When Does Water Damage Need to be Handled by a Professional?

Mold Remediation

When Does Water Damage Need to be Handled by a Professional?

We asked Daniel Miljenovic, Owner of Coastline Cleaning and Restoration to answer the question for our readers:

It depends on what kind of damage it is. If ceilings have collapsed, wood flooring has buckled, or paint is peeling off the wall then it is obvious professional cleanup is necessary. However, if not handled properly, the seemingly small situations can eventually turn into a much bigger problem than a collapsed ceiling or buckled floor.

Let’s talk about a situation I encountered recently… A potential customer called and expressed that an occupant of their home was beginning to feel ill and developed difficulty breathing. They suspected a mold problem, so they called Tiger Group to do a Mold Assessment. They informed us that two months prior the kitchen sink had overflowed for several hours and water poured onto the linoleum floor and into the carpeted living room, further leaking into the garage below. They mopped up the floor, removed as much of the water from the carpet as they could, and ran fans to help dry the carpet. Within a few days, things seemed dry. The ceiling in the garage dried up as well. Unfortunately, what they did not realize was that the water had gotten underneath the plastic-coated carpet pad as well as underneath the linoleum floor, and this is where the problem began. The mold assessment and infrared camera revealed trapped moisture and water damage that could not otherwise be seen. The air sampling found airborne mold spores which was the cause of the occupant’s breathing issues.

The homeowner hired Coastline for the cleanup. My team removed the linoleum, carpet, and pad in the apartment and quickly discovered saturated materials that were completely covered in mold. In the garage, we removed the sheetrock on the ceiling which had mold growth, found the insulation still wet and some mold had started to grow on the ceiling joists. The extent of building repairs was nearly double what it could have been if handled correctly from the onset. Following remediation, we always refer testing to a 3rd party certified mold assessment company, like  Tiger, to perform Mold Sampling; this avoids any perception of a conflict of interest.

The moral of the story is that our eyes and even the back of our hands do not make for great moisture detection devices. With water damage, it is always best to contact a reputable and IICRC-certified professional (International Institute of Cleaning and Restoration Certifications) to have them identify the extent of the damage with the proper meters. Failure to do so can result in situations like what we just described. The potential consequences of not handling water damage properly can be devastating and usually more expensive than if handled properly from the beginning.

Daniel Miljenovic, Owner of Coastline Cleaning & Restoration

Office: 860-464-4922

Cell: 860-204-1189