Hurricane Sandy Leaves Risk of Mold

Almost a month after Hurricane Sandy ravaged New Jersey,
residents may now face a serious health risk of mold growth that would follow in the wake of last month’s flooding. What can you do about it?

Assess Your Situation

  • Was your home or business victim to major flooding damage? In the case of major
    water damage or if you suspect sewer back up, be sure to contact a
    professional remediator and your local independent agent to answer all of your questions first.
  • As a New Jersey homeowner it is highly recommended to have a professional take care of your mold issue. Although until a professional arrives there are some steps that you can take to prevent more damage.

Treating Mold: Dry, Discard, and Defend

Dry – Mold can grow on water-damaged surfaces in as little as 24 to 48 hours. If flooding occurred in your home, take steps to dry affected areas as quickly as possible. Remove excess water with a shop vacuum or water pump. Once the water is removed, use fans to circulate and absorb moisture in the air. If weather permits, open all doors and windows; indoor mold spore counts are typically higher than outdoor counts.

Discard – Throw out water-logged and mold-infested materials that are replaceable, such as carpeting or ceiling tiles. The general rule is: if in doubt, throw it out. If drywall has absorbed water, the drywall should be cut out 12 inches above the water level and replaced once the room has dried out.

Defend  Protect your home against any future mold by taking a couple of steps. First, ensure that the surrounding property is graded so that water is directed away from the foundation. Second, run a dehumidifier to take additional moisture out of the air. Maintain relative indoor humidity between 30 and 50 percent and monitor humidity levels with a hygrometer, an inexpensive device found at many hardware stores.

Wait for the mold professional to arrive, to tie up any loose ends, inspect, and disinfect the area.