Between August 26 and 29, 2017, Hurricane Harvey deposited more than 40 inches of rain over Houston, Texas. As the result of the storm, catastrophic flooding occurred throughout much of southeast Texas. In the post storm response, ESE’s state licensed mold professionals provided restoration and mold consulting services to a nationally known multifamily development and management company. One of the company’s communities had been completed in west Houston just the year prior to the storm. The property was located within the immediate proximity of the primary spillway/outfall of the Barker Reservoir, a regional flood control structure within the Buffalo Bayou watershed. Concerns associated with the integrity and discharge of the Barker Reservoir, received extensive national attention both during and after the storm. As the result of the storm, the property was affected with floodwater from the hurricane and from the large volume of storm water released from the Barker Reservoir. The property was inundated with approxiamtely three (3) feet of flood water. Residual flood waters remained within the structure for a period of several weeks due to the continuous discharge of water from the Barker Reservoir. Once flood water receded, ESE worked with a restoration contractor’s catastrophe team to salvage the year old 400-unit multifamily structure.
Based upon ESE’s initial site inspection, it was apparent that 100% of first floor units, as well as all common areas, had been extensively affected with flood water. Flood-related water damage and visible mold on the ground floor was extensive. ESE prepared a remediation protocol to address the mold-affected building materials (MABMs) inclusive of a post remediation testing regiment. Under ESE’s direction, the mold remediation of the facility was completed in accordance with the Institute of Inspection and Cleaning and Certification (IICRC) guidance as well as State of Texas Mold Regulations. Based upon the extensive level of damage, a nonaggressive blast media was employed on structural framing in combination with U.S EPA-registered biocides/sterilizers to remove mold, water staining, and odors. The non-aggressive blast media, recommended by ESE, was extremely effective in returning the structural framing to a near pre-flood appearance. At the completion of the mold remediation, ESE conducted post remediation inspections and sampling. The post remediation inspections and sampling activities demonstrated that residual fungal spores and objectionable bacteriological indicators were not present or were well within expected ranges. At the completion of the remediation process, an antimicrobial coating was applied to the lower 6-feet of wood-framing and the first floor was rebuilt and re-occupied.