Increased Threat of Mold After Hurricanes

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Recent hurricanes, Harvey and Irma, have done extensive damage to both Houston and Puerto Rico respectively. But the impact is not just in physical damages. In the wake of flooded homes and damaged properties lies the growing threat of mold which may cause respiratory issues for the many thousands returning to their homes.

What is Mold?

Mold is a living organism that is present virtually everywhere on land. You can find mold and its spores in outdoor and indoor environments, but for the most part it is harmless save for those with allergies to airborne particles. However, in the presence of humid air, mold can become a threat to both health and property if left unchecked.

When mold enters an environment that is moist and humid, it takes hold of virtually all materials and begins to grow. Mold will consume organic materials such as wood and its spores will spread through the interior of homes at a rapid rate. If not caught early, mold can cause considerable damage and in some cases, cause the structure to be condemned or rendered unusable.

While the effects on health are less severe, the presence of mold will cause respiratory issues for those who are vulnerable, such as people with asthma, and even affect those who are in good health. In rare cases, long-term exposure to mold spores will cause serious breathing issues which is why the removal of the mold is of paramount concern.

Removing Mold

Because Hurricane Harvey dumped over 50 inches of water in the greater Houston area and considerable amounts along the Gulf Coast, along with Hurricane Irma causing massive precipitation in Puerto Rico, the threat of mold has increased considerably in these areas. In fact, it is already causing damage to property and affecting the health of those living in these ravaged areas.

Removing the mold starts with inspections and identifying the areas in which mold has intruded into homes, buildings, facilities, and structures. The sooner it is identified, the easier the mold is to remove. For residents living along the Gulf Coast and Puerto Rico who were affected by the storm, it is important to conduct an inspection to ensure that the massive precipitation did not cause or worsen existing damage that allowed moisture to seep inside.

Once inside, mold can grow rapidly as it is protected from the harsher outdoor environment. So, when any growth is spotted, the first step is to eliminate the source of moisture. Then the mold can be removed and any material that has been damaged is repaired or replaced. Lastly, the area is dried out using fans or blowers to reduce the humidity levels, so the mold does not grow back.

If you want more information about how to remove mold from your home or business, contact the experts at Brickley Environmental. They have the knowledge and experience to properly remove mold from buildings to create a safe environment for those living or working inside.

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