The Leak Won’t Stop If You Ignore It
Several months ago, SERVPRO of Sussex County responded to a call from a very smelly business. After a thorough inspection our technicians found that the source was water intrusion which caused growth and mildew. It was as if someone had opened a gym bag left to ferment for several weeks. The lobby smelled like the most intense “locker room / body odor” smell that we have ever encountered. Obviously, the business owner was concerned that this would not be good for business.
The structure was over 25 years old and it was a surprise to no-one that there were structural problems. We found water leaking through windows and worse. Over time, this water saturated carpets and flooring. Because it was unnoticed for so long, proper drying never occurred; hence the intense odor. The window sills and frames were also showing signs of water damage as well.
We immediately placed air movers and air scrubbers. We also recommended an Industrial Hygienist be contacted in order to inspect and provide a protocol for mitigation. The Industrial Hygienist recommended that all of the affected windows be removed and replaced immediately. We agreed with this protocol, and advised out customer accordingly. SERVPRO of Sussex County knows many trustworthy local contractors who perform these services. We put our customer in touch with a local window contractor and proceeded to remove the smell and the growth.
In early October, we got another call from the same business after a weekend of heavy rain. This time they had suffered flooding damage with standing water and saturated carpets. Drywall and flooring throughout the basement and first and second floors had been thoroughly affected. We soon came to learn that the business chose to ignore our advice and keep their failing windows.
Once again, our team responded and applied extraction, placement of drying equipment, air scrubbers and deep cleaning. Between the two losses the business incurred thousands of dollars in remediation expense.
There is an old saying that goes “You can pay me once or pay me twice.” Which implies that if a lesson is not learned initially – more expense will occur. If the business had acted on the advice given by the Hygienists and our recommendations – the second loss would never have happened. These types of problems do not fix themselves and when a business or a resident is offered sage advice to prevent future issues time and money will be saved by taking action.