Warnings on the Risk of Mold in Rebuilding After Sandy

Posted by Dil Gillani on Thursday, November 15th, 2012 at 9:27am

The long and hard road to rebuild has started for thousands of residents throughout New York City and in Staten Island. That means gutting homes, drying out and rebuilding. In an effort to protect those homeowners that are rebuilding, however, local government officials are urging caution. 

It is a huge risk and one that you have no doubt heard of before in homes that get inundated with water - whether through a leaky pipe or in this case, a catastrophic flood - mold. Mold grows quickly and it can be a dangerous health hazard. Which is why on Tuesday this week, Rep. Michael Grimm and other city officials warned homeowners to be extremely careful when cleaning their homes and starting the rebuilding process. 

Take Time and Rebuild Carefully 

The urge to rebuild quickly and get back into your home is overwhelming but in doing so, you might miss some mold spores that are growing behind insulation and sheet rock. This mold, when not removed properly before rebuilding and before the home is once again inhabited and heated, can grow and create a problem that costs thousands of dollars to repair and that won’t be covered by insurance if you’ve already signed off on your claims. 

With the recent warm weather, it’s becoming evident just how big of a problem this is going to be as visible mold growth is already starting in homes throughout the area. The key to avoiding a bigger problem in the future is time - your home needs time to dry out fully before any building is done. 

Fortunately, flood insurance, home insurance and FEMA supplemental funds will help cover the cost of mold removal during the rebuilding process. If you are concerned about mold and are eager to start the rebuilding process, you can signup with FEMA or at one of the disaster relief stations on the island or you can call 311 or go to nyc.gov. It’s vital that work is done not only properly, but quickly and safely - if at all unsure, contact a professional or a government representative who can help.

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