Return to the Blog Home Page

Naples FL upstairs unit causes mold problems for our client – 34110

Friday, May 7th, 2021

An unattended upstairs unit in a Naples condo complex sprung a leak, causing water damage to 4 rooms and about 350 sq ft of living space. Unfortunately, this leak also spawned mold growth.

Rytech was called to the scene and quickly stabilized the humidity in the condo structure. The water leak was fixed by the upstairs condo owner and Rytech successfully remediated the mold to our clients satisfaction.

Rytech worked seamlessly with the customer’s insurance company, Tower Hill Insurance to ensure all parties were completely satisfied.

Running water leads to a moldy mess in Saint Johns FL – 34986

Tuesday, April 6th, 2021
On Feb 10, 2021, our client explained to Rytech hat he was hearing water in the back area of his home where his guest bedrooms are located. He told us that he noticed his floors were buckling and he could hear running water. The customer said he called a plumber immediately who found the leak in the wall inside of the guest bedroom closet. The leak was quickly fixed, but our technicians found moisture in the drywall and the laminate flooring inside of the guest bedroom and second bedroom closet.  The drywall has already been cut inside the closet by the plumber before Rytech arrived. Our technicians were able to feel standing water underneath the tub and, inside of the closet the shelves were beginning to separate and warp. They needed to be removed. Rytech technicians quickly cleaned up the remaining standing water. 
Pictures of wet readings in all affected areas were taken with our moisture reading equipment. In the hallway and bathroom, elevated moisture readings were found in the drywall.
The two bedroom doors were sealed up with six mill plastic and ‘do not enter’ signs were taped to the containment door. The AC vents were sealed off and our techs began moving items out of the closets. We removed the remaining laminate in the guest bedroom and took all of the content placed it in the second guest room and it wrapped with six mill plastic.
Pictures were taken of the demo completed in the 2 closets.  Once the shelving was removed we cut two feet up on the affected walls to ensure complete removal of all mold from this water datama. The backside of the drywall above 2 feet had no mold and was clean. The studs were metal so we wiped them down with anti microbial wipes to ensure no future thread of mold. The exterior wall inside of the closet was removed and wooden studs and plywood were exposed. They were sanded and the wiped down with anti microbial spray to ensure no mold growth.

Finally, we opened up the wall inside of the closets to expose a cavity where the tub was installed. We sealed up  all of these areas with six mill plastic to avoid contaminated air from entering the environment. Equipment was cleaned, walls were scrubbed and the floors were sprayed and wiped. After the anti microbial cleaning, each room was fogged and the homeowners property was ready for testing to ensure all mold was remediated properly.

Rytech processed the claims for the homeowner directly with his insurance American Integrity Insurance and our homeowner was safe to return to his mold-free home!

Plumbing Leaks: 10 Fast Facts

Thursday, February 4th, 2021
plumbing leaks

While a variety of malfunctions and mishaps may be a potential cause of home water damage, common plumbing leaks are number one. The network of supply plumbing that distributes water under pressure throughout the house, the drain pipes that carry away wastewater, and the various fixtures and appliances connected to this system present many potential scenarios for plumbing leaks. Here’s a miscellany of fast facts about the causes, effects, and prevention of home plumbing leaks.

  • The Environmental Protection Agency estimates that plumbing leaks from all homes in the U.S. total one trillion gallons annually.  
  • Leaks from household water supply lines account for most plumbing-related water damage.
  • Major plumbing leaks due to total pipe ruptures are most often the result of internal pipe corrosion or frozen pipes that burst during frigid winter weather.
  • Inspecting water supply lines regularly for leakage is a good preventive measure. Check supply lines under sinks in kitchens and bathrooms as well as those connected to toilets and to washing machines, dishwashers, and refrigerator ice makers.
  • Pinhole leaks in copper water supply lines often appear insignificant. However, a pinhole can be external evidence of extensive internal pipe corrosion. Pinholes should be considered an advance warning of a potential pipe rupture that could occur at any time.
  • Sink and bathtub drain pipes aren’t under pressure, but can still leak considerable water at joints and seals. Look for drips under sinks and check out any unexplained pooling on floors around bathtubs and showers.
  • A dripping faucet is a leaky faucet. A single faucet dripping once per second due to a leaking internal cartridge wastes over 3,000 gallons per year.  
  • Dark spots on a downstairs ceiling may indicate plumbing leaks in a bathroom upstairs. Typical sources are bathtub/shower supply pipes or drain pipes routed through the bathroom floor.
  • Moisture from hidden or ignored plumbing leaks is a major trigger for toxic mold growth that can infect the entire house.
  • Note any unexplained increases in your water bill. They may be evidence of undiscovered plumbing leaks from a water supply line in a crawl space or other hidden area.

Leaky And Wet Basements: A Disaster In The Making

Tuesday, March 14th, 2017

leaky basementLeaky and wet basements pose a threat to home and health. A source of perpetual moisture just beneath your living spaces, a chronically wet basement creates issues that—unfortunately—don’t stay down in the basement. Deterioration from chronic basement moisture compromises the structural integrity of the house. Critical whole-house systems such as HVAC and electrical located in the basement are also vulnerable to water damage. Leaky and wet basements provide an ideal environment for toxic mold growth that spreads contamination throughout the entire home.

Moisture accumulation in a basement generally results from one or more of these sources:

  • Ground water rising or outdoor rainwater seeping downward into the basement.
  • High levels of indoor water vapor caused by an unvented clothes dryer, a bathroom and/or kitchen added to the basement and even residual moisture contained within the concrete foundation and walls that gradually weeps into the basement.
  • Dripping condensation as humid air condenses on cooler basement fixtures, particularly plumbing pipes typically routed there.

To mitigate basement moisture sources, several alternatives—often in combination—must be considered:

  • Where a high water table is pushing water up through the foundation, install a sump pump in the basement floor. If soaking outdoor rain is penetrating basement walls, verify that the landscape gradient diverts water away from the home. Make sure roof gutters aren’t clogged and downspouts discharge water at least four feet from the house. Installation of a french drain in the ground around the perimeter of the foundation also conveys soaking water away from the house.
  • Remove accumulating water vapor from the basement by installing exhaust fans that move moist air outdoors. Vent any appliances such as dryers or stoves.
  • Reduce basement condensation by installing slip-on foam pipe insulation on exposed water lines. Consider using a dehumidifier to continuously dry basement air.
  • Where toxic mold growth is suspected, get an inspection by a certified mold remediation professional to verify the presence of mold and specialized treatment to locate and neutralize active growing mold.

For more information about dealing with the causes and consequences of leaky and wet basements, contact Rytech, Inc.

 

Troubleshooting Low Water Pressure & Other Common Home Plumbing Issues

Tuesday, October 18th, 2016

Low water pressure becomes an annoyance impossible to ignore. Every time you enter a dribbling shower, open a kitchen tap and get anemic flow, or wait for what seems like an hour for the washing machine to fill, you’re reminded of this problem. Since low water pressure doesn’t fix itself and may in fact only get worse, simply ignoring the situation indefinitely isn’t much help. The sooner you address the issue, the better.

low water pressureLow water pressure may be a simple fix or simply one symptom of another, more fundamental household plumbing problem that requires professional attention. Here are some of the common causes:

  • Main shutoff valve not fully open. It’s a no-brainer, but worth checking. Sometime in the past, someone may have shut off water to the house at the main valve, then failed to fully re-open it all the way. Check your valve and see if you can open it any further. Don’t try to force it. If you still suspect the valve, ask a plumber to investigate further.
  • Defective pressure regulator. Most municipal water is at a pressure too high for residential plumbing. A regulator located at the water meter or somewhere on the main water line reduces pressure to safe limits, usually between 40 and 80 psi. If the regulator is defective or improperly adjusted, household water pressure may be too low. A plumber can check the regulator and adjust or replace as necessary.
  • Mineral deposits in pipes. Naturally occurring mineral content in municipal water — mostly calcium carbonate — accumulates inside water pipes over time, gradually reducing water pressure in the whole house. This is a worsening, systemic problem that requires a comprehensive solution to restore normal pressure. Usually, re-piping the supply lines in the house with copper or PEX pipe is the best alternative.
  • Underground leak. A leak in the main supply line may show few obvious signs on the surface yet still reduce water pressure in the house. Detecting and locating underground leaks requires the skills and tools of a qualified plumber.

For more information on low water pressure issues, ask the experts at Rytech, Inc.

If a Leak Occurs, Do You Know Where to Find Your Plumbing Shut-Off Valve?

Thursday, September 4th, 2014

leaky plumbingWhen a serious plumbing leak strikes, knowing the location of the household water shut-off valve and how to operate it quickly can make the difference between a small mop-up and major water damage recovery. A ruptured supply line can pour hundreds of gallons of water into your home, and when this is happening, time is of the essence. Shutting off the water at the water shut-off valve should be your first priority.
(more…)

Suspect Mold in Your Home? The Many Potential Causes of This Fungus

Friday, May 2nd, 2014

Suspect Mold in Your Home? The Many Potential Causes of This FungusDormant microscopic mold spores exist in almost any house, but the causes of active mold growth in the home all have one common denominator: moisture. Airborne mold spores that infiltrate the home may settle in cracks, crevices and accumulate in hidden areas. Growing active mold, however, only becomes manifest under certain circumstances. Where these conditions exist, mold growth thrives and millions of toxic reproductive spores are released into your indoor environment. It is these active spores that cause acute allergic responses as well as other chronic illnesses attributed to mold contamination. In the typical household, the causes of mold in the home can be attributed to these moisture-related conditions: (more…)