Case Studies

Mold in Commercial Buildings Case Studies: Mold after flood event in realtor office in Belle Mead, NJ

Wednesday, September 7th, 2016 by Bill Cowley


The Mold Solutions by Cowleys team was dispatched to a real estate office in a commercial building, in Belle Mead. NJ. Belle Mead is a small town in Montgomery Township, located in the southern part of Somerset County, about ten miles north of Princeton. 

We were asked to treat mold in two different areas of the building that had mold caused by flooding. Any time there is standing water or high humidity for extended periods inside an enclosed area, mold growth can occur. If a home or commercial structure has had a water intrusion, whether from a leaky pipe, groundwater seepage, flooding, or some other source, there is always the risk of mold growth. Depending on indoor environmental conditions like temperature and humidity levels, mold, a type of fungus, will colonize and spread through its microscopic airborne spores. Fortunately, we called in soon after the flooding, so the mold growth was still localized to certain areas of the building. While mold growth is often found in crawl spaces, basements, and roofs, it can happen anywhere inside a building. All you need is water, the right temperature, and some organic materials for the mold to consume.

A Cowleys mold inspector came out to determine the extent of the mold problem. He located two areas in the building where mold had taken root. The first area was near the water cooler. Here, there was visible mold on the wall and the baseboard trim as well as on the carpet. The other area was by the office cubicles where the realtors had their work stations. There was not as much visible mold in this second area; however, out of an abundance of caution, we thoroughly treated this entire space. We were concerned that there were numerous people were working in a pretty tight quarters, any of whom could have mold sensitivities or a pre-existing respiratory condition like asthma. Mold can substantially impact indoor air quality and cause or exacerbate respiratory problems in many individuals. 


We treated these two areas of the building using or two-component MAPS (Mold Abatement Polymer Solutions) system. We first applied our EPA-registered anti-microbial fungicide (MAPS 1) and, afterwards, thoroughly wiped down the areas to remove any visible mold growth. This initial application, which kills any surface mold as well as any airborne mold spores, is specifically selected for its compatibility with our patented polymer sealant (MAPS 2), our second application. This unique sealant, which is derived from coatings used for medical implant devices, is available only to authorized pest control operators licensed to apply products inside structures. While completely safe and non-toxic to people, this sealant destroys mold at the cellular level. Any mold we treat is rendered inert, harmless, and non-allergenic. The sealant is moisture-sensitive and reactivates to prevent the return of any new mold growth in the treated area, so this product prevents future mold growth as well as treating the mold that is here today.


Mold often stays hidden, especially when it is not growing in the home’s living spaces, and is not discovered until the home inspection of a pending realty sale. Of course, sellers and realtors are concerned that the discovery of mold during the inspection could delay or even kill any pending real estate deal. However, with our treatment treat the mold itself, building materials that have not lost their structural integrity are not removed. As a result, extensive and expensive renovations are avoided, there is no need for the family to relocate, and the sale can proceed with no change in the closing date. Because of our streamlined approach to killing mold by treating it right where the mold sits, homeowners and realtors have been quite pleased. In fact, many of our mold treatment projects come from referrals by real estate agents who have benefitted by not having a pending sale derailed because of a mold problem. So, out of sheer coincidence , this particular project involving mold treatment in a real estate office was a great opportunity to show a group of realtors first-hand the effectiveness of our mold treatment process.

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