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  • From the Founder

Eliminating Mold Risk With A Contract Addendum

Updated: Jun 11

Rainy season is upon us, which also means that water will soon be upon your construction sites.


The impact of water extends beyond mere humidity - from wreaking havoc on construction sites and leading to unwanted delays - it’s important to be prepared. Instead of crying, “Rain, Rain, Go Away” this season, incorporating a free Contract Addendum into your project agreement can save you from the effects that water can have on your building process, budget and ultimately eliminate the risk of mold damage. 


Protecting Owner/Developers from Mold with The Contract Addendum


Created by architects and developers, the free Contract Addendum is an agreement between an owner and general contractor that requires a third party to create and manage a water intrusion/mold prevention program. Just like a written program that OSHA might require, this program lays out the details of how and what the general contractor and their third party will do to prevent water from causing mold.


This contract addendum is currently being used by architects, developers, and owners throughout the country. We have also seen more of this with multifamily property owners (senior living, apartments and hotels). A few of the companies using the Contract Addendum are:



Clearity’s COMMP Program


Clearity serves as the third party service provider by incorporating our Control of Moisture and Mold Prevention program (COMMP), a proactive approach to moisture intrusion & mold prevention, within your Contract Addendum. 


Clearity provides multiple services during your build through the COMMP program, such as:


  • Written moisture management action plans

  • Training and education of field staff

  • Inspections during construction

  • Final certification of a mold-free building


While the Contract Addendum is designed to protect architects and owner/developers, the COMMP program ensures the safety of all parties involved: the architect, the owner, the developer, the general contractor, and future tenants. 


Our unique program provides protection and security throughout the entire building process. During the build, we conduct monthly inspections, training and action plans to address water intrusion. We ensure that mold is treated as it is identified during the building process and we assure that there is no mold after the project is complete through our Mold-Free Certification. Other benefits of using the COMMP program include:


Money - The COMMP program costs clients less than one tenth of one percent (<.001) of the project budget, compared to what happens after water damage occurs without prevention. The COMMP program also protects against liability, avoiding costly claims and settlements.


Time - Our rapid response and efficient, ongoing inspections keep your project on schedule and ensure a timely finish.


Peace of Mind - Our inspections and Mold-Free Certification process give owners peace of mind and security knowing there is no mold at the end of the project. Future tenants can be reassured that their space is safe and mold-free.


Treat Water with Respect or Else - The Consequences of Not Using The Contract Addendum


The rainy season poses a considerable challenge to projects, and it's not solely due to the rise in humidity. Before you opt-out of having a contract for mold prevention for your construction project, consider these costly consequences:


  • Project Delays


Water is a fierce beast and can cause delays in your project anywhere from days to weeks, which in turn, takes your team off-schedule and off-budget.


  • Project Cost Increase


Project delays tend to be the biggest cost concern on a project because of the cost of general conditions.  Salaries, rented equipment, utilities, and more are very real costs that continue even when a project is delayed.  Water and mold can cause significant project delays and the cost of cleaning up and remediation usually pales in comparison to the cost of general conditions.  



  •  Material Damage


Anything organic materials (wood, drywall, etc.) exposed to high-humidity and rain water are susceptible to fungus and mold damage. Wood is especially conducive to mold growth and can happen after it has dried from the rain. Paper-based products, such as dry wall and wallpaper, can allow mold to grow, causing structural damage. 


  • Insurance Costs


Most construction projects have a Builders Risk insurance policy. Water damage is often covered, but not mold prevention or removal. Insurance companies would require you to get a pollution liability policy to address any mold concerns. These typically have very high deductibles and are still subject to denied claims.  


The Impacts of Clearity’s COMMP Program 


Clearity is committed to taking a proactive approach to mold prevention to ensure that your project needs are met quickly and effectively. Through our COMMP program, we have provided our clients with on-time, on-budget project and the confidence of a certified, mold-free space. 


Case Study - The Vale

The Parks at Historic Walter Reed - Washington, DC


The Issue:

The Vale is a 5-story, wood frame building (1 level of podium) that had experienced significant water intrusion problems during spring of 2020. At the time, the roof was not complete and windows were not installed. 


Unfortunately, due to this, and it being a very rainy season, water intrusion had caused widespread mold problems on the wood framing and OSB subflooring. 


The water intrusion and mold concerns were so significant that the project came to a complete standstill for over 2 weeks during 2020. 


Multiple meetings  commenced involving all of the ownership team, lenders, insurance companies and three (3) different IH teams. These meetings were held almost daily for over 2 months, until the ownership team and lenders were confident that the mold problems were under control. 


Clearity’s Involvement:


Clearity was engaged by Paradigm, the general contractor, at the urging of the multi-ownership team, Urban Atlantic and Hines, to aid in developing a solution. 


We immediately had the contractor (Paradigm) put temporary weather protection over window openings and piping at roof drains to prevent further water intrusion during the building process. We also brought in a restoration company (First Choice Services) to install desiccant dehumidifiers to dry the building, as well as to clean and treat all mold impacted surfaces. 


After this initial effort, the ownership team (Hines, Urban Atlantic, Triden Development Group and PGIM Real Estate) saw the value in a full COMMP program. Clearity was retained to provide continuing monthly inspections for the remainder of the construction effort and Clearity has been retained for other buildings in the Parks at Walter Reed. 


The Outcome: 


The building was successfully remediated and Clearity continued with monthly inspections through the remainder of construction. All three buildings that were part of this development received a mold-free certification from Clearity. 


The Impact: 


Hines has now instituted a policy of including a similar contract addendum for their multi-family projects. Clearity has worked on five other Hines projects since The Vale, with one currently underway in Hyattsville, MD.


Case Study - 529 King Street

Charleston, SC


The Issue: 


A boutique hotel is being built on historic north King Street in Charleston. Construction is concrete with metal frames (not a wood frame project). Owners are Capital Square and The Method Company. General contractor is B.L. Harbert. Owner (Capital Square) provided an addendum similar to the one being provided on the Clearity website to B.L. Harbert during the negotiations for the project. 


B.L. Harbert objected, saying that this requirement had not been presented at the time that they bid the project. B.L. Harbert was concerned that Clearity’s inspections would slow project progress and create an undue burden for their efforts to construct the project. 


Clearity’s Involvement:


Capital Square and The Method Co. hired Clearity directly to oversee the project. Clearity conducted training for B.L. Harbert to increase awareness and sensitivity to the desires of the owner, as well as help to identify and document the conditions and note areas of wet drywall that must be removed and replaced.


The Outcome: 


At this point, the building is weather tight and Clearity continues with monthly inspections. As areas of water intrusion are identified, these are brought to the attention of B.L. Harbert, and the issues are resolved.



Protect your projects from mold and ensure the well-being of your building, patrons, and company by preventing mold from causing any harm or damage. Don't jeopardize the success of your business!


 

Our team provides comprehensive documentation on the progress of the project, specifically related to water and mold. This documentation can serve as a strong defense or offense for our clients in case of any legal disputes. As mold claims can result in significant financial liabilities, our detailed documentation ensures that our clients are protected by demonstrating that water and mold were handled effectively and efficiently. Trust Clearity to safeguard your projects from mold and its potential consequences.


Schedule a toolbox talk today at 941.866.2355 and protect your next build.

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