Elmira Court; Dale City, VA 22193 is a cul-de-sac of “split level houses” built in the early 1970’s. Whenever you are working on a site built prior to 1985, always proceed with caution knowing dangerous contaminates such as lead and or asbestos may be present in addition to the water damage or mold. Fortunately, this project did not involve any such mitigation complications, but the following story does outline the drama involved and how Choosing Mold Metrix over the Matter was the best solution for this mitigation problem.
The property in question is currently being rented by a group of siblings living together in the pursuit of life, liberty, justice & a mold free living environment in Dale City, VA. Living in a split-level house, of the second level bathrooms is built above a main level bedroom. According to the plumbers report there was a drainpipe failure which produced a “slow water loss.” However, the plumber was not the first person to notice the problem, it was the tenant living on the main level.
Mold Remediation & Water Damage Restoration is the Responsibility of the Homeowner. Many property owners who rent property plan to manage maintenance themselves to maximize profitability. However; mold removal & water damage mitigation is a highly skilled, highly hazardous, highly specialized and scientific process. The general public has been “generally” briefed on the hazards of mold in the home or office. Anyone living with asthma or allergies is subtly conscious of this in every breath. Needless to say, the overwhelming majority of renters in Dale City, VA will object to a “do it yourself fix” or a service provided by a “non-mold removal/ water damage restoration specialist.
When the tenant started noticing sings of water damage in the ceiling of her basement studio apartment she consulted with her siblings and decided it was time to contact their Dale City, VA landlord. Once the report of suspected water damage called in, the homeowner scheduled a time to come and take a look at the issue. Having no training in water damage mitigation, mold removal, indoor air quality control, psychrometry, or structural drying, he decided the problem was not a big deal.
He thought “I’ll just call a plumber, fix the leak and that will be that” only it wasn’t.
When the plumber came to inspect, he came with plumbers’ tools, not water damage or mold inspection tools. He removed a section of wet effected drywall in the ceiling corner to reveal what appeared to be mold on the drywall and wood frame, according to the tenant, but not to the Dale City, VA landlord. The disagreement led to dissatisfaction on the tenants’ part, so they decided to have the area tested for mold.
When the results came back the renters forwarded the results to their Dale City, VA landlord. This is when Mold Metrix became involved because at this point the homeowner was forced to find a mold mitigation contractor. My first step was to review the lab report, because this would help me to better understand the mold damage. However, when I read the report I immediately notice a huge error, air samples were taken, but only two air samples. Whenever you are taking air samples for mold testing you must take a minimum of three samples. Now there were a total of three samples taken, but one was a swab sample. Therefore, results for air born mold contamination were classified “inconclusive,” but did show signs of contamination.
Mold Metrix was contracted to provided mold remediation services for the property located in Dale City, VA 22193. We were told that the effected drywall had already been removed, but this was not the case. From one look I knew there was mold behind that wall, and a moisture map analysis confirmed additional drywall needed to be removed.
Sometimes you can have visible mold contamination present in a “dormant state” even when moisture content levels are dry, as was the case with this Dale City, VA mold removal project. We removed approximately 16 square feet of drywall on one side of a corner to find it was completely moldy, as was expected, we could also see that the damage continued farther than we could detect with the current state of mold remediation technology, due to moisture reading being “within range” in that area. This means there was consistently a high enough relative humidity in the effected area for mold to grow on the surface of cellulose-based material.
The nature of water damage mitigation and mold remediation requires that the customer be educated on the nature of water damage and other emergency services contractors.
“It is common to discover mold growth in areas outside of your original work scope that could not be detected until an area is exposed”
This “fear of the unknown” involving mold remediation produces the same kinds of hesitation in humanity as it would in any other aspect of life. Unfortunately, the longer we wait to mitigate mold, the bigger the problem becomes because mold spreads and replicates itself. This is why we can only provide offers according to the “contracted service scope” which may not include additional damages discovered in Dale City, VA.
Mold removal is only covered by insurance if the property owner has an additional “mold coverage” added to their policy or if preexisting mold must be removed for water mitigation. Here is where it can get tricky. Mold remediation is classified as secondary damage caused by water damage. If you have a water damage emergency and have a pre-existing mold problem and your water damage claim is handled by an insurance program vendor, they will be instructed to mitigate with water extraction, dehumidifiers and HEAT. The purpose of these instructions is to hold the homeowner responsible for their portion of liability. A good homeowners insurance company such as USAA or CHUB is important if you don’t want to have these coverage issues.
At Mold Metrix we understand how this can cause stress and as part of our mission to move you from stress to satisfaction we have created a “Points and Rewards” program. The purpose of this program is to educate customers in an entertaining way about water damage mitigation, mold removal, carpet cleaning, annual home maintenance and more. Customers are encouraged to create an account at https://floodmetrix.com/my-account to create a referral code and to track points earned. Mold Metrix customers can earn credit redeemable for cash and service just by educating themselves about home maintenance in Dale City, VA 22193. Simply follow Flood Metrix on all social media @metrixoverthematter and paste your referral code in the comments section of each video you watch to earn points. Track your points earned through you customer portal. Visit https://floodmetrix.com/why-metrix to learn more.
“Thank you for Choosing Metrix over the Matter, Because the Power to Change the Matter is in the Metrix”
Water Damage Mitigation, Mold Removal, Carpet Restoration
Fungi share some basic similarities with plants and bacteria but are neither. All 1 million to 1.5 million species of true fungi are in their own kingdom, the Fungi Kingdom. Many persons inaccurately use the term mildew to describe fungal growths that they feel are not harmful to human health. The powdery green or white growth in humid closets is sometimes considered by homeowners as “just mildew”.
Ironically this growth is almost always penicillium / aspergillious mold. Many species of pen / asp produce offensive smelling volatile organic compounds and may be toxigenic or allergenic when present at the correct levels. According to more reliable definitions, mildew is a powdery or downy parasitic fungal growth that attacks and grows on living plants, while molds are often fuzzy and grow on all sorts of moist surfaces. Molds, mildews, and other fungi usually reproduce by forming and releasing spores into the air. Typical indoor spores are around 3 to 15 microns across. For reference the period at the end of this sentence is 500 microns.
Mycotoxins are chemicals that are sometimes produced by various species of molds. These toxins are real and are powerful weapons used by molds in a sort of microbial warfare to help them compete against bacteria and other molds. Mold spores in residential settings, even if they are potentially toxin producing types and are at high levels, do not necessarily result in toxic effects on humans via inhalation. It takes a lot of inhaled spores to poison a person.
Currently, disagreement exists as to if residential mold spore exposures levels are ever high enough to result in toxic effect on humans. However, toxic effects of mold mycotoxins in humans and farm animals leading to serious illness and even death via accidental ingestion of toxic mold, have been well documented in scientific literature.
According to a Mayo clinic study, sinusitis caused by growth of fungus fibers or balls of fungus fibers in the sinus cavities is not unusual. This is typically caused by common Aspergillus, Fusarium, and Curvularia species. Aspergillosis caused by the growth of aspergillus species in the lungs most commonly A. fumigatus, A. flavus, A. Niger and A. territus species typically occurs in persons with compromised immune systems or a history of lung disease that resulted in past lung damage. Common Candida albicans that causes yeast infections is a major cause of serious nosocomial (hospital acquired) fungal infections. Histoplasma capsulatium and Cryptococcus neoformans are very dangerous yeast like molds that should be assumed to be present in any bird droppings but are primarily a concern when spread to humans via inhalation of particles from accumulations of pigeon, starling, and bat droppings. Coccidioides immitis mold spores are spread from dusty soil in the southwestern United States, it sometimes causes valley fever but at other times the same fungus can be deadly. Nearly any fungi can cause infections in persons with severely compromised immune systems. Detection of infectious fungi such as but not limited to the above listed ones and identification of fungi to determine the species is not part of most mold inspections.
ALLERGY ASTHMA AND HYPERSENSITIVITY DISEASES
An allergic reaction occurs when your body’s immune system mistakes harmless proteins in mold spores or other allergens as if these proteins were harmful microbes trying to infect your body. Your body’s immune system, feeling threatened releases histamines into the blood stream and these histamines are what actually causes coughing, sneeze, and watering of the eyes. Other persons immune systems will not mistake proteins in mold spores as a microbial threat, and thus not develop allergic reactions.
Asthma is a condition where the smooth involuntary muscles lining the airways contract but do not properly relax to allow the lungs to bring in new air. Mold, other bio-allergens, and gases such as nitrogen dioxide and ozone, and even stress are common triggers of asthma. Many people die every year from asthma. Mold- related allergenic and asthmatic conditions in homes are quite common and very serious and should be addressed and not ignored. Many serious hypersensitivity diseases in humans, such as baker’s lung, wood workers lung and others are the result of exposures to molds by persons working in industries that result in long term exposure to elevated spore levels.
Hypersensitivity diseases have long been well documented in science and the medical field. According to Bioaerosols assessment and control hypersensitivity pneumonitis is a hypersensitivity disease that results from the long-term repeated exposure to elevated mold spore levels or other antigens. This condition can occur at in industry or agriculture where spore levels are high. It may also occur in moldy offices or homes, it produces pneumonia like symptoms with fever, cough, tightness of chest, lung infiltrates, and difficulty breathing.
Once sensitized, individuals may react to extremely low, often unmeasurable, concentrations of antigenic materials. Organic dust toxic syndrome is a flu like illness that results from a short-term exposure to very high levels of spores, such as the levels that may be encountered by workers doing large mold remediation jobs without wearing protective respirators. Symptoms show up several hours or a day or so after exposure and symptoms go away after a day or a few days.
Step 1. Initial Mold Inspection