How Plumbing Leaks cause Water Damage and Mold

How Plumbing Leaks cause Water Damage and Mold











Facts About Plumbing Leaks and Mold

  • A plumbing leak will cause mold

  • Structural Drying is needed for most plumbing leaks

  • Plumbing CAN be covered by insurance

How plumbing leaks cause water damage and mold?

Homeowners know that a small leak does not automatically equate to water damage, but homeowners are not so clear on how long it takes for a small leak to grow into mold or water damage problem.

A water leak can cause mold growth in as little as 24 hours. Likewise, it may also take a homeowner years to discover mold contamination.

  • Time and Germ levels are the major variables of how plumbing leaks cause water damage and mold.

3 Facts plumbers should know about mold:

  1. Where there is a leak there is mold.
  2. There is microscopic, so if you can see if, there is a problem.
  3. Mold growth indicates water damage and the need for mitigation.

Homeowner Tip #1

Prevent the need to kill mold by keeping your home clean and dry. Routine cleaning and maintenance are the best ways to keep your home or office mold free. Maintaining free air flow circulation is the next major recommendation. Air flow prevents mold from settling to grow. A clean, dry, well-ventilated room is least likely to grow mold.

How often do plumbers find mold or water damage?

Less than 15% of plumbing service calls are in response to water damage or flood in progress. On the other hand, over 90% of water damage and mold is plumbing related.

Structural drying and the application of antimicrobial should be standard with any leak service plumbing invoice. Uneducated plumbers fail to make these recommendations mold as standard mold prevention, costing their customers thousands of dollars within two years.

  • Bathroom Vanity Mold Prevention Structural Drying = $500

  • Bathroom Mold Remediation = $2500

Signs of Mold Growth

Only the best plumbers will be committed to educating themselves on how mold remediation and water damage go hand in hand.

The more a plumber understands about water damage and mold, the more value a plumber can provide to their customers.

Plumbers should always be on the lookout for mold because whenever there is a leak mold will grow.

This is why Mold Metrix seeks to work with and educate plumbers. Together, plumbers and water damage mitigation professionals can effectively prevent mold growth and save customers money.

  • Odors

  • High Humidity

  • High Moisture Levels

  • Poor Air Circulation

Should plumbers inspect for mold?

Plumbers do not inspect for mold. When you call a plumber, their primary focus is:

1.Finding a plumbing leak

2. Repairing a plumbing leak

Plumbing leak detection is the professional service required when filing a water damage mitigation claim. A proper plumbers’ report will define the source of a water leak.

If a leak happens suddenly or accidentally, there is a 50% chance that the plumbers’ invoice can be reimbursed by insurance.

Plumbers do not bill insurance companies as standard operating procedure. Therefore, most customers and plumbers alike do not know how get to plumbing covered by homeowners’ insurance.

Plumbers Serving Northern Virginia

Fortunately, Mold Metrix works with some of the best plumbers in Northern Virginia. Smooth Plumbing is one of our preferred plumbing partners. The owner is a licensed master plumber in the state of Virginia and provides a one stop shop for mitigation plumbing services. We highly recommend Smooth plumbing for your plumbing needs located.

Smooth Plumbing strives to bring value to their customers, not only with excellent plumbing service, but by going above and beyond by educating their plumbing staff about mold and water damage.


This reflects the Mold Metrix mission which is to move our customer from stress to satisfaction.

  • We believe that when a customer knows more about their mold mitigation and plumbing issues, they can better deal with the natural stress of these projects.

Are plumbers liable for spreading mold contamination?

Many times, homeowners have remodeling plans and at some point in the process they discover mold. One example is replacing cabinets. Removing old cabinets is highly likely to uncover hidden mold growth. This is what happened with a plumbing partner who was called out for a kitchen remodel in Alexandria.

Any Contractor Can Be Held Liable For Mold Cross Contamination

The previous homeowner had several leaks that caused significant water damage, now there was visible mold growth. Smooth Plumbing was able to recognize that mold was growing downstairs on the overhead joist system. Mold Metrix later discovered mold growth behind the kitchen walls and under the vinyl floors.


Most common areas plumbers discover mold:

  • Kitchens
  • Bathrooms
  • Laundry Rooms
  • Unfinished Ceilings with Plumbing and Water Lines

Plumbing and Mold Safety

When a plumber is able to recognize mold and water damage they become more valuable to their customer. Customer become eligible to receive a FREE onsite mold and water damage inspection when referred by a plumber in the Metrix Connection.

Onsite estimates for mold removal are not free; however, when our plumbing partners refer mold jobs customers win. Whenever mold is involved, safety must come first. Working with the plumber allows us to safely coordinate all aspects of a mold removal or water mitigation project. Having a clearly defined remediation protocol is the first step:

  • Proper

  • Preparation

  • Prevents

  • Poor

  • Performance

If your or someone you know has a plumbing leak and is in need of mold removal choose Metrix over the Matter, because the Power to Change the Matter is in the Metrix.









What Homeowners Should Know About Mold Inspections

What Homeowners Should Know About Mold Inspections











Major Topics of this Article Include

  • Mold Inspection Standards

  • Purpose of a Mold Inspection

  • Types of Mold Inspections

  • Mold Testing

  • Cost of Mold Inspections

Mold Inspection Standards are based on industry standards defined by The Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification.

Additionally, there are at least 5 additional standards used in co-relation to the IICRC standard:

Mold Inspection Restrictions

The results of mold inspections are representative of conditions existing at the exact time and location of where samples were taken only. Therefore, inspectors can not rely on mold inspection reports to represent conditions at any other location or date.

Testing may be required for asbestos, lead paint, and other environmental hazards prior to remediation. The presence of such materials take precedence over mold remediation. Removing regulated materials must be conducted in accordance with federal, state, provincial, local laws, regulations and specific remediation protocols.

The Goal of a Mold Inspection

Unlike a free mold estimate, a mold inspection cannot be conducted virtually and must be conducted onsite. Mold inspections include testing with analysis and a complete report. Reports include, but are not limited to mold damage documentation and remediation cost projections. Service fees include inspection and per sample charges. 

Invasive inspections are more expensive than non-invasive inspections, while fees vary and start at $250. The average mold inspection requires 2-5 samples priced at $50 each. Invasive mold inspections include spaces such as attics and crawlspaces, opening walls, removing baseboards, inspecting HVAC Systems and other hard to reach areas. 


Mold Inspections Are Not Free

Video conferencing allows us to provide immediate insight to our customers about their mold removal projects. Subsequently, customers should expect to receive an initial mold estimate via video chat. As a result, contractors and customers save both time and money by connecting first via video chat. This helps businesses keep costs low, allowing customers to save more money.

Mold Inspections and Testing Disclaimer

1. Do not depend on your mold inspector for any medical advice.

Providing medical advise with regards to personal health concerns about mold contamination is the job of a medical specialist, not the mold inspector.

2. If symptoms such as allergy or asthma are experienced, mold inspection is often the most logical starting point.

However, airborne particles originating from biological sources can result in symptoms or illness as well. 

3. Mold inspection is not intended to report on what the inspector considers to be typical levels of mold.

A mold test is not an environmental investigation for any other condition. Further testing is required for dust mite, roach, pet allergens, virus, bacteria, lead-based paint, asbestos, radon, or any other environmental conditions.

4. Mold Metrix does not offer an opinion as to the advisability of the purchase or sale of property.

Furthermore, Mold Metrix is not responsible for the non-discovery of any water damage or mold contamination for which Metrix has not been contracted to inspect. Likewise, this is also true for any other problems undetected because sampling was not requested and paid for.


No destructive or disruptive testing will be performed unless contracted by a client. An inspector will not check any area that poses a safety threat to the inspector such as walking on roofs. Likewise, attics and crawl spaces with low clearance may not be entered.

Correspondingly, customers should understand that inspections can only report on problems present at the time of testing. Inspectors cannot report on areas or locations in the building that have not been specifically inspected and tested.


Samples of non-active spores only allow for spore identification to the genus and not the species level. Therefore, comparison of levels to similar types of indoor and outdoor spore types is not exact. This is especially true for some small, round spores, such as aspergillus and penicillium spores.

Active spore sampling only allows for identification and categorization of molds that germinated from live spores. Consequently, many dead yet still allergenic spores may be missed in the lab results when using this methodology, resulting in low estimations of the number of actual spores present.


Inspectors cannot guarantee mold growing within a wall cavity can be found. Hidden mold may not be producing large numbers of spores during sampling. Also, mold may not have access to the spore trap due to insulation or other blockades.

Mold Remediation: Bathroom Mold Removal and Plumbing 2023

Mold Remediation: Bathroom Mold Removal and Plumbing 2023

Mold Remediation: Bathroom Plumbing and Mold

A customer called me out because they discovered some mold in the ceiling corner of their kitchen pantry.  As I spoke with the customer and listened to the details he was able to provide, I thought to myself there’s a real chance that this may be covered under the homeowner’s insurance policy.  Plumbing leaks causing water damage and mold can be covered by insurance. We were able to schedule an onsite mold inspection for the very same day.

Black Mold Discovered

As an IICRC certified mold and water damage restoration professional I understood stachybotrys aka “black mold” cannot grow without a constant source of water. Stachybotrys is not like aspergillus or penicillium mold, which are able to grow with only elevated humidity. Black mold, however, cannot survive on humidity alone and needs to have a constant source of water to begin its sporulation process.

Plumbing Leaks and Mold

Equipped with this knowledge my investigation expanded upstairs into the bathroom to better interpret the source of this water damage. Directly above the kitchen pantry was the master bathroom. There was a large jacuzzi tub, along with a toilet and bidet installed on the far side of the bathroom. The customer reported not using the tub, so we initially estimated that the water damage was caused by failed plumbing associated with the toilet. According to PHP Plumbing, most homeowners do not use there jacuzzi tub on a regular basis, so the customer not using the tub did not seem unusual. I was excited to have discovered the cause of the mold downstairs.

Mold Remediation Documentation

Throughout my mold inspection I was careful to document all water damage. Mold remediation project documentation was very important on this project because there was a big possibility that insurance would cover most of the costs associated with this mold removal project. Once I had created my initial report, I contacted the homeowner’s insurance adjuster. The adjuster was willing to provide coverage if we were able to document a new plumbing leak and prove that the mold growth was not due to a lack of maintenance on the homeowner’s part.

Insurance Accepted, financing Available

Plumber’s Report and Mold Removal

The insurance company wanted to make sure that they were covering a water damage and plumbing failure which could be classified as setting or accidental. Homeowners insurance will not cover mold removal that cannot be directly traced to a new water damage or plumbing leak. This is why a plumber’s report is critical to submitting a claim for mold or water damage coverage, because the plumber’s report states the official cause of water damage and mold.

Metrix Restoration we believe that plumbers and mold removal professionals should work together. This is why we created the Metrix Connection to better network with the best plumbers throughout our service territory.  Being able to co-ordinate mold removal projects with a plumber allows us to add more value and better serve our mold removal customers.  For this project we contacted one of our best plumbing companies in our network, Perfection HVAC and Plumbing of Northern VA.

Mold Remediation Discoveries

Upon removing the wet, mold contaminated drywall from the effected kitchen pantry, I was surprised at what I discovered. There was an obvious plumbing leak coming from above, but it wasn’t obvious where the leak was coming from. We previously estimated the water damage to be the result of failed plumbing associated with the toilet, however, the leak was coming from failed plumbing associated with the bathroom tub.

I was shocked at the amount of mold growth discovered once I removed the tile encasement of the master bathroom tub. Mold was growing all over the sub floor and had even begun to sprout as mushrooms. Mold is a fungus and under the right conditions mold will sprout in mushroom form. There were some mold mushrooms growing on the sub floor four inches high.

Leaky Bathroom Water Pipe

The mold growth mentioned above was being supported by a leaky water supply line. We were able to confirm that the adjacent water supply line had also leaked previously, causing the prior water damage to the kitchen pantry. The plumbing and water leak were previously repaired; however, the water damage was never properly mitigated by the previous homeowner. In addition to the water leak being repaired, the wet water damaged drywall of the kitchen pantry should have also been removed, so that the subfloor could be dried from below and above.

Once we were able to discover and confirm that the prior water damage the prior leak was repaired, we could now prove to the insurance adjuster that this was indeed a new water damage. However, the age of this new leak was still a mystery. What we do know for certain is that the customer reported seeing black mold on the kitchen pantry developing only recently, which supports a plumbing failure which is sudden or accidental and not due to lack of maintenance on the homeowner’s part. However, the presence of four-inch mold mushrooms growing in the same area, indicate severe water damage unaddressed for an extended period of time.

Metrix Offers Water Damage, Plumbing and Mold Remediation

Regardless of the previous water damage, the fact that there is a new leak with a new plumbing issue means that this homeowner is entitled to coverage with their homeowners’ policy. The homeowner’s insurance would be responsible for covering the water damage and mold remediation repairs but would not cover the mold remediation line items associated with the project. The reason being is that obviously there was pre-existing water damage which were never addressed; therefore, homeowners’ insurance is not responsible. However, homeowners’ insurance would be responsible for all damages associated with the new water damage including structural drying, retiling the bathroom tub and drywall repairs associated with the water damage. No portion of the plumbing would be able to be billed back to water damage claim.

If you or someone you know is in need of water damage mitigation, mold remediation or needs a plumbing repair; choose Metrix over the Matter.  The power to change the matter is in the Metrix.  We are available 24/7 for plumbing and water damage emergencies.  We also offer mitigation repairs.

Mold Remediation: Why Marines Choose Metrix over the Matter

Mold Remediation: Why Marines Choose Metrix over the Matter

Mold Removal 

Over the years I have done a lot of work for Marines stationed at Quantico Marine Base, mostly mold remediation jobs. Oftentimes, marines will rent or own a property and experience a mold issue.  Several marines over the years have left stunning recommendations for Mold Metrix.  Referrals have come from officers and enlisted service personnel stationed at Quantico.

Mold Remediation Standards

Credentials are a major part of contracting with the government, state or even with the marines, so when you do a project it’s very important for someone to have the designated qualifications to officially verify that a job was done to standard.  I was in the military previously, so I have firsthand knowledge of how this works.  This system of quality assurance is something I took with me from my military career into serving the commercial and residential markets.  I believe that the Mold Metrix customer respects a service professional who is both experienced and credentialed.  Mold Metrix service professionals are highly trained and are sure to meet or exceed all industry standards.

Mold Removal Documentation

In the military, it’s important that a project be documented, so this is also true regarding a mold remediation project done for the marines.  Fortunately, project documentation comes standard with Mold Metrix.  I was contacted by the Marines with regards to a military vehicle that had been exposed to water damage and was suffering from mold contamination.  After fitting the criteria for this project and understanding what it means to work with the military, we were able to get a contract signed.  The next step was to get approval for the fee to come out and inspect the project.  I reached out to Alex Automotive of Woodbridge VA to inspect the vehicle ventilation system as it is always important to use specific trade professionals for quality assurance on mold remediation projects.

Mold Contamination

The key to this project, or to doing any mold remediation project concerning a vehicle is the air filtration system.  You don’t want to have a person sitting in the car, breathing in mold.  We want to be sure that when the vehicle is turned on the AC, heater, or the fan is not mold blowing from the ventilation system into the vehicle, contaminating air and putting the occupants at risk. When restoring a vehicle that has been water damaged and is now suffering from mold, not only do we need to remove all unsalvageable material to clean and decontaminate the vehicle, but we must also clean and decontaminate the air filtration system as well.  This means taking apart the dash, cleaning out the air filtration system, changing the filter and putting everything back together.

IICRC S500 and S520 Mold Remediation Standard

Mold Remediation Credentials

After a vehicle has been cleaned and decontaminated from mold, the next step is to conduct sampling lab analysis to confirm that the project was completed to standard. Once the vehicle passes inspection a mold remediation inspector can sign off on the project.  The IICRC certification for mold removal is the AMRT.  This is the “applied microbial remediation technician” certification and is the actual credential it is necessary to possess when conducting mold remediation for the military or doing business with the government.

The IICRC AMRT is not the same as having a water damage restoration technician certification; the two go together like peanut butter and Jelly.  Water damage restoration and mold remediation can’t be separated because they are two sides of the same coin.  You can be a water damage professional and do mold remediation.  From being an apprentice, to a journeyman, to a master wanted damage restoration professional, the AMRT for mold remediation is an advanced certification that not many technicians have.

Certified Mold Removal Professionals

Less than 40% of water damage remediation professionals who are practicing mold remediation have the IICRC ARMT certification, even though this is the industry standard.  Mold Metrix is the type of company that meets all of the required standards.  We are the company that checks all the boxes, not only can we do mold remediation, but we have the certifications and insurance to do in the state of Virginia.  There is no trade license required for mold remediation, but we are legitimate contractors with all the industry certifications and insurance to be able to contract for mold mediation as well as water damage restoration.

Insurance Accepted, financing Available

Best Mold Remediation Company 2023

Mold Metrix also provides mold repairs to better serve our customers.  We are proud to offer mold repair and reconstruction services including drywall and flooring.  This helps us to be an overall better company and to create stronger relationships with related trade contractors, especially plumbers.  If you or somebody you know has water damage or is in need of mold removal, then choose Mold Metrix over the matter, because the power to change the matter is in the Metrix.  If you’re looking for a company that fits all the boxes and has all the certifications, offers good business, quality service at fair industry prices, then you’re looking for Mold Metrix.  Mold Metrix is looking to serve all of your mold remediation and water damage needs, including mold repairs.  Don’t forget to visit us online at and schedule a free virtual estimate.

What Does Mold Remediation Include?

What Does Mold Remediation Include?








Mold remediation Includes 3 major phases




Step 1. Initial Mold Inspection

100% of mold remediation projects begin with a inspection.  Consequently this step cannot be skipped as it provides a mold removal expert with details needed to begin.

Critical information about effected areas is gathered during a mold inspection such as: primary and secondary mold damage.

  • Primary damage includes the building materials of an effected area.

  • Secondary damage includes the contents of an effected area.

Mold damage is not always easy for a homeowner to detect.

Damage behind walls and under cabinets is considered primary damage but is not always apparent. Secondary mold damage, like primary damage, is both subtle and apparent. For example, a dress can be obviously ruined by category 3 water. Likewise, a dress can have mold growing subtly along its seam.

Any damage discovered is recorded in both picture and video form. These notes are used to prepare an estimate.

  • Industry standards do not require mold testing when mold appears to be present. Therefore, If a substance is believed to be mold, it is treated as if it is mold. This is a general standard and remains in effect unless mold testing confirms.

Common two common reasons why customers may request mold testing are:

  • High Risk Health Occupants

  • Disputes between tenants and property owners

Step 2. Create Mold Remediation Protocol

During the initial mold inspection measurements, a minimum of ten photos will be taken. However, it is more common for a mold expert to capture 20-30 photos, plus 1-2 videos of the affected area.

  • Subsequently these photos and videos are used as evidence to support mold remediation recommendations and as notes used to create a mold removal protocol.
  • Furthermore, pictures of what is affected and what is not affected will be taken, both inside and outside the home or office.  The main reason for these types of photos is professional liability.

Measurements, photos, and videos are used to reconstruct the effected zones. 

  • Sketches of the contaminated areas are computer drafted and included with the estimate. 
  • Organizing this information allows the mold inspector to present it to a customer in the easiest to understand format.

In other words, communication with a customer is key and helps to establish expectations for the completion of a mold remediation project.

Step 3. Mold Removal Containment

1. Mold remediation professionals should always take time to apply floor protection.

2. Relocate customer belongings to a safe zone.

3. Setup mold containment.

The points outlined above are quality assurance keys to success.  In fact, no mold remediation project should begin unless these preliminary actions have been taken.




  • POOR


In addition to mold removal quality assurance, health and safety is also optimized.

At Mold Metrix our overall mission is to move a customer from Stress To Satisfaction.

Step 4. Air Quality Control

Air quality control is the number one safety concern of all mold remediation projects. 

There are two mold concern classifications:

  • Structural Integrity

  • Health

Air born mold levels less than 10% of the air born mold outside are not considered at risk.

This remains true, unless the customer falls into a high-risk group:

  • Over age 65

  • Asthma and Allergies

  • Heart or Lung Issues

  • Under age 2

  • Pregnant

  • Recovering from surgery

Preventing the spread of mold contamination to non-effected areas is the burden of the majority mold remediation company.   Therefore, proper air quality control measures must always be used in mold remediation.

Step 5. Demolition

Demolition is the mold removal aspect of mold remediation.

This involves surgical removal finishing construction such as:

  • Drywall

  • Cabinets

  • Shelves

Content manipulation can also be included as part of demolition.  One example of this is removing and discarding moldy books, furniture, or other related items.

Step 6. Decontamination

After moldy materials have been safely removed from a work zone, structural decontamination can begin. 

“Fogging” the air with a mold killer is a violation of industry standard. 

  • Surfaces must be wiped down and HEPA vacuumed

  • Wooden surfaces must be exfoliated

  • Mold staining addressed

  • Maintain air quality standards under negative pressure





Step 7. Structural Drying

Structural drying is half the battle of mold remediation quality assurance. Likewise, this is also where many mistakes are made. 

After all the moldy material have been removed and the area has been decontaminated, the area must then be dried. 

If this important step is skipped or done improperly:

1. Mold infestation will continue

2. Remediation will fail

Step 8. Post Remediation Inspection and Testing

A mold remediation project manager should always thoroughly inspect a project upon completion for quality assurance.  All dry goals should be met such as:

  • moisture content levels

  • relative humidity

In certain cases, post mold remediation clearance testing is conducted and can be covered by insurance.

In mold removal projects where post remediation testing is requested, testing must be conducted while containment remains in place. 

Air samples taken after containment has been broken down cannot reflect the true microbial levels within the remediation zone. 

Samples may be collected by the hired remediation company but should be tested by an independent laboratory. 

Step 9. Final Mold Cleanup

The final mold cleanup is not a “white glove maids cleaning”, it is a final “construction cleanup.”

IICRC standard s520 states that the goal of this step is to achieve a clean dust-free environment. After the last cleanup is finished, the area can once again be inspected, and a certificate of mold remediation completion can be issued.


































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