Improper Drying of Hardwood Floors: A Costly Mistake

It’s a bad day when the local YMCA suffers a destructive roof leak that soaks beautiful hardwood gym floors and several adjacent studio spaces. But to compound the damage, the mitigation company hired to dry out the affected spaces made matters far worse. The company chose an improper drying method ill-suited to the facility situation -- one that dried the affected ceilings and walls but isolated the damaged floors so they didn’t properly dry. As a result, significant mold growth quickly grew out of hand. In all, almost 300 square metres of hardwood flooring became so contaminated with mould that it had to be removed and replaced entirely. Proper drying done initially would have enabled a far less expensive remediation and a quick return of the gym and studios to use. Instead, the total tab grew to $60,000 for microbial remediation, tear-out expense to remove damaged hardwood, and new flooring installation. In order to minimize member disruption, all work was performed after hours.

Lessons learned by the Y management team? Periodic roof inspections are part and parcel of sound damage prevention and a good maintenance program. Also, the reputation, qualifications and experience of remediation and restoration companies should never be overlooked.