Looking for Hidden Mold – A Real Life Example

Looking for Hidden Mold with a Guided Tour from a Mold Professional

This is a video of the main level of a 6,000 Sq. foot high-end home that had significant visible mold in the basement. We knew we had hidden mold in the main level, due to water damage from a broken pipe on the 2nd level. This water damage caused sections of the ceiling in the main level to fall down and warping of the hardwood floors. However, there no “visible mold damage”. The main level is full of custom bookcases, molding, trim work, and no signs of visible mold. In this video, we walk you through the main level of this home through the perspective of a professional mold remediator of what to look for when searching for hidden mold.

We apologize for the audio quality. My wife had to do the video for me because I have been out of commission due to a recent battle with a staph infection, read my previous post “How Mold Saved My Life” for the story. She has to be in full hazmat gear due to the air quality of the home and she had a cold to boot. Despite the audio being muffled, the content and education of how to look for hidden mold are priceless. Join us as we walk with a mold professional to find hidden mold!

About The Mold Expert – Ben Fetzer

Ben Fetzer with FreshStart Restoration Mold Remediation Company

Ben Fetzer, is the founder and owner of FreshStart Restoration of Kansas City. He is passionate about informing and educating you as the customer. By providing you with insider industry information, he empowers you with knowledge and tools to properly compare companies and spot unethical sales practices. Which unfortunately is far too common in the mold remediation industry. In this video, he will share stories, tips, and insider industry information to help you make the right decision for your mold problem! Ben is an experienced mold expert with over 13 years in the industry! He has received official training and certifications from the IICRC, ICRA, and NORMI for mold removal, mold testing, mold inspections, indoor air quality, and water damage restoration. His history of high integrity and honesty has made him a leader in the mold remediation industry with award-winning customer service! Providing customers with an outstanding customer experience has produced a consistent history of 5-Star customer ratings since the company began in 2008!


Video Transcript of Looking for Hidden Mold:

This is Katie with Fresh Start Restoration and I’m gonna walk you through the job site we’ve got going,. This is a high-end home. See, as soon as walk through the door of the garage, we see mold or water damage on the first wall. Then we walk in and we immediately see a hole in the ceiling. And no, our crews did not make that hole. That was done from water damage. And we go into a joining a laundry room. We’ve removed a lot of debris out of this room. There was a lot of personal content left and insulation and drywall that’s fallen. And uh, we’ve removed that in preparation for our demolition crew to come in and yank cabinets and pull all of the drywall and building materials. So, we are going to close this door. Maybe it, the first thing you notice when you walk in is everything’s a mess. When we walked in and we could barely walk over all the debris of drywall on the floor. 

Let’s go into the kitchen, First thing you notice is all the damage to the hardwood floors or cabinets which we removed the doors, the contents and all the shelving in preparation for demolition. And we see this nice big swell in the hardwood floor. This is an extreme warping, even in the basement below the subfloor has warped to the same shape as the hardwood due to such extensive water damage and in the dining room. All of this is a very nice high end home, has sustained significant damage. All the hardwood floors are completely toast. Majority of the cabinets you cannot see, but they are covered in mold on the back end behind them. And they are no not salvageable. So all of this and they’ll appliances will be being pulled tomorrow. You can see the extensive water damage that came from the floor above. Through our ceiling, which is on the verge of collapsing, uh, so that will all come down. The entire ceiling will be dropped. You can see significant damage on the doorway post.

As we walk into the dining room. Beautiful formal dining room that has also sustained significant water damage. It too, the ceiling to have dropped and all of the woodwork, beautiful woodwork. There’s the drywall that dropped and the mall that’s developed on it. And then you see all of the hardwoods, crown molding, and paneling has developed hidden mold and is pealing, and more of the ceiling is damaged. So this project goes all the way to the top floor, the second floor, through to the main level and then down into the basement. So all of these hardwoods, carpet, and majority of the drywall and molding will all have to come out.

Here is our living room and as you can see this is where the majority of the damage is. There was a main water pipe on the third level that burst in the middle of winter. This house was vacated in October and no one winterizes the pipes and they had a pipe break and no one was here to catch it and that’s what caused such significant water damage. So, the pipe broke just above the ceiling and the ceiling is there on the floor. We have significant damage throughout the entire floor. All of this beautiful crown molding and custom woodwork is all going to have to come out due to the damage of water trapped behind it. We’re pretty certain that we have significant mold damage behind all of the woodwork. In addition, if you walk over here to the windows, you will see the paneling due to the moisture having pulled away from the wall. All of this is an indication of water damage and mold probably being developed from being trapped, so trapped water is a huge cause of mold. So this is our main level.

We’ll walk into the master bath/bedroom. Here’s a guest bath. It doesn’t look too bad, but all the floors have warped due to moisture. The homeowners left the place a mess. So the majority of the main level you just saw, because we cleaned up the content. But we have significant watermarks down the wall here in the master bedroom showing that the water probably came across the ceiling and then down the wall. So even though this area doesn’t look as bad, we’re concerned that when we get in here and started inspecting, we’re going to find mold as well. We’re just going to have to see what the demolition guys find. There’s some discoloration on the ceiling which is indicative of a water leak. So all of that is an indication that we will very likely have mold in this room, if not due to moisture in the home being elevated, due to water damage, from the floor above. Our master bathroom. I am not walking in front of the mirror in my mode suit, sorry guys. But as you can see the previous homeowners kind of left in a hurry and left everything a mess. So we get the lovely job of coming in and cleaning up for them as well as the molded areas. So this area doesn’t look too bad. We’re really hoping we can salvage the master bathroom, but it really just depends on what we find in the walls once we start opening up. So we will do a video after we’ve done all of our demolition on this level and show you what we ended up pulling and what we ended up keeping. Now let’s go down to the basement and we will see what’s down there.