Why is it so important to deal with a water loss promptly?
First of all, the quicker a water loss is corrected – the less probable mold is to develop. If dried properly (within 2 – 3 days of occurrence) a water loss is unlikely to allow mold growth to begin. Secondly cost of an ignored water loss is much like measuring an earthquake. The longer it goes the more damage it does and the more expensive it becomes to recover. Like the Richter scale measurement of an earth quake – water losses become stronger as the scale (time) goes up – not by 2X or 3X - but exponentially – possibly by 10X or more with each missed opportunity to mitigate the loss.
Let’s use a leaking dishwasher in a kitchen as an example. The loss is likely to go on for a little while, or at least until the floor in front of the dishwasher begins to show puddling. If found quickly and repaired and dried promptly the cost for this could be $500 to complete. Now we let it go for a couple weeks before doing anything about it and the costs begin to grow. Mold has begun to form behind and under the dishwasher – the cabinet structure has begun to swell. This is probably gong to run into the $1000-$1500 range. Allow the loss to continue to 2 weeks and you’re probably going to have to replace some cabinetry – add another $500 for this. Ok – Now we just ignore the problem for a month – We’re running into more extensive damage now. Cabinetry along the entire dishwasher wall has been affected and the walls behind them
are in full mold bloom (but no mold is yet visible beyond the cabinetry). The full wall of cabinetry will have to be removed to get to the wall damage. If the counter tops are granite we have to worry about breakage during this step! The face frames on the cabinetry can be saved, but the boxes will have to be custom built to replace the damaged ones. Containment will have to be set to counteract the spread of mold during the job process. Filtration machinery will have to be used throughout the job to stop cross contamination of the rest of the living space in the home during the work process. Costs for this level of damage can run into $10,000 to $15,000 – big money in anyone’s book!
OK – Now we totally ignore the problem – the home goes to a sale and the loss is not disclosed. The buyer discovers the loss after the sale and NOW we get lawyers involved! At this stage the original $1000 loss begins to work into the $50,000 range with real damages and punitive damages combined. Or worse – there is no sale - the leak is repaired but the structure is not remediated. At this point the loss dries and the mold goes dormant. As it dries and enters dormancy the release of spores from the mold begins to have health effects on the occupants. I don’t even want to speculate on the costs involved in the health recovery process as well as the repair of the property. Let us just say that $100,000 could be well within reason. Anecdotally - We’ve have had clients that have gone to this extreme and the recovery time for their health problems related to mold have taken years to correct.
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I can not stress strongly enough the effect that time has on the severity and expense of remediating a water loss.
A loss should be addressed AS SOON AS IT IS DISCOVERED!
A loss should also be
addressed by a contractor
trained to perform the work properly and professionally.
The contractor should be able to provide proof that he is properly insured and should be able to provide client referrals on request.
The contractor should be able to provide a firm bid for the work to be performed.
I can’t guarantee that following the above will take all the surprises out a remediation, but I can tell you that you will be less likely to incur the wrath of escalating cost if you do. If you want to get competing bids for work – Have Westlife inspect the loss, set the limits for the loss and produce a full written remediation protocol for the bids to be based on. We do all this for only our base fees. We help you to protect your wallet from misdirected loss handling by the best intentioned contractor. Westlife works solely for our client’s interest – please allow us to help you through the difficult times of a remediation.