Recently a tenant’s home was being remediated (meaning mold and bacteria were to be removed). This was after a very specific report was supplied to the tenant which as then sent to the owner of the property. He at first did not believe the report until he had a mold testing company come out to confirm there were issues that needed to be addressed in several areas of the home.
The owner then employed about 3 different companies for this process. However, the report directed that only ‘certified companies’ perform this specialized work. At first one was brought in that was certified that did some work. But then the owner hired some regular ‘laborers’ to remove the shower which had a shower pan leak that was growing mold and bacteria. The laborers were not trained or certified to do this specialized work and no ‘disinfecting’ was performed in the area as per industry requirements.
During the process of removing the shower that was leaking so it could be rebuilt, no proper containment was used (that is keep the work area contained to keep the mold and bacteria there and filtered, cleaned, disinfected) and industry procedures were not followed that protected the tenants from mold and bacteria exposure.
The tenant wisely recorded aspects of this with video and pictures to document what was done. After that the owner had a ‘Mold Inspection Company’ to do what is called a Post Remediation Clearance Inspection with mold testing to certify the area was clean, dry and free of mold per industry standards. Though this company certified in writing the area was free of mold and no further remediation was needed, this was not actually the case.
I was hired to do a supplemental inspection in the shower area and found apparent visible mold, tested for endotoxins (and found to be present; these are from the bad bacteria that grow in these situations which harm people), verified mold was present with testing and found high moisture present in the shower dam wood.
The tenants had endured and bad odor for days and were feeling unhealthy as a result of being exposed to the mold and dangerous bacteria. He has sent this evidence from the inspection and testing I did along with videos/pictures of the work done to his lawyer and are now in the process of getting compensation from the landlord.
As you may see, the lesson is record work being done as needed via video, pictures and the like to show proof of what was done. This is important, whether you are a tenant or an owner, to make sure the work is done correctly. Of course, you will need to know that certain things are needed such as proper containment. In this type of situation, you may need to bring in your own inspector to validate your concerns and give the owner/company notice on these things. You have the right to keep your family safe and can insist on certified people to do this specialized work.
Steve Mullins (i.e. Mold Detector)
Moisture and Mold Detection, Inc.