Thursday, August 8th, 2013 by Bill Cowley
As New Jersey residents get back to rebuilding their homes after Superstorm Sandy hit our shores, mold concerns are high. In order to prevent mold growth, homeowners had to act fast, mold can begin to grow after just two to three days. And that was nearly impossible in some areas of New Jersey where owners could not gain access to their homes for days and sometimes weeks following the storm.
Flooded homes provide ideal conditions for mold growth. Mold can grow in areas visible to homeowners or areas not visible to them, like behind walls, underneath wall-to-wall carpeting or under sub-flooring. The bottom line is: if your home was flooded for more than a few days you must address the problem of mold. Some mold companies will encourage homeowners to do sampling and testing for mold. These tests can be very expensive to the homeowner. Before agreeing to such testing consider this excerpt on testing from the CDC’s website on mold, “Since the susceptibility of individuals can vary greatly either because of the amount or type of mold, sampling and culturing are not reliable in determining your health risk. If you are susceptible to mold and mold is seen or smelled, there is a potential health risk; therefore, no matter what type of mold is present, you should arrange for its removal.”
If your home was flooded during the storm and you have concerns about mold growth here are 3 things you must do:
If mold is visible, you must arrange for removal or treatment. Research and consider both options. Homeowners often cringe at the thought of mold removal, imagining major demolition, removing walls, dust, dirt and perhaps even having to relocate their family during the process. Science has come a long way in how we handle mold. Research your mold options and consider if mold treatment or mold remediation are better for you.
If you suspect that mold may be present because of a musty smell in an area of your home that suffered water damage or because someone in your home is suffering the health effects of mold, then have a professional investigate. Do not attempt to remove walls or disrupt the affected area to look for visible signs of mold. Doing so may release mold spores into the air and create a serious health hazard to the person doing the construction as well as anyone present in the home.
If you have an ongoing moisture problem in your home you must correct it in order to prevent and stop the growth of mold. If your basement or crawlspace leaks then you probably realize that you must correct that problem. But controlling high humidity levels is equally as important to stopping the growth of mold and mildew. Installing a commercial grade dehumidifier that can keep the relative humidity at an acceptable level, typically below 45% but preferably at 35%, will prevent the reoccurrence of mold.
Mold poses a serious health threat to those exposed to it. Although people may live in the same house they may respond differently to mold. Some have no symptoms while others develop chronic respiratory symptoms. If you have been affected by the flooding during Hurricane Sandy, and even if mold is not visible, contact a professional to investigate the presence of mold. Your health could depend on it.
our service area