Mold May Be Present In Flood-Damaged Homes

Armen Hareyan's picture
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If your home was affected in the recent flooding in northeast Ohio it could be harboring mold.

"When the water recedes, mold may grow in your home and endanger your health," said Ohio Department of Health (ODH) director Alvin D. Jackson, M.D. "Proper cleaning and moisture removal will result in a healthier home, especially for those with respiratory illnesses such as asthma."

Care must be taken to clean and completely dry any areas of the home that have gotten wet from floodwaters to prevent structural damage and adverse health effects from mold.

Mold and Health Concerns

Mold growth is a common occurrence in flood-damaged homes and damp environments. Mold could become
a problem in your home if there is enough moisture available to allow mold to thrive and multiply.

Dampness in basements, walls, carpets and wood provides an environment for mold to flourish. Mold is made up of simple microscopic organisms that are found virtually everywhere. It often can be seen in the form of discoloration, ranging from white to orange and from green to brown and black, and gives off a musty or earthy smell.

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Exposure to mold can cause health problems. Infants, children, immune-compromised patients, pregnant women, individuals with existing respiratory conditions (allergies, multiple chemical sensitivity and asthma) and the elderly appear to be at higher risks for adverse health effects from mold.

Health symptoms known to be associated with exposure to mold include nose and throat irritation, wheezing, coughing, asthma attacks in individuals who have asthma, and lower respiratory tract infections (in children).

People with pre-existing respiratory conditions also may be susceptible to more serious lung infections.

Mold Prevention Tips

There is no practical way to eliminate all of the molds and mold spores in the indoor environment, but there are many ways to help control moisture and mold growth in the home. The basic rule is, if residents can see or smell mold, they should take the steps to eliminate excess moisture and to clean up and remove the mold.

It is important to quickly identify and correct any moisture sources before health problems develop.

Stop the Water

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