The Northeast is about to switch from fire warnings to a flood watch. Our parched yards are going to meet some wet weather, and that can actually cause flooding, then mold to grow in your home if you are not prepared. Here’s why…

When a large amount of rain falls in a short amount of time on very dry soil, water cannot be absorbed at the same rate that the rain is falling. So it travels, as it needs to go somewhere. That ‘somewhere’ might be your basement. And if your basement floods, mold is not far behind.

Here are some tips to prepare your home for spring storms:

Tip 1: Be sure your gutters and downspouts are free from leaves and debris.

You probably haven’t thought about your gutters since last fall. But throughout the winter, leaves and organic debris collect there. When that happens, water (from rain) cannot be channeled away from your house. A flooded basement can result. So, make sure your gutters, downspouts, and outside drains are clear of debris.

Tip 2: Prepare your basement.

If you think you’re vulnerable to flooding, check your basement floor drains to be sure they are not blocked. Remove anything from the floor or next to windows that you do not want to get wet. If there are boxes or any other cellulose materials on the floor, place them on tables or crates to alleviate direct contact with water. Once wet, they can rot or turn moldy.

Tip 3: Anticipate leaks in advance, if you can.

Some of us already know where there are trouble spots in our homes. Place towels and buckets on the floor in the affected areas. If you know a window leaks, secure towels in that area before the rain begins. In heavy rains, you may need to change the towels and empty the buckets several times. Most importantly, once the rain and leaks have stopped, remove the wet towels and buckets from the area immediately, or you risk mold growth, which can start in as little as 24 hours.

If you have concerns about mold growth in your home, have a certified mold inspector in to test and assess the damage and give you options as to how to fix it. Mold can cause serious health problems, including asthma, coughing, and wheezing in otherwise healthy people. When there’s a dry spell, we desperately need rain – just keep it outside of your home!

Past exposure to lead may be to blame for over 400,000 deaths in the United States every year (The Lancet Public Health.)

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