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The moldy aftermath of Hurricane Harvey

After Hurricane Harvey hit, a lot of Houston property owners faced indoor mold growth issues and the problems that the fungi causes.

With the recent increase in natural disasters, property owners have become increasingly aware of and more concerned about what happens in the aftermath of such events. Several months after the flood waters caused by Hurricane Harvey subsided, much of Houston was still struggling to recover from the damage the storm caused; in particular, indoor mold growth.

According to the National Centers for Environmental Information, Hurricane Harvey caused nearly $125 billion in damages, making it the second most costly hurricane ever to hit the United States. Flooding was responsible for the majority of the damage. Once cleanup and rebuilding was completed, property owners had to contend with another problem: undetected water intrusion that led to mold growth. The undetected moisture was the result of seal failing or from the work of contractors.

Harvey dropped approximately 60 inches of rain on Houston. That amount of rainfall is cause enough for concerns about water intrusion on the ground level, but what about other areas? As business or property owner, the thought that moisture can go undetected until it becomes a major problem became very real. Seals, cracks, and seams that business and homeowners were not aware of all became potential entry points for moisture.

Coping with indoor mold growth that was caused by undetected moisture is a costly endeavor. For business owners, interruption to operations can cause significant financial losses. That, coupled with the cost of remediation made mold growth a serious cause of financial strain for a lot of Houston businesses.

Immediately following Harvey, there was a massive uptick in the amount of submissions from restoration contractors who were looking for insurance. This is very common after a natural disaster that involves flooding; however, the problem with Harvey was that the vast majority of those submissions that were received from companies that were newly formed and had no water restoration experience. Since so many contractors had no experience, reputable insurance carriers were not willing to provide coverage. That led to a situation in which there was a serious need for water restoration services, but there was a shortage of established restoration contractors available, so the only option that many property owners had was to use a newly formed restoration contractor that wasn’t properly insured.

Since so many of those newly formed contractors did not have experience with water restoration, they failed to follow proper protocol for removing damage caused by water intrusion, which led to mold growth. Since so many restoration companies weren’t properly insured, their insurance providers didn’t pay out damages. As a result, property owners had to deal with the mold remediation and its additional financial burden.

Mold Inspection & Testing Houston has vast experience performing mold assessments in commercial and residential properties throughout the city. We strongly recommend that anyone who is affected by flooding or any other form of water damage arrange to have mold testing performed prior to and after remediation services to ensure their safety. To speak with an MI&T representative, call 713.496.0969.

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