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Quick, Thorough Water Response Prevents Mold

Ellis recently responded to an emergency request by a large commercial client whose office headquarters had been inundated with water following a roof leak. Water collects along the base of walls following such events. We marked out all wet areas and recommended they be removed and the walls dried before installation of new wallboard. Ellis has a list of contractors who can perform the work. The Owner agreed but placed a claim against their insurance because of potential costs.

That insurance carrier refused the claim, opting instead to bring out their OWN disaster response contractor who (they claimed) could dry the area at a much lower cost. Rather than strip out the walls as recommended by Ellis, the carrier's contractor drilled a few holes, placed fans in the wet areas for a few days, then left.

A month later, employees began to complain of a moldy smell, along with mold-related health issues. Air sampling indicated INDOOR mold concentrations many hundreds of times higher than outdoor levels. In short, a hazardous environment had been created by not stripping and drying the wet walls quickly. The building was closed again, and remains closed pending a proper response action by a licensed abatement contractor. -

Duane Behrens, President
Ellis Environmental Management, Inc.