Property Recovery 911 was contacted by a homeowner concerning black mold resulting from a roofing failure. Hired following the roofing repairs, our investigation uncovered a wet area in the master bedroom directly beneath the roof leak as well as moisture and mold contamination within the finished basement along the front wall.
Although the area of loss in the finished basement lay in line with the second story roof leak, the first level room separating the two remained curiously undamaged. This hiatus in readily observable water infiltration through the first level may have been the result of a path buried within the wall cavity that reappears in the basement below or could signify a secondary issue. In any event, containment precautions were necessary prior to any exploratory deconstruction.
Mold Removal – Master Bedroom
Although there was no visible mold damage in the master bedroom, we are compelled to assume mold contamination is present within the wall cavity and act accordingly. Working from the top down, we commenced by building containment and exit chambers within the master bedroom. Framed with 2”x4’ lumber, the containment and exit chambers are covered with 6 mil fire retardant polyethylene sheeting and each unit is then fitted with a heavy duty adhesive zipper to allow sealable access.
Once complete, 7 Pascal’s of negative air pressure is established within containment using a ducted adjustable air scrubber adjacent to a filter set in the polyethylene wall. The negative air pressure creates an air current across the work space, which will carry any mold spores that become airborne to the air scrubber and trap them within the HEPA filter. Negative pressure is closely monitored using a device called a manometer and can be maintained by virtue of the two tier sealable entrance/exit system opened one at a time.
Fallowing the extensive preparations detailed above, deconstruction commenced with the removal of combination building materials including paneling, plaster, lath and sheetrock. Once removed, bagged in containment, transferred to the exit chamber and removed from the premises; we performed what is known in the industry as a ‘HEPA sandwich’ on the joists, studs and adjacent inside wall.
The ‘HEPA sandwich’ procedure consists of vacuuming all surfaces with a specialized HEPA filter equipped vacuum to trap any mold spores, treating the area with an antimicrobial solution and once dry HEPA vacuuming again. This procedure is followed by a thorough cleaning and scrubbing with surfactants.
Once mold removal is complete, structural drying is necessary to ensure that mold contamination does not return as a result of lingering high moisture content trapped within the remaining building materials. When moisture content exceeds 16%, building materials can support mold contamination.
Within the restricted confines of the aforementioned containment chamber we were able to deploy a single axial air mover working in concert with a compact but powerful Dri-Eaz a href=”http://revolution.drieaz.com/_DEC/DEC_Product_Base.aspx?decID=2120″ target=”_blank”>Revolution™ LGR Dehumidifier. During the entire structural drying process, the containment as well as exit chambers remained intact and sealed with the air scrubber maintaining negative pressure.
Mold Removal – Finished Basement
As mentioned above:
…the area of loss in the finished basement lay in line with the second story roof leak, the first level room separating the two remained curiously undamaged. This hiatus in readily observable water infiltration through the first level may be the result of a path buried within the wall cavity that reappears in the basement below or could signify a secondary issue…
Prior to investigating the possibility of unrelated issues coincidentally being concurrently responsible for a seemingly singular problem, containment precautions were necessary.
Again, two compartments consisting of containment and exit chambers were built using 2”x4’ lumber. Once the framing was erected and covered with 6 mil fire retardant polyethylene sheeting each compartment was fitted with a heavy duty adhesive zipper to allow sealable access. Negative air pressure was established within containment using a ducted adjustable air scrubber adjacent to a filter set in the polyethylene wall and monitored at a consistent 7 Pascal’s of negative pressure using a manometer.
Mold Remediation & Investigation
With containment complete, visible mold contamination was treated using the ‘HEPA sandwich’ method as detailed above. Next, deconstruction was necessary not only to access and treat any mold contamination within the wall cavity but also to reveal the possibility of a secondary issue with the structures systems that might account for the lapse in a readily identifiable path of water infiltration through the living area separating the finished basement from the master bedroom.
We were not surprised to find a copper water supply line had been corrupted and was blowing a high pressure mist within the intersection between wall and ceiling cavity. The line had undergone galvanic corrosion as a result of being hung with an iron nail, which was driven into the rafter and bent around the pipe. We repaired the plumbing and continued mold remediation procedures.
Once the detached building materials were bagged in containment, transferred to the exit chamber and removed from the premises; the ‘HEPA sandwich’ process was repeated within the exposed wall cavities that were then thoroughly scrubbed with surfactants.
This larger containment chamber was able to accommodate four axial air movers and a single Dri-Eaz Revolution™ LGR Dehumidifier. During the entire structural drying process, the containment as well as exit chambers remained intact and sealed with the air scrubber maintaining negative pressure.
As detailed above, mold remediation procedures necessitate deconstruction in affected areas in order to access and remove the mold contamination. Following mold removal, the homeowner enlisted Property Recovery 911 to provide reconstruction services, which entailed insulation, wall repair and painting.
Property Recovery 911 is a subsidiary of Urban Development Corporation, a full service construction company that has been operating in and around Philadelphia since 1996. Boasting an accomplished team of technicians experienced in all phases of remodeling, renovations and repair. In conjunction with Property Recovery 911, Urban Development Corporation can provide a comprehensive solution to our customers resulting in a seamless work cadence and superior outcome.
Property Recovery 911 is committed to assisting victims of disaster protect their interests by quickly removing the source of damage and starting the restoration. Our emergency restoration and preservation services include water mitigation, fire restoration, mold remediation and board up. We are available any time of day or night 365 days a year with 24/7 live phone support. Contact us at (267) 808-7200 for prompt, professional emergency restoration services.