In the past several months, Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, Jose and Maria left paths of destruction worth billions of dollars. The natural disasters destroyed or damaged tens of thousands of homes, business, schools and other properties across hundreds of square miles of the United States.
Each of these hurricanes brought with it excessive moisture, flooding and standing water. Any of these can result in the growth of mold in homes and other buildings impacted or damaged by the storm. Due to this fact and the scale to which hurricanes and other natural disasters can cause damage, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provides information on the agency’s website specifically warning people to be aware of mold exposure risks following these types of disasters.
The CDC reports that in flooded or water damaged properties that have experienced mold growth, people who are sensitive to mold may experience stuffy nose, irritated eyes, wheezing or skin irritation. People allergic to mold may have difficulty in breathing and shortness of breath. Those with weakened immune systems and with chronic lung diseases, such as obstructive lung disease, may develop mold infections in their lungs if exposed to certain types of mold.
Whenever returning to a home or business that has been flooded for more than a day or two, it’s important to recognize that mold is likely present and may cause significant exposure concerns,” said Franco Seif, President at Clark Seif Clark (CSC). “In almost all circumstances, the only way to prevent mold growth in a water damaged building is to have it thoroughly cleaned up and comprehensively dried within 24 to 48 hours. Unfortunately, following these types of events, that is almost never possible.”