Federal Emergency Management Agency. Here’s what you may not realize: mold may not be visible immediately, but its spores are growing.Last week, storms soaked the east coast, bringing 5+ inches of rain to many areas, flooding tens of thousands of homes and businesses. If you had water in your home for at least two days, chances are some mold colonies are growing, according to the
Here are warning signs that mold may be a growing problem post-flooding, and advice to help you deal with it:
What’s that smell?
mold begins growing within 24 hours after water enters your home, it
takes a while before you can actually detect the musty odor that means
mold. So, over the next few weeks, be sure to keep your senses on alert
for a musty smell developing in your home or business.
Why can I smell mold and mildew, but can’t see it?
Mold plays hide-and-seek, which is why testing is so important. Typical hiding places include:
• the back side of dry wall, wall paper or paneling;
• the top side of ceiling tiles;
• the underside of carpets and pads;
• around pipes – inside and outside your walls;
• the surface of walls behind furniture;
• inside ductwork;
• in roof materials.
What should I do about that musty smell?
It’s important to test for mold
to determine where it lurks, as well as its root cause. Do-it-yourself
testing kits can be unreliable. Qualified, trained mold inspection
services are much more thorough and, therefore, offer the best
protection. If you can see the mold on hard surfaces, clean it off with
detergent and water. Be sure to dry the surface completely. If the
problem is too large, a commercial cleaning or remediation company is
your best solution, depending on the location.
Who should test for mold and when?
should have a certified professional test for mold, but they should not
perform remediation services so as to avoid any conflict of interest.
A certified microbial investigator will discover mold’s root causes and
provide a detailed report with recommendations on how to remove the
mold. You should test for mold before you hire a remediation company,
and again after work is complete to make sure the mold has been properly
removed and will not grow back and resurface a few months later.
What is the health impact of mold?
can cause a host of health issues. It has been known to trigger
allergies that cause headaches and coughing, as well as irritate the
nose, skin, and eyes. For people with asthma, mold can make breathing
particularly difficult. Read more in depth about the health risks of mold.
For more information on mold, click here.