Experiencing a mold problem in South Florida is quite common. Many of the Condominium owners in Hollywood are seasonal, so they travel to the area on a part-time basis, leaving their property entrusted to others to watch over. If a small leak occurs from a pipe in the wall, or a water heater, or any failure of a plumbing item, it can cause a tremendous amount of damage as it may not be occupied at the time of the water leak. Many Hollywood condo owners utilize a neighbor or friend to check on the unit occasionally, but that may not be enough.
Recently, we received a call from a nice couple who reside out of state and come down to Hollywood for the winter on a part-time basis as they are not yet retired. They have a friend and a neighbor who take turns checking on the unit. This unit was being checked once every two weeks. Unfortunately, a pipe failed in the ceiling of the guest bathroom, causing a water intrusion into the unit, which went undetected for over a week. By the time the unit was checked, the damage was already done. Many building materials such as drywall, baseboard, carpeting and bath vanities were completely saturated with water and because it remained wet for so many days, mold began to form in many parts of the condo unit. Also, the personal belongings such as clothing, shoes, handbags, were all contaminated with mold.
The problem with a water leak is the moisture creates humidity in the air space, which causes microscopic mold to form. Once that happens, the mold in the air starts to land on the personal belongings, flooring and/or furniture. The damage that is caused by a water intrusion will accelerate rapidly if not addressed by removing the moisture from the air through the use of dehumidification and air movement. Another issue of possible concern is the HVAC and duct system. If the HVAC system is operating during the formation of mold in the air, then it is likely that the duct system will pick up the mold spores in the air and cross contaminate other parts of the unit. In this scenario, the entire HVAC and duct system would need to be cleaned and sanitized to prevent an air quality issue that will repeat itself by just turning on the HVAC system.
The condo association will not take full responsibility for everything that is damaged even though it was a pipe owned by the association that caused the damage. They will typically only pay for removal and replacement of the drywall. Therefore, it’s very important that a condo owner always maintain insurance for the inside of the condo including their personal belongings. The importance of this cannot be understated as many times the water intrusion that occurs in a condo is something that could not be prevented as there are many causes outside your control such as the neighbor above you who had a water heater leak, or their toilet overflowed, and the water leaked down into your unit. These events are unpredictable, and are accidents, and insurance will cover you for the damage if you do everything possible to mitigate the damages.
We recommend that you always use a restoration contractor of your choosing, instead of using the restoration company recommended by the insurance adjuster, or association. Remember, they are mainly looking out for their best interests, which may be to save money. As a result, they may attempt to control the restoration project by minimizing the scope of work that is necessary to bring the property back to a pre-loss condition. If your mold problem is visible, you may want to consider air quality testing to determine the extent of the mold issue.
Either way, find your own contractor, ask lots of questions, check their credentials, get referrals, and you should be able to select the most experienced contractor based on the information acquired.
South Florida Water and Mold Restoration, Inc. works with Hollywood condo owners to restore their property after a water damage or flood, or to perform a safe mold remediation.
We spend a great deal of time discussing the issues of concern, and recommending the best approach to the situation.
Before you proceed with your restoration project, call South Florida Water and Mold Restoration, Inc. to discuss the circumstances, and to schedule a site visit so we can meet in person to identify the issues and to develop a plan of action.
Call us for all your mold removal needs, at 954-923-3340, we are always available, 7 days a week.