a moldy corner of a home

Mold: What's Lurking Behind the Walls

By: Steve Hembree
June 6, 2023  | 

What is a four-letter word that will send shivers down your spine? You guessed it. Mold. Usually, humans and mold live symbiotically in the world. It stays in its lane, and we stay in ours. Sometimes, mold becomes a pest and needs to be eradicated immediately.

What is Mold?

Mold is a fungus that is in the air we breathe. It’s found inside and outside; it becomes an issue when it lands on a moist surface. It starts multiplying at the rate of one square inch a day and can take over an entire surface in a matter of a few days. This hasty reproduction of spores is why it’s incredibly important to stop mold in its tracks immediately.

Rain and winter

Feeding the Beast

Mold thrives in damp, humid conditions. Rain brings dampness and winter brings warmth, mix the two together and you have a brilliant recipe for breading mold spores.

This year, Southern California had 31 inches of rain, most of which came from January through May. The number of properties with roof leaks or water coming in from doors has spiked to numbers that we haven’t seen in decades. At one time we were handling 16 water leak issues due to the rain. Unfortunately, when a roof leak happens you don’t see the water spot on the ceiling right away. It may take a day or two, or even a month or two, it depends on how much water is poured out of the sky. By the time the water starts dripping from the ceiling, it’s too late. Most likely there is a sea of black spots speckling the interior of the ceiling and attic space.

Woman sad due to molds on wall

True Story

On a property we manage, the resident was experiencing water coming in from the ceiling when it rained. The bedroom is on the 2nd floor. Little did anyone know the water was seeping down the walls to the first floor and was a perfect breeding ground for little black spores of mold. After the rains broke for a few days, the contractor was able to get up on the roof to locate the culprit for the leak.

Not only were there a few tiles missing from the roof, but the largest challenge was also the fireplace covers were missing from the exhaust pipes. These metal covers were the only barrier between the rain waters seeping in and wreaking havoc inside the home.

The initial repair to the roof was just over $1,300. The cost for the remediation was estimated to be over $5,000. When it comes to remediation, sometimes surprises are lurking behind the walls or kitchen cabinets. You just don’t know what you are up against until you open the walls.

Dmaged roof

Another Story

On another property, the roof was well past its prime. It needed replacing for years, and the owner just kept kicking the ball down the road until it ran out of road. This rainy season brought the seriousness of the situation to light. Not only does the owner have to get a new roof for $22,000. Due to the roof leaking into the home, there is another $3,000 of work to be done to one room.

How Can You Save Yourself

At Management One, we strive to provide services that will protect you and your investment property. After personally experiencing $14,000 in damages due to terminate infestation, due to a bare spot in the roofing shingles. I vowed to never let that happen to my clients. Like most of you, the roof and its condition are out of sight out of mind. The resident didn’t mention anything about water leaking so the roof must be in good condition, right? Wrong.

I attended a conference for property managers and saw a presentation from a company that uses drones to inspect roofs. What a great idea! I decided to try it out on my property and low and behold they found damaged shingles. I sent a roofer out to replace the damaged shingles and that’s when the termite damage was noticed.

Had I not experimented with my property, and found all the damage, who knows when we would have found it. The damage would have been exponentially worse.

I decided right then and there that I needed to create a program to offer to all of you, to hopefully mitigate the damage that you might incur.

Man checking roof

I created the “Roof Tune Up Program”, I highly recommend that all of you take advantage of this program while the rains are out of the forecast.

What is the “Roof Tune Up Program”? It is a repair tune-up to avoid damage to your property that can cause termites and mold over the years. Every 5-10 years depending on the roof type, it needs a roof repair tune-up.

Our roofers will go on the roof, and replace any roof tiles or shingles that are missing. Re-caulk around the air vents, chimney, etc., and clean out any downspouts if any, and provide before and after pictures. I had this done on all my properties one year ago and I’m glad I did as I didn’t have any leaks on any of my properties this past rainy season. The time to act is now.

The pricing is as follows:

0-1500 sq ft $450 +/- 15%

1501-3000 sq ft $550 +/- 15%

3001-4500 sq ft $650 +/- 15%

A small investment now that will save you thousands in the future. If you would like your roof inspected, contact our office today, and get in touch with one of our property inspectors.

Want to learn more about protecting yourself, check out this blog on Insurance Loopholes.

Distressed woman with her head in her hands


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