Flood and Mold Damage Cost Billions: Revolutionary ThermaPure Heat Treatment May Provide Relief to Insurers and Property Owners

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Whether due to hurricanes or burst pipes, escalating water damage and mold removal costs could run into the tens of billions for insurers and property owners. A rapid heat treatment remediation process could save billions.

For instance, if a consultant specifies removal of a 4-foot perimeter on four walls because moisture has wicked up one, the tear down and build back of showers, cabinets and countertops can significantly increase costs.

For insurers facing extraordinary exposure from Hurricanes Katrina and Rita and losses beyond any other natural disasters in US history, the bad news continues. Serious mold contamination is now threatening water-damaged properties throughout the region. With losses estimated to rise beyond $90 billion in flooded New Orleans and the Gulf Coast, the more than 15,000 adjusters dispatched aren’t nearly enough to handle the estimated two million claims resulting from mold and hurricane damage.

Hurricane Wilma and flooding in the Northeast only compound the problem and Purdue University researchers are predicting disruptive weather patterns for the rest of the century.

With all this bad news, the insurance and real estate industries could use some good news. The revolutionary ThermaPure heat treatment process established in California could be the silver lining to a very cloudy period, providing an alternative methodology which could save insurers and property owners billions of dollars.

The ThermaPure heat process was developed by E-Therm (http://www.thermapure.com), an environmental remediation innovator based in Ventura, California. ThermaPure has proven to be an effective alternative to traditional demolition-based remediation. Superheated air is used to disinfect, decontaminate and dry out buildings in much the same way heat is used to pasteurize milk and kill bacteria in wine.

In the ThermaPure process, technicians use propane-powered portable heaters and air blowers to inject dehumidified air into affected spaces, raising the temperature to as much as 160º F for several hours. Heat has shown to be effective in destroying active mold growth sites, and kills mold spores, bacteria, viruses and insects without using chemicals. It dries out wet buildings faster than traditional methods of simple air movement and dehumidification that are typically used by flood restoration contractors.

Used in conjunction with limited “remove and replace” remediation or as an alternative in some instances, heat treatment allows the contractor to treat many building materials in place, avoiding the expense of unnecessary removal of walls, flooring and furnishings.

The Drawbacks of Traditional Mold Remediation

Traditional remediation typically includes limited or extensive demolition of impacted building materials and costly cleaning using techniques such as wire brushing, sanding, HEPA vacuuming, and microbial wipe down.

“Cost escalates when suspected contamination requires the tear down and build back of structures that may be salvageable,” says Joe McLean, CEO of Alliance, a California-based environmental contractor that deals extensively in mold and asbestos remediation. “For instance, if a consultant specifies removal of a 4-foot perimeter on four walls because moisture has wicked up one, the tear down and build back of showers, cabinets and countertops can significantly increase costs.”

Inaccessible areas such as wall cavities, crawlspaces and doorjambs present another dilemma. Either spend prohibitively to remove and replace building structures in these areas - or leave them with potential live mildew that could pose a re-infestation hazard.

In the wake of some of the country’s worst storms and disasters, ThermaPure has emerged as an economical alternative that can shrink escalating water damage and mold liability costs.

For More Information:

Dave Hedman

E-Therm, Inc.

180 Canada Larga Road

Ventura, CA 93001

Phone: 1-866-665-3432

Fax: 805-648-6999



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