Being in the environmental consulting field, we encounter all sorts of situations and all types of people. We regularly work with homeowners who believe they may have a problem and help them to set forth a course of action when issues are found, we assist people after cleanup projects have occurred in verifying that work was performed correctly, we work on behalf of property owners to ensure their tenants environments are safe, and we oftentimes are called in by the tenants themselves who believe they are at risk due to mold and moisture issues that are not being properly addressed by the property owner. Regardless of who our client is in any of these situations, we follow the same guidelines and provide recommendations in an unbiased manner.
In certain cases, we are lucky enough to actually be a part of bettering people’s lives, and I can tell you those are the projects that we appreciate the most. We have encountered people and situations that when all is said and done, we can go home happy with our head held high knowing that we did something good.
When I think back over all of the thousands of people we have worked with over the years, one story always comes to mind that puts a smile on my face, and I wanted to share that with all of you. This one happens to come from a renter’s point of view.
We were originally contacted by the mother of a renter. Her son was an aspiring college student who was living in a student rental home. Unfortunately, he had been dealing with pretty significant health issues that his doctors were having a hard time pinpointing the source of. Eventually, the idea of potential mold exposure was brought to the table, and some advanced testing confirmed that he was being exposed to mold, and the first question that typically comes up in these situations is what are the living conditions like. Apparently there were a lot of known moisture issues in his rental home that were not being addressed properly by the landlord, so it appeared that was a potential source of the mold exposure.
The mother then made many attempts with the landlord and eventually the associated city inspectors to have the home properly assessed and any potential issues resolved. But, as we hear from many of our clients, she was told that her concerns were not justified and that the home appeared to be safe.
Frustrated, the Mother in our story continued her pursuit of addressing the problem, and decided that having an independent assessment of the home performed on her behalf was her next best option which is obviously where we come in. She hired us to perform a detailed mold inspection and testing of home, and through our methods we were able to confirm that there was in fact a mold problem within the home where her son was spending large amounts of time. Additionally, at the request of her son’s doctors we performed highly specialized DNA based method testing within the home which was able to definitively link the mold within the home to the son’s specific mold exposure.
With this new proof in hand, our client was able to remove her son from the unsafe environment without fear of penalty and get him on track with getting healthy. But, our mother wasn’t done there. She also used the information to prove that the home was in need of professional cleaning and as a result actions were reportedly taken which prevented any other students from going through what her son had to.
Often times we don’t hear back from our clients once we assist them in identifying mold and moisture problems and the issues are addressed. In this case though, our client ended up reaching out to us months after the fact. She went out of her way just to thank us for the help we provided, and she also wanted to tell us that her son was on a steady track to recovery and was doing very well. She actually gave us proof of our goal with all of our clients, which is making a difference through ethically sound business practices.
by Brandon Apple, Mold Inspection Sciences