At Bay Area Mold Pros, we complete hundreds of mold inspections around the San Francisco Bay Area every year, and at most of our inspections we determine that ground water is contributing to mold growth within the home being inspected. Ground water issues can be addressed with a combination of solutions such as French drains and sump pumps. These systems seek to divert water away from the perimeter of the home, or to remove it (via electric pump) once it has made its way past the perimeter of the home.
One of the most common issues we identify at Bay Area Mold Pros, when inspecting the home’s exterior, is that one or more rain leaders that are draining the roof water are depositing it directly adjacent to the home’s foundation, often on the “high” side of the lot. This condition is exactly the opposite of what we want to see in terms of how rain water is dealt with. Very large amounts of water can be discharged from these rain leaders, since the rain water that they are collecting might be coming from several hundred square feet of roof surface.
The solution to this condition is actually pretty simple. By connecting the bottom of the rain leaders to flexible or rigid plastic pipes, the water from these rain leaders can be re-directed around the home to another part of the property, ideally, at a lower elevation than the elevation occupied by the home. Although this won’t have any affect on the naturally-occurring ground water that surrounds the home, it will prevent the rain water that is coming from the roof from exacerbating the ground water problem present around the home.
At Bay Area Mold Pros we are experts in the construction-related issues which often underlie mold growth problems. Rick is a licensed general contractor and owns his own construction company, Bruce Construction. Tyson holds his own license as a general contractor, and owns his own construction company, Tyson Bruce Construction. Both Rick and Tyson are also Certified Mold Inspectors. But what separates Bay Area Mold Pros from every other mold inspection company in the San Francisco Bay Area is the fact that Rick and Tyson have been building and remodeling homes throughout the San Francisco Bay Area for a combined seventy-plus years. So if you suspect a mold-growth problem in your home in the San Francisco Bay Area, give us a call at Bay Area Mold Pros!
I received a call from the long-term tenants in this old apartment on the peninsula about possible mold growth, and I saw numerous issues which are very likely producing mold growth. My meters detected moisture behind the original wall tile above the bathtub on all three walls, and also under the counter tile to the right of the kitchen sink (depicted in photo below).
The quarter-round tiles across the front of the sink are actually all missing, and the rusted edge of the original cast iron sink is visible. The substrate under this kitchen counter tile is most likely dimensional 1 by 8 lumber, which was commonly used in this era of construction. This substrate has probably been wet for numerous years, and mold spores are likely growing on this substrate.
The tenants told me that their landlord is not very responsive to their requests for repairs, and this is a common lament from my clients who rent their homes and apartments. One of the reasons to have a mold inspection completed in a rental unit is to establish a “paper trail” that can be shared with a landlord who is reluctant to make necessary repairs. If, upon receiving the mold inspection report the landlord is still not willing to have the mold-causing problems addressed, the tenants can utilize the report in any civil action they might pursue. Reports from independent third-party inspection companies can be very useful evidence in civil actions, and serve to bolster the tenant’s case.
Likewise, when scrupulous landlords are maintaining their rental properties, but have tenants who are complaining about issues (such as mold), a report from a certified mold inspection company that the mold spore counts within a rental unit are not “elevated,” this too can be a valuable piece of evidence in a civil case.
I often receive calls from tenants regarding their concerns about mold within their homes or apartments, even though their landlord has assured them that “…there’s nothing to worry about.” The photo below depicts the siding that was removed from a a San Francisco town home after it was discovered that a plumbing supply line was leaking inside this wall.
The landlord sent out his “mold expert,” who took an air sample in the room affected by this plumbing leak (kitchen), and the expert assured the tenants that there was nothing to be concerned about (even though he hadn’t yet had the air sample analyzed by a lab!)
I started using my moisture meters in an effort to determine the extent of the water intrusion, and I found that the drywall on the inside of the wall depicted in the photo was saturated with water. When I tested the base cabinet, which was a “Lazy Susan” base, the back of the cabinet was also saturated, and I could smell mold within the cabinet. I then tested the wall cabinet, and it too was saturated. I took an air sample within the base cabinet, and the lab determined that the mold spore count was elevated (about four times the number of mold spores as the control sample).
The landlord had already told the tenants that his solution to this issue was going to be to run a dehumidifier within the kitchen, but I explained to the tenants that this mold problem had already moved beyond the stage where the problem could be addressed with a dehumidifier, and that both the cabinets and the drywall would need to be removed, and that a full mold remediation (by a certified professional) was needed for their home.
Many of the landlords and property management companies that I deal with are professional and responsible, and want to take whatever steps are necessary to deal with mold problems correctly. But many of the landlords that I deal with decide on a “…penny-wise and pound-foolish…” approach to these problems, and this is when tenants are wise to bring in their own independent mold inspection company.
I always explain to my clients that as an independent mold inspection and testing company, I have “…no dog in this race.” I do not perform any remediation work, so there is no reason for my reports to exaggerate the extent of any mold problem. When the tenants in this case presented their landlord with the report from Bay Area Mold Pros, he agreed to do the right thing and to proceed with a professional remediation.