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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am a first time poster... clearly. I specialize in new commercial construction but I have been doing some remodeling on the side, mostly on the weekends. Anyway, I have a situation. I am in GA and with our recent floods I had an 18 yea old day care that I have been doing work on have water come in the building. It was mostly in one spot but and the teachers got the water out immediately so there wasnt any standing water. The water came under 2 doors and it also seeped through the brick where there was rising water outside of the building. I was asked to come look at it, assess the damage and give my opinion/price of the fix. My first instinct is to be overly cautious considering it is a day care and the potential of a lawsuit with any possible mold issue. I have a moisture meter that is designed for wood but I have been using it to test the drywall in random places. If the rooms were just drywall there would be no dilemma i would just cut the drywall a little above where it was wet and replace it. But the problem is that there is frp on the walls with sheetrock behind it. the owner of the day care is reluctant to spend too much money but is even more reluctant to do anything to jeopardize the kids being able to stay there. so i can only do the work this weekend. i have taken all of the base and shoe molding off and sprayed the whole area with a bleach mix. there is a specific spot that is worse than the rest that i am going to pull the frp off and check the scene behind it. i guess my question is about mold. in this situation i know there is going to be mold forming behind the walls and i know that the correct thing to do is to pull all of the frp down and be safe rather than sorry but there is a lot of money to be lost with doing this. what are your opinions if i just put new molding down and seal it from the inside? will everything eventually dry? or the fact that it is behind the wall with no ventilation cause the mold to never die? I need your opinions ASAP. I need to make a move this weekend.

thanks
-tk
 

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Builder/Remodeler
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You are in extremely dangerous territory from a liability perspective, and the two day window should be the last thing driving your approach. The owner is putting their kids, their business, and yours in danger.

If you don't have experience dealing with mold, I wouldn't recommend you touch this project. Just spraying things down with bleach is insufficient. Though they may have extracted the water from the interior spaces, the water within the walls is still there (and trapped between the FRP and the sheetrock). Flood water is considered BLACK water--requiring the highest level of treatment methods (ie--expensive and not something to be done over a weekend.)
 

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solar guy
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Bleach is probably the worst thing you could have applied. I am no expert but bleach can actually feed some mold types. A point to remember for mold to grow and multiply there has to be moisture present for more than 48 hours as a general rule. Removing the drywall and allowing the wall to dry may prevent the start of mold. I have read in other forums that borate based products are much better at killing mold. What Chris said above is very true in stronger terms and I can only agree
 

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Black Water
Category 3, Black Water, contains sewage and other contaminants that can
include pesticides, heavy metals, and toxic organic and inorganic chemicals.
More than 120 different viruses, parasitic agents, and bacterial organisms can
be found in
Category 3 water. Black water originates from domestic and
industrial wastes and
non-point (groundwater, surface water, sea, river, and
atmospheric) sources.
 

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Smart phone? Scan me!
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I think everyone has a different approach to mold removal/containment. Abate or encapsulate are the things to know. TSP can also kill/clean mold/mildew. Whatever you do, you will need to seal it once it is cleaned and the mold treated. What happens the next time it floods? Any way to prevent future damage?
 

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solar guy
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Black Water
Category 3, Black Water, contains sewage and other contaminants that can
include pesticides, heavy metals, and toxic organic and inorganic chemicals.
More than 120 different viruses, parasitic agents, and bacterial organisms can
be found in Category 3 water. Black water originates from domestic and
industrial wastes and non-point (groundwater, surface water, sea, river, and
atmospheric) sources.
I swim in that regularly. Around here we call it the Bay
 

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Smart phone? Scan me!
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Black Water
Category 3, Black Water, contains sewage and other contaminants that can
include pesticides, heavy metals, and toxic organic and inorganic chemicals.
More than 120 different viruses, parasitic agents, and bacterial organisms can
be found in
Category 3 water. Black water originates from domestic and
industrial wastes and
non-point (groundwater, surface water, sea, river, and
atmospheric) sources.
 

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Builder/Remodeler
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3,816 Posts
Sounds disgusting... It will sound even more so from the mouth of a prosecuting attorney.

Seriously though, this is not something to be taken lightly. Do not let your client dictate what materials and methods are used, or the time line required for them to work. It's better to not do the job at all, than to put the health of those kids at risk.

Here's a good starting point if you're looking to educate yourself and your client more:
http://atlanta.daybooknetwork.com/story/2009/09/25/25081flood-tips-from-non-profit.shtml
 

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I would definitely be wary of this job. I agree completely with the other replies.

Without the backing of a company certified in mold removal, offering a guarantee that the mold is removed and/or will not return is just begging for trouble...

I would bring in a company specializing in mold removal. Let them know this is your customer, and you would like them to handle the mold removal only. You will complete all the finish work (or whatever aspect of the job you wish to keep "in house")...

If your customer will not give you the necessary time to "make you comfortable about this job", I would make sure they sign a contract with a disclaimer stating "you offer no guarantees pertaining to mold".

Even if they sign off on the disclaimer, I would insist that mold measuring equipment be left on site and monitored regularly (for a comfortable period of time) to ensure the area doesn't become a potential health hazard.



Good Luck,
 

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Run, do not walk, away from this job. the liability is huge, and to be honest, you definitely do not have the expertise to do it. More important than the liability, is the health of all of those kids. Do you want to do anything to jeopardize them?
 

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Good morning:

After reading your posting, the only move you should make is to "STOP!"

Based on what I have read and without seeing the site, you are opening yourself and the school to all types of liability issues. In addition, the health of the children could be put at risks.

While I am in Florida and am headed your way, a restoration company that I ocassionally work with has people there and the owner will be there on Saturday.

I have a 16 year restoration/insurance adjuster background, and I will list multiple reasons why you should stop work, and, then, actual options can be outlined for both you and the owner of the school.

Unfortunately, during a flood, most properties are not covered for insurance, and, keep in mind, that the costs to properly repair this building is a lot cheaper than what you will be facing from the attorney's of the children.

I had an 18 year old day care that I have been doing work on have water
come in the building. It was mostly in one spot but and the teachers got the
water out immediately so there wasnt any standing water. The water came under 2
doors and it also seeped through the brick where there was rising water outside
of the building. I was asked to come look at it, assess the damage and give my
opinion/price of the fix.

As others have said, this is considered Category 3 Black Water. There are also Category 1 Clean Water and Category 2 Gray Water. These categories classify potential degree of contaminants and microorganisms in the water.

With Category 3, Personal protection equipment should be worn, certain items must be disposed of, there are various cleaning and sealing procedures, etc.

There are no short cuts, unless you are looking for a lawsuit.

My first instinct is to be overly cautious considering it is a day care and
the potential of a lawsuit with any possible mold issue.

Very true.

I have a moisture meter that is designed for wood but I have been using it to test the drywall in random places.

Wood meters are for wood. There are meters for drywall, and the moisture detection does not tell you what is behind the wall.

If the rooms were just drywall there would be no dilemma i would just cut the drywall a little above where it was wet and replace it.

Wrong. See my Category listings above.


But the problem is that there is frp on the walls with sheetrock behind it. the owner of the day care is reluctant to spend too much money but is even more reluctant to do
anything to jeopardize the kids being able to stay there.

At this point, act on the side of caution. The restoration field is a specialized field. The philosophy of a restorer is to restore, then replace, not, remove and replace.

Your first order of business is to ask for help or advice, as you have done. I commend you on this. Because of all of the variables involved, you sometimes need to take a step back, consult and evaluate the whole situation. Once a game plan is devised, you can, then, educate the owner with the proper information. Knowing cost is an issue, so is health and liability. With all of my customers, I not only tell them what I am doing, but why I am doing something, so they understand that I am acting in their best interest.

Owners like to kept in the loop and not get hit with hidden costs, after the fact.

YOU CAN STILL BE A HERO ON THIS JOB.

so i can only do the work this weekend. i have taken all of the base and shoe molding off and sprayed the whole area with a bleach mix. there is a specific spot that is worse than the rest that i am going to pull the frp off and check the scene behind it. i
guess my question is about mold.

Without knowing the size of the room or work area or actual conditons, I can only guess and tell you this is more than a weekend job. Once a game plan is established, chemicals need to be sprayed, containment needs to be built, dehumidifiers need to be set up, moisture readings, photos and documentation needs to be established.

in this situation i know there is going to be mold forming behind the walls and i know that the correct thing to do is to pull all of the frp down and be safe rather than sorry but there is a lot of money to be lost with doing this. what are your opinions if i just put new molding down and seal it from the inside? will everything eventually dry? or the fact that it is behind the wall with no ventilation cause the mold to never die?

Losing money on this job will be the least of your worries if you do the job wrong and problems develop after the fact. If and, when, something later goes wrong or reservices, consultants will be hired and they will discover what you tried to cover up.

I need your opinions ASAP. I need to make a move this weekend.

Call me and I will provide more direct answers, once I learn more detailed information, and I will get you immediate help in your area.

Mark
210-823-3864
 

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To ChrWright:

Your welcome. If questions involve to much feedback, I try to list the key highlights and ask to call for more info.

I can literally be reached 24/7.

To dhrone: I hope you reply.

General comment:

Although I have only been posting for a short time, I notice that a lot of members post to get immediate or prompt help or responses; members post a response; and, then, they never come back.

This is almost like not returning phone calls.

I only comment because I am very big on communication. Have spent 15 years in So. Cal., a cell phone is a "way of life." I provide my customers 24/7 access to myself, and, I expect others that work with me or hope to work with me to respond immediately to my phone calls........not a day or two later.

I look forward to giving feedback to others as best I can.
 

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InsuranceClaims is right, stop where you are now and really evaluate this job. I worked for a stint with a restoration company and they have very specific procedures that are used when dealing with mold.

Yes, it can usually be fixed fairly quickly, but you need to leave the mold remediation to the experts. They have the right equipment like moisture meters, fans, dehumidifiers, air injection units that force air into the walls, air scrubbers, HEPA vacs, and chemicals like Microban, AnaShield, and others for getting rid of mold. Just bleach will not do it.

Sorry to get you down, but you need to be aware of the issues and liability you could face here.

Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
All I did was put new molding up as a temporary aesthetic fix.

The bottom plate was very wet. I let it dry 48 hours before I put the trim back over it. I am in talks with the owner currently as to getting a specialist out there asap.

I don't know if this changes anything but this wasnt flood water in the sense of water coming in from an overflowing river. This was water caused by excessive rain and poor exterior drainage. the site is on a hill and while the contaminants from right outside of the building probably came in that was it. I am not sure that classifies this as black water or not.

I do not feel good about this at all and if anyone has some names of people in the Atlanta area to look at it that would be great.
 

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All I did was put new molding up as a temporary aesthetic fix.

The bottom plate was very wet. I let it dry 48 hours before I put the trim back over it. I am in talks with the owner currently as to getting a specialist out there asap.

I don't know if this changes anything but this wasnt flood water in the sense of water coming in from an overflowing river. This was water caused by excessive rain and poor exterior drainage. the site is on a hill and while the contaminants from right outside of the building probably came in that was it. I am not sure that classifies this as black water or not.

I do not feel good about this at all and if anyone has some names of people in the Atlanta area to look at it that would be great.
I am guessing you are licensed and insured? If so, keep in mind there isn't enough coverage if you get into a situation you are not qualified to deal with.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I am guessing you are licensed and insured? If so, keep in mind there isn't enough coverage if you get into a situation you are not qualified to deal with.
No i am not. I am in more of a handyman role with this person. i have written her two strongly worded emails and documented my concerns. i linked this thread. i feel that i have done everything i can.
 

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I left you a long posting, and my name and number to call 4 days ago.

I may be in a meeting from 8:30 to 9:30 AM. You can call as soon as you get this posting.

If I don't answer, leave a message, and I will call back ASAP.

Mark
210-823-3864


-------------------------

As i said in my first posting, I focus strictly on insurance property damage claims (disasters, water, wind, fire, odor, structural drying).

I can't help if you don't call...........not only with the work, but, more importantly, in dealing with the customer.

Were you planning on e-mailing me any photos as requested?

If you can't call my number, give me a number I can call and time.

Thanks.

Mark
 
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