May 15, 2017

Be Alert and Take Needed Action….

I feel the need to really emphasis certain safety precautions that everyone should be aware of but many, if not most people are not. I have come across recent situations whether it be property owners where part of the property is the HOA’s jurisdiction, tenants where the landlord has total jurisdiction or even the regular homeowner where apparent moisture and mold is obvious but proper procedures were not followed by someone. When Established Industry Standards/Protocol are not followed then the health of the occupants is potentially put at risk.

​Example: There is an obvious leak or water intrusion of some type getting a wall wet. It may not be noticed for several hours but usually several days if not longer.  A plumber is called to fix the leak, assuming it is from the plumbing.  You ask the plumber ‘is there any mold?’.  ​Because the plumber has no training in water damage or mold remediation he may say any number of things but may well not tell you the truth and certainly what you need to know. Some may grab some bleach to clean the area and call it a day. But that is not the end of it. You see, after 24 hours mold will start to grow once it has a water source. The plumber does not want any liability for opening up drywall that may well have visible mold on it but he/she does not see it until the wall is open. At that point the plumber (or whoever opens the wall) becomes liable for any mold exposure to the occupants so they naturally will not likely tell you this.

As long as wetness remains mold will continue to grow and cause you problems. If a company comes in to handle this situation You can insist they follow 
established water mitigation and mold remediation protocol. Part of what I mean is this; If a wall is obviously wet and has been that way for some days protocol dictates that containment​be set up (that is a plastic barrier) to protect the health of the occupants while work is being done in that particular area. In principle tenants and owners (where HOA has the obligation to water mitigate and mold remediate) have the right to insist on this. You will have to observe to see if this is actually done before walls are opened all over the place where you are still occupying that space, meaning you are still operating in the space where the work of this type needs to be done. The idea is that you don’t want to be needlessly exposed to potential mold when it can be prevented.

​Many inexperienced property managers and owners have not been educated about these dangers and simply may not know about it. So as an occupant of a residence you need to do your part and be proactive to help prevent exposure to mold and even bacteria that can be growing as a result of water intrusion or leakage. If you see the workers or company are not following basic protocol you have the right to stop them before letting them go further n the work. Keep in mind that I am referring to walls that have been wet for some or several days or longer since mold has likely grown at that point.

Feel free to send in a question.

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