You may associate the brand Anheuser-Busch with their famous beers and breweries around the nation, but a subsidiary of the company- United States Busch Properties, Inc- has been asked to pay over $11.3 million in damages due to mold.
Mold isn?t always bad. Some products that we eat and drink are actually made by using certain types of mold. But ironically, this moldy situation does not have to do with their beverages at all. The subsidiary company owns properties in Williamsburg, Virginia. Over a decade ago, vinyl wallpaper was installed that proved to be a breeding ground for mold and a nuisance for tenants in these condos.
The wallpaper was so impermeable that it prevented moisture from escaping through the walls. Combined with a suitable substrate, such as a cellulose-based condominium wall, the moisture-loving mold thrived in these conditions and affected 192 units at Kingsmill Resort & Spa. According to the insurance claim from Busch, the mold had even spread to units that did not have this wallpaper installed. The $11.3 million was paid from Busch to address damages and fend off future lawsuits from condominium owners. However, the company?s insurance agency- National Union Fire Insurance Company of Pittsburgh- refused to pay Busch Properties? claims, resulting in a lawsuit in 2012. The insurance company stated that they had no obligation to pay Busch until it had exhausted all of its ?underlying limits?, and a judge ruled this Friday in favor of the insurance company. A spokeswomen from Busch lamented the ruling, stating that they were taking full responsibility for the damages, and acting as good property managers in order to keep their tenants healthy.
Here at MVP Environmental Solutions, Inc., we know how important it is to do a complete and detailed evaluation to discover where hidden mold is lurking. It is a common misconception that mold problems only occur when there is visible water damage. What we do as professionals is look for sources that the naked eye might not always see or that you may not always expect- such as colonies of mold underneath wallpaper. Mold produces branch-like appendages called Hypha that extend into your walls like the roots of a tree, which is how the colony enlarges over time. So simply washing off the mold with soap and water will not destroy it. It is wise to consult a professional who can do a thorough remediation. We can even perform an air sampling of your drywall area and determine the exact types of mold that could be affecting you.