worth more to them than the difference in cost of repairing vs replacing certain items. Putting it bluntly, they'd rather pay for new carpet than remove, repair, clean and replace the old one...that makes for a happy policyowner, one who will probably not change carriers for a few bucks...

So the protocols for water damage not only involve the insurance companies but are geared with safety - and that - in mind. It makes no sense IMO to wait 4 weeks for a test result to come back when damage could have been done in the meantime. Got a mouldy wall? replace it first, ask questions later. Especially so with older folk or children involved. It is cheaper for us to replace a whole wall with wallboard than it is to clean the first 12" up from the floor with bleach and gear etc, to say nothing of the health hazards. The main point is that water damage restoration companies use the same "Blue Book" as the adjuster does, so financial arguments as to who is cheaper don't even enter into the equation.

Example: both a water damage restorer and the insurance company KNOW that a wall replacement will cost, say $500. That's what they pay and that's what will be charged. No discussion as to: "how do we do it for $300?" or "can Joe Blow do it for less?" If I replace the wall, I'll get paid $500, so there no discussion. Why? so that it gets done quickly!

So, yes, it is worthwhile to contact your carrier as soon as a water damage occurence happens; now either you, or they, will contact a water damage restoration company who will then apply the protocol we use to attentuate the risks. Mould issues have long been the source of the most litigation in your country precisely because of the way water damage issues were bungled by policyowners/adjusters/insurance companies/water damage restoration companies. Now you have to be certified before you can even think about remediation of accidents involving water damage and, if you do, the insurance policy premiums may kill you. $10,000 a month in premiums is not unheard of...

The most notorious case we all know of is the case of a carpet cleaner being sued for $4 million because he didn't do a proper job in a water damage case, and a child's health was involved. Everyone sued everyone and the carpet cleaner was left holding the bag...so premiums have to reflect the risks involved.

You have a few mould issues with your floor; hopefully is it manageable but it may be safer to replace it. Now whether your carrier will pay for it depends on a lot of things but the adjuster will know that and what to do to keep you as a customer. But remember some adjusters think their job is to save their company money (in costs of repairing vs replacing) but I tell you this is false economy.
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Last edited by ccarlisle; 08-09-2008 at 06:29 AM.
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Old 08-08-2008, 10:21 AM   #18
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Mold problem under flooring


NOTHING!!! The lady says "I dont see any water damage so there is no mold." "Mold needs water to grow so if there is no water dont worry about it." I told her there is no water because I cleaned it up back when my a/c clogged up. I did eveything in my power to avoid my floors getting damaged or having these mold issues. She says she doesn't see anything so has nothing to write up. Am I crazy?? Is the mold just not growing up my walls like crazy and I have no claim. She then told me "...the law in NewYork (remember I'm in Miami) says if its 30 sq ft or less just clean it...." I asked her if she would like me to remove baseboards or any of the floor so we can see whats there and get your pictures. No go, she told me not to. I dont see much, a few black dots but the smell is there and to me and my wife pretty bad...what am I to believe?? So she took a few more pictures and left. Is there something else this could be? Oh yeah...she told me its like leaving towels in the wash and foreting to put them in the dryer for a couple days...its not mold just smelly towels? I feel like I just got blown off...
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Old 08-08-2008, 12:17 PM   #19
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Mold problem under flooring


Quote:
Originally Posted by Bud Cline View Post
Ever heard of Legionaires Disease?

Get that mold and crap out of there ASAP.
Legionella is a bacteria that lives in water. It was first discovered in the sumps of air handlers in a hotel in Philadelphia in 1976 during an American Legion convention when a number of Legionaires got sick. It is not a mold or fungus. The closest you're likely to come to legionaires disease at home is in your shower when you first turn it on and where it can easily become airborne.

http://www.legionella.org/general_info.htm#n2

Due to a few notable court cases (Ed McMahon and Erin Brackovich), the news media has hyped mold into some deadly killer. Unless you've got some pre-existing medical condition that leaves you susceptible to the effects of mold spores, it is pretty much just a nuisance rather than a hazard.
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Old 08-08-2008, 01:49 PM   #20
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Thanks Maintenance6...some like to spread ideas around when it comes to mould. LOL

You got blown off, jst. If she were one of my techs, I'd have her take moisture readings for documentation. If there were mould, you got sick, sued her company for negligence, don't you think someone should CYA?

You can't always see mould but high moisture levels readings are a good start. You can clean the areas yourself using diluted bleach on a sponge - not sprayed.
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Old 08-08-2008, 03:43 PM   #21
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Mold problem under flooring


If someone were doing a true mold investigation and analysis, they would use a moisture meter and check all of the surfaces and areas that reportedly got wet. They should then compare the readings with areas that are known to have never gotten wet. Given the length of time between the incident and the reporting, things may have dried enough that the meter may not tell the story. At this point an independent lab should take samples, regardless of how long it takes to get results. Be sure that the lab is qualified to take certified air samples and has the resources to identify any particulates that it collects. What you need is solid documentation to prove whether you in fact have a mold problem. A good lab will sample in the area that got wet, other areas of the structure and outside the structure to establish a baseline. The level of spores and types of molds will then be compared, sample to sample to see if elevated levels are present. Samples may be collected on special plates or via air samples or both. It is important for the lab to be able to identify the molds that they retrieve with sampling, as there are many, many sources of mold inside a house under normal conditions. A moldy loaf of bread on a counter will totally screw up an air sample. Ranch dressing? little dose of mold spores. mow your lawn then walk in the house? loads of mold spores all over your clothes, shoes and hair. Want a really huge dose? mulch your flowers. What that means is that if you mess up the sampling process, you won't have a leg to stand on with the insurance company. A good reputable lab will tell you what to do and not to do for them to get reliable samples. They should also be able to provide results within a week. They generally introduce the collected spores to a food source and wait for them to establish a colony that is identifiable. That will take a few days. Between actual spore counts and seeing what kind of critters turn up on the sample plates, they should be able to see if a true pattern exists.
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Old 08-08-2008, 06:31 PM   #22
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Mold problem under flooring


Sounds like an unpleasant visit with the adjuster. Can you post some pics of water damage flooring? I know odor is hard to send in a photo: I have a deviated septum and smoke if I can smell it ..it's bad..

Go ahead and remove the base board near the area of concern. Cut any caulking, Flat bar and putty knife to minimize damage. have your camera ready.

The 30 SF sounds like an osha thing... OR company policy... How much is enough to have a problem?

If from the info you have gathered, you feel you have a claim, you could call a public adjuster to come take a look and get their opinion.
Know they will want you to "sign up" and this may cost you 10% + out of pocket,(based on collection from carrier). $$ sound too small for most PA's , but things are slow all over.

I will try to send you a PM
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Old 08-08-2008, 09:14 PM   #23
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Mold problem under flooring


She had nothing but a clip board and a camera. I asked about testing things and she said we could do that but I am better off having the tests done on my own. Why do I have insurance again? I know it was the best thing to do to call them but it seems like they hired this lady off the street yesterday and told to say two things snap a picture or two and get out...nothing more.

I was going to go to HD and grab one of those home tests as a start...I'm just so pissed at all this and to think I should have flooded the place and then maybe I would have gotten somewhere...
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Old 08-09-2008, 06:52 AM   #24
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Actually, it was the New York City Department of Health that issued the guidelines we normally use for mould remediation...the guidelines outline four levels of contamination based on the size of the "infected" area:

Level 1 (10 sq. ft. or less): remediation usually involves cleaning and salvaging non-porous materials with a detergent or bleach solution and removing non-salvageable contaminated porous materials.
Level 2 (10–30 sq. ft.): same steps as Level 1, plus limiting working areas by covering exits in plastic and tape before remediation, and using a High-Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filter before restoration begins.
Levels 3 (30–100 sq. ft.) and Level 4 (over 100 sq. ft.): involve specialized techniques for removing hazardous materials.

So your adjuster was partially right. At the same time, some remediation requires protective gear, masks and filters made for that - but not all. Just as some jobs require the full mould analysis that Maintenance6 describes, some can be done by the homeowner without the use a full blown testing protocol.

As I said, sometimes you just err on the side of precaution, clean it all with bleach and then ask questions later. This is probably what your adjuster had in mind although an exact protocol from her. telling you how and what to do, would have been IMO in order - and good 'customer relations'.

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