A well-known Maryland hotel was fighting an invisible enemy––mold contamination hidden within its walls. In response to guest complaints about an overwhelming musty odor, the hotel shut down its top two floors and recruited GHP to investigate the cause. An assessment of 90 rooms showed evidence of mold growth, asbestos and moisture damage. With findings pointing to a systematic issue, GHP estimated more than 300 rooms were affected throughout the hotel’s 37 floors.
To construct a tailor-made solution, GHP’s forensic team first needed to deconstruct the hotel walls. Peeling back the building’s layers revealed the exterior walls were missing a vapor barrier to prevent moisture intrusion. This intrusion was compounded by a signature hotel calling card––vinyl wallpaper. While the building’s negative pressure drew moisture into the hotel, the vinyl wallpaper had formed a seal that then trapped moisture inside the walls.
Typical procedures called for vapor barriers to be installed from the outside under the hotel’s brick exterior. Knowing this avenue would require extensive remodeling costs, our architectural team forged a plan to work from the inside-out rather than the outside-in.
Engineering a custom waterproof elastic spray, GHP coated interior walls to form a durable moisture barrier. Foam board insulation was then installed before putting up new dry wall. The upgraded system created a last line of defense against external moisture intrusion.
GHP helped the hotel navigate state regulations requiring public signage disclosing the presence of asbestos containing materials. Closing the facility’s doors during the six-month renovation, the mold infestation was brought under control while avoiding damaging public announcements. Working closely with stakeholders and insurance officials, GHP also coordinated for insurance to fund a majority of the project.
Exercising each of GHP’s core skillsets––from environmental services to architecture to forensics––the hotel’s renovation was completed on time and on budget. Utilizing a comprehensive report detailing all decontamination efforts, the hotel owners were able to capitalize on their investment with the sale of the building to new ownership at top dollar.