SAN LEANDRO, Calif. - A new 135-room residential-style hotel complex in northern California needed help due to rampant mold growth. It turned to the San Leandro, Calif., office of MARCOR Remediation to resolve the problem.

Just a few months after opening in 2003, the plumbing system of the hotel - which shall remain anonymous, at its request - developed many leaks associated with shower pans, sink drains, main supply lines, and other areas involving connections to the main water supply. In addition, the main sewer line system underneath the building slab had begun to disconnect.

"It soon became apparent that the original plumbing contractor had many errors and that extensive mold growth was the result," said MARCOR regional manager Blaine Frost. "That's when we were contracted to perform the remediation."

Not only that, the office in charge was required to provide the remediation in the most discreet way possible: while the building was occupied.

"Our staff had to maintain a most professional demeanor at all times," said Frost.

Over a one-year period, MARCOR set up containment structures within unoccupied units and in certain hallway corridors, then began removing microbial contamination that was visibly apparent through the hotel units. A total of 65 units, as well as many hallway areas, were affected. In many instances, MARCOR was required to perform interior demolition of certain contaminated building components, followed by reconstruction services.

The initial mold remediation work led to other related projects at the upscale, all-suite hotel. It was found, for example, that several occupied units had drains backing up. A plumber with a televised scope determined that the underground sewer drain system was beginning to disconnect. MARCOR was contracted to core drill through the concrete slab, assess the methane and hydrogen sulfide amounts (the hotel was built on a landfill), saw-cut through the concrete slab within the areas where the drains were backing up, and excavate up to the drains.

"We're proud to say that MARCOR performed this service in a potentially lethal environment without any safety violations," said Frost.

Frost noted that a full investigation found that many hangars that should have secured the original sewer drain pipes were not installed, leading to the plumbing problems. All building inspections conducted by the city's building department after MARCOR's work was completed passed during the first rounds.

MARCOR Remediation Inc. is a specialty contracting company performing a full range of services including mold remediation, industrial cleaning, and asbestos and lead hazard abatement. Founded in 1980, the company is headquartered in Hunt Valley, Md., and has 16 offices across the United States.

For more information on MARCOR, go to

Publication date: 11/29/2004