water damage mitigation mold remediation

A Small Leak Leads to A Big Problem

We have written previously on how water damage can lead to a mold problem. Well, it’s happened again, but this time with a new twist.

DIY Goes Awry

Three weeks prior to calling our team, a homeowner had been doing some DIY repairs in his laundry room when the water supply line to his washing machine snapped. Water was spraying everywhere! It took about five minutes of scrambling to get the water turned off.

The homeowner quickly got to work cleaning up the veritable lake of water in his home, and was diligent enough to place fans in the rooms to help dry the carpet and other flooring.

Then it was time to fix the plumbing issue and turn the water back on. After the small project turned into a day-long affair, he hoped the worst was behind him. Unfortunately, he was not so lucky.

Surveying the Damage

After about three weeks, the homeowner called our team to discuss his situation. He was specifically interested in verifying that he had dried everything out appropriately, and would not have a mold problem due to water damage.

Using moisture meters, we detected elevated moisture levels in building materials in the laundry room, as well as the adjacent bathroom and study. We found wet subfloor in the laundry room and under the bathroom tile and carpet in the study, wet baseboards and drywall in all three rooms, and wet wall studs and bottom plates between the rooms.

After finding mold growing on the carpet tack strip, behind the baseboards and on the subfloor, we knew we would have to dig a little deeper. On to the crawlspace! Inside the crawl space, it was apparent that the extent of the damage was much more than we could see from inside the house. Water had filled the wall cavity behind the washer, but then it had worked its way out of the wall, under the flooring, and between the two layers of subfloor.

Directly under the leak, the water had been trapped in the subfloor between the vinyl floor covering and the floor insulation. Knowing this, the subfloor still seemed too saturated. It was hard to believe that a leak from three weeks ago had resulted in this much water.

Getting Down to the Source

Upon further inspection, we realized that the supply line was still leaking! It was a small, almost imperceptible leak, but enough to keep the floors completely saturated. Water was even dripping down into the crawlspace and puddling beneath the house. Mold had begun growing in the crawl space on the subfloor above the floor insulation.

After a thorough inspection, we were able to present the homeowner with a full explanation of the extent of damage and a plan for complete water damage mitigation and mold remediation. Although no one wants to find out their problem is bigger than expected, this homeowner is happy that we found the true extent of his problems so that he can get it fixed once and for all.

If you’ve experienced a water damage event, don’t risk incomplete water damage mitigation that can leave you with hidden damage and a potential mold problem. Call professionals to ensure the water is completely removed, and before performing repairs, get in touch to schedule a post mitigation mold inspection.