Homeowners should always be on the lookout for mold, but they should be extra vigilant due to monumental rainstorms and high humidity in New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut. The combination of steady rains, soaked soil, and warm weather have invited mold to rear its ugly head again.
Here’s why you need to pay attention to mold:
Mold causes health problems.
All mold—whether it is toxic or not — causes health issues, including allergic reactions, sneezing, runny, itchy eyes, red nose, and skin rashes. Mold can also cause asthma attacks and can irritate the eyes, skin, nose, throat, and lungs.
Mold damages homes.
Mold can destroy the things it grows on – including your home’s walls, floors, carpeting, and furnishings. Often times, mold is hidden and grows behind drywall, under carpets, and under floorboards. This is dangerous because by the time you find out it’s there; you usually have a major problem. In extreme cases, mold can grow to the extent that the home cannot be remediated, and needs to be knocked down. The key is to control moisture in your home and eliminate mold growth before it takes over.
You can take steps to prevent mold, especially after heavy rain.
The most important thing you can do is to control moisture levels in your home. If water enters your home, take immediate steps to get rid of it. Remove anything that gets wet. Use vacuums and fans to rid surfaces of any residual moisture. Do this within 24 hours, as mold can invade your home in less than a day.
Another preventative measure is managing the water runoff from your house. If the water pouring off your roof has nowhere to drain, it can and will find its way into your home. Keep your gutters and downspouts debris-free. Also, make sure that your downspouts are adequately angled away from the house. Otherwise, water will collect at the edge of the house and leak into the foundation and basement.
Test for mold if water enters your house.
Once an area is dry, test for mold. Since do-it-yourself mold tests are often inaccurate, your best bet is to call in a certified microbial mold inspector. Call RTK at (800) 392-6468 for more information.
The Environmental Protection Agency offers a free download, Brief Guide to Mold, Moisture and Your Home. Check it out HERE.