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Superstorm Sandy & Mold Problems

Monday, November 26th, 2012 by Bill Cowley

As all of us are painfully aware, Superstorm Sandy left a wake of destruction throughout New Jersey, although especially hard hit because of the storm surge were Jersey Shore coastal communities from the Sandy Hook northern terminus down through Cape May.

Flooding, power outages, and downed trees, limbs, and other wind damage were experienced by virtually everyone. But even as power has been restored and floodwaters have subsided, many homes were left with water-saturated wood, drywall, carpeting, and furnishings. Water intrusions combined with damp, dank conditions creates the ideal setting for mold growth in New Jersey. Mold is a common by-product of storms that produce large-scale water intrusions and to mitigate damages must be dealt with promptly and effectively.

Of course, New Jersey homes experienced varying degrees of water damage. The water intrusions from Sandy ran the gamut from major flooding to localized water intrusions from damaged roofs from downed trees or limbs. If there was extensive flooding, water-damaged materials should be carefully removed from the home. If you have porous materials that were not timely cleaned and are showing signs on mold, get rid of it. Unfortunately, if mold is present on the damaged materials, the mold spores can easily become dislodged during transit, even when the strongest precautions are taken such as bagging or plastic wrapping the items. When mold spores are released they readily spread throughout your home or business, finding a new location to colonize.

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Tips to Mitigate Mold Problems after Superstorm Sandy

If there has been a significant water intrusion into your home and materials have been wet longer than two or three days, one should assume that mold formation is already in its nascent stages. Under the right conditions, mold growth grows at exponential rates. You can’t get rid of mold without professional assistance. But here are things you can do to at least contain the mold growth:

  • Dry all wet materials as quickly as possible.
  • Open windows and use heat with fans and dehumidifiers.
  • Use fans in windows to pull the mold spores outdoors.
  • Reduce the moisture in the air.
  • Use dehumidifiers in closed spaces.
  • Wall-to-wall carpeting is essentially a sponge and it’s next to impossible to properly dry.
  • Never reuse flooded padding.
  • Wet wallboard must be cut away and damp insulation must be removed immediately.
  • Removal and cleaning are important because even dead mold may cause an allergic reaction in some people.

Mold Solutions by Cowleys offers a powerful combination of mold treatment products that have dramatically improved the way mold can be treated compared to traditional remediation methods. The 4-step process incorporates state-of-the-art nanotechnology science that uses silver nanoparticles. Nanosilver is like “kryptonite” for mold, killing the spores at the cellular level. Our treatment system includes a water intrusion inspection to determine the water sources so that they can be corrected, an EPA-registered antimicrobial that kills a wide strain of fungi, bacteria, and viruses, a unique patented polymer sealant that remains active to prevent future mold fungi formation and the installation of a commercial-grade dehumidifier to reduce moisture. The antimicrobial and the polymer sealer can only be applied by approved applicators who are licensed Pest Control Operators.

Superstorm Sandy has been devastating and has affected us all at a very personal level. Damages were in the billions and will take years to recover. Bill, Drew, and the whole Cowley family are dedicated to helping New Jersey homeowners and commercial businesses return to a safe environment at home or work. Right now you have a lot to worry about;let us worry about the mold.

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