Landscape Contractor / Design Build Maintain

AUG 2018

LC/DBM provides landscape contractors with Educational, Imaginative and Practical information about their business, their employees, their machines and their projects.

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Haunted House in July by Mark Sosnowitz, M.G., LC/DBM Above According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Stachybotrys chartarum or Stachybotrys atra, also known as black mold, can grow, fueled by the presence of constant moisture, on material with a high cellulose content such as fiberboard and gypsum board. Additionally, wood and wood products are referred to as "particularly conducive" to molds' growth. F For many years, landscapers have been re- pairing and replacing flagstone terraces, pa- tios and wood decks that are badly in need of the work. Usually they are tied into the house structure, and these junctures can break down from age, stress, weather and/or lack of maintenance. These areas can contain black mold, ter - mites, bugs, rot or water damage and if they do, you have a responsibility to let the home - owner know the situation and what has to be done to fix it. An experience I had recently, though not a landscaping job per se, will still im - part a valuable lesson on how to iden- tify and remediate these problems. The Backstory June and July in the northeastern United States is a good time to prep the outside woodwork of a house and paint it: on the average every 5-6 years. The first few days we typically remove the shutters and other items and start to replace any rotten wood and trim. Every once in a while you get a house that the owner let go a little too long. The one in this story was a 21-year-old residence with ce - dar siding that hadn't been painted since con- struction. My company was hired to replace a few boards and paint the trim on the house. The siding itself wasn't terrible considering its age, but upon removal and inspection, all the structural wood and installation had been infested with black mold, mildew, and rotted with soaked rainwater. So what happened here to add up to all this devastation? 1) An architect was paid to draw drawings but not paid to stay on for any supervision. 2) No construction manager was hired or used on site. 3) The builder either didn't have a set of specs to build by or the contractor disre- garded them. 4) Doors, windows, sills, corners, edges and rooflines had no flashing or proper Tyvek pa - per installed. 18 LC DBM Black Mold and Mildew Engulfs Entire House Left Here, after the affected wood was cut out, the loose material on the ground was removed, the concrete wall was sealed and waterproofed, and new wood was installed. The ground under the deck was dressed with gravel as one of the last tasks.

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