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Don’t Delay Making Mold Repairs In Your San Diego Home: Avoid Double Trouble

Posted on: January 17th, 2013 by Peter Sierck No Comments

During the summer of 2012 the mold inspection and testing team at Environmental Testing & Technology (ET&T), was hired by a condominium association in San Diego, California. Our job was to inspect and make repair recommendations for a bathroom in a high end condominium unit.  During our visual inspection, the consultant discovered wet and moldy building materials. The written report made recommendations to hire a mold remediation company to set up containment to isolate the mold and wet building materials from the rest of the residence. The remediation company was to remove all the moldy and water damaged building materials.  A plumber was to repair the water leak.


ET&T also recommended a follow up inspection called a post remediation verification inspection (clearance testing) to make sure the work had been done correctly. This inspection is to verify that all the moldy and water damaged materials were removed properly.


This post remediation inspection includes several criteria:

  • A visual inspection is done to make sure all the water damaged and moldy materials have been removed
  • Moisture measurements are made to ensure the remaining materials are dry
  • Spore trap air samples are collected to make sure the amount of mold (fungal) spores are low in number and of normal types

If everything looks good, we write a clearance report saying they are ready to remove the containment and rebuilding can start.

A few months later, the ET&T team was at a different job for a mold remediation company and they asked about the moldy bathroom job because they remembered we had done the initial inspection. They had set up the containment and had been put on hold by the condominium association to do any further work.

A few more months went by and the condominium association called us to inspect the unit below the first unit. They thought it now showed signs of mold.  We performed another inspection and found mold growing and wet ceiling materials in the downstairs unit.  We determined the problem came from the upstairs unit.

We learned the upstairs unit had not been repaired yet because they were waiting for matching shower tiles to arrive!

The unit owner wanted both of their bathrooms to have the same tile type and the condominium association didn’t want to replace the tile in the bathroom that didn’t need repairs. The repairs were put on hold while they were waiting for the correct tiles to arrive.

mold in san diego bathroom

Tiled Bath From Upstairs Unit

Now the condominium association had 2 units with mold and water damage to repair!  They had 2 unit owners inconvenienced, the upper unit’s owner for months without one of their bathrooms! All this for matching tile?

Well, after more than 7 months from our original inspection, both units have had the mold remediation work finished and passed the post remediation verification inspection and can now rebuild the bathrooms. We don’t know about the status of the matching tile.

There are at least 2 “better” options the condominium association could have taken instead of delaying the repair:

  1. They could have chosen to have the mold removed and plumbing repaired while waiting for the matching tile to arrive. If they had at least removed the mold and water damaged materials from the upper unit and repaired the water leak they would have prevented most if not all of the damage to the lower unit.
  2. Another option would have been to simply replace the tile in the bathroom that didn’t need repairs and saved over 7 months of frustration and inconvenience for the upstairs unit owner.  It would have been much cheaper and taken less time to change to different tile than to hold off on repairs while waiting for matching tiles to be found!

The lesson here is that you should never delay the remediation of wet and moldy building materials after you’ve found out that there is in fact a problem. You’re not only costing yourself in terms of more money due to additional damage, but you’re also neglecting the indoor environmental hazard that mold brings into your home, condo or office building. You always want to take care of mold problems as soon as possible. If you have areas in your home that you’re unsure about, or have questions about mold testing for your San Diego home call the experts at ET&T 760-424-2259. Our friendly staff is waiting for your call.

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