The Power Of Mold
One of the most dangerous aspects
of water damage is the potential damage that can occur if the problem is not
addressed early on. Nowhere was this
illustrated more clearly than in Chatham VA over the last week, when 50
employees of the Sheriff’s Dept. were evacuated from the department’s Moses
Building. The cause? High levels of mold as the result of water
leaks and flooding in the building’s basement level. Water removal had not been performed.
Since June, many county workers
have been literally working out of their vehicles, with others scattered throughout
other county offices. The Moses Building
will need complete plaster replacement with sheetrock, new lights, ceiling,
floor, and carpeting. Equipment in the
building will need to be cleaned and tested for mold before anyone is allowed
to return to work. The process is
expected to take about five months to complete.
The building has suffered from
water leaks since the 1990s, but it was a basement study conducted a year ago
that found significant mold levels in the air, especially in the bathrooms, kitchen,
and investigators offices. Employees had
missed work in the last year due to respiratory problems.
The building has also had to deal
with a sewage backup resulting from collapsed pipes.
The scattering of employees to
various other county offices has caused a considerable disruption in the flow
of normal county business. Sheriff Mike
Taylor said “It’s hard to conduct (business) with any continuity…it’s hard to
maintain a day to day operation. When
the power goes out, we can’t work.”
The building has other issues as
well, namely that it is not equipped to handle handicapped visitors.
“This is a government building,”
Taylor said. “This is the building that people come to seek answers from their
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