Mold Issues Abound in NYC Due to COVID Exodus
When COVID hit New York City in March, many residents who could, opted to flee to second homes or rentals in the Hamptons, Westchester, Fairfield, Putnam, Dutchess, and other Metro areas. Additionally, offices closed and employees worked from home. After Labor Day, office and commercial spaces began to reopen and many people returned to their apartments and brownstones, only to find an unpleasant and unhealthy surprise – mold.
“We have seen the number of insurance claims for mold damage and inquiries about mold testing increase in the city that had been caused by a plumbing issue or leak while premises were vacated,” says Robert Weitz, founder of RTK Environmental Group, a leading environmental testing firm in the northeast.
Pipe breaks, plumbing leaks and roof leaks happen all the time in New York City, but when you don’t catch them right away, mold can develop and become a serious problem. Mold also can be caused by humidity in spaces that are closed up without ventilation. After a water intrusion occurs, mold can take hold in as little as 24 – 48 hours. You can imagine the damage it causes after several months of going unchecked.
What to do if you find mold
If you do return to find a mold issue, the first step is to have a mold inspection. Hire a company that only does independent mold testing and not remediation, so there is no conflict of interest. This will enable you to get an unbiased evaluation of the situation, and a blueprint for remediation. Once you have the report in hand, you can rest easy that the company you hire to remediate will only do the work that’s necessary, and not claim a problem that doesn’t exist.
Once remediation is complete, the best practice is to have the testing company return for a clearance check. This ensures the work was done correctly, and that the mold was properly removed. If it wasn’t, the remediation company should come back to finish the job completely, at no cost to you. As mold can impact your health, this is a prudent course to follow.
RTK Environmental Group has been providing mold testing services to NYC and the tri-state area for over 25 years. If you have a mold issue or have questions, please contact us at 800.392.6468 or click here.